I was asked in my critique group by a new-to-romance writer how my scene advanced the plot.
I said, (remember we always feel constrained by time, or at least I do) that I was showing the hero and heroine’s relationship developing, changing.
Afterwards I wondered if that was enough. Remember the book on writing by Debra Dixon, Goal, Motivation & Conflict?
I asked myself what was the goal of the scene.
Goal: To show the hero’s reaching out to understand and enjoy the heroine’s hobby (writing songs, poems or rap).
Motivation: She wants to teach him. He wants to learn, because he was falling in love and had an insatiable appetite for knowledge.
Conflict: A poetry store clerk flirts with the hero which bothers the heroine.
This should be enough, right?
Well, the next scene has an outside irritant introduced. This was my remedy after I thought about how to please my critique group friend. Before her comment, I wasn’t quite sure how to handle the next scene which I labeled meet the FBI agent. So, from trying to justify my little scene about a growing love came the solidification of how the next one should go.
I really appreciate every critique I get, even if seemingly off the mark. Because it often becomes a catalyst to crystalize something in my story.
My friend, Ann Siracusa, reminded me to add the following to the list of what each scene should have:
1. Have a beginning, middle and end.
2. Each character should have an agenda.
3. Don't forget the hook at the end of the scene.