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150 Scene Ideas to Plot Your Novel

PLOT STRUCTURE
This lists 150 scene ideas to inspire novelists. I ordered them in a linear fashion, from a beginning, rising to a midpoint, before falling to an end, but you needn’t follow this exact formula.

Use it as a base structure if you are a plotter, or for quick scene ideas if you are stuck while pantsing. Mix and match any scenes you like.

Don’t use this strictly. You run the risk of stale storytelling. Try to develop your own techniques, but most important of all, enjoy your writing.

Happy Creations!

More Information: Conflicts, Premise, GenresSense in Scenes

Jim M

BEGINNING - BACKSTORY
ISOLATION
A - Normal - A main characters favourite and most idyllic setting. A perfect place within an imperfect world, or vice versa, ready for disruption.
B - Absent - Character leaves, bringing ill feelings to Characters.
C - Loss - Character misplaces, misses or mistakes objects or Characters. They are lost without them or it.
REBELLION
A - Warning - Character receives warning.
B - Defiance - Character defies warning.
C - Foreshadowing - With warning broken, there is an ominous sign of problems to come.
CALLING
A - Calling - Story aim shown to Character. This can be by sign, message or act.
B - Rejection - When hearing the Call, Character will be reluctant.
C - Pressed - Character hesitates when pushed towards goal.
BEGINNING – RELATIONSHIPS
ALLIES
FRIENDS
A - Meeting - Characters meet.
B - Assistance - Character offers assistance.
C - Reaction - Character reacts to Character.
FRENEMIES
A - Rivalry - Characters have same goal.
B - Jealous - Character loathes Character.
C - Accusations- Character makes false claims about Character. Character needs prove value.
MYSTERIES
A - Mission - Character tells Character about mission.
B - Reject - Character rejects.
C - Gullible - Character fooled into accepting.
ENEMIES
VOYEUR
A - Presence - Character looms over Character.
B - Reconnaissance - While disguised, Character attempts extracting information from Character.
C - Interrogation - Character refuses to give information, objects or Characters to Characters
SADISTIC
A - Abduction - Character abducts Character from Character.
B - Test - Character tests Character.
C - Torture - Character tortured by Character.
ILLICIT
A - Lunacy - Character drives Character insane.
B - Insanity - Character shows full extent of madness.
C - Taboos - Character breaks taboos.
VIOLENT
A - Tricks - Character attempts corruption and harm after tricking Character while disguised.
B - Attack - Character attacked.
C - Defence - Character needs defending.
ROMANCE
UNIVERSAL
A - First - Character finds their first Love.
B - True - Character discovers their true Love.
C - Opposing - Character does not approve of Characters love.
ADULT
A - Seduction - Characters flirt.
B - Intimacy - Characters relate.
C - Desires - Characters fulfil desires.
NOMANCE
A - Obstacles - Characters face obstacles.
B - Temptation - Character tempted, by Objects or Characters.
C - Unrequited - Characters have false romance.
RISE - PRE DEPARTURE
COMMIT
A - Willing - Character shows willing to change for the good of the story.
B - No Return - Character commits to goal.
C - Decisive - Characters make own decisions, rather than relying on Characters.
PREPARATION (EARLY)
A - Preparation - Character prepares for their main aim.
B - Sacrifice - Character makes a sacrifice.
C - Ready - Character becomes ready for challenges.
INITIATION
A - Risk - Characters take risks.
B - Departure - Character leaves comfort zone.
C - Travel - Character goes to new location.
RISE - POST DEPARTURE
ARRIVAL
A - New - Character adjusts to new surroundings.
B - Trials - Characters undergo trials. Groups of three are common.
C - Solutions - Character struggles.
PREPARATION (FINAL)
A - Limit - Characters pushed to the limit.
B - Exhaustion - Character exhausted.
C - Plotting - Characters makes plan to achieve main aim.
RISE - RELATIONSHIPS
FRIENDS
A - Instigator - Characters presents tasks and opportunities to Characters.
B - Aid - Character offer personal help to Characters.
C - Bearer - Characters offer Objects to Characters.
FRENEMIES
A - Mistaken - Character makes mistake.
B - Unknown - Character unrecognised.
C - Falsity - Character unfairly punished because of Character.
MYSTERY
A - Tadpole - Character learns small clue.
B - Shark - Character gets larger clue.
C - Herring - Clues are bluffs that naive Character falls for.
NOMANCE
A - Betrayal - Character betrays trust of Romance.
B - Tiff - Characters fight.
C - Rivalry - Characters choose a Romance over another.
MIDDLE - PRE CONFLICT
START
A - Misled - Character taken down wrong paths and changes to new aims.
B - Suspense - Character time is running out.
C - Immortal - Character seems to be immortal.
FINISH
A - Guidance - Character took to goal whereabouts.
B - Underdog - Failure is likely for Character.
C - Understanding - Character wants to know why other Character acts a certain way.
MIDDLE - CONFLICT
START
A - Battle - Characters directly conflict.
B - Brink - Character almost defeated.
C - Injured - Character scarred.
FINISH
A - Reborn - Character fights back.
B - Victor - Character defeated.
C - Flees - Character flees.
MIDDLE - POST CONFLICT
START
A - Goal - Character achieves story goal.
B - Recovery - Character recovers person or object.
C - Discovery - Character has a moment of discovery.
FINISH
A - Reflection - Character reflects.
B - Message - Character publicises goal completion.
C - Refusal - Character doesn’t want to return when goal realised.
DROP - RELATIONSHIPS
FRIENDS
A - Mage - Character bestows magic.
B - Sage - Character offers cryptic advice to Character who needs to understand the hidden meanings within their words and actions.
C - Medic - Character nursed back to health after injury.
FRENEMIES
A - Task - Character presented with tasks to win back recognition.
B - Struggle - Character struggles.
C - Answer - Character seeks resolution.
MYSTERIOUS
A - Error - Character led towards wrong target.
B - Realisation - Character realises error.
C - Target - Character has new defined goal.
NOMANCE
A - Adultery - Characters commit adultery.
B - Separation - Characters separate.
C - Divorce - Characters divorce.
DROP - DEPARTURE
BEGINNING
A - Escape - Character has to flee.
B - Chase - Character chased.
C - Wall - Character cannot continue.
MIDDLE
A - Capture - Character caught.
B - Combat - Characters clash.
C - Doomed - Character almost dies.
END
A - Reborn - Character fights back after resurrection.
B - Rescue - Character rescued from revenge seeking Character.
C - Vanquished - Character defeated.
DROP - ARRIVAL
RETURN
A - Success - Character returns alive.
B - Wisdom - Character retains wisdom to bestow on others.
C- Crossing - Character returns to a perfect world.

