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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Scenes - Scene Setting, yet another Simple Example

10 January 2013, Scenes - Scene Setting, yet another Simple 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 another example of a simple scene setting.   This setting is complete.  Notice, the time is morning--it continues from the previous scene.  Natalya finds Aksinya--the character is also from the previous scene.  The place is Aksinya's room--this is indicated by the covers (Aksinya's bed).  The book is also an indicator of the place and the action prior to and now.  The demon gave Aksinya a book of sorcery and she studied the book all night.  The result is this morning scene.

Natalya found her in the morning naked, with the book in her arms, and the covers thrown away from her.  A small droplet of fresh water rotated next to the head of the bed.  Natalya watched it for a long time after she pulled the covers back over her mistress.  Natalya couldn’t get the nightgown back on Aksinya because Aksinya wouldn’t let go of her book.
Eventually, Aksinya woke.  She stretched and pushed the book away from her.  Aksinya turned to see Natalya staring at her.

Aksinya gave a great sigh.

Natalya pointed at the small globe of still rotating water, “It’s beautiful.”

“It is my sin,” Aksinya struck the water and it dissipated into the air.”

“I thought it was wonderful, mistress.  You are truly a powerful and magnificent person.”  She sucked on her lip, “When will you teach me?”

“I don’t wish you to be like me…”

Natalya’s eyes began to tear.

“I don’t mean it that way.  These things I do are sin.  They are sorcery.  I harm my soul every time I act this way.”

Natalya looked away, “Then why don’t you stop?”

“I…I…I can’t stop.  I can’t stop myself from doing these things.  That’s the problem with me.”

Natalya reached out her hands.  She paused a moment, then she grasped Aksinya’s fingers, “I want to be like you.  Even if it is a sin.  I wish to be just like you.  I want to follow you forever.”

“Would you even follow me to hell?”

“I would gladly follow you to hell, mistress.  I have already seen hell.  If being with you is hell, then that is where I want to remain.”

“I don’t want to teach you these things because you will condemn yourself to hell.  I too have seen hell, the real hell.  It is not a pleasant place.  Yet, I would have traded my soul to hell for my parent and siblings.”

“Countess, I would trade my soul to hell for you.”

“Then will you trust me when I tell you, I don’t want you to go to hell with me.  I don’t want you to be condemned with me.”

“Still, no matter what.  I want to be like you, and I want to be with you.”

Aksinya shook her head, “How can I convince you?  What can I say to you?”

Natalya smiled, “There is nothing you can say to me.  There is nothing you can do to convince me.  Please teach me, countess.”

I left the portion of this scene about Natalya's willingness to go to hell for Aksinya.  There is much in this scene.  The tension and release is this argument.  The argument has much to recommend about philosophy, morality, ethics, and etc.  This gives an example how you might introduce a complex philosophical idea.  This philosophical thought is wrapped up in the conversation between Aksinya and Natalya.  This tension also leads to an inconclusive relief.  This is also an example of build up and down.  The last scene had a very strong tension and release (the demon dragged Aksinya by the hair and gave her the book).  This scene has a lower level tension and release.  This is how you write strong tension and release.  Build up with very strong tension and release and let out with less strong tension and release.

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. Just a thought. Take 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:,,,, http://www.thefoxshonor,

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