Aha! · Writers Write

Scene Cards


One card per scene, about a hundred in all for the entire manuscript. This assignment for the Breakout Novel Intensive wasn’t due until the next to the last day. I procrastinated, carrying around blanks working on a few here and there. I finished in time, barely.

Don Maass asked us to pick the one card representing the most important scene in the book. After working for two years on a manuscript 300 pages long, choosing one card stretched my brain. Then, “Pick the next five most important scenes.” He made me think.

Since then, the cards have stretched across my old dining room table, waiting. I’ve added a few more–scenes I need to write. The new ones have pink tabs.

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