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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Scenes - Scene Setting, Transition

13 February 2013, Scenes - Scene Setting, Transition

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. I'm giving you examples from the book so you can see different ways of introducing and writing a scene. In each snippet, you get the scene setting, the tension and release, and the input and output. This isn't true of every example, but the pieces should be there, and I've been trying to identify for you when all the pieces aren't evident. You can use these ideas to guide your own writing. Make sure you set the scene properly, then make everything come to life through the narration and conversation.

This is a short transitional scene.  The time is set very specifically and extensively.  The place also gets special attention because at the end of the transition, we are going on a short trip.  We also discover what Ernst, Aksinya, and Natalya are doing during the Christmas holidays.
The invitations from Ernst continued every week.  During that time, Aksinya and Natalya had an unwelcome break from school for Christmas and New Years.  It was unwelcome because Natalya wanted to study and Aksinya liked the privacy of her own house—the Freiherr and Freifrau insisted they stay at Grossbock during the holiday.  Ernst came to collect Aksinya and Natalya at Grossbock for their outings.  Occasionally he ate dinner with them.  During the holidays, he escorted Aksinya to dinner and a concert, opera, ballet, or a play every other day.  The Freiherr and Freifrau encouraged Aksinya, and Aksinya was certain her aunt and uncle encouraged Ernst.  She had her own suspicions that Asmodeus also encouraged him.  She hadn’t seen Asmodeus for a while and that worried her very much.  Natalya simply went along with Aksinya and carefully watched Ernst. 

Aksinya made it her practice not to drink as much as she had the night of Die Zauberflöte.  She still enjoyed the wine and Champagne Ernst served her, but she was just a little more cautious.  She loved to drink but she did not enjoy the aftermath, and she wasn’t certain of what she did or told Natalya in the privacy of her room when she was not sober.
We also learn a bit about Aksinya's approach to Ernst.  She is a bit more cautious with both Natalya and Ernst.

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, aseasonofhonor.

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