As writers, we can learn something useful from the Cold War Soviets. They often created weaponry from reverse engineering weapons the US and NATO invented in the 60s and 70s. They'd start with reconnaissance photos of something and then work backward until they had created a similar weapon.
As writers, we can use a variation on the same technique to become better scene writers. Scenes are the basic increment of the novel, the heart of everything we write, and not an optional skill to master.
You can improve your scene writing skills by watching a favorite DVD or recorded TV program and paying attention to just one scene. Watch it, turn it off, go write what you just watched. Then play it again and see if your prose was complete and effective at what you see in the scene. Doing this often, and with favorite scenes, will sharpen your skills as a scene writer.
Good scene writers become good novelists.
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