The Emotional Progression of Scene and Sequel

There are 3 parts to a scene and 3 parts to a sequel before you venture back into a new scene and begin with a new goal. This is the emotional progression of a scene and sequel that every delightful story should follow.


Goal: Every scene should seek out the character’s goal. Identifying what your character wants early in the scene will help the story move along.

Conflict: No scene is powerful without a conflict. A conflict is the obstacle that’s placed between your character and his goal. The conflict can be anything from a physical obstacle to an emotional obstacle if it causes your character to feel the heat.

Disaster: Instead of your character going straight where they should, he’s pushed sideways into unknown territory. He’s reaching for his main goal but can’t grab it.


Reaction: How does your character feel about what just happened? How would he feel in life if this was a real situation? Let him express this. Let him be angry, sad, happy, or even cry. He should shout, get excited, become upset.

Dilemma: The disaster caused unfamiliar or new problems, which your character must work through. He analyzes these and figures out his next move.

Decision: Your character must decide. His decision should move him towards his overall story goal. He must know what he wants to do to overcome his obstacles and conquer his fear

New Goal:

Everything has come together for this scene, now is time for a new goal to lead into the next scene. Remember, every scene has an overall goal of accomplishing your overall story’s goal. Once you figure out your new goal, you move right in to the conflict, disaster, reaction, dilemma, and decision. Keep going in this order until you reach the end of the story. For short stories, you can get away with only completing one scene and one sequel.

Questions? Ideas? Get your name added:

I hope this helps. If you have any suggestions or questions, please leave them in the comment section. If I use your idea, I’ll add your name and website/blog into the post.

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