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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Scenes - Scene Setting, Who, more Exercises

13 December 2012, Scenes - Scene Setting, Who, more Exercises

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 beginning introductions and who setting of the major characters 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.

      On Saturday, Paul Bolang came home.  The children heard the moment his cab turned off the road from Hyères.  It pulled noisily through the gate above the beach, and the four children came running.  With anticipation they watched as the cab tracked down the thin cliff side road and came to a halt in the sandy yard of their small house.  Paul threw out his small bag and leapt out of the automobile.  The cabby, already paid, turned the car around and roared back toward the road.  Paul stood for only a moment before his children overwhelmed him.  Marie, nine, insufferably cute with a perpetual pout and dangerously precocious reached him first.  She launched herself into his arms and almost knocked Paul over.  Robert, eleven, strong limbed and tall with an amused smirk on his face as though he alone ensured Marie reached Paul first, stepped into the fray and grabbed Paul’s right arm.  Jacques, ten, loudly protested Robert’s tactics that let Marie arrive before him.  Almost as tall as Robert, his shoulders were wider, and his look more playful.  He took a firm hold of Paul’s left arm.  Paul shifted Marie’s weight to one side and sat her in the crook of his arm.  Lumière, all of twelve and completely refined, stepped with stately grace in front of her father and curtsied, “Welcome home, Papa.”

      Paul kissed her cheek.  Kissed Marie’s cheek.  Kissed Robert and Jacques cheeks.  “I bless you for your courteous greeting.”  The children stared up at him, adoration plain on their youthful faces.  Paul’s features were angular and handsome.  They were refined; they combined both gentleness with a hardness that was rooted in his past and his profession.  His skin was uniformly tanned by exposure to life outdoors in the mountains that formed the border of France and Italy.  His blue uniform announced him as a Colonel of the French Cavalry.  The bright cord around his right arm said he acted as a consultant and liaison for the French Alpine forces that guarded the border between France and Italy.  Around his eyes and mouth were fine wrinkles caused by the sun and wind as well as the lines from his bright smile.  His children loved those small wrinkles that always heralded his smile.  He was of average build and height, but that masked a strength trained by harsh conditions and constant warfare.

Do your exercises look like this?  Have you put some character setting like this on paper.   Try some secondary characters, and I'll give you more examples tomorrow.

Try these exercises, and I'll give you some direct examples 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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