Your book will consist of chapters.
Those chapters will break down into one or more scenes.
Each scene should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Something significant to the story should happen within each scene to move it forward. When the scene is finished, the reader should feel a sense of completion.
Within each scene, the characters should be actively doing something that makes the story feel as though it is happening in the here and now. (Yes, even if the story is set in the 1800’s, it should feel like it is happening now.)
Once the character reaches his objective, the scene ends.
Each scene should have three parts: Goal, Conflict, and Disaster.
Goal means simply what the POV character wants at the beginning of the scene.
Conflict is the series of obstacles the POV character faces on the way to reach his Goal.
A Disaster is a failure to let the POV character reach his Goal. If you end the scene with a victory, the reader is not compelled to turn the page. Make something happen so that the reader will want to see what happens next.
But a chapter is not just a series of scenes. It is built out of alternating scenes and sequels.
Next week: The Sequel