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Friday, April 26, 2013

Scenes - Scene Setting, the Verdict

26 April 2013, Scenes - Scene Setting, the Verdict

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.

Now we get the verdict of the trial.  As I noted, yesterday, this is not what Aksinya expected.  She knows she is guilty, but somehow, her guilt has been swept away.  If you note rightly, this is part of the allegory of this novel.  It is a part of the theme.  For the reader, it is enough to note the result of the trial--the result is logical and reasonable.  The result is wholly unexpected.  The demon will not be pleased--Aksinya was supposed to go to prison and to the work house.

The doors behind the large desk opened and the judges stepped to their seats.  The Bailiff stuck his staff against the ground, “Hear ye, hear ye, this Schöffengericht shall pronounce judgment in the name of Emperor Charles the first of Austria and the Republic of German Austria.  May the justice of the Lord God Almighty reign in all the affairs of men.”

Judge Richter didn’t sit.  He shuffled his papers for a moment, “Princess Aksinya Georgovna Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov also known as the Countess Golitsyna, the unanimous verdict of this Schöffengericht is that you are not guilty of any of the charges brought against you in this court.”

Aksinya stared at the Judges.  She turned her head toward Father Dobrushin.  Natalya beamed.  Aksinya asked, “What does it mean?  What is he saying?  Am I not guilty?”

Father Dobrushin whispered, “You are not guilty.”

“But I am guilty of something and especially certain sins.”

“That’s not what this court was to determine.”

Aksinya obviously didn’t understand.

Natalya took Aksinya’s hand, “That is wonderful, Princess.  You shall go free.”

Aksinya swallowed against a lump, “I shall never be free, but I am happy not to go to prison.”

Do you see Aksinya's logic is correct--she shall never be free, but she might not go to prison.  There is still one other point to adjudicate.  We shall see where that goes, 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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