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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Scenes - Scene Setting, Communion and Crowns

28 May 2013, Scenes - Scene Setting, Communion and Crowns

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 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.

The end of the marriage prayer isn't the end of all the prayers, but the end of the special prayers in the service.  Next is the communion and continuation of the crowning.

Father Makar, “Peace to all.”

Ekaterina, “And to your spirit.”

Dobrushin, “Let us bow our heads to the Lord.”

Ekaterina, “To you, O Lord.”

Father Makar lifted the cup from the altar.  He held it high.

Dobrushin, “Let us pray to the Lord.”

Ekaterina, “Lord, have mercy.”

Father Makar blessed the cup, “O God, who made all things by your strength, who made the inhabited world firm and adorned the crown of all that had been made by you, bless too with your spiritual blessing this common Cup, which you grant to those who have been joined in the communion of marriage.  For blessed is your name and glorified your kingdom, of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages.”


Father Makar held the cup for Dobrushin to drink then Aksinya.  He offered them the cup three times while stating, “I will take the cup of salvation and I will call on the name of the Lord.”

Then he grasped Dobrushin and Aksinya by the hands and led them around the altar three times.

Ekaterina followed behind and chanted, “The Virgin has conceived and given birth to a Son, Emmanuel, who is both God and man. Orient is his name, whom we magnify as we call the Virgin blessed.  Holy Martyrs, who fought the good fight and were crowned, intercede with the Lord to have mercy on our souls.  Glory to you, Christ God, boast of Apostles, joy of Martyrs whose preaching was the consubstantial Trinity.

When they stood at the front of the altar again, Father Makar raised Dobrushin’s crown, “Bridegroom, be magnified like Abraham, blessed like Isaac and multiplied like Jacob, as you go your way in peace and carry out in righteousness the commandments of God.”  He set the crown back on Dobrushin’s head.
Father Makar moved to Aksinya.  He raised her crown, “And you, Bride, be magnified like Sara, and rejoice like Rebecca and be multiplied like Rachel, rejoicing in your own husband, keeping the limits of the law, for so God has been well-pleased.”  He lowered the crown back onto her head.

Notice how the communion shares a ceremony with the wine at a Jewish wedding.  Likewise, the crowns could be considered symbols of the canopy of the Jewish wedding.  There are symbols on symbols in the novel Aksinya.  There are likewise symbols on symbols in any complex human endeavor.

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, and my individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel,,, thefoxshonor, aseasonofhonor.

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