2.3.8 Write: Prepare a Scene

2.3.8 Write: Prepare a Scene Writing Guide
English 10 Sem 1 Name:  

Write a short fictional scene of 500 to 1000 words that uses vivid description to establish mood and pacing. Then present your scene to the class.

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As you prepare to create your scene, keep in mind that you’re not writing an entire story. Instead, envision your scene as a small part of a larger narrative. Your scene could take place at the very beginning of that narrative, at the very end, or somewhere in the middle.

First, decide on a setting — both the place and time — and a point of view. You’re free to be as wild or as tame as you want when making these decisions. For example, your scene might be set in a suburban family home and told from an average student’s perspective, or it might take place on the planet Qu’i-Y’an-Skrgh in the Andromeda Galaxy and be narrated by an intergalactic bounty hunter.

Make sure something happens in your scene so that you can establish the right pacing. Good ideas for a short scene include an exchange between two characters, a brief action sequence, or a single remarkable discovery, but each of these kinds of scenes should be appropriately paced.

In addition, use at least one of the narrative techniques that you learned about in this unit to enhance your scene. These may include:

  • Parallel plots
  • A flashback, or a story within a story
  • Dialogue
  • Suspense or tension
  • Foreshadowing
  • Varied pacing
  • A character arc

When you finish writing your scene, present it to the class and explain which narrative techniques you used, giving examples as needed. Answer any questions your classmates or teacher may have about the scene or the narrative techniques you used and be prepared to ask questions as well. Your instructor may have you read your scene out loud to the class and answer questions in person, or you may be asked to upload your scene to a message board or website and post questions or replies online.

Finally, pay special attention to your use of pronouns so that your scene remains in either the third person or the first person throughout. Also, avoid using vague pronouns and be on the lookout for pronoun-antecedent disagreement.

Option: If you don’t have classmates or easy access to an online forum for posting files, explain the narrative technique(s) that you used in your scene by writing a two- to three-sentence annotation. Your explanation may appear in a comment box, at the end of the document, or somewhere else as long as you clearly distinguish the text of your annotation from the text of your scene. In your annotation, point out a specific example of each narrative technique that you used in your scene.

Write the definitions of the following words.

If you come across a word you don’t know, write it in a blank space below. Try to figure out what the word means by looking at its context. Then use your dictionary or the Internet to look up the correct definition for the word.

Word Definition
first person A style of narration that uses pronouns that refer to oneself, such as Ime, and my.
point of view The perspective from which the narrator is telling the story.
third person limited A style of narration that uses pronouns that refer to someone who is neither the reader nor the narrator, such as heshe, and they, and that describes the events of a story from a single character’s perspective.
third-person omniscient A style of narration that uses pronouns that refer to someone who is neither the reader nor the narrator, such as heshe, and they, and can describe the events of a story from any character’s perspective or from no character’s perspective.

Write a short answer to each question.

  1. Where will your scene take place?
  2. In what time period do you want to set your scene?
  3. Think about an interesting conversation that you have had recently. What was it about?
  4. Think about a dream that seemed so real that you were still convinced it happened even after you woke up. Describe it here.
  5. Think about an event in your life that seems especially important. What was it, and why does it seem important?
  6. Using your responses to questions 6 to 8 as a guide, think about your scene. What will it be about? What will happen? A conversation? An action sequences? An amazing discovery? Something totally different?
  7. From what perspective will you tell your story? Circle or highlight one.
  8. First person
  9. Third-person omniscient
  10. Third person limited
  11. What narrative technique(s) will you try to use? Circle or highlight one or more.
  12. Parallel plots
  13. A flashback, or a story-within-a-story
  14. Dialogue
  15. Suspense
  16. Foreshadowing
  17. Varied pacing
  18. A character arc
  19. Other
  20. Using your responses to questions 4 to 8, write your scene here.
  21. Highlight the places in the scene above where you used narrative techniques. Explain those techniques here. Why did you choose them? How did they work in your scene?


Use this rubric to determine how well your rough draft meets the criteria for the assignment. In the next activity, you’ll revise your assignment, and your teacher will use this rubric to grade it.

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2.3.8 Write: Prepare a Scene

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