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Monday, December 24, 2012

Scenes - Scene Setting, Who, and yet another Example

24 December 2012, Scenes - Scene Setting, Who, and yet another 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 another example of scene setting from the novel, Aksinya.  The place has already been set in an earlier scene introduction--it is Wien, Austria (Vienna in American English).  The time has also been set before.  This scene setting is to provide the more detailed place and time.  The place is within the description and the time is the afternoon.  There are also strong elements of setting that are specifically details of the times and place.  These details are the usual elements people think about when they imagine a scene description.

They traveled a long way through the chilly streets crowded with overhanging buildings and thick with people.  The people appeared dispirited and disheveled.  Along with beggars, many demobilized, shabbily-dressed soldiers wandered the streets.  The chill slowly seeped into Aksinya’s bones.  Eventually, the people thinned and the streets widened.  They gave way to more open parks, wooded areas, and estates.  The air cleared slightly of the smell of burning coal and horse droppings.  The buildings still sat next to the cobblestone streets and close enough to each other for easy visiting without carriages or horses.  Still, the afternoon callers took their carriages visiting—that was the style.  They eventually came to a magnificent house whose façade was stone and glass.  Heavy colonnades gave it a classical feel, but the yellow brick and stone made it seem very modern for the times.  When they pulled up to the front, a servant came running.  They arrived late for an afternoon call but early for dinner. 
Aksinya’s cheeks were rosy and she was freezing.  She was angry, but her anger didn’t seem to warm her at all.  She just felt cross and sad, very sad.
The servant who greeted them was dressed like their driver in the classic Austrian livery used for attending aristocracy.  It was slightly over the top for a house in Moscow, certainly much more than anyone would expect or normally aspire to in war torn Austria.  Immediately, Aksinya realized everything the demon said about her uncle was true.  She knew it before, but this reminder cast all her childish memories and knowledge in focus.  The servant offered his hand first to Aksinya, and she climbed from the open landau.  The servant’s hand was cold.  He must have been waiting outside for a long time.  Aksinya addressed him, “Where you expecting us?”
The man bowed.  “Yes, Countess, since your telegram last evening.”

This is just another example from the novel to show you how I approach scene setting.  There is the setting of a tertiary character in this example.  Note, that the description is more general and allows the reader to develop an opinion about Aksinya's relatives.  We will see them next--and more character scene setting.
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,

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