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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Scenes - Scene Setting, The Book of Tobit

30 April 2013, Scenes - Scene Setting, The Book of Tobit

Announcement: My novels Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness are about to be published. I write this blog about 2 months prior to its publication. I just heard that the proofs will be here soon--likely before the end of the week. My publisher also wants to put the entire set of novels based on Aegypt on contract--that's 5 more novels for 8 total. They also want to put my other novels on contract. The release schedule should be one novel every 2 months. I'll keep you updated.

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 many 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.

Dobrushin has determined a way to free Aksinya from her contract with the demon.  This is something Akinsya has been seeking from the beginning of the novel. 

“Thank you, Father, but I should be thanking you over and over.  You believed me when no one else would.”

“I believed in you because of who you are.”  He paused a moment then stated, “I think I have determined a means to break your contract with the demon.”

A look of hope filled Aksinya’s face, “What should I do?”

“Do you remember the book of Tobit, from the Apocrypha?”

She nodded.

“This same demon pestered Sarah daughter of Raguel, and killed the seven men who had been affianced to her before they could consummate the marriage with her.”

Aksinya leaned her head in her upraised hands, “Tobit was helped by an angel, the angel Raphael.  There is no angel to help me.”

“When Tobias, the son of Tobit, and Sarah were in their bridal chamber, Raphael was not present.”

“I remember, Tobias took parts of a fish and burned it on the incense.  The smell caused the demon to stay away and it was bound by Raphael in Upper Egypt—I think.  But who would bind the demon for me?”
I've mentioned more than once that Aksinya is an allegory based on The Book of Tobit.  There is more to this than meets the eye.  The demon is the demon from Tobit.  The circumstances mirror to an extent Tobit.  The solution to Aksinya's problem is reflected in Tobit.  This was shown to the reader from the very beginning of the novel.  I don't expect most readers to be conversant with Tobit, but if a reader looked up the demon in the novel, the first think they would find is Tobit.  If the reader read Tobit or read about The Book of Tobit, they would find that the hero of the book, Tobias, rid Sarah of this demon.  The method... tomorrow.

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.
For more information, you can visit my author, and my individual novel websites:,,,, thefoxshonor, aseasonofhonor.

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