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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Scenes - Scene Setting, another Simple Example

9 January 2013, Scenes - Scene Setting, another Simple 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 another example of scene setting from the novel, Aksinya. This is another example of a simple scene setting.   The setting is still complete.  The house "dark and quiet" tells you the time--this is also continued from the previous scene.  The "knock on her door" sets the place.  Aksinya and then the demon are identified as the who.  The scene is then set in motion.  I gave you a little more than the setting to keep you entertained and to show you some more tension and release.

When the house was dark and quiet, Aksinya heard a knock on her door.  She caught a whiff of sulfur.  Aksinya called out, “I don’t wish to speak with you demon.”
The voice behind the door was low and filled with a hiss, “But I wish to speak with you mistress.  May I come in?”
The door opened, and Asmodeus strode in, “Next time I won’t ask.”
Aksinya rolled away from him and pulled her covers around her, “I’m tired, and I don’t wish to speak to you tonight.”
“You are wide awake, and you have been longing to speak to me for days.”
“You are mistaken.”
“Why not speak to me, now.  You’ve had your fun for the evening.”
Zatknis'!” Aksinya was suddenly breathless, “You probably encourage it.”
“No, I don’t need to.  You are filled with lust all on your own.  So therefore I have an easy thing for you to do.”
“Don’t you feel lust?”
“Trying to turn the conversation?  It won’t do you any good, Countess, but I will answer your questions.  I feel great lust, but I can’t act on it.  I rely on you to consummate my sin.”
“But you sin.”
“I don’t sin, Countess—you sin.  I told you that before.”
“You stole the bookstand…”
“At your behest.”
“You killed all those people…”
“Because you ordered it.  I am simply your tool, your arm, your eyes on the world.  I am the eye that offends you.  I am the arm that causes you to sin.”
“I wish I could cut you off.  I would do it right now.”
“And you would die.  That comes of losing an arm or an eye.”
Aksinya was breathing hard, “Why do others forget you so easily?  My aunt and uncle didn’t even ask after you.  It is as if you were a ghost or something.”
“I am no ghost, only a demon—a spirit, nonetheless.  You know exactly what I am and who I am.  You know I am not made corporeally of the material of this world.  I am an eternal being like your eternal soul.  You shall be with me for an eternity.  You might as well get used to my company.”
“I am sleepy now, disturb me no longer.”
“Have you forgotten?  I have work for you to do.”
“Get out!”
 “I shall not.”
“I shall scream.  See how that fits with your plans.”
“Dear Countess, you may scream and scream and scream, no one will come.  Just as I manipulate the world around us, I can change the sounds and the words as I will.”
Aksinya leapt off the bed and began to draw a circle in her special chalk on the floor.  The demon stepped over to her and grasped her by the hair.  Asmodeus shook her, “A magic circle will do you no good tonight.  I will deliver my instructions and expect you to follow through with them.”
Aksinya writhed in his grasp.  She dared not touch him.
“I know what you are thinking.  You will make a circle before you go to bed.  That will only stop me for a while.  You should realize you can’t hide from me.  I await your pleasure eternally.  Now listen to me.”  He shook her again, “Countess, I have a present for you.”  He dropped her to the floor, and a heavy brown book fell beside her.
Aksinya crept away from the demon and the book.
The demon cracked his knuckles, “That is a new book for your collection.  You read about it in one of the earlier tomes…and lusted for it.  It is yours now.”

The tension and release in this scene is the demon's attack on Aksinya.  It is both unexpected and not predictable from his previous behavior.  Before, he never touched her--now he does.  There is much more in this scene about Aksinya's lust and the demon's sin.  Much of what he says is true and much is false--this is the use of ambiguity in writing.  The reader isn't confused, but rather understands quite well that Aksinya is not certain of the truth of the demon's statements.  This is the point.  Aksinya doesn't know everything.  The demon doesn't know everything.  The reader doesn't know everything.  If the writer knows everything, he isn't telling.  That is exactly the point.  Nothing is every completely understood or known.  If everything in your writing is cut and dried, then you aren't writing about real life (or any type of life on earth).

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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