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 http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.
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.
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 another example of setting character(s) in a scene. The scene is when Aksinya and the Demon call Natalya. The scene was previously set in this example, but the focus again is Natalya. Natalya is set here through the reader's previous knowledge of her, but you get to actually hear her and see her in the flesh--so to speak. There are many other powerful parts in this scene including irony.
A noise startled Aksinya. She ducked.
Asmodeus laughed, “What do you fear, countess? You have encountered demons.” Then he raised his head and spoke excitedly, “She comes.”
Aksinya stood straight. She was too embarrassed to speak.
A shadow flitted between the tombstones. It moved closer and closer. It was the girl, the Lady Natalya Alexandrovna Obolenska. She was dressed in the clothing she had worn earlier. She had a light cloak over it. She moved warily and cognizantly. She made her way to the edge of the pavement and stared in amazement at Aksinya. She studied the magic circle and the pentagram. She gazed at everything on the pavement, but she didn’t step onto the flat stones. Finally, she swallowed, “Did you call me?”
Aksinya smiled a wide smile, “I called you, Lady Natalya Alexandrovna Obolenska.”
“How do you know my name?”
“I watched you tonight.”
“What do you wish of me?”
“I think you should run. I think you should go quickly away from here.”
Asmodeus stepped from the shadows. He waved his hand, “You will not leave, Lady Natalya Alexandrovna Obolenska. If you try to move, you will find you cannot.”
The girl stuck her chin forward, “I do not wish to leave. I want to know why she called me.”
Aksinya scowled at her, “Why don’t you run? Don’t you see the demon before you?”
Asmodeus grinned, “You are an idiot. She sees me as I wish her to see me.”
Aksinya spoke her Latin words and saw a handsome courtier.
Asmodeus addressed Natalya, “Lady Natalya, let me introduce the Countess Aksinya Andreiovna Golitsyna. She is the one who called you, and she is a most wonderful and powerful sorceress in this world. She can teach you to be just the same as she. She called you here because she needs a lady-in-waiting and an apprentice. Would you care to join yourself to her? Would you like to become her lady and her apprentice?”
As if Natalya had waited all her life to hear those specific words, she fell to her knees and cried out. The tears were obvious in her voice, “Dear lady, I would do anything to become your lady-in-waiting and your apprentice. If you would only take me away from this place. Please take me away from here and never bring me back.”
Aksinya frowned, “I don’t want you for my lady-in-waiting or my apprentice.”
Asmodeus waved his hand. The world seemed to stop outside the magic circle. He glared at Aksinya, “I will only tell you once. I can destroy this girl. You will accept her gladly as your lady-in-waiting and your apprentice.”
“You swore not to harm her.”
“I will not harm her.”
“Plus, she is innocent. You cannot kill her.”
“I said I will not harm her.”
“You can’t make me do anything I don’t wish to do while I am inside this circle.”
“You are so naive. I did not set all this up for you to be able to reject her. Look.” The demon strode over to the unmoving girl. He turned her around, pulled off her light cloak, and ripped open the back of her dress. Whip scars crisscrossed the girl’s back. He lifted her skirt at the back. Her thighs and buttocks were covered with new whip cuts. They were still raw and oozed blood. “Didn’t you wonder why it took so long for her to respond to your call? You are the greatest sorceress on the face of the globe. She should have come running, but she couldn’t until the Lady Andronikov finished this work. The girl could barely walk here much less run. The prince’s wife and lady well knows this girl is his child. She never intends to ever let him forget it. The Lady Natalya believes she is punished for her frequent mistakes. Countess, she never makes a mistake. She goes over things in her mind again and again, certain she has done each step correctly, and the lady of the house punishes her every day for false errors.”
Aksinya sighed, “You tempt me again, demon.”
“Yes, this is indeed temptation.”“Make time run right again. I will accept her. Get me a great cloak worthy of the lady-in-waiting to a countess.”
This is another tense scene. Note the methods used to set Natalya in the scene. I refer you to her clothing and to her position. You can again picture the girl that was already introduced and described to you. The setting places specifically in the scene. There are also reminders to you about the place and the time. You see the demon in perfect form using temptation to control Aksinya. Aksinya is put in a position where she can only accomplish the will of the demon. She put herself in this position and the demon uses her own conscience against her. There is much more to this--if you read the novel, you know that Natalya is not innocent, the demon could torment and kill her. Natalya was not only physically abused, but also sexually abused. She tried to use seduction to get out of the household she was in, but the men always left her there. There are many levels in this scene and in this very complex scene setting. The focus is the "who" of the setting, but there is much more here.
This example is a very advanced scene with many connections and important settings for the novel.
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 creation....ie, 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: http://www.ldalford.com/, and the individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel.com/, http://www.centurionnovelthesecondmission.com/, http://www.theendofhonor.com/, http://www.thefoxshonor, http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.