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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Scenes - Scene Setting, Immigration

17 April 2013, Scenes - Scene Setting, Immigration

Announcement: My novels Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness are about to be published. I write this blog about 2 months prior to 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 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.

So Dobrushin is a lawyer.  I told you that already.  This was his purpose in being in Austria in the first place.  Priests have many jobs to do--their work was much more varied in the past than it is now.

Notice, that I brought up Akinsya and the reader's expectation--"Dobrushin is a lawyer; perhaps he can really help her."  Then I took it down again--"Aksinya has another problem; she could be deported."  You can guess that this problem was fostered by the demon.  I also give the reader and Aksinya hope--Dobrushin is an immigration lawyer.

“There is a further problem that will come up in the court.”

“That is?”

“Your immigration status.”

“Am I not legally here in Austria?”

“You are and you are not.  The red Russians sent a letter to the court requesting they extradite you for the murder of your family.  The extradition is not part of this trial, but will become an issue at sentencing or your release.  The white Russians wish you back to help rally the war effort.  The same issue concerns your sentencing or release.”

Aksinya pouted, “I do not wish to return to Russia.” 

“I understand that.  Where do you wish to go?”

“I don’t know.  Beyond this trial, I have no purpose at all—other than to be rid of the demon.”

“Yes, we shall see about that.”

Being returned to Russia could be a terrible problem for Aksinya--one group wants her dead; the other wants to use her.  If you remember, all did not go well for the White Russians.  Aksinya faces death either way.  We shall see if Dobrushin can help her in her trial, keep her from prison, and keep her from being deported.  It doesn't look good for Aksinya.

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 site at, and my individual novel websites:,,,, thefoxshonor, aseasonofhonor.

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