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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Scenes - Scene Setting, Entrance Scene

20 January 2013, Scenes - Scene Setting, Entrance 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.  Here is a full scene where the Freifrau makes an entrance to the scene.  From the previous scene, Aksinya had requested a heavy tea and the Sister and Natalya were setting it.

During tea, Freifrau Bockmann came rushing into Aksinya’s room.  She stood just inside the open door to the sitting room, “Countess.”
“Yes, Aunt Brunhilda, we are just having tea.  Would you like Natalya to pour you a cup?”
Freifrau Bockmann pulled off her gloves, “Please.”  She came over to the side of the bed and sat down, “You don’t look like you are at the edge of death.  Was the Reverend Mother’s report wrong?”
Sister Margarethe put out her hand, “Perhaps we exaggerated the event a little in our concern.  The Countess was injured.”
Lady Bockmann cocked her head, “And you are?”
Aksinya put down her cup, “She is Sister Margarethe, our German teacher.”
Sister Margarethe bowed in her chair, “The Reverend Mother has assigned me to watch over the Countess and Lady Natalya.”
“I see.”  Freifrau Bockmann glanced all around the room, “This is a beautiful room.  Are these all your things from Russia?”
Natalya poured a cup of tea for the Freifrau Bockmann and handed it to her.
Aksinya answered, “Yes.”
“We didn’t realize you had set up housekeeping and brought your family’s things out of Russia.”
“We were lucky to get them out.”
“Yes, very lucky.  You picked a lovely house, although it is in the city.  It is convenient to the school.”  She flopped her gloves at Aksinya, “Really, Countess, you should have told us before you made such an important decision.”
Aksinya stared at her, “I am not used to asking anyone’s advice before I make a decision.”
“Yes, of course.  Your uncle could have helped you.  He is a Freiherr and well regarded in Wien.”
“I’m sorry.  Your help would have been valuable.  I will endeavor in the future to ask both your advice before I make such an important decision.”
“That is kind of you.  Thank you, Countess.”
“You do understand, apart from my injury, except for the Lady Natalya and me, the existence of this house would have remained unknown?  That was my point.  I wanted a private and secret place where I could feel the comfort and closeness of my family’s belongings in this city.”
“Oh, I see.  I think I understand.”
“I really don’t wish everyone to know about it.”
“Ah,” Freifrau Bockmann sat back.  She took a sip of tea, “I, we won’t let the cat out of the bag.  You know you will have trouble keeping it secret.”
“I know.”
“We shall not let anyone know.”
“I hope the Reverend Mother is as accommodating.  I will discuss our details tomorrow.”
“You and the Lady Natalya will still be able to come home.  I mean to Grossbock.”
“Yes, we will continue to come to Grossbock for the weekends.  You entertain us well.”
Lady Bockmann bowed.  She took another sip of tea and nipped a biscuit from Natalya’s tea service, “Now will you explain how you were injured and how the Sister Margarethe became involved.  I already spoke with the Reverend Mother, and I’m not clear on anything.”
Sister Margarethe smiled, “The Countess fell in the street.  She was slightly injured and we were all very concerned.”
Lady Bockmann responded, “I see.”  But her look said she clearly did not.

There is a very important foreshadowing in this piece--the point specifically made by the Freifrau that Aksinya should have consulted with her Uncle.  We will find out later that the demon has set up Aksinya for a horrible fall.  He purchased everything, but isn't paying the bills.  The scene setting is very simple but gives the place, time, and charcters.  There is more in the setting for the well informed--that is the exact time (tea time 4:00 pm).  The place, Aksinya's sitting room with some details in comparison.  Notice that the sister lies and enters the realm of Aksinya and Natalya.  She was tempted and failed.
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. JustTake 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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