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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Scenes - Scene Setting, Waking Scene

17 January 2013, Scenes - Scene Setting, Waking 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.  Occasionally in a novel, you need a scene where the main character (or one of the character) wakes up from sleep or an injury.  In this case, we are specifically writing about an injury.  In this case, you want the reader and the character to not fully comprehend where and when they are--at the same time, you want to convey the scene setting.  In this example, we see Aksinya waking from the injury caused when she made an unprotected spell to protect Natalya and the Sister.

Before Aksinya fully woke again, the pain overwhelmed her.  She gasped out of sleep with a cough that sent blood and phlegm down her cheeks.  Warm gentle hands caught her face and turned her head.  She felt the relief on her lungs and her body.  Liquid flowed down the side of face.  She opened her eyes and saw the dark slick trickle that stained her bed and ran across the sheets.  A voice called to her.  It was soothing and kind.  It was in German accented French. 
Aksinya focused her eyes away from the side of the bed and saw that Sister Margarethe held either side of her face.  The nun’s lips moved with the French words.  As yet, Aksinya couldn’t make them out.  She moved her eyes and extended her vision.  Natalya leaned against the door with her hands over her face.  Aksinya knew tears flowed down her lady-in-waiting’s cheeks.  That was just her personality.
She turned her gaze back on Sister Margarethe.  Aksinya wanted to pull away from the nun, but she couldn’t rally enough strength to move.  She tuned her ears to hear the French that flowed from Sister Margarethe’s lips.
“…we think some of your bones are broken, Countess.”
Aksinya couldn’t respond. 
Sister Margarethe’s face was tracked with tears.  Her hands held Aksinya so tenderly, but she didn’t want this woman to touch her.  Sister Margarethe’s voice caught, “Can you hear me, Countess?”
Aksinya nodded and gasped again in pain.
“The doctor is coming.  They said he should be here soon.”
There is scene setting in this example, the scene setting just comes more slowly than in a normal scene.  The author gives the information to the reader as the character learns it.  This is the trick to keeping information close held that a character might not know until you are ready to divulge it.  Just as I write, don't show everything--the antecedent is, don't show something before the right time.  In scene setting, you really don't want to keep your readers in the dark long.  This example shows that the readers know the time, place, and characters by at least the end of this section.  That should be long enough.

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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