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Monday, January 7, 2013

Scenes - Scene Setting, Time Example

7 January 2013, Scenes - Scene Setting, Time 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 time setting in a scene.  Notice the setting has some reasons intertwined in the plot and theme.  The point is that Aksinya's aunt and uncle are having a Christmas party during Advent.  This is a faux pas as well as against basic Catholic and Protestant theology and doctrine.  Aksinya notes this.  Her aunt doesn't see this as a problem.  The time setting is obvious, and this is a a great example of the use of a holiday and a season to set the time.
“The Christmas season is almost upon us, and we usually host a party at this time for our friends and their families.  I want to have a coming out and introductory party for you, Countess.  That way we will kill two birds with one stone—we can have a wonderful Advent party and at the same time introduce you to the society of Wien.”
Aksinya put her hand under her chin, “But during Advent?  When will you have it?  Advent is a time of penance.  You would have to celebrate it on Sunday for the feast.”
Freifrau Bockmann waved her hand, “Don’t worry about that.  I intend to have the party on Saturday after next.  We will invite the Abbot of Sacré Coeur and the Cardinal of Wien.  That will make everything right.  They won’t dare to miss the party, and everyone will come to meet you.”
Aksinya turned her face back to the window, “I see.”
“Yes, it will be a wonderful party.  You both will meet many young and aristocratic men.  I wouldn’t be surprised if you both didn’t find suitors during the event.”
“Suitors?” Natalya colored.
“Suitors.” Aksinya rested her chin more squarely on her hand.

In setting the scene, make sure you set the time.  Use the seasons, holidays, etc. and then move closer to the subjects and the actual time.  This focuses your writing and your readers.  This way, you set the scene and you set the plot of your novel.

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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