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I have lots of very cool and developed scene ideas, but when I think about them, they seem to be seperate from the plot. It's like instead of the protagonist sailing on a boat down a river, they're jumping from lily-pad to lily-pad. It's not that the scenes are irrelevant to the plot, they just don't completely mesh to it more importantly aren't always linked to each other. So instead of the scenes being a build up that develop and deepen each other, it's more like all seperate events.

What could I be doing wrong and is there a way I can fix this without deleting/removing any of the scenes?

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    Writing is a creative process, jump in it. Don't be afraid to throw away what you have written earlier. Kill your darlings.
    – user36283
    Jan 5 at 13:49
  • I would be sad to hear the news that I may have to throw away old ideas but 'Kill your darlings' is such an iconic line that I think I'm gonna be okay. Cheers! Jan 5 at 19:31
  • @BubbleQueen I heartily recommend “Plotting: A novelist’s workout guide” by Aaron Allston as a great resource for this very question. It’s pragmatic, direct, and often very insightful.
    – Daniel B
    Jan 6 at 1:17
  • I think many film scripts start out with ideas for particular images or scenes — Alfred Hitchcock often worked that way, and the main script conference for Raiders Of The Lost Ark is documented.  However, they then went on to develop plotlines and story ideas to link those scenes together (either by showing what went in between, or at least laying enough seeds for the audience to fill in the gaps) — with famously great results.  Is there scope for more development in your plots?
    – gidds
    Jan 6 at 1:18
  • Let the audience fill gaps is a great way to make a story. Don't underestimate your audience. They are smart enough to think of things on their own.
    – user36283
    Jan 8 at 14:49

2 Answers 2

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You can do either of two things: write an episodic narrative or write a plot-driven narrative.

If you choose an episodic narrative, coherence between the disparate scenes is not important. Focus on developing each scene to its fullest and forget about connecting them.

If you choose a plot-driven narrative – which is the normal narrative in novels today – put your scenes to the side and first develop the throughline(s) of your plot. Once you have clearly identified them, see if some of your scenes fit within that narrative. If not, do not force them in, but keep them for another story you might write.

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The key is to know why they are in the scene. What drove them to be there, what do they have to do to get to the next one, what will the next one be. For instance if your characters are trying to solve a crime then a clue leads them to somewhere, then the next clue leads them to the next place and so on. It’s ’this happens, therefore this happens, but then this happens, therefore, this happens’ and so on. If it’s just ‘and then, and then, and then…’ without purpose then you have no story.

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