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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Scenes - Scene Setting, Who, Tags

6 December 2012, Scenes - Scene Setting, Who, 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

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.

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 set a character in a novel, you can simply refer to a key reference about that character.  For example, I introduced a Cardinal and an Abbot yesterday.  Throughout the novel, Aksinya, I can simply refer to them as the Cardinal and the Abbot.  This is a very simple means of addressing and resetting a character.  In the novel, all I have to do is write the Cardinal, and the readers immediately know who I am talking about.  If you have two Cardinals, you might have a problem.  I'll write about that in a moment.

So, one means of setting a character who has already been described is by using their title.  You might ask, why not use their name.  That's great and if you had more than one Cardinal, you might describe and address them as Cardinal Smith and Cardinal Jones.  Or more realistically as Cardinal Bob and Cardinal Tom.  The title and the unique name provides a handle.

You should still be asking, what about their names.  Why not use a name in setting the character in the scene.  Yes, you should use the name of a major character in setting the character in the scene.  But you should be very wary and cautious of using names in scene setting.  A reader will remember a major character's name and maybe even an important secondary character's name.  Other less important characters just disappear into the background.  You can't expect your readers to remember the names of all your characters--that is unreasonable.  You can expect your readers to remember a critical characteristic you give a character.  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, 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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