The 5 ‘W’s & the H


Each scene needs the 5 ‘W’s & the H.

When you write a scene, it must be a scene that furthers your plot. In fact, I’ve come to realise that every single word must have a reason to be there. Not just every word in a short story of 1000 or 2000 words, but every word of an 80,000-word novel must serve a purpose or get deleted.

I’ve had a word limit of 2000 words and written a story containing 1300 words. Word limits or expectations are truly horrid things. If like me, you were given a word count expectation, then words creep into the story that does not find a necessity to be there, just to fill up a word count. The sentences that I added to the 2000 word short story so I could increase the word count were found and held up against me as being weak content in the story.

Every scene, like each scene in a movie, should show who was doing things, where things were and when things were happening, what was going on, why the events were taking place and of course how things were done.

I appear to overwrite as I have submitted work on a course and been told that it is too wordy and a lot of it could be deleted. After a few months of doing this pass by, you start to wonder how there could have been 587,000 words in Leo Tolstoy’s War & Peace. A long story novel indeed, but not the longest; ‘Men of Good Will’ by Jules Romains contains 8000 pages with 2,070,000 words. So if every single word adds to the story, it must be a very, very, very long and fascinating story.