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. This is a very terse example of scene setting in the middle of a chapter. Notice how the scene is set. The input is from the previous scene, so the time is in the middle of the night. The place is Aksinya's door. The who is Aksinya and the demon. The events follow from there. Thia is the way you should ensure you set even the simplest scene. Place, time, and characters. The order isn't important--the setting is.
In the middle of the night, a knock at Aksinya’s door woke her. She sat up and answered without thinking, “Come.”The dark heavy shape of the demon entered her room. The scent of sulfur trailed in his wake. He was more massive in the darkness than she ever remembered, “Countess, as I promised, I brought your mother’s jewelry box. She had more than one. You were not specific so I brought the largest.”
Aksinya’s voice trembled, “That will be sufficient for now. What about my sister’s jewelry?”
“I have not been able to find it.”
Aksinya wanted to cry out, “You liar.” Instead she took a deep breath, “Bring it when you can find it.”
“Yes, Countess.” The demon still held the ornate box, “Where should I put it?”
Aksinya scooted toward the head of the bed, “Here on the bed.”
“Do I need to repeat myself? Place it on the bed.”
The demon’s fangs were evident in the light from the streetlamps. He might have been smiling. He placed the box near the middle of Aksinya’s bed. Then he stepped back, “You should not leave this in your room.”
“Why not, demon.”
He snarled, “Frau Drescher will find it.”
“Will she steal it?”
“I wish she would. That would be a definite sin. In any case, I do not wish any other undue attention toward you at this point. In this place, they worship your aristocracy. This is a pleasant little lust for all of them here. A little more mystery might enhance that mystique at some point, but not now.”
Aksinya wondered how much the demon lied at that moment. Was she herself a temptation to others—that statement was likely true. If the jewelry were found here, would that really cause a problem—more temptation? He could be lying and by that lie be informing her that to let the jewelry be found would cause her fewer problems. He could also be telling the truth, that the jewelry would lead to more issues for her and temptation for others. It could all be meaningless. On the other hand, Frau Drescher might be tempted to steal the jewelry and that would be a terrible thing for Frau Drescher and for Aksinya. Aksinya felt a very strong avarice toward her mother’s valuables. She knew she would react in a terrible way if they were taken. After a few moments thought, she responded, “Yes, demon. Tomorrow morning, you may take the jewelry to my house across the street. You promised to take care of these things that belong to me and belonged to my family. See that they are protected.”
The demon bowed, “Yes, mistress.”
“You may go.”
Asmodeus bowed to the door and out of the room. After he left, Aksinya gave him a few minutes. She tiptoed to the door and opened it. The demon was gone. She realized that really meant little. Where might a demon go, and how might a demon conceal himself? He might be in the room with her at this moment.
I gave you a longer part of the scene because I thought you would enjoy it. In this we learn about the jewelry and Aksinya. The jewelry is an important part of the novel. Review if if you have forgotten.
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/.