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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Scenes - Scene Setting, Who, a Tertiary Example

16 December 2012, Scenes - Scene Setting, Who, a Tertiary 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.

Here is a introduction and who setting for a tertiary character 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 another example from the novel. 

      Before Leora could say anything more, the front door opened.  In the opening stood a man in the typical formal dress of a highly-placed butler, and just behind him a woman in the uniform of the head housekeeper.  The butler was elderly, grey-haired and stood ramrod straight.  The housekeeper was middle aged and very proper.  The children crowded behind Leora and Tilly at the doorway.
      “Good evening, Miss Hastings,” he bowed deeply.  “Please come in out of the mist.”
      They stepped into a large echoing entry hall.  The walls were ancient oak covered with portraits, shields, and old weapons.
      “I am Gabriel and this,” he motioned toward the housekeeper, “is Mrs. Cuff.”
      Tilly handed Gabriel her coat, “First of all Gabriel, Mrs. Bolang and her children are in desperate need of a bath and clean clothes.  Then, Mrs. Cuff, they require a hearty supper.  They are French, so don’t spare the wine.”
      The butler bowed again to hide his smile, “I can show you all to your rooms and help these young men with their dress.  Mrs. Cuff is ready to assist you ladies with anything you need.”

I don't usually spend much time or effort in the description of tertiary characters, but the discipline of setting the "who" is critical in every novel.  When an author doesn't appropriately set the "who" for major characters or secondary characters, that is a significant problem for the reader.  The setting of certain tertiary characters is necessary when they will be reused in later parts of the novel, to set tags for them, and to build the depth of the scene.  I think you can see the depth of the scene from this short example.

Your readers are looking for you to build a world for them in your writing.  Make the world of your writing as real and powerful as you can.  Every human being has a reality and depth--you realize this in real life.  In a novel, that reality and depth makes the novel real to your readers and builds using the power of scenes.  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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