ENDING - RELATIONSHIPS
ALLIES
FRIENDS
A - Argument - Characters have confrontation.
B - Difficulties - Characters go through difficulties.
C - Resolve - Characters differences for friendship.
FRENEMIES
A - Revelation - Character exposed.
B - Recognition - Character recognized.
C - Punishment - Character punished.
MYSTERIOUS
A - Break - Character receives break.
B - Solved - Character solves mystery.
C - Justice - Character may receive justice.
ENEMIES
VOYEUR
A - Mistake - Character reveals information accidently.
B - Delivery - Character obtains information with intent.
C - Verdict - Character chooses worthy Character.
ILLICIT
A - Morals - Character break morals.
B - Sin - Character commits sin.
C - Crime - Character commits crime.
SADISTIC
A - Evil - Character jeopardises Characters intimate relationships.
B - Manslaughter - Character kills Character accidently.
C - Murder - Character kills Character purposefully.
VIOLENT
A - Discovery - Character discovers Characters crimes.
B - Misunderstood - Character misunderstands.
C - Fugitive - Characters flee punishment for crimes.
ROMANCE
UNIVERSAL
A - Will They, Won’t They? - Characters almost miss chance for romance.
B - Gesture - Character performs unique gesture.
C - Strength - Love conquers all.
ADULT
A - Marriage - Characters marry.
B - Parenthood - Characters have children.
C - Happily - Characters live happily ever after.
NOMANCE
A - Betrayal - Character conspires against Character.
B - Murderous - Character plan to kill Character.
C - Lost - Character watches Character kill Characters.
ENDING - POIGNANT
SAD
A - Distress - A disaster when Character is distressed.
B - Lesson - A lesson learnt by Character.
C - Growth - Character becomes better person.
TRAGIC
A - Personality - Characters personality evolves.
B - Freedom - Character has no fear.
C - Heroic - Character is heroic.
ENDING - SATISFYING
HAPPY
A - Epiphany - Character reaches happy conclusion.
B - Prize - Character rewarded.
C - Promotion - Character promoted.
TRIUMPHANT
A - Uniform - Character gets new attire, becoming they person they want to be.
B - Transfiguration - Character transforms after acquiring new skills.
C - Legend - Character becomes legend in their homeland because of goal.