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Monday, December 17, 2012

Scenes - Scene Setting, Who, a Scene of Character Setting

17 December 2012, Scenes - Scene Setting, Who, a Scene of Character Setting

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.

You can use whole scenes to set the who.  Here is an introduction scene with the setting of the children 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. Here is a whole scene used for character setting from the novel.
      As soon as the motorcar came to a halt, a couple of footmen opened the house’s large double doors and marched out to it.  The butler stood in the open door and behind him waited two stately individuals.
      Tilly didn’t wait for the footmen, she threw open her own door, made an exaggerated gesture to Leora and her children, and started up the walk toward the entrance.
      “Hello Roger, Gerald,” she greeted the footmen.
      “Milady,” they answered with a quick bow and a smile.
      Tilly turned around to see Leora and the children step out of the motorcar.  She cocked her head and waved at them, “Come on.  I’m sure supper’s waiting just for us.”
      Leora settled her new skirt.  Robert and Jacques hurried up behind Tilly.  The girls stayed close to Leora, but preceded her.  When they all reached the door, the butler bowed deeply to Tilly, “Good evening, milady.  You made good time.”
      Tilly handed him her wrap, “Good evening, Goodberry.”  He stepped back.
      “Matilda!” the older lady stepped up toward them.  Lady Hastings was the reflection of an older Tilly.  Her hair was still slightly brown but with many streaks of grey.  It was put up in an elegant coif that wrapped gently around her head.  Her features were warm and her eyes bright.  She smiled a lot, and the smiles seemed to well right up out of her spirit.  She knew all about what young girls needed and wanted though Tilly never fully appreciated this characteristic in her mother.
      “Mother,” Tilly took her hands and kissed her mother.  “Come on, Father.”
      The older gentleman stepped forward, “Evening, Matilda.”  Lord Hastings was taller that either his wife or daughter.  His face was aristocratic, but pleasant.  Whatever he said or wore, he couldn’t appear stuffy.  It was simply impossible.  He was too used to being the master of himself and others.  And he knew too well how to entertain.
      “Father,” she kissed his cheek, “You remember my very good friend, Leora Bolang.”  Tilly pulled Leora forward.
      Leora curtsied, “It is nice to meet you again Lady Hastings, Lord Hastings.  I hope you are well?”
      “Very well, thank you,” Lord Hastings took Leora’s hand.  “Matilda speaks continually of you.  We can’t thank you enough for your encouragement.”  He lifted her hand to his lips.
      Lady Hastings embraced Leora and kissed her cheek, “My dear, we are well, but how are you?”
      Leora lifted up a bittersweet smile, “Well enough, thank you.  May I introduce my children to you?”
      Lady Hastings glanced up expectantly.
      Tilly swept Leora’s children before her, “No!  It is my pleasure to introduce these marvelous children to my parents.  May I present to you, children, Lord and Lady Hastings, my parents.  Father, Mother, this is Lumière Bolang.  She is twelve, loves archeology and speaks more languages than I have heard.” 
      Lumie’re curtsied.  Her face was well formed and lovely.  The complexion was lighter than Leora’s but still a warm coffee cream more akin to the coffee Marcel made for Leora than a hearty British cup.  Her body was thin and vibrant with an undercurrent of powerful energy.  Her eyes were almond shaped like her mother’s and her lips pleasant and delicate.  A brief smile flitted across them.  Lord Hastings lifted her hand and Lady Hastings kissed her cheek, “You are welcome here, my dear.”
      Tilly pushed Robert forward, “This is Robert Bolang.  He is eleven, studies science and mathematics.  He also loves languages.”
      Robert bowed.  His thin frame was still athletic and strong.  He stood straight and unperturbed.  His face was like his father’s, slim and thoughtful.  Lord Hastings shook Robert’s hand, and Lady Hastings reached her hand out to him.
      Jacques stepped up and glanced expectantly at Tilly.
      “This is Jacques Bolang.  He is ten, and follows in his father’s footsteps.  He is a gentleman in more than one modern tongue and a few not so modern.”
      Jacques firmly shook with Lord Hastings and bowed over Lady Hastings hand, “I am very pleased to meet you.  Mother and Father have often spoken of your friendship.”
      Tilly held Marie by the shoulders, “And this is my favorite Greek scholar, Marie Bolang.”
      Marie reached out to both the elder Hastings at once, “Aunt Tilly said you were stuffy, but I think you are both as pleasant as Pépère and Mémère.”
      Lady Hastings grasped Marie’s hand and laughed.  Lord Hastings took her other hand and grinned, “You mustn’t always believe what Aunt Tilly says.”  He placed his finger on the side of his nose and winked.
      Marie returned an exaggerated wink.
      Leora placed her hands on Marie’s shoulders, “My children are still children.  Please excuse their exuberance and forwardness.”
      “Pshaw,” Lord Hastings blew through his mustache, “They are all sweet and well behaved.  Do not correct them for stating the obvious—especially when that includes Matilda.  Now all of you come along to supper.  Goodberry informs me our repast is ready, and after your long trip, I am sure your young stomachs are all prepared to be filled.”

You can see that in this example from the novel, I use the scene to reintroduce the children by description.  I also use Tilly as the describer.  This builds on the original descriptions and character setting I accomplished at the beginning of the novel.  It also gives the reader a second view of the children and Leroa--a view through the eyes of Tilly. 

An author is not limited to simply using narrative for description.  An author can use conversation and the eyes of other characters to provide description.  This is an advanced writing technique that you should use when appropriate.  You should try this as an exercise.  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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