The Final Scene Outline

For the Ghost Story (still to be named properly).

Due to the vagaries of winter, TDF, time-stealing-stupid-activities (see housework, etc.), and other silly little things that take time away from writing — it has taken longer than usual to complete the final scene outline for the ghost story.

But — tah-dah — it’s now complete! Each scene for each major character is written up (short-form only at this stage) and Rose and I have put our butts on the chairs, the computers on the desk, and the story in our heads – and we’re writing up a storm!

What that means is:

TDF is in its last week (soooooo exciting!!!!)

35k words are up on Ghost, and the story is increasing by 7,500 per day (two people, so easy-peasy [famous last words, those] and the premise is stronger and more compelling than it was before). It should be complete, in first draft, by the middle of Aug. [please don’t see the fingers crossed behind the back.]

And – In the process of chasing up Ms Hunter to check on Equine (need to do another one of those scene outlines, I think, because the mid-point was sadly lacking).

Life is good.

When I mentioned the scene outline, and five stories, someone said “What is that?” so I decided to show them. The eyes widened and widened and widened, and by the time I got to the end, I could see the story in her eyes. She’d found a way to ‘organise’ her own scenes, and she made the flimsiest excuses and ran home. I haven’t heard from her since …

So, what is a scene outline?

Imagine a table, with the names of all the major characters across the top. The left column has the time and place, setting and conditions, etc. Main character (MC) is the next column, then the major antagonist, then the lesser players (still the majors, though – and by that, I mean: if a character has a POV in the story [from their mind], they get a piece in this outline).

Usually, there’s 1, 3 or 5. Funny how it’s usually an odd number, a bit like the balance act that goes into the design of gardens …

Anyway, I digress.

In the blank cells under each name goes the ACTION that character will undertake at that time/place in the story. Fill ’em all in and then see how the most power comes from putting this one before that one and adapting to suit this new progression.

There you have it. When you ‘timeline’ the scene sequence like that, it opens the story to a sense of completion. Of course, now the real work starts, but when you can see the end of the road, when you know where you’re going, it’s so much smoother (and you stop saying to yourself “is it over yet?” because you know that not only isn’t it over, this is the best bit, the most exciting time, the most productive time – the fun bit about being a person who spins tales and stories that other people enjoy.

words in scenes

So, I’m back to work – and so is Nan (otherwise known as Rose) and Shannon – where are you Karel? Your turn next!



5 thoughts on “The Final Scene Outline

  1. I’ve never heard of a scene outline either though I think I do that in my head. I definitely know what’s going to happen.
    BTW, just wanted to let you know that your site is one of those with a broken link from Reader. The only way I can get to you is through email notifications. Reader still sends everyone to If you can fix that, I think you’ll see an increase in traffic. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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