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Friday, November 30, 2012

Scenes - Scene Setting, Who, more Examples

30 November 2012, Scenes - Scene Setting, Who, more Examples

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

When you introduce a character, spend at least 100 to 300 words introducing them to us. That introduction is a description of their features, movements, and clothing.  If you read or reread Aksinya, you will see numerous times where I describe Aksinya and Natalya's clothing to you.  I do this through conversation and description.  The clothing changes with the days and the time of day.  The reason for this is to give you an impression of the times and the way people dressed in those times. 

What follows here is the introduction and scene setting for the scene where Aksinya meets her Aunt and Uncle.  The important things to note are the intermeshed place setting and the words spent in describing Aksinya's Aunt and Uncle.

They made their way up the marble steps up to the large front door.  The servant opened the great oaken portal and let them in.

They entered a wonderful and huge marble and statue lined entry that overlooked an enormous open ballroom.  They stood in an unenclosed foyer bordered before them by a wide set of stairs that led down to the floor of the ballroom.  On the other side of the ballroom, twin marble stairways led to the second floor.  The stairways climbed into each other and joined then separated again and continued to the upper floor. 

When Aksinya, Natalya, Asmodeus, and the servant entered, a host of maids descended on them.  They took Aksinya’s fur and Natalya’s cloak.  Aksinya then spotted a very well dressed man and a woman who had descended, unnoticed, to the center of the house’s converging stairways.  Asmodeus stepped forward and called in a loud voice.  His breath formed clouds in the frosty air, “May I announce, the Countess Aksinya Andreiovna Golitsyna and her lady-in-waiting, the Lady Natalya Alexandrovna Obolenska.”

The man and woman made their way slowly down the steps.  The moment Aksinya’s cloak had come off, she began to shiver.  She had not eaten, and she was cold.  The enormous room was chilly.  She wondered automatically if the demon had anything to do with her sudden discomfort.  He turned to her that moment and grinned.  Aksinya caught a whiff of sulfur.  She scowled back at him.  She impatiently watched her uncle and aunt make their way to them.  She certainly would not move.  She was too cold, and she knew how these things worked.  She had lived in this type of society all her life.  It was a painful reminder of the life she thought she had left when her family died.

Her uncle and aunt finally made their way to the ballroom floor and stepped slowly across the ballroom.  They made their way to the wide foyer steps and then up them.  Her uncle stood before her and grasped her hand.  His face was thin and well lined.  Still, it seemed as jovial as Aksinya remembered it.  She always thought he endeavored to convey a haughty appearance of aristocracy, but that attempt was constantly overwhelmed by his gentle features.  He sported a wide mustache and a pointed beard.  He put the unnecessary monocle, this time, in his left eye.  He routinely forgot which eye was supposed to require it.  This evening, he wore a fine woolen suit with coat and tails.  He went to his left knee and touched her white-gloved hand with his lips.  He spoke in German, “Countess, I am your uncle, Freiherr Herman Bockmann, and this is your aunt, the Freifrau Brunhilda Bockmann.  I hope you remember us.  I welcome you to our home, our estate here at Grossbock.”  He stood and Aksinya’s aunt stepped forward.  Aksinya had remembered her name was Brunhilda.  Aksinya always thought that was so funny when she was a child.  Freifrau Bockmann was tall and stout.  She had a well endowed bosom and clothing that was just a little too small for her.  Aksinya remembered her mother’s words about Aunt Brunhilda, “That her sister-in-law was always one season and one size out of style.”  Aksinya couldn’t help but smile at the remembrance.  Indeed, Aunt Brunhilda wore a silk dress of a bright summer hue.  Yet, she wore it with grace.  Aunt Brunhilda looked well in anything. 

The point is simply that when you introduce your characters (setting the who) make sure you set the who.  Show us about those characters.  If you notice in this example from Akinsya, I gave you a lot of information from Akinsya's remembrance of her Aunt and Uncle.  This is one method to show us about a character without telling.

