My Favorites

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Scenes - Scene Setting, Who, and still yet another Scene Example

22 December 2012, Scenes - Scene Setting, Who, and still yet another Scene Example

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, 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 beginning with

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

Here are my rules of writing:

1. Entertain your readers.
2. Don't confuse your readers.
3. Ground your readers in the writing.
4. Don't show (or tell) everything.

A scene outline is a means of writing a novel where each scene follows the other with a scene input from the previous scene and a scene output that leads to the next scene. The scenes don't necessarily have to follow directly in time and place, however they generally follow the storyline of the protagonist.

A storyline outline is a means of writing a novel where the author develops a scene outline for more than one character and bases the plot on one or more of these storyline scenes. This allows the scenes to focus on more than the protagonist. This is a very difficult means of writing. There is a strong chance of confusing your readers.

Whether you write with a scene outline or a storyline outline, you must properly develop your scenes. All novels are developed from scenes and each scene has a design similar to a novel. Every successful novel has the following basic parts:

1. The beginning
2. The rising action
3. The Climax
4. The falling action
5. The dénouement

Every scene has these parts:

1. The setting (where, what, who, when, how)
2. The connection (input)
3. The tension development
4. The release
5. The output

There are lots of approaches to scene setting. That means there are about a million plus ways you can set a scene. The main point is you have to clearly get across the where, when, who, what, and how.

Here is the scene setting for the beginning of the chapter following the calling of Natalya from the novel, Aksinya.  This is also the scene following that scene.  Here, you can read almost the entire setting for the scene.  Immediately, you have a bed with clean bedclothes (I started with the very close and move to the larger "where").  The time is next.  With the assumption that a single night has passed, the morning or next day is set--the exact time is set a few paragraphs later at "almost two."  The characters are set, first with Aksinya and then immediately with Natalya.  The "what" is also immediately set with Aksinya's memory.

Aksinya woke with a start.  She touched warm and clean bedclothes.  The light of the day was bright.  She covered her eyes and yawned.  A wide awake voice came to her, “Mistress.  Mistress.”
Aksinya focused her eyes on the voice.  A girl sat in a chair beside her bed.  Aksinya’s thoughts came together at once, and she remembered everything from the night before, “Lady Natalya.  Yes, Lady Natalya.”
The girl smiled, “Countess.  Would you like to eat first or shall I draw your bath?”
“What time is it?”
“It is very late, almost two.  You slept well?”
“Yes, well.  I’m starving.  Please draw my bath first and bring me something more substantial than breakfast.”
The girl smiled and made a beautiful low curtsy, “Yes, mistress.”  She left by a door at the side.
Aksinya pushed back the covers.  She wore one of her mother’s silk gowns.  It was very fine, but the fabric was a little slippery and slightly uncomfortable.  It brought a touch of excitement against her body and lustful thoughts to her mind.  Aksinya swung her feet over the side of the bed and glanced at the floor.  She didn’t remember putting on this gown, but she remembered making a magic circle around her bed and Natalya’s pallet.  The circle was still intact.  She noted where the lines were slightly smudged, but they were still whole.  The demon wasn’t present.  She wondered where he might be.
I'll note for you the tension resolution in the previous scene when Aksinya accepted Natalya as her Lady-in-waiting.  This scene is an example of reduced tension following a powerful tension realease.  This scene will also build in tension to a powerful release.  The point is that as an author, you shouldn't try to keep your readers constantly at a high level of tension.  If you do this, you will make your novel unenjoyable.  You want to develope tension and realease.  Following a powerful release, you want to start with a gentle beginning and then rebuild the tension.  This keeps your novel exciting and your readers interested. 

Look at how the "who" is set in the beginning of this scene.  Note how the calm is held.  This low allows me to build the tension in the scene higher by comparison.  You can also see the great diferential in tension from the previous scene.  These details in scene composition relate directly to the setting of the scene.

More tomorrow.

My Notes: once you have a theme, you need to begin to visualize your plot, focus your theme, and define your characters. More tomorrow.

I'll move on to basic writing exercises and creativity in the near future.

The following is a question asked by one of my readers. I'm going to address this over time: Please elaborate on scene, theme, plot, character development in a new novel, the framework, the development, order if operation, the level of detail, guidelines, rule of thumb, tricks, traps and techniques.

I'll repeat my published novel websites so you can see more examples:, and the individual novel websites:,,, http://www.thefoxshonor,

No comments:

Post a Comment