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Thanks to Jami Gold, I now understand scenes and sequels better. (Yes, I was slightly confused. Why do you ask?)

She wrote a follow-up blog post to her Cliffhangers post, probably to save me from frying my brain by over-thinking every little writing nuance. I would say she succeeded.

In her post Does Every Scene Need a Goal?, Gold went on to explain that regardless of the terminology used for scenes or sequels, like goals or reactions, it all comes down to cause and effect. Yes, that’s right. It really is that simple. Jami Gold says so. (And most writers probably agree.)

Cause and effect. Everything is motivation, which causes something to happen. The things that happen afterward are the reaction, the effect. This reaction turns into another motivation, which causes another effect. Yes, it’s all one long chain of cause and effect throughout the entire story.

The action in a scene (and whether the Main Character does or doesn’t achieve their goal) causes a reaction in the MC or the surrounding environment. This effect turns into a new decision, which leads to a new goal. The cause and effect chain will keep going until the MC achieves their final goal for the novel.

Knowing this, now I can stop over-thinking and just remember cause and effect while writing. If I can’t easily point out the motivation or reaction in each scene or sequel, it might be time to rework it until I can.

So, on top of clarifying scenes and sequels and goals (and the frustration that can follow all of these), in her post Jami Gold also talked about how sequels can go wrong, mostly when floundering for purpose or losing tension. Then she did one better by giving some tips for making sequels work more smoothly, like how to make the sequel feel more immediate. Definitely go check out the rest of her post! Gold has great, helpful tips about writing all over her blog. I could seriously get lost for hours in there, haha.