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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Scenes - Scene Setting, Simple Example

8 January 2013, Scenes - Scene Setting, 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 an example of a simple scene setting.  Notice, that it is a full setting none-the-less.  The time comes from the previous scene and is set with the statement, "when they returned to Grossbock."  It is detailed with the statement about dinner.  The place is "Grossbock" and the dining room.  The characters are both from the previous scene, the Freifrau, Aksinya, and Natalya, and the new scene, the Freiherr.  I left in a little more to show you a short tension and release. 

The Freiherr greeted them all when they returned to Grossbock.  He escorted them all to dinner.  Freiherr Bockmann seated Aksinya.
Natalya began to take her position behind Aksinya.  Aksinya stood and grasped Natalya by the hand.  She drew her to the other side of the table.
Natalya was distraught, “Please, Countess, let me serve you.”
“I wish you to serve me by sitting at table with me, Lady Natalya.  Please accommodate me in this.”
Natalya pouted, “But you promised I could serve you.”
“You will serve me.  I wish my friend to sit with me and not stand behind me.”
Natalya covered her face with her hands.
Aksinya held her close and whispered in her ear, “Please, Nata.  Only an accident of birth put one of us over the other.  I wish you to dine with me.  Don’t the ladies in the royal court dine with their mistresses?”
Natalya peeked between her fingers at Aksinya.  She nodded.
Aksinya continued to whisper, “Why do you think you were treated like a servant and not allowed to sit with your mistresses—even in your own house?”
Natalya’s eyes opened wide.
Aksinya pulled out the chair for Natalya.  When she released Natalya, she quickly sat herself.  Then she as quickly stood and waited beside it.  Aksinya smiled and walked back around the table.  She sat and the others sat.  Aksinya noticed, a tiny smile played at the corners of Natalya’s lips.
In spite of how simple this scene may seem, it is a very complex piece with a very important revelation.  The point is that Aksinya reveals quite nicely to Natalya how she was treated in her old home and how she is treated by Aksinya.  Throughout the novel, Aksinya endears Natalya (and others) to her by her desire to be both aristocratically correct and at the same time to treat her servants and friends with the correct protocol and decorum.  One of the points of the novel is to show how the loyalty of the aristocrat was critical to their existence and to their authority.  I know this is a very old idea, but I thought it could use some due diligence.

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, 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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