I'll give you more 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 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/.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Scenes - Scene Setting, Who, Examples

29 November 2012, Scenes - Scene Setting, Who, Examples

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

I told you I would show you some examples.  These are from the novel, Aksinya.  First we have the beginning of the novel.  This includes some very important scene and novel setting.  Within this first part is the description of Aksinya.  The description is wound up with the place setting.  This is one method to set a scene and integrate the character description into it. 

      The dank stone room was filled with shadows.  Every corner oozed darkness.  Within a pentagram that was encompassed by a circle stood a slight young woman.  Fat yellow beef-tallow candles marked the points of the pentagram and weakly illuminated only the area around her.  A brazier of incense filled the room with the scent of myrrh along with an underlying smell that was indeterminate, but left a taste of blood in the mouth.  The woman was dressed in a black gown that was much too large for her.  Beautiful hand made lace cascaded down the front of the dress and decorated the sleeves.  Thick velvet competed with black satin to form a perfect attire to greet a Tsar, but certainly not a commissar.  The gown fell loosely away from the woman’s thin chest and small breasts.  It looked odd draped on her body, like a girl playing dress-up from her mother’s closet.  But this gown obviously came from the closet of a princess.

Aksinya, the woman within the pentagram, squinted across the dark cellar.  She was barely eighteen and much too thin for her age.  She was petit; that was a polite way of saying small.  And underdeveloped, that was a polite way of saying she didn’t yet appear much like a woman.  Aksinya’s hair was dark brown and silky and beautiful, bound up in a long braid, but her face was plain and Russian, so Russian.  Her voice was soft and sometimes too shrill.  When she was excited it rose in strength and pitch, so she never sounded very mature or well mannered. 

Aksinya stood in the middle of the pentagram.  She held a book in one hand, and the bodice of the dress in the other.  It kept falling away from her chest and although there was no one to see, she felt uncomfortable and underdressed when it did.  She squinted across the cellar again and focused back on the book.  She knew the words and the pictures in the book by heart.  She had memorized them long ago, but still she sought them like an anchor against the storm she was about to release.  In the dark—she hadn’t thought about how dark it would be, she could barely read the text.  Finally, she took up an extra taper from the floor and lit it from the closest candle.  She had to hold the taper in one hand and the book in the other, which almost completely revealed her chest, but that couldn’t be helped now.

This initial description of Aksinya is about 420 words long.  There is more to her description that is included in the first scene.  You should read it again to get the full effect of the narrative and description.

The next description is that of the demon.  This description is also intermeshed in the rest of the description and action in the scene.  The demon gets over 300 words.

A great roar filled the cellar, and she almost dropped.  She didn’t.  Her voice rang out more clearly.  A hot sulfurous wind rushed through the place and Aksinya smiled.  Then she forced her face back to blandness.  There was a dark flash, a scream like the sound of metal cutting metal, and across the cellar, in the corner suddenly was a shape.

Immediately, Aksinya’s words changed.  They words of enticing and cajoling became those of welcoming and greeting.  They leapt automatically from her lips.  As she spoke, she carefully watched the shape across the room.  It began to move.  At first it slowly rose and fell as though it was just beginning to breathe, and then it began to grow.  It unfolded like a flower, but this flower was like nothing beautiful the earth had ever seen.  It was man-shaped and black.  Its skin and muscles clung to it as though it was only bone and muscle without any fat at all.  When it had unfolded completely, it touched the top of the ceiling, at least seven feet tall.  More than two meters.  Its limbs were long and at the end of its fingers were talons and of its feet were claws.  They were black too.  It’s face was black and handsome.  Fangs jutted out of its lips on the top and the bottom, but the face was aristocratic and fine.  At its head were ears that lifted up points like an animal and horns at either side. 

