Today’s writing tip is a simple way to avoid “math anxiety” when it comes to reviewing scenes: Remember that your primary character has an objective in each scene. That goes for other characters who are active in the scene. Objectives change–and they may begin as reactive (as in your character reacting to something that happens) but ultimately that reaction translates into action, subtle or profound.
When it comes to opening scenes, another question to ask is: What is different about this day? Why does the story begin on this day, in this moment? Story’s begin when there is a disruption of the usual pattern of events. That disruption can be a yell or a whisper–it can be a dramatic external event or a subtle internal shift or recognition by the main character.