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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Development - Tension and Release in the First Scene

11 March 2012, Development - Tension and Release in the First Scene

Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel.

I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website and select "production schedule," you will be sent to

The picture that began the creative process for the novel Aksinya is complete, but to write the first scene requires the tension development and the characters' voice.  The obvious tension device is the conjuring (calling) of the demon.  This is the action in the first scene and the main tension device.  Within the first scene, I use many other means to develop tension.  We can make a short list of them.

1.  The room is in darkness--darkness is a means of building tension.
2.  Aksinya's clothing doesn't fit her well and she is over exposing herself--this is a means of creating embarrassment and sexual tension.  It also becomes a means of release as a joke in the text.
3.  Sorcery that is making magic can be considered a tension builder.  We will see how the elements of this play out.
4.  Threat of injury--the sorcery is couched in terms of injury if it fails or if it is done incorrectly.
5.  The threat of the demon--this is also a multifaceted tension builder.
6.  The confusion of the demon--he can't believe Aksinya called him.
7.  The sealing of the agreement--Aksinya must give a part of her body as a surety.
8.  The threat of death and hell--the demon threatens and promises her.
9.  The threat of injury when Aksinya takes up the dagger to cut off a body part.
10.  The threat of the death of Aksinya's family.
11.  The beginning of the demon's temptations--this concludes the chapter.

Each of these tension builders also have their own release (the resolution).  The darkness is resolved by movement to another location.  The sorcery is resolved by the completion of the spell (the surety).  The sexual tension caused by Aksinya's clothing is not resolved in this chapter--it continues for quite a while in the text.  The threat of injury in every case is resolved when the contract is concluded with the demon.  The confusion of the demon is fully resolved by the contract.  The threat of death for Aksinya's family is resolved in their death.  Finally, we don't see the resolution of the demon's temptations.  This carries over into the second chapter.  This is the major theme of the novel--that is, the temptation of Aksinya.

We'll look more at the first scene in the creative process in Aksinya tomorrow.

I'll repeat my published novel websites so you can see more examples:, and the individual novel websites:,,,,, and

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