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 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.
There is another trial--this is why Aksinya is in prison. She is awaiting a civil trial. It was not enough for the demon to ruin her and her friends ecclesiastically (spiritually), he also intends to ruin her socially and civilly. There is still hope of intervention. I gave clues through the novel to the possibility of this intervention. We shall see...
Ekaterina pulled Aksinya close again, “When is your trial?”
“In three days, but please don’t come to it. I would prefer you not have to hear anymore that is bad about me.” She tried to smile again, “I shall gladly face all the punishment I deserve and then some. After that, I will feel like I have atoned for a portion of my evil.”
Father Dobrushin was thoughtful, “How did they get the jury together so quickly?”
Aksinya rubbed her nose and smiled, “Ah the problem of my peers. I waived a trial of my peers and accepted a four judge panel. They called it the Schöffengericht.”
Father Dobrushin sighed and frowned, “That might not have been wise, Princess.”
Aksinya squinted, “I don’t care if it is wise. I want to get all of this over with.”
“The repercussions of rushing through these very important details will potentially be your incarceration in a workhouse or prison. Have you thought that what happens to you might be important to others?”
Aksinya’s mouth fell open. When she was able Aksinya choked out, “Why would anyone care about me?”
Father Dobrushin’s voice rose, “Don’t you care for anyone?”
Aksinya cried out, “I care for many, many people. I love them all, but my existence causes them all pain. No one should love me. No one should give me a second thought.”
His voice softened, “Just as you can’t stop your affection for those you love, they can’t halt their love for you.”
“I don’t understand. Why should anyone love me?”
“Why should they not?”
“The reasons they should not love me, Father are too many to count.”
“You don’t want to win at your trial, do you?”
“No, I don’t. I want to be punished.”
Aksinya, at this point, knows very well the message of Socrates. True repentance requires the appropriate punishment. A person can't really repent unless they are willing to accept the proper punishment for their actions. The lack of understanding of this is a modern heresy. In the past, the educated and uneducated knew this very well. In the modern era, people imagine that an apology or a confession is enough. It is never enough. You can never make things the way they should have been and in many cases (such as murder), you can never restore things to the way they were. Apology and confessions are never enough--punishment and repentance is required. Repentance is a change in behavior and punishment is the appropriate pain and suffering as well as recompense for the wrong that was done. I think we can safety say that very few in the modern world achieve the proper repentance and punishment--this means they likely can never experience salvation.
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.