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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Scenes - Scene Setting, Bridge Scene

15 January 2013, Scenes - Scene Setting, Bridge Scene

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. In this example, we see the time, place, and characters set; however, this is not a normal scene.  This is a scene where time is allowed to move and the reader is informed through narration.  This is one way of moving time.  Most novels are not written in real time.  The author should have no intention of showing everything that happens in a single person's life for any amount of time.  An author usually must find a way to make time flow until a point at which the storyline begins again.  This is such an example.  It is also an example of setting such a scene.  Note, the time is each evening (time is passing).  The place is the back door and from the dormitory to Aksinya's house.  The characters are Aksinya and Natalya.

Each evening after the dormitory was quiet, Aksinya opened the lock at the back door.  She cast a spell to prevent observation.  Then she led Natalya out of the dormitory and across the street to her house.  The place was comfortable to Aksinya.  It was filled with her family’s ancient possessions.  She could make magic circles to protect herself and Natalya there.  She could work the sorcery she found in her new book there.  She could study whatever she wished. She could sleep in her own bed whenever she wished.  She could work in very comfortable conditions in a place that seemed completely familiar to her.  She literally had her own place.
As an excuse, Aksinya helped Natalya with her studies, and sometimes she worked on her own studies.  She taught Natalya a little about Latin, but she was very slow and deliberate about it.  She never wanted to teach Natalya anything about sorcery, but she didn’t want to bring on the attention of the demon or the ire of Natalya, so she taught her just a little.  Enough to give the appearance of teaching, but nothing that had any real meaning.  Aksinya reasoned the Latin itself could be helpful to Natalya anyway.
They didn’t see the demon the entire time.  
Before the night was over, they returned to the dormitory and went back to bed.  No one was the wiser, so they thought.

You can see in this time passing scene, it is entirely a setup with foreshadowing for the next scene and events in the novel.  The point is to show the reader certain important facts that are tied through this scene.  This scene is a "bridge" scene.

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: I am awaiting for you to write a detailed installment on identifying, and targeting your audience, or, multi-layered story, for various CS Lewis did. Just a thought. Take care, and keep up the writing; I am enjoying it, and learning a lot.

I'll repeat my published novel websites so you can see more examples:, and the individual novel websites:,,,, thefoxshonor, http://www.aseasonofhonor.

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