Missing Scenes?

Are you missing scenes in your novel? How can you tell?

Sometimes when going through an outline it becomes apparent that there a scenes you forgot to include. But sometimes it isn't. Here is a quick checklist to figure out if you have missing scenes.

  1. Your brilliant plot twist is actually "Superhero Saves the Day", the only problem with that is "Superhero" just showed up. So either "Superhero" needs  to be dropped into the novel, or you need to figure out what worked with the plot twist and foreshadow it a bit better. 
  2. In the Mystery/Thriller genre, you forgot to explain why the plot happened. That wrap up scene is all important. In Mystery, it allows your reader to go through the detective's checklist and see if they have been solving the puzzle. 
  3. You thought is was perfectly obvious what was happening, but it isn't.
  4. You thought you wrote that very important scene, and oops, it's not there.
  5. You have plot holes.
  6. Something happens off stage, but it is too important to leave it that way.
  7. You have more information you want to convey.
  8. You dropped a thread, and you didn't want to.

Once you have determined you are missing a scene or two, you need to feather them into your plot. I like the index card approach for this. Just insert the card, and you can see how it effects the plot, if it doesn't work, move it. This is why I said to pencil in the order on the cards. Yes, it's the final order, for the most part, but if you are missing scenes, details,  or dropped a thread you have to adjust. Editing is the time to be ruthless, and I find it easier to add everything that needs to be added before I start subtracting. It's more painful, emotionally, to cut, but it's usually a bit more clear cut. And when in doubt add it in.

What is the biggest scene you ever forgot to write? Tell me in the comments below!


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