8 December 2012, Scenes - Scene Setting, Who, even more Tags
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.
Remember, use 100 to 300 words to introduce a character. Once you introduce a character, there is no need to redescribe them--unless you have a purpose, like the example I showed of a redescription. Once you have described a character, you no longer need a full description to set that character in a new scene. What you need is a tag. Tags are what I began discussing yesterday. The tags I introduced you to were titles.
Titles are just one type of tag. Other tags are the described characteristics of your characters. This is especially true for secondary and tertiary characters. For example, if I describe a character as wearing a white suit, all I have to do to set that character in a future scene is to restate that he is wearing a white suit. That may not be the best example. A more useful one, is this, when I describe a character as having a squint, all I have to do to set that character in a new scene is to mention the squint. I can further use the squint as an identifier during conversations and in other descriptions.
The point is that for every secondary character you intend to use through a novel, you should develop at least on tag to both refer to the character and to set the character in future scenes. Titles work well for this, but other physical and action oriented characteristics can work very well for this.
I might describe a character as a beautiful woman with a limp. All I have to do in future scenes is mention the limp. She limped into the bar...You immediately can identify the character. If this character has a name (she should), then I can use the limp and the beauty to reidentify her to my readers. Sally's beautiful face took on a smile. She limped a step... This kind of construction allow me to reintroduce a character and set them in a scene without confusing my readers.
After all, this is the most important point--don't confuse your readers. I'll get to that, 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 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/.