Get Organized: How Do I Track Scene Details - article

While watching today's scripted TV shows, such as Lost, The Event, and True Blood, you can clearly see the effort and careful deliberation of character development, plot twists, and story evolution. Unlike reality television, which unbeknownst to many in the public, involves a bevy of story and character "enhancements," the intricacies of tracking scene details is very important. Not only does scene tracking function to keep the story cohesive, it offers the viewer and writer a more fluid and dynamic experience. The writing thus becomes less forced, easily relatable from one scene to another, offering unexpected offshoots and surprises. 

These plot can managed more easily by first mapping out the details. Some writers start with a visual timeline of what’s happening in the main plot and weave in a timeline of the sub plot. Others note key scene elements on index cards or use software such as Microsoft Word to create scene worksheets. It may be a good idea to combine the methods. Start with a high-level visual map and then flesh out the details with the cards or worksheets. These individual card/sheets let you rearrange scenes as needed. The key is to capture the details you think are necessary for each scene – who’s in it, what is the key action, what are the goals of the scene and the goals of the characters in the scene? Where is the scene taking place, at what time? What is the central conflict of the scene? Is it resolved during the scene? If so, how and if not, what’s the transition from this scene to the next? Does it support the overall story conflict? Tip: If you’re trying your hand at screenwriting, use a tool like 

The more enhanced the software, the more options that are readily available for you in building a sustainable and easily understood story, even with its various complexities. Each scene should stand on its own, considering that revisions and plots more often than not are interchanged, re-labeled, and reorganized. 

By having a clear map of where you are going and software or other tools to track the details, making changes is easier and can help ensure the right flow of your plot line. While ensuring you don’t include inaccurate timelines or redundant details that reduce the effectiveness of the story.

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  • Hey … Mr. Clemente … Savio ...  if I may!?!  Would you or someone you know be interested in co-authoring or ghost-writing or other collaborative arrangement … I need someone to make my story come alive and become interesting.  Otherwise the book is largely together and consists of a potential of over 400 pages.  It needs to be told as fiction based on true story with names changed etc. etc. 

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