We all know we need strong scenes in our stories but what is the foundation those scenes are built upon? Emotional honesty.

I’m going back to the same book from last week for this week’s writing tip, Emotional Structure,Creating the Story Beneath the Plot A Guide for Screenwriters by Peter Dunne. These are a few sentences from the same section.

“We must write our scenes from an emotional point-of view.  . . . . . . I want the audience to be more than interested in my story; I want them to be involved. I want them engrossed and feeling the things my characters are feeling. That being the case, I have to let them know how to feel by letting them know in what emotional turmoil my characters find themselves. ”

He talks about a scene where the main character is sneaking out of the house with her backpack. Without any emotional context, the reader doesn’t know if she is a victim of abuse or a delinquent about to go cause trouble somewhere. He goes on to say,

“So I have to make it clear in the scene which she is, delinquent or victim, and I have to do this by expressing her emotional state-of-mind through her behavior. Her actions therefore are not random, they are manifestations of her psychological plight. . . . . . .We can’t have characters doing things just because it’s convenient. There have to be strong, internal reasons for their behavior. The stronger the better.”

Think about a recent scene you have have written. Is it written from an emotional point-of-view? Is your character doing things for the write reasons?