The creature was naked, and Aksinya’s eyes moved almost without her control downward.  There was nothing there.  It was like an expurgated statue.  There was nothing but a pubic bulge.  Aksinya wasn’t certain whether to be disappointed.  She raised her hands in the final greeting and let them fall.

Next, we have the initial description of Natalya.  Natalya is the girl whom the demon forces Aksinya to accept as her lady-in-waiting.  We get more about Natalya later, but this is the initial description.

“Your estate now…” the demon purred.  He continued, “They are an aristocratic family, a royal family.  They have a servant who takes care of their daughters and waits on the Prince’s wife.  She is a lady-in-waiting, and here she is.  Near the head of the table, the door opened.  It wasn’t a door for a servant since the top was rounded.  The girl who came in was petite and beautiful.  Her hair was dark and silky.  Her eyes were luminous.  Her skin was pale and smooth.  In all, she appeared very aristocratic and refined.  Her clothing, likewise, though not as expensive as the gowns of the ladies around the table, fit her perfectly and brought out the best in her figure and features.  It was not unusual that when she entered, the eye of every man and every woman turned toward her.  She whispered to one of the older women at the table and sat against the wall behind her.

When you introduce a character, spend at least 100 to 300 words introducing them to us.  That introduction is a description of their features, movements, and clothing.  I'll give you more 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 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/.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Scenes - Scene Setting, even more Who

28 November 2012, Scenes - Scene Setting, even more Who

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

As you begin every scene, you must think about scene setting.  We already looked at time and place.  I am now considering the characters.  I wrote yesterday, that following Arlo Gurthrie's advice, I suggest you use 100 to 300 words to describe every character and place that you introduce in a novel.  There is generally no need to completely introduce a character more than once, but there are times when you might want to make a new description or renew your description.  I'll get to those times later.

The most important point is that when you set the characters in the scene, you place them like actors on a stage.  This is a great metaphor and a method of visualizing scene setting.

I've used this example before, but I'll make it stronger.  Imagine the setting of the beginning of your scene--now, describe it.  This is a great exercise.  You should do this for every scene.  First imagine the beginning of the scene then write the description.  This initial description is the time and place.  Use about 100 to 300 words for each.  Now imagine the starting characters and describe them.  Place them on the stage (in the setting).

Many times, for major characters, I will describe them at the beginning of every scene.  It is sometimes important to note the clothing the character is wearing, and what they are carrying. I'll give you some 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 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/.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Scenes - Scene Setting, more Who

27 November 2012, Scenes - Scene Setting, more Who

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

Your two great tools as a writer are narrative and conversation.  The narrative is the description and the usual manner for scene setting.  Scene setting can also be accomplished through conversation, but it is less common and more difficult.  It also doesn't make as much sense.  I occasionally set parts of a scene through conversation, but the best method is to just crank it out at the beginning. 

An author should be cautious not to use some kind of template that sounds like a template when setting the scene, but all the elements need to be in the scene setting. 

We looked at setting the time and the place.  The next big element is the "who"-- the characters in the scene.  What we are talking about here is character description.  All description has declined significantly in good writing, but of all the description that is missing, it is character description.  Why people forget character description more than any other description--I have no idea.  I do know that one author explained that his use of less character description was because he wanted his character to have more universal appeal.  That's great, and might be applied to a singular character, but that means the other characters must get their description.

I do agree you don't have to give great amounts of description to tertiary characters, but all primary and secondary characters should get a double dose.

Every character, like every place, should have a 100 to 300 word description.  This is one of Arlo Guthrie's rules of writing.  This is great advice.  I try to have a 100 to 300 word description for every character and every place.  I'll get into more details 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/.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Scenes - Scene Setting, Who

26 November 2012, Scenes - Scene Setting, Who

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

I wrote about the time and place--that is setting your scenes in the when and where.  These are critical parts of scene setting and they are the parts that many modern writers miss.  I would advocate that if you start your readers on a barren stage, you are not using the medium to the maximum extent possible.

