Skip to main content

Watch Preview

The Anatomy of a Scene

with Lisa Cron

Log in or Sign up for FREE and get full access to these and thousands of other Open Lessons in our catalog! Watch 1 Lesson For Free

  •   01 Class Introduction

    08:24

Class duration: 1h 31m

See all 7 lessons
  • 6K students

    100% satisfaction guaranteed

  • 100% recommended

    3 student reviews

  • Access anytime

    OFFLINE SYNC WITH iOS APPS

Get the Pass

starting at $25 $13/month*

$299 $149/year or $39/month

Unlock this class plus 1500+ more >

Watch Now

You already have access!

Buy Class

$29

About The Class

Create Scenes That Work Together to Build a Compelling Story

Although your novel is made up of individual scenes, in truth those scenes are not individual at all, but part of an escalating internal and external cause-and-effect trajectory. Each scene is made up of myriad layers, and performs multiple tasks: they move subplots forward, give the reader insight into the protagonist, develop secondary characters, ratchet up what’s at stake, foreshadow what’s to come, and trigger changes that will ripple throughout the novel.

Wow, that’s a lot! How do you keep track of it? And how do you get it onto the page so that all those layers merge to create what reads as a seamless whole? That’s exactly what we’ll unravel, giving you a clear, concise and concrete method of making sure that every scene you write not only serves the story you’re telling, but rivets the reader.

Never again will you face that frustrating struggle, wondering if the scene you’re contemplating is relevant or not. You’ll learn how to identify and create each layer in every scene, bringing your story to life and creating the irresistible sense of reality that hijacks the reader’s brain.

In this session you’ll learn:

  • What makes a scene work, and what every scene must do in order to be relevant and riveting.
  • Maddeningly common mistakes writers make when writing scenes and how to deftly avoid them.
  • How to keep track of every layer in your story – scene-by-scene -- from beginning to end.
  • Why you should never write scenes out of order.

Topics Covered


Lesson Plan

  1. 01

    Class Introduction

    08:24
  2. 02

    What is a Scene

    03:28
  3. 03

    What Is a Story

    12:13
  4. 04

    The Layers in Each Scene

    11:09
  5. 05

    Ten Questions to Ask of Every Scene

    24:25
  6. 06

    Scene Template

    21:28
  7. 07

    Example: The Graduate

    10:02

Meet Your Expert

Lisa Cron

Lisa Cron is a story coach and the author of Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers From the Very First Sentence and Story Genius: How To Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages that Go Nowhere), both published by Ten Speed Press. ... read more

See instructor's Classes

100% of students recommend this class.
See what some of them have to say.

  • Jerusha Billington Gray

    Jerusha Billington Gray

    October 2018

    Great storytellers are not born - they are made. The story wizard Lisa Cron helped to peel back some of the mystery behind what makes a scene work and pinpoints pitfalls that make it fall flat on its face. The magic formula of epic badassery is ours for the taking. Lisa helps us get there. 10 out of 10 - will listen again.

  • Joni Templeton

    Joni Templeton

    October 2018

    Another master class from Lisa Cron!

  • Jennifer Baylor

    Jennifer Baylor

    December 2018

    I've read Lisa's books and used her Story Genius techniques for three novels. Still, sometimes I find myself struggling with some aspect of the scene card when it comes to implementation. This class on the Anatomy of a Scene really helps to clarify the scene card ideas with more explanation and detailed examples.

    Similar classes you might like

    You know who’d love this class...?

    When gift-spiration strikes, grab it. Give this class to a friend who’d love it. For their birthday or just because. (Or just because you missed their birthday.)

    GIFT THIS CLASS