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Friday, January 11, 2013

Scenes - Scene Setting, Complete Example

11 January 2013, Scenes - Scene Setting, Complete 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. This setting is complete.  Although this scene follows within the same chapter, it is a complete setting that doesn't depend much on the scene before.  There is no setting in absolute time, but there is in relative time.  The absolute time comes from the context in the novel. 

Aksinya’s uncle and aunt took them to an Orthodox church on Sunday morning.  It was the Orthodox Ecclesia close to Sacré Coeur and her house.  The Ecclesia was in an old building that had not begun as a church at all.  The exterior was dark aged stone.  It was a low building with a roof that shot upwards in a graceful arch that lifted to a high Saxon styled point near the back.  The interior was very luxurious but filled with items that were obviously not part of the original building or of the same style.  The pieces appeared as though they had come from many different places, but they were all beautiful.  The font was silver and the communion patens and cups gold.  The large cross at the back was a wonderful sculpture with gold and silver highlights.  The icons were the most perfect ones Aksinya had ever seen, and she had seen many.  Natalya stared in awe.  They were a little late and sat at the back.  An older priest, a young priest, and a deacon took care of the very long communion service.  It was in Greek and Russian and exactly what Aksinya and Natalya were used to. 
The focus of this scene setting is the Ecclesia in Wien.  The description of the place is necessary and critical to the plot and the theme of the novel.  If you read the novel, you know that Father Dobrushin is one of the priests.  He is willing to give up everything for Aksinya, and he is ultimately the  reason for her redemption.  This is an example of how the setting is both important in the here and now of the novel and for future events.  This is why for places, you should give 100 to 300 words of description--just like people.

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:,,,, http://www.thefoxshonor,

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