The primary purpose of fiction writing is to entertain.  So, if your stage is bare, you aren't entertaining.  I know, you will say, there are empty stage theaters, but in an "empty stage theater" the actors must bear the brunt of all the description.  This is like writing an entire novel of only conversation.  I know this has been tried and it has been done, but I think it is stupid.  It is like writing on a keyboard with one hand tied behind your back--or worse. 

If you give up on narrative, you can only show through conversation.  If you give up on conversation, you can only show through description.  Either choice leads to a significant decrease in the way you can get your theme and plot across.

The point I'm trying to get through to you is that you must focus your scenes with the setting and time and place (when and where) are not enough.  The next step is the who--that is the description of the characters in the scene.  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/.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Scenes - Scene Setting, more Tension and Place

25 November 2012, Scenes - Scene Setting, more Tension and Place

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

We moved from the outside to the inside.  We moved from a gentle tension scene to a slightly more intense tension scene.  In the final sequence of the scene, we move into the office of the headmistress.  This place must be set.  Additionally, we move to the main tension and relief sequence of the overall scene.  This also happens to be the dénouement of the novel.
 
After a few minutes, Stacy exited the office.  She held her features set in a look of contrition.  The moment the door closed, she gave a very American, thumbs up to Aksinya, and mouthed, “It worked.”  Then louder she said, “I hope you do teach here.”  She skipped back down the hall to her class.

The door opened a crack, “Mrs. Aksinya Andreiovna Lopuhin, please enter.” 

Aksinya stood and entered the office.  The headmistress had her back to Aksinya and walked back to her desk.  The woman seemed young.  Very young for a headmistress.  One shoulder drooped a little lower than the other, but her back was ramrod straight and her clothing was very fine, much finer than Aksinya’s. 

The desk was large and filled one end of the room.  The office was rather deep and had a fireplace on the left wall.  Some padded chairs and a simple tea table were arranged before the fireplace.  An unpadded chair sat before the desk.  Without turning, the headmistress pointed to that chair.  Aksinya stood beside it and waited for the headmistress to sit. 

The moment the headmistress turned, Aksinya dropped her briefcase.  Her mouth fell open.  She couldn’t speak.

The woman before her gave a cry, “Princess Aksinya.”  She rushed around the desk and embraced her. 

Aksinya couldn’t get her breath she couldn’t speak.  Finally, she threw her arms around the headmistress and exclaimed, “Lady Natalya.”

Natalya buried her face in Aksinya’s thick braided hair and blubbered.  They stood together for a long time without saying anything.  Finally, Natalya spoke, “I thought I would never see you again, Princess.”

Aksinya kissed her cheeks, “Dear Lady Natalya, I would never have guessed I would find you here.  Is Herr von Taaffe with you?”

Natalya gave a laugh, “I am Mrs. Natalya Alexandrovna von Taaffe, though not called a Lady anymore.  And you?”

“Father Dobrushin married me although he is not a priest anymore, and I am no longer a Princess.”

Natalya’s moist eyes held Aksinya’s, “You will always be a Princess.  My lady’s maid told me you were looking for a job.”

“Please, Lady Natalya, I’m certain you would not wish to have me around you all the time.  I know I will bring back terrible memories to you.”

“You don’t understand at all Princess.  You are the reason I am here today.  Wait with me for a while.  Let me hear all that has happened to you since we parted, then we will have luncheon with Sister Margarethe, and we will discuss your teaching work in my school.”

“Sister Margarethe is also here?”

“Herr von Taaffe retained her as our housekeeper.  She converted to Russian Orthodox and entered an order in the United States.  Our school is loosely affiliated with Saint John’s.”  Natalya held Aksinya at arms length and looked her over, “Dear friend, we have so much to talk about and so much to share.  I do love you, Princess.  I want you to remain with us forever.”

