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 http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.
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.
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. An author sets scenes within scenes. Here is an example that shows the setting of when, where, and who in the middle of another scene.
Natalya slipped her arm around Aksinya’s shoulders. Before the crowd of girls came through the corridors, they returned to their rooms, and before the bells announced the beginning of class, Aksinya drank another rejuvenating cup of Natalya’s tea. They walked together to their first class. Natalya carried their official Sacré Coeur briefcases for them both.
The first class was German. The room was filled with a total of ten younger and older students. The teacher was a middle aged nun with a very friendly and elfish face. She greeted Aksinya and Natalya at the door pleasantly in French, “Good morning Countess and Lady Natalya. I am Sister Margarethe Traugott. I teach German, both beginning and advanced. I understand the Lady Natalya doesn’t understand any German and that you, Countess, wish to improve your proficiency in the language.”
Aksinya smiled, “The Reverend Mother must have spoken to you.”
Sister Margarethe gave her a very large smile, “Yes, she told me about you, and we discussed your curriculum. You seem a wonderful young woman to have faced such suffering.” She stared at Aksinya and didn’t give a glance to Natalya. Suddenly, she reached out her hand and touched Aksinya’s face then brushed the tips of her hair, “I’m very glad you are in my class. I hope we can be good friends.” She pointed, “Please take the seats near the window at the front. I will assign you your books.”
Aksinya and Natalya sat where they were directed. Natalya pulled out notebooks and fountain pens for both of them. Natalya began with a primer, and Sister Margarethe spoke with Aksinya for a long time in German before she handed her a book of advanced German studies. At the end of class, the sister let them out of the classroom with a comment, “Countess, I’ve given you an advanced course of study. If you find your studies difficult, please come to my office. I would be happy to help you.Aksinya grinned, “Thank you, Sister Margarethe.”
Sister Margarethe is an important character. Notice that I give you a very short description of her. There isn't much more to describe because all the nuns dress the same. The important point is the showing--I show you the sister's strange interest in Aksinya. You can guess that this has results and effects in the rest of the novel. An author must ensure that the characters are set within the scenes in such a way so they can be referenced later in the novel--this is what we are doing with the sister and Aksinya.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 creation....ie, 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: http://www.ldalford.com/, and the individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel.com/, http://www.centurionnovel.com, www.thesecondmission.com/, http://www.theendofhonor.com/, http://www.thefoxshonor, http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.