My Favorites

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Scenes - Scene Setting, a Kept Woman

25 April 2013, Scenes - Scene Setting, a Kept Woman

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 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.

Judge Richter wishes to confer.  The result of the trial is not so odd, but it requires some adjudication and thought.  The original charge of theft was handled adroitly by Dobrushin.  He paid Aksinya's debts and took care of the charge of breaking a contract.  Natalya took care of the other charge of assault.  By taking away the charges, Aksinya is now absolved of this charge.  Notice, that in no case is she not guilty.  She is guilty of both the charge of theft (in her name) and of assault (she really did assault Natalya--Natalya just remanded the charges).  Aksinya is still guilty, but she has been granted a pardon.  The judge may judge her not guilty of the original charges, but that is the way of a court of man and not a court of God.  This is the theme-point after all.  The theme in this sense is that Aksinya has been pardoned and forgiven for her actions.  Someone else was willing, in both cases, to pay Aksinya's debts--Dobrushin with his money and Natalya with her body and forgiveness.  Natalya and Dobrushin were willing to give up more than this for Aksinya.  Natalya gave her virtue for Aksinya, and Dobrushin... we shall see.

Prosecutor Trauen stood and tapped his glasses against his hand, “Your Honor, without any remaining charges, there is no reason to continue this trial.”

“I agree, however, in good order, I wish to confer with the other judges before we pronounce our judgment.  There is another issue in relation to this person that must also be decided.”

Father Dobrushin stood, “Your Honor, I beg you not to make any decision that might affect the freedom of the Princess without conferring first with me.”

Judge Richter nodded.  He stood and led the other judges back through their respective doors.

Natalya moved over to Akisnya’s table and Father Dobrushin gave her his seat.  Aksinya kissed her cheeks again and held her close, “Lady Natalya, I am so sorry for the suffering I caused you.  I do beg your pardon.”

“And, I you,” Natalya laughed, “Tears.  When did you ever shed tears for any reason Princess?  I am afraid that beyond this moment, we will not be able to see one another again.”

“Why is that?”

“You have no household and likely will have none, and I am kept by Herr von Taaffe.”

“And you wish to be with him?”

“I would rather be with you, but Father Dobrushin has recommended against it.”

“Does Herr von Taaffe treat you poorly?”

“No, just the opposite.  He treats me too well.  Almost as well as he treated you before.”

“I see.”

“Are you jealous?”

“I should be, but I am not.  I never loved Herr von Taaffe.  I loved the things he could provide me.  I suspect you never get drunk when you go out with Herr von Taaffe.”

“No, why?”

Aksinya smiled, “What does Herr von Taaffe plan to do since his father has rejected him?”

“He has business ventures of his own.  It is not as great as his family’s, but they are substantial.  He wishes to move away from Wien and pursue this work.”

Aksinya sighed, “So long as you are pleased and taken care of.”
Natalya laughed, “I have never been taken care of in my life.  I care for others, that is what I am called to do.  That is also what pleases me.”

We kind of guessed what had happened to Natalya, now we know.  Natalya is being kept by Ernst.  In the speak of the times, she is living with him.  This in itself is worthy of a story, but this is also an example of "don't show everything."  Natalya has some kind of relationship with Ernst.  Aksinya did not love Ernst--she simply was doing the will of the demon.  As Aksinya gains some separation from the demon, she is able to exert control over herself and her condition.  She is able to separate her emotions with logic.  Thus, her answer to Natalya about jealous.  She is not jealous because she never loved Ernst. 

There is also the other question at hand--the judges are conferring on it.  Can you determine what it is--I left crumbs and even told you earlier.

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment