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 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 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.
Aksinya takes Dobrushin's advice and smiles while he answers questions. The change in Aksinya is noteworthy, but has been happening for a long time. She has never before intentionally depended on another person--at least in this novel.
They made it past the reporters and Aksinya only had to answer some simple questions. She was certain she was smiling every time a flashbulb went off. The worst question was what she would do now. Father Dobrushin answered for her. She thought he said something like she would spend time in quiet contemplation and study, but she was too busy holding to his arm while trying to smile for the cameras.
Once they were free of the reporters, Father Dobrushin hailed them a carriage and took her to a woman’s emporium where she could bathe and have her hair styled. The attendants fitted a new dress to her. It was very beautiful but not too extravagant. It was made of white wool with a lining of silk and very warm. She received two other dresses, a long coat, and a leather pair of shoes. The coat was wool. Father Dobrushin packed her extra clothing in a small case and they took another carriage to a restaurant that was not far from the Rathaus.
The maître d’ led them to a quiet table at the side. Father Dobrushin ordered for them both. He poured Aksinya a glass of wine from the bottle he ordered—only one glass. She had to nurse it through the entire meal. The quality of the wine wasn’t that good. It was thin and sour. The food wasn’t very plentiful or fine. Still, Aksinya ate everything with pleasure. It was much better than the food she had in the jail. Father Dobrushin didn’t say much until the Spartan meat course. Then he added an ounce to the remaining amount in her glass and lifted his, “To you Princess and our victory in court.”
Dobrushin buys Aksinya clothing and takes her to dinner. The clothing he purchases is fine, but not aristocratic. He takes her to dinner. The food is more common fair than Aksinya has been used to. She was used to the highest levels of society in after war Austria--this level of the middle class is much different. This is the best Dobrushin can provide.
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.For more information, you can visit my author sitewww.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel.com/, http://www.centurionnovel.com, www.thesecondmission.com/, http://www.theendofhonor.com/, thefoxshonor, aseasonofhonor.