Free scene dynamic template

July 26, 2017
Bob Eckhard

I designed the scene dynamic template a few years ago by drawing together an amalgamation of screenwriting input. Although it is in no way comprehensive, I do think it is a useful device in ensuring a safety check to see that each scene is doing what it’s meant to do. Download the A4 template here.  Ps Feel free to adapt it to whatever works best for you!

Okay, a breakdown of what each one means:

SCENE_____  1st? 2nd? last?

Whose scene is it? Which character will we follow in this scene? Protagonist/Hero? Antagonist? Ally? Love interest? etc

Character was previously…If it’s the same character time and again in every scene, where’s your Antagonist, subplot and B-story?

What does s/he want to happen? What is the character’s intention? What goal do they seek to achieve? Find money? Kill alien? etc

How will s/he achieve it? By force? Through manipulation? Cooperating with others? By stealth?

Conflict or the promise of it? Y/N If you ring ‘No’ with a circle, there better be a good reason because conflict should be at the core of every scene.

Transition/show stopper/dramatic Be aware of the different types of scenes in a film. Some establishing a transition to a venue. Others create drama. And some are truly memorable.

Does character get what s/he wants? Remember the protagonist hero is often on the back foot but you can give them small successes on route but keep the drama coming.

Is exposition hidden? Is it written in such a way that things are hidden or implied in ways that forces the audience to work it out for themselves

Scene polarity change? ie) +ive to -ive? If it starts positive, does it end positive – if so, wheres the drama? Better to start positive and end negative or really positive to just positive.

Effect on reader -visceral? vicarious? What the audience knows will determine whether it has suspense (visceral) or mystery (vicarious). Do we know or not know where killer is?

What is the story emotion? Which of these (or a different emotion) best sums ups what happened in this scene?

  1. Interest………..5) tension
  2. Curiosity ………6) surprise
  3. Anticipation… 7) humour
  4. g) Other……………………………..

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