To make sure the scenes in your novel are the best they can be, here are 21 questions to ask when writing a scene.
1. Does my scene have a strong hook to grab the reader’s attention?
2. Does my scene have a clear beginning, middle, high point, and end?
3. Is the end resolved or hanging?
4. Is the scene important to the plot? Does it move the plot along?
5. Is something revealed about any of the characters?
6. Does the scene showcase the setting at all?
7. Does the POV stay true throughout the whole scene? Is it clear who the POV character is?
8. Is there a good balance between dialogue and description?
9. Does the scene include sensory and texture detail?
10. Does the scene pick up where the last scene left off? Or is it clear time passed?
11. Is there a good transition or segway to the next scene?
12. Does the scene begin in a unique way from the few scenes before it?
13. Does the scene have any sort of twist or element of surprise? Is it meaningful enough for the themes of the book?
14. Has the inner and/or outer conflict been addressed in some way? Has it advanced the plot or any of the characters at all?
15. Does the scene have any lulls? Are there any boring words or overused words that need to be taken out?
16. Does the scene overwhelm the reader with too much detail? Does the scene have not enough detail?
17. Is the setting of the scene clear to the reader?
18. What are the stakes of the scene? What happens if the protagonist succeeds? What happens if the main character fails?
19. Is there enough action or tension to keep the reader reading?
20. Is there a good balance of emotion in the scene?
21. Do all the elements of the scene work together well to make the scene the best it can be?