17 Screenwriting Scenes You Should Use In Your Novel

17 Screenwriting Scenes You Should Use In Your Novel

When we write books, we tell a story in scenes (action) and sequels (reaction). We usually have 60-80 of these units in a novel. I divided the screenplay scenes, with their given definitions, into these two groups.  Although you are not writing a screenplay, these 17 scenes may give you more ideas for creating conflict, and, for making peace, in your plotting. 

17 Screenwriting Scenes You Should Use In Your Novel


This is where your characters act. They mostly plan, seduce, argue, escape, search, meet, talk, pursue and investigate in scenes. Scenes take up about 70% of your novel.
  1. Preparation – What will it take to prepare for the task at hand?
  2. Revelation – The reader/audience finds out something important.
  3. Investigation – Gathering information.
  4. Recognition – The character finds out something important.
  5. The Gift – Using a prop with emotional investment and turning it into a weapon, emotional or otherwise.
  6. Escape – The character is trying to get away, avoid, or hide.
  7. Pursuit – The character is trying to follow, capture, or secure.
  8. Seduction – Someone must convince someone else.
  9. Opposites – Two characters from seemingly opposite poles are forced together.
  10. Unexpected Visitor – Someone unexpected shows up. Problems arise.
  11. Reversal of Expectations – A character expects a certain, very clear outcome, but another character surprises him, influencing him to reverse his intention and do something else – practically the opposite of what he planned to do.


This is where your characters react. They think, reflect, process, rest, accept, and make peace in sequels. Sequels are also used to establish setting, reveal backstory, and show theme.
  1. Setting – Where are we?
  2. Atmosphere/Mood – What is it like there?
  3. Introduction – Who is it we are dealing with here?
  4. Exposition – Necessary information through telling. Quick and brief.
  5. Transition – Getting from one place to another. Fast.
  6. Aftermath – How does the character feel about what just happened?

Top Tip: If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg or sign up for our online course. If you want to learn how to write a screenplay, sign up for our NEW online course: The Script

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