Skip to main content

Make a Scene

Craft a powerful story one scene at a time
  • Author:
  • Publish date:


Buy book | Amazon | BN.com

Make a Scene: Crafting a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time

by Jordan E. Rosenfeld
Writer's Digest Books, 2007
ISBN: 978-158297-479-8
$14.99 paperback, 256 pages

Image placeholder title

Read an excerpt!
Open Your Action Scenes With Gusto

Q & A with Jordan Rosenfeld:
Hear firsthand how Jordan Rosenfeld makes a scene.

Scenes are essential fictional units, and if a single unit falters, then an entire novel or short story can be weakened. While there is no paint-by-numbers formula for writing powerful scenes, writers can drastically improve their entire manuscripts by understanding the primary components of a given scene and how to manipulate those components to create the desired amount of drama, emotion, tension, energy, and intrigue. Make a Scene explains the fundamentals of strong scene construction and how other essential fiction-writing techniques, such as character development, pacing, description, transitions, etc., must function within the framework of individual scenes in order to provide substance and structure to the overall story.

With precise instruction, examples from bestsellers, unique exercises, and scene-writing tips from successful authors, this book shows readers how to craft each scene so that it renders a vivid emotional punch, establishes and maintains tension, and propels the reader forward.

About the Author
Jordan E. Rosenfeld is a contributing editor to Writer's Digest magazine, and a freelance writer and author. Her articles, essays and reviews have been published in numerous publications including Alternet.org, The St. Petersburg Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Writer, and her book reviews are regularly featured on NPR-affiliate KQED Radio’s “The California Report.” She’s co-founder of “Write Free!” a method to help people attract a creative life, which has spawned the book, with Rebecca Lawton, Write Free: Attracting the Creative Life (Kulupi Publishing) and a monthly newsletter. Find out more about Jordan at www.jordanrosenfeld.net and about Write Free at www.writefree.us.

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Submitting Your Work

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Submitting Your Work

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is not submitting your work.

Making Your Fiction a Place You Want To Be

Making Your Fiction a Place You Want To Be

Author Janet Key shares the feeling of not wanting to revisit the world she was creating and the tools she used to help make her fiction a place she wanted to be.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Backstory Change

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Backstory Change

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character's backstory change.

Writer’s Digest Official Book Club Selection: Portrait of a Thief

Writer’s Digest Official Book Club Selection: Portrait of a Thief

The editors of Writer’s Digest are proud to bring you the first book club pick, Portrait of a Thief, to read along with us.

6 Ways To Fight Your Inner Critics

6 Ways To Fight Your Inner Critics

For many writers, self-critique gets in the way of making much progress. Here, author Julia Crouch shares 6 ways to fight your inner critics.

Writing Allegory: A Convenient Place to Hide

Writing Allegory: A Convenient Place to Hide

Where realistic fiction felt both too restrictive and too revealing for author Susan Speranza’s transition from poetry to fiction, she turned to allegory. Here, she shares examples of famous allegories throughout history and how allegorical writing helped shape her novel, Ice Out.

Instagram: An Underutilized Tool for the Freelance Writer

Instagram: An Underutilized Tool for the Freelance Writer

In this post, author C. Hope Clark shares tips on how freelance writers can use Instagram as a tool to find more freelance writing connections, assignments, and overall success.

Jane Porter: On the Joy of Writing Mature Characters

Jane Porter: On the Joy of Writing Mature Characters

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jane Porter discusses celebrating the nature of getting older in her new romance novel, Flirting With Fifty.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 610

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a "different way of seeing the world" poem.