Question: Do all the events and scenes in my story need a reason to be in the book?
I really like the scene I wrote and want to include it but it isn’t important to the plot. That’s okay, right?
Suggestion: Here’s why demonstrating the importance of events matters: readers are playing connect the dots. Nothing makes readers feel more excited than reading about an event and then 50 pages later, that event is referenced or has some relevant role to play. Readers love “figuring out” why that earlier scene occurred.
If no connection is made, and readers can’t figure out why the scene is important, they will wonder why it was included. Strong connections and “tying up loose ends” make for a good reading experience.
For example, if an action or adventure story has a huge fight scene at the opening, and that fight is never referenced again or shown how its impact plays a role in future events, readers wonder why the author bothered to include that scene, or why the editor didn’t cut it out.
Here’s another example, but for a romance. As the two main characters are struggling to get together, they both mention having been hurt by exes. If, a few chapters later, there’s a scene introducing a new couple in town, readers are going to wonder: “Whose ex has just shown up? Who is the new person they are with? How is that couple going to impact the relationship of the main couple?”
If that new couple’s presence is never explained, readers start to wonder what was the point of introducing them? It’s a unfulfilled subplot.
Authors don’t want readers thinking about why a scene is included. It detracts them from the story.
Find a way to reference or somehow link the scene later on in the story, and that event will be made more relevant. Including connections between scenes and events (however subtle) will make the story stronger.
Readers will thank you for it.
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