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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Scenes - Scene Setting, Crowning

21 May 2013, Scenes - Scene Setting, Crowning

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.

Even if you are not excited or entertained by sitting (reading) through an Orthodox wedding, I'm certain most readers will be intrigued by the crowning.  In Christian thought, Christians are crowned in glory.  This crowning is a symbol of human perfection in joining together man and woman in marriage.  This is the view that a man can't be perfect and a woman can't be perfect without their complements.  In Orthodoxy, priests must be married.  This is in direct contradiction of Catholic thought that man and woman can be perfect without their complement.  Orthodox thought comes from Jewish thought while Catholic and Roman and Greek thought are more in line.

Father Makar took the two crowns from the altar.  He lifted the silver one over Dobrushin’s head, “The servant of God, Dobrushin Sergeevich Lopuhin, takes as his crown the servant of God, Princess Aksinya Georgovna Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov the Countess of Golitsyna, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