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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Scenes - Scene Setting, Who, another Scene Example

19 December 2012, Scenes - Scene Setting, Who, 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.

This is another example from the novel, Sister of Darkness. This novel is on contract and should be published soon. Paul Bolang is a major character in the novel. Leroa Bolang is a major character. The children are secondary characters except Lumière. Lumière is a major character in the novel.  In this scene, Leroa meets the King of Egypt.  This scene is based in history and the incident was reputed to have occurred.  Leroa is, of course the non-historical addition to the scene.  In any case, there is no harm done to the history--she is just added into it.
      At the top of the steps, a King’s subaltern stepped forward and announced, “Sir Miles Lampson, Ambassador of His Majesty, George the Sixth, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India.  The Lady Jacqueline, his wife, and his daughters Mary and Margaret.  The Madam Leora Bolang, guest and friend of King George.”
      King Farouk’s majordomo stepped forward to direct them.  He was dressed in modern oriental ceremonial dress with a fez and sword.  The majordomo led them into a private side chamber that included a small throne.  Servants came and went bearing food and drink on gold platters.  Guards encircled the room.  Before their guide could say anything, a young man with a comical pencil-thin moustache and dressed in a highly decorated high-collar garb stepped up to Sir Miles.  He was just showing the beginning of a growing belly at his thickly belted waist.  A beautiful woman, slightly darker than Leora and dressed in a Victorian style silk ballroom gown followed just behind him.
      The majordomo spoke automatically, “His Majesty Farouk the first, by the grace of God, King of Egypt and Sudan, Sovereign of Nubia, of Kordofan, and of Darfur.”
      King Farouk’s mustache twitched, “That is enough, Udjai.  Sir Miles and Lady Jacqueline know who I am.  This is Madam Bolang.”  He took Leora’s hand, “A friend of King George.  That is very impressive.  I understand you speak many languages.  Of note ancient Egyptian.”
      “Yes, your highness, my expertise is in Ancient Egyptian.”
      “Do you speak Italian?”
      “A little.”
      “Very good.  You will get by well here, and you can help Sir Miles when he wants to order a Scotch and soda.”  The King snapped his fingers, “…which, by the way Sir Miles, I will provide your first.”
      A servant stepped forward and presented the drink to Sir Miles with an Italian pleasantry.
      Sir Miles cursed under his breath.
      The King rolled his eyes toward the ambassador, “Come Sir Miles, ladies are present, most notably, my beautiful Queen Farida.  Madam Bolang, you have not had the opportunity to make her acquaintance.”
      Queen Farida took Leora’s hand, “You look truly Egyptian.”
      The king interjected, “That is, my Queen, because she is Egyptian.  A British subject, I believe.”
      Leora nodded slightly, “French actually.”
      “Sir Miles is not as ill disposed to the French as he is to the Italians, so you really don’t need to worry.”
      Sir Miles sipped on his drink.  He appeared outwardly absolutely calm and serene, “Come now, Your Highness.  You know I am only concerned about your safety and security.  The British Empire and half the world are at war with the Germans and the Italians.  They are at your doorstep and routinely bomb your lands and people.”
      “I am pleased with my servants and happy to no longer be a servant of the British crown.”
      “Your Highness, I only ask that for your safety you get rid of these bloody Italians in your palace.  They pose a risk to all of us.”
      “Very well, Sir Miles, I have a proposal for you.  I will get rid of my Italians, when you get rid of your Italian,” the King pointed at Lady Jacqueline.
      Queen Farida’s eyes opened wide, and she stifled a laugh in her handkerchief.

This is a scene that is both true and funny.  In real life such fun scenes really happen.  Was the conversation as perfect and real as it is here?  The answer is no.  An author doesn't repeat real conversation, an author writes conversation that seems real--that sounds real.  Real conversation doesn't sound real at all.

Now, I'm a little off subject.  The point is the setting of the "who" in scenes.  In this case, I give you the character setting and a little more.

This example is a very advanced scene with many connections and important settings for the novel.
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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