Scene Prompt #41 : Bust a Move

For this prompt, pick a scene where your characters have to move about for a few paragraphs. It could be a fight scene. Could be an extraction scene. Could be a scene where your character slips and falls into a pond. Whatever’s going on, pick a scene where you have to describe some kind of beat-by-beat movement (that is important to the story).

To prepare for this scene, we’re going to look at two things: the choreography and the setting.

First, the setting. Where is this scene taking place? Take the time to draw a map or blueprint of the space. Find some pictures online if that helps, but make sure the area is clear in your mind. I don’t know about you, but it’s hard for me to describe important beat-by-beat interaction (because if it’s truly important, it will be some kind of interaction) between the POV character and either another character or the setting or–most often–both.

Got your setting?

Now the movement. Here’s my suggestion: Get out of your chair. Yup, really. Get a buddy if you need one, and act it out. If the movement is something you’ve done many times before, then you may not need to do this step, but if it’s something like falling in a pond or combat or unlocking a safe and you’ve never had the experience, then take the time to mime the scene. You’ll probably discover something authentic about the movement that adds to the verisimilitude that wouldn’t have come to you otherwise.

So, you’ve got your setting. You’ve got your movement. Now?

Write the scene.

Book that inspired this prompt


That’s it for me!

How about you? What processes do you do before you write complex scenes? Tell us in the comments!

If you found this post helpful, please . . .

1. Like it and share it! There are share buttons below . . .

2. Subscribe to the Blog to receive the Tools in your inbox as soon as they post:

3. Subscribe to the Newsletter. It’s a monthly-to-quarterly-ish (that’s still vastly overstating it) newsletter to share news and free worksheets and whatnot. Your welcome email will include the 19-page Character Development Workbook. You can subscribe here.

4. And if you found it particularly helpful . . .

Buy Me a Coffee at

Also, people have been hiring me to review their loglines with the kind of analysis seen here and here, and I’m enjoying it. So, if you think your logline (or something else!) might benefit from a looksie and want to hire me to review it, email me at writeswithtools @ gmail dot com.


So... whadaya think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s