“In spite of everything that happened?”
“Because of everything that happened before.  That time marked the end of a horrible and wonderful period, yet redemption came to you, to me.”  She held Aksinya close, “I could not bear to lose you again, Aksinya.  You redeemed me, the first of many.  You shall redeem many more.  God exceeded our expectations in spite of what we had done.”

As we move into the headmistress' office, this is the logical time to use description in the narrative to set the place.  The place is the headmistress' office.  The office looks like the office of a headmistress.  The woman is also described, but I'll get to that in a later post. 

The place is set and the tension and release is the recognition of Natalya and Aksinya.  This resolution is also the dénouement of the novel.  The point is to get in and out and tie all the important pieces together.  This gives the final wrap up of the novel.  The recognition and the conflict between Natalya and Aksinya provides the tension, the release is the words from Natalya that puts everything from the novel, Aksinya, in perspective.  Next, we'll move to the who, what, and how. 

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/.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Scenes - Scene Setting, Tension

24 November 2012, Scenes - Scene Setting, Tension

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

I showed you the way I set the scene in this last scene from the novel, Aksinya.  The scene is set from the country level down to the street level, then to the interior, and the place setting does not stop there.  The place setting continues through the entire scene.  Here I continue from the point where Akinsya is seated in front of the Headmistress' office.  I'm not giving you place setting so much as showing you the tension and release in the next portion of the scene.


The girl beside her stared at Aksinya.

Aksinya stared back, “I’m Aksinya Andreiovna Lopuhin, and you are?”

The girl answered, “I’m Anastasiya, but everyone calls me Stacy.”  Her Russian was from Moscow, but the name Stacy was said purely in English.

Aksinya laughed, “Do you speak English?”

“Not well.  We’re supposed to learn it here.”

“Are you?”

“Too well.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“My brother taught me some words and the Sister didn’t like me to say them at all.”

“What were the words?”

Stacy motioned for Aksinya to lower her head a little and whispered into her ear.

Aksinya blushed, “Is that why you are here to speak to the headmistress?”

Stacy nodded woefully.

“You have a Nun teaching here?”

“Yes, she is Orthodox but not from Russia.”

“What does she teach?”

“English, German, and French, but mostly German.”

“I see.”

The girl, Stacy asked, “Are you going to go to school here?  Where are your mother and father?”

Aksinya laughed, “I’m applying to be a teacher here.”

The girl’s eyes widened, “You look so young.”

“I’m married,” Aksinya held out her right hand.

Stacy admired Aksinya’s plain golden ring, “Mother told me they married young in the old country.  Just how old are you?”

Aksinya laughed again, “I’m twenty-three.  I just graduated from Radcliffe.”

“Do you like school that much?”

“Yes, I like it very much.  I never was able to go when I was young.”

“You’d hate it if you were my age.”

“Why is that?”

Stacy held out her red hand, “Sister already used her ruler on my hand, and now I have to speak to the headmistress.  If she tells my mother, I’ll get the strap for sure.”

“Perhaps you should tell the headmistress you didn’t know what the words meant and beg her forgiveness.”

“I truly didn’t know what the words were, and I still don’t know what they mean.”

“Then tell her that.”

“Sister wouldn’t listen.”

“Sometimes they are like that.”

The door cracked open, and a call came from inside the office.  It was Russian accented English and sounded very pleasant, “Miss Anastasiya please come inside.”  To Aksinya, the voice seemed slightly familiar.

As Stacy passed Aksinya, she whispered in Russian, “Don’t let her voice fool you, she is quite strict.”

Aksinya nodded.

In the part of the scene I gave you, we have a change from the front door to the interior of the building and then to the waiting place in front of the headmistress' offices. The first tension and release was with the maid. There is also a foreshadowing for the next tension and release sequence.

