The Four Techniques to Write a Scene

Scene.WritingIf you are wondering and don’t know about how to write a scene , first think, What makes a scene intriguing, interesting and very difficult to forget? The answer is contrary to what audience thinks. Let’s look deeply into a scene taken from “Return of the King” written by Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh.

Write to attract the Subconscious mind of the audience

A typical writer makes use of what I call emotioneering Technique – this is the technique a writer adapts to hold the audience and also play with their emotions.

emotioneering Technique targets the subconscious mind of the audience. Simply put, an emotioneering technique is the secret behind audience getting attached to a character, getting caught up with a plot or a scene. As such, it’s hard to identify emotioneering technique objectively.

Let’s examine the emotioneering technique adopted in two scenes from the “Return of the King”. In the first scene, we saw Sam and Frodo on a large piece of stone. Before then, Frodo had caused destruction to the ring along with Sauron and Mount Doom. This leads to another scene where Frodo returns back to the Elven town of Minas Tirith. I believe you have read this scene a couple times, but there’s something I want to bring out. I want you to read it one more time before reading the deconstruction below and you will have a clear understanding as to why the scenes are so powerful.

How To Write a Scene Step By Step Learning


Though I find deconstruction very helpful but when it comes down to television scripts and film, I prefer to divide deconstruction into five members:

  • Relationships
  • Characters
  • Plots
  • Dialogue and
  • Scenes

Now, there are some techniques that when adopted, they make each of these members interesting and unique. Likewise, there are some elements that make each member have emotional depth. These techniques are both referred to as interesting elements or techniques and deepening techniques respectively. You may find others refer to emotional depth as:

  • Psychologically complex
  • Emotionally complex
  • Rich
  • Layered and many more.

All techniques for writing scripts or creating stories do not necessarily fall into the categories of “Deep” and “Interesting” but a vast majority of techniques do.

The scene I mentioned before in the “Return of the King” adopted some of these techniques. Now, let’s take a look at the elements adopted in the linked scenes mentioned above.

Empathy Techniques

They are techniques that make the audience identify with a character or like a character.

Both Sam and Frodo are courageous;

  • They both carried out self-sacrifice for their end goal.
  • They are both exposed to danger;
  • They have a sworn allegiance to each other.
  • They both experienced sorrow and pain, for what they went through in the past and for the impending danger ahead.
Character Deepening Techniques
  • They both experienced sorrow and pain
  • Sam still has a dream of getting married to Rose.
  • Sam and Frodo both have different feelings toward different subjects. While they are happy they defeated Sauron, they are unhappy because they are going to die.
  • In the end, while in Minas Tirith, they stand alone in the crowd. Although people around them were joyful, their history of torment and struggle distinguish them from people in the room.
Scene Deepening Techniques
  • There is a difference between the extreme force of the lava and the quietness on the rock.
  • In the end, Sam and Frodo appeared to be in one scene and two universes. While Sam and Frodo were in one universe, their joyful comrades were in another.
Plot Deepening Techniques
  • Destruction Row: The two characters face a dangerous situation – their impending deaths.
  • All through the film, fire is the symbol used to identify Sauron. Darkness and machinery are other symptoms that were used to identify Sauron. Symbol of a concept is the one that is seen through a whole plot as it adds emotional depth to the plot. As such, the symbol of a concept is a technique that depends on the plot.
  • End of the fire plot line

Since evil was destroyed, the world (mountain) had to empty itself into the fire (last signs of evil).

The symbol of the concept used in the plot is white. In the film “Lord of the Rings”, water, trees and white stand for the symbol of good.


This article summarizes the different techniques or elements adopted in 5 minutes of the “Return of the King”. From this article, In how to write a scene learning, we learned that it isn’t the adoption of an element that makes a scene emotionally powerful and difficult to forget, but rather the number of techniques used and how they are interchanged.

Such techniques are used for creating scenes and not just deconstructing scenes. These techniques are very effective and powerful, such that they can elevate your artistry and also boost your chance of success.

Rewriting Tools

You shouldn’t try to adopt all these techniques while writing a scene, you might lose your head if you try to. You can’t keep them in mind as they emerge. Some techniques are used for writing the first draft but most of the techniques mentioned in this article are effective for rewriting. It takes a lot of thought to use these techniques artfully, and there is also a need for you to use aesthetic choices so you can create the emotions you plan to evoke. These techniques bring the craft to the table and guess what, they change into art when you include the X-Factor. What do I mean by the X-Factor? You! Yes, you are the X-Factor, with all your insights, aesthetic vision, and experience. However, there is a need for you to understand these techniques before you can use them.

