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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Scenes - Scene Setting, Waking and Confrontation

19 January 2013, Scenes - Scene Setting, Waking and Confrontation

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 full scene setting based on the previous scene.  It is also a waking scene and a confrontation.  In this confrontation, Aksinya learns something very important that she did not know before.  If you remember, the reason Aksinya does not want to be alone with the Sister is that the demon told her the Sister lusted for Aksinya and the demon wanted Aksinya to seduce the Sister.

When Aksinya woke again, Sister Margarethe held her hand.  Aksinya pulled it out of the nun’s grasp, “Don’t touch me.”
“I…I’m sorry, countess.”
“I don’t want you in my room.”
“The Reverend Mother said I could look after you.”
“Why are you here, anyway?”
Sister Margarethe closed her eyes and put her hands together.
“I asked you a question.”
“The Lady Natalya and I have been looking after you since you collapsed in the street.”
“You brought me back here?”
“No, a young man carried you here.  The Lady Natalya suggested it.”
Aksinya closed her mouth.
“The Lady Natalya told us that this was your house.  She explained about how you had to flee Russia and set up everything here.  You didn’t need to keep it a secret.”
Aksinya glared at her.
“I realize you wanted to keep the existence of this place from us.  I think I understand how you wanted to blend in with the other girls…”
“Then why did you follow and spy on me?”
“The Reverend Mother instructed me to keep a special eye on you…I didn’t mean to spy.  We were worried about you.”
“Why do you care about me at all?”
Sister Margarethe colored, “You are one of our students.  You are a special student.”
“Is that all?”
Sister Margarethe glanced at the door, “I…we love you.”
Aksinya wrinkled her lip, “Love me.  I realize what you think about me.  You feel lust in your heart for me.  You want me that way…that’s why I don’t want you alone with me.”
Sister Margarethe stared in shock.  She didn’t say a thing.
Aksinya looked smug.
Sister Margarethe’s voice finally returned.  It was breathless, “Who told you that?”  She reached forward to grasp Aksinya’s hand.  Aksinya spoke a couple of words in Latin.  There was a flash in the room, and Sister Margarethe sat back in her chair, “I don’t know what you did, but it doesn’t make me love you any less.”
Aksinya raised her chin, “I took away your desire and forced you to tell me the truth.”
“Love isn’t all desire.  My love for you has little to do with physical attraction and nothing to do with a sexual urge.”
Aksinya’s look said she didn’t believe a word.
Sister Margarethe glanced at her feet, “Countess, I’ve spent twenty years of my life consecrated as a bride of Christ.  I feel no desire for Him.  I simply love Him.”
“What about your feelings for me?”
“I think you mistake my actions and my desires.  I do love you.”  Sister Margarethe turned her face, “And I do admit, I love you in a way I haven’t loved anyone else…”
“There, you said it.”
“I do love you, Countess, but twenty years of loving God has shown me I can love without desire.”
Aksinya’s look was surprised, “You can love without desire, without lust?”
There is a very important foreshadowing in this piece--that is the young man who carried Aksinya back to the house.  The very important thing Aksinya learns is that you can love without lust.  She could not imagine such a thing.  She knows her sorcery made the Sister tell the truth--so she knows the words are true, but she can't believe them.  This is important because it leads eventually to the end point of the novel.  If you can love without lust, then the demon is completely wrong and Aksinya can love without desire or lust.  Note the simplicity of the setting as it flows from the previous 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. 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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