In this sequence, we see the tension and release between the girl, Stacy, and Aksinya.  The purpose for the sequence is a buildup for the last sequence in the novel.  You get to learn about the school and the people in the school--this is a foreshadowing.  There are hints throughout for the reader.  If you have read the entire novel, you will perhaps be able to guess at the person Stacy is talking about.  If not, that's okay, the purpose is not to provide a guess, but to foreshadow the next sequence. 

The tension and release is the words Stacy said and her possible punishment.  Notice that this is entertaining.  There is humor in this tension.  We feel for Stacy, and the tension is her punishment.  She builds the tension for us by her spanked hand and the threat of the strap.  Aksinya gives her good advice.  We aren't sure the advice will be taken or if it will work and that also builds the tension.  The obvious release is what will happen to Stacy.  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 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/.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Scenes - Scene Setting, Time, Place, and Tension

23 November 2012, Scenes - Scene Setting, Time, Place, and Tension

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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 little more from the last scene in Aksinya.  This scene runs through more than one tension and release and through at least three separate places.  I mark scenes by time and not so much by place.  I mentioned how scenes can be defined as tension and release.  Usually, the end of a scene in a novel is marked by the end of a place sequence, a time sequence, and a tension and release sequence.  I'll try to show and explain what I mean by this.  At the beginning of this scene, Aksinya exits a trolley at Union Park in Boston and heads down the street:
 

Aksinya halted when her counting reached the correct house number and glanced at the building.  She stopped skipping and walked carefully up the stairs in front.  The sign was right beside the door: Sacred Heart of Christ, Russian Orthodox Seminary for Young Women and Girls.”
Aksinya smiled.  That sounded like just the place for her.  All the other schools where she applied to teach mistook her for a student.  None of them had called her back.  She luckily heard about this place from a friend at their Ecclesia.
Aksinya pulled the bell.  After a couple of minutes a matronly woman dressed as a chamber maid answered the door.  She was pleasant looking.  Aksinya smiled and announced in English, “I am Mrs. Aksinya Andreiovna Lopuhin.”
The maid responded in broken English, “This is a Russian academy, are you certain you are at the right place?  We don’t accept married students.”
Aksinya changed to Russian, “I am here to apply for the position of English and linguistics teacher.  You posted it with the Russian exchange office.”
“Yes, so we did.”  The woman frowned and looked Aksinya up and down.
“Is there a problem?”
“None at all.”  The woman’s tone of voice said there was.  “I’ll take you to see the headmistress.  She is also the wife of the owner of this school.”
The building was similar to many of the row houses Aksinya was familiar with in Boston.  The foyer wasn’t large.  It opened to a stairway that led up into the building and a hall that led to the rear.  A parlor was on the right and a classroom on the left.  Aksinya could hear the teacher lecturing through the closed door. 
The maid didn’t lead Aksinya into the parlor or upstairs but rather headed down the hall on the first floor.  They passed a second and a third classroom on the left and right and finally arrived at a large dining room and kitchen.  They were also on the left.  On the right was a door labeled Office of the Headmistress.  The door was closed.  Outside the door sat four hardback chairs in a row.  A girl of about twelve slumped in one of the seats.  She didn’t seem very happy.
The maid turned a stern look at the girl then pointed to the seats.  Aksinya sat next to the girl.  The maid knocked at the office, entered and closed the door behind her.  She exited just a moment later, “The headmistress will call for you in a moment.”
Aksinya answered “Thank you.”


In the part of the scene I gave you, we have a change from the front door to the interior of the building and then to the waiting place in front of the headmistress' offices.  The first tension and release was with the maid.  There is also a foreshadowing for the next tension and release sequence. 

You can see already that the scene isn't simply demarcated by the place or tension and release.  We will see that the culmination of the scene is the end of the place, the time, and the final tension and release. 