As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, these techniques are targeted at our subconscious minds. So it’s difficult to become conscious of them and because they are capable of sucking us in, it’s difficult to notice their actual existence. If a newbie doesn’t know how to write a scene and don’t find any idea about structuring a scene then he or she must need to understand these techniques, without having proper understanding you cannot put the juice into the scene.

How to write unforgettable scene: What are the requirements to write an unforgettable scene

In its most basic form, a scene is described as a micro-unit of a larger story. Take a full-length novel for instance, a scene also contains an end, beginning, and middle. If a writer is able to craft a scene the way it should be, it will in no doubt move the story along- that which is its purpose.

Moving your story along and forward are the two main purposes of drafting a scene. Just as a chain is made up of different links, your story as a giant chain is being linked by scenes. And these scenes make up an entire story. Each scene links together up until the end of the story. It’s important for you to understand that your scenes are neither done in a vacuum nor isolated. Each scene serves a particular purpose to move the story to the next stage by connecting the previous scene and opening up space for the next one.

Any scene categorized to be great is able to move the story forward through a catalyst which is the conflict. So you’ve got to keep the tension high and the conflict up to engage your readers.

Although conflict is the major catalyst that strengthens a scene and makes it great, it is just an element of scene writing. Four other elements are known to constitute to structuring and crafting of a scene to make it powerful and intriguing, in turn moving the reader forward.


A lot of teachers and writing coaches place their focus only on one of the six important goals very scene needs to thrive. If one, two or more of these goals are not considered while writing your scene, you should know that the product cannot be a powerful one.

The six important goals that make up a powerful scene are highlighted below;

  • Reveal more setting
  • Reveal more character depth
  • Reveal more of the problems engulfing the story
  • Reveal the goal of the character in the scene
  • Add more contents to the general structure of the story
  • Reveal relationship that exists between characters of the story

As stated earlier, a lot of writing coaches and teachers only place their focus on the second one in the list, leaving the remaining five out as irrelevant. It’s important to understand that these goals combined will give the reader a chance to go deeper while explaining certain things in the story.

These goals make the plot more engaging, they make the characters look more real with a vivid setting.

Quickly, we will consider all these scene goals, but before we go deep, let’s check out the one that is of the highest importance:

Reveal the goal of the character in the scene

Before you begin to write your scene, it’s important that you try to get the basic idea of your character’s utmost goals in the scene. For instance, if your character lost their pet, make sure to input in one of the scenes to search for it. Isn’t that enough?

Every character needs to have a goal attached to every scene. There should be a reason attached to what they are doing and why they are doing it.

Else, what’s the point?

A reader isn’t excited if the characters have no specific goal, so it’s important to attach a goal to them. Give your readers what they want to read.

Reveal more character depth

Your scenes must be viable and also reflect and add more depth to the characters which you have chosen. As your characters are being led through the scene, you’ll be able to reflect more and more about them to the readers. Make use of their goals, the conflict experienced, their decisions and reactions to situations adding to the character’s depth.

Your reader will not be excited if they found out that you have cardboard characters with an engaging plot; you have to make them real and perfect for the character.One way to effectively ensure that is by the use of your scenes.

Reveal relationship that exists between characters of the story

Irrespective of the fact that depth needs to be added to your character, you can make your scenes better by revealing the relationship that exists between the characters of your story.

Take a minute to consider the resolution of your story. Are you able to form relationships that weren’t present in the beginning at the end of the story?

One of the important goals your scenes must develop is the ability to move the relationship that exists between your characters to the final outcome.

Each scene gives you the chance to add more bonding and depth between your characters.

Reveal more setting

Your scene should have the ability to broaden the readers’ knowledge and bring them deeper into the story world you’ve created.

It wouldn’t make much sense if your reader isn’t able to picture where it’s all going down, even if your story has a killer plot with great characters. If they are not able to envision this world, it wouldn’t seem real to them.

You can think of some popular fiction novels and get an image of the setting. Stories like Lord of The Rings, Harry Potter, and Hunger Games will help you develop the vividness that’ll make a perfect setting for your story.

Reveal more of the problems engulfing the story

As I rightly stated earlier, scenes are more like links that connect each part of your story. This means it would be wrong for your scenes to work in isolation from the rest of your story.

These scenes with their own conflict, mini-stories, and goals add up to the larger problems engulfing the story. You readers have to strictly follow each scene as it moves the story and characters toward the end.

Add more contents to the general structure of the story

Not only do scenes reveal more of the large problems in a story, scenes also add more content to the general structure of the story. Scenes are keen to help baby writers direct their story/writing toward to a logical flow. Think about this critically to get a firm understanding of what I’m trying to explain. Several scenes follow up as reactions to every hook you write in a story and these scenes are being led into inciting incident flowing towards the First Plot Point.