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. 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.
The tension of a witness scene in a trial is the buildup of the anticipation of what the witness will reveal or what the solicitor or judge might reveal. In this case, we have a declaration by the accused based on the witnesses testimony. This might be highly irregular in a judicial trial, but not so in an inquisition where the accused is sitting in the judge's seat. Aksinya is too artless to hide anything. She desires to be confessed and she will be confessed. The Archinquisitor simply wants t make his case and then torture the guilty. Aksinya is making this very hard for him.
Sister Margarethe and Natalya stepped forward, and the Inquisitor swore them in.
Ernst stepped up beside them, “I insist on answering also.”
The inquisitor swore him in too.
Aksinya demanded, “Ask them now. What was happening outside the Golden Adler?”
The Archinquisitor spat, “Tell us, then, what was happening?”
Ernst held his head up high, “This man along with about ten others were about to rape the Lady Natalya and the Sister. The Countess stopped them.”
Ernst continued, “I don’t know what she did. All I know, is that she stopped them from violating the ladies.”
The Archinquisitor continued, “And what she did caused those men to find themselves in the street later more than a block away.”
“It saved the Lady and Sister’s virtue from rapists.”
Herr Mueller clenched his hands together, “Father, may I go.”
Aksinya’s voice rang clearly, “I did use sorcery to save them. Those men were tempted by the demon. My demon is Asmodeus, the demon of lust and luxuria. It was his doing. He tempted those men and caused them to act as they did. As you can see, Herr Taaffe, the Lady Natalya, and Sister Margarethe are innocent. I can’t vouch for the innocence of Herr Mueller.”
Herr Mueller ran to the door and was let out.
The declaration in this scene is a declaration of the theme of the novel. You will not often have this type of opportunity (unless you planned it from the beginning of the novel). This is supposed to be a duuh statement. If you have planned your novel properly, you should be in such control that you have planned these very critical events. The reader should not miss the importance of Aksinya's statement. The demon still is in power, but Aksinya has declared the truth that rings through the novel. There is an element of humor as well--Herr Mueller's quick exit.
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 audiences...ie, multi-layered story, for various audiences...like CS Lewis did. JustTake care, and keep up the writing; I am enjoying it, and learning a lot.