The interior setting for each place must be fixed.  It is not enough to tell us that Aksinya moves with the maid to the hall outside the headmistress' office.  You must show this to us.  You show in the narrative with description.  Thus, the scene moves from the exterior of the building at the front door to the interior and I give you a description of that interior.  On the interior, the scene moves from the foyer to the hall (and waiting area) in front of the headmistress' office. There happens to be a girl in one of the other seats.  The girl is a set up for the next tension and release sequence so I can prep the reader for the events to come and give them information to foreshadow the visit to the headmistress' office.  More details 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/.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Scenes - Scene Setting, yet more Place

22 November 2012, Scenes - Scene Setting, yet even more Place

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

Yesterday, I took the place setting to the level of the house.  This is what I gave you from Aksinya:

Aksinya spotted Saint John the Baptizer Greek Orthodox Church across the street and started counting the buildings down from it.

She and Dobrushin had been in Bostonfor a little over four years. They were delightful years. She already wondered what she would do to seduce him tonight—it had been two days already since the last time. He was already a partner at the law firm. Everyone in the firm knew he was married, but Aksinya rarely showed her face there. Dobrushushka begged off officially because of her schooling. That was a good thing, she didn’t need notoriety. She didn’t want her Dobrushushka to lose this job.
Aksinya halted when her counting reached the correct house number and glanced at the building. She stopped skipping and walked carefully up the stairs in front. The sign was right beside the door: Sacred Heart of Christ, Russian Orthodox Seminary for Young Women and Girls.

I also took you to the next level.  This level is that of the actual scene.  This is the part you see on the stage at a play.  The initial setting for this scene in Aksinya is the front door to the Sacred Heart of Christ, Russian Orthodox Seminary for Young Women and Girls.  This is like the interior of a room. 

In a novel, unlike a stage play, the author can move from room to room and place to place within the same scene.  In most stage plays, the scene remains the same until a scene change.  In a novel, the scene isn't dependent on the place as much as the time. 

In this scene, Aksinya starts at the door and ends up in the house in a chair before the headmistress desk.  She has a conversation with a student and is then called into the headmistress' office.  I'd call this entire event a scene.  It could be theoretically broken into two scenes, because there is more than one tension and release event.

A scene is not limited to a single tension and release event, but a scene is defined by its tension and release events.  Perhaps I should give you the whole scene tomorrow and show you how this works.

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/.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Scenes - Scene Setting, yet more Place

21 November 2012, Scenes - Scene Setting, yet more Place

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

Yesterday, the setting of the place s as simple as placing the protagonist on a certain street in Boston.  That defined the city and a street in the city.  It also placed the state and country.  Since the novel was historical and about the earth, those were also set.

It is not enough to set these, however.  You need to also define things to a greater level.  Taking the example from the end of Aksinya:

Aksinya spotted Saint John the Baptizer Greek Orthodox Church across the street and started counting the buildings down from it.

She and Dobrushin had been in Boston for a little over four years.  They were delightful years.  She already wondered what she would do to seduce him tonight—it had been two days already since the last time.  He was already a partner at the law firm.  Everyone in the firm knew he was married, but Aksinya rarely showed her face there.  Dobrushushka begged off officially because of her schooling.  That was a good thing, she didn’t need notoriety.  She didn’t want her Dobrushushka to lose this job.
Aksinya halted when her counting reached the correct house number and glanced at the building.  She stopped skipping and walked carefully up the stairs in front.  The sign was right beside the door: Sacred Heart of Christ, Russian Orthodox Seminary for Young Women and Girls.

Here you can see how I've brought the place down another level to the actual buildings.  If you go to Boston and Union Park, you will find this Church and these buildings.  You will also find a school (in the past).  The buildings are historical, but the school is not.  I give you a real place (this is how all my historical novels are).  We moved down from the street level to the house level.  You could find these buildings and this place in the real world.

Notice, I also gave an example of time setting.  The entire second paragraph helps set the time in more than one way.  The point is that this scene is set four years after the year Aksinya and Dobrushin were married.  I also give you some scene setting information about Aksinya and Dobrushin.  We will get to this later, but for now, we are at the house level.  We need to get lower.  We will, 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/.