How do you rewrite an entire scene?


#1

There’s this one scene I need to write that’s basically a filler. The thing is, I already wrote it but I hate it. I definitely want to change it, but I’m not sure what to. I’m pretty much in the editing phase right now so my ideas have been mostly used up. I have some sort of idea I may be able to work off of so how do I go off of that, or how do I make an idea from scratch? What do you do? Thanks for any help!


#2

What scene is it, and what is its purpose? I don’t think I have enough info to help…


#3

What is the book, chapter, and scene so we can have better knowledge on the part and can help you?


#4

Rewriting if from scratch is probably your best bet over trying to revise what you have. It could be an opportunity to strengthen other things if you’re at the editing stage.

What needs to happen in the scene to connect point a from point b? Is there room to remind the reader of something they need to know later on? Is there room to make the conflict more personal to characters? Is there room to invest more into character relationships?

When I’m trying to solve a problem in my books, my philosophy is usually that the answer is already buried in the book somewhere. Analyze your characters and consider what kind of problem would conflict the most with their personalities or goals (an example maybe, a very loyal character forced to betray someone for ultimate good). Consider your setting. Could you move a scene to somewhere that would increase the tension? (A private conversation that must take place in a public place, for whatever reason).

Figure out the bare minimum of what has to happen in the scene for it to work where it is and figure out what else you can fit into that same space at the same time.


#5

If it’s filler, it doesn’t need to be there – seriously.

I would list everything that needs to be accomplished in the scene. (WHAT needs to be accomplished, not HOW it’s accomplished.)

Can those things be worked into other scenes, so this one doesn’t need to happen? Then do that, and cut this scene.

If not, look at what comes before and after, and get a general feel of what needs to happen. What character will be most affected by the events? What’s the goal of the scene? What’s the tension/conflict? What’s the reversal?

By the time you figure all that out, you’ve probably got a pretty good handle on the scene.


#6

This actually helped so much! There’s definitely room for me to build tension in the story and foreshadow what’s to happen in later chapters. I read your comment, kept it in mind, and read through chapters to procrastinate editing, and it hit me! Thank you so much for your help, I appreciate it so much.


#7

There’s been some good points made. I agree with scraping the scene and starting over. Usually what I end up with is something much tighter, with a better flow. And though it hurts, sometimes cutting it out completely is the best option, especially if it’s filler. You don’t want the reader to think it’s filler.


#8

Yes, you’re right. Fillers aren’t fun for anyone to read. I was worried the chapter would be too short if I cut it out, but the ending and beginning are such big chunks it wouldn’t take away too much if I was to cut it out. I scraped the scene I had written (which I think I knew from the beginning wasn’t going to work, I just wanted something there at the time) and am currently writing a new one that will foreshadow what’s to come in later chapters. If it doesn’t flow or seems more like a filler still then I’ll scrap it!


#9

Oh good! I’m glad it was helpful and I’m not just pacing around the forums spouting nonsense every once in a while. Good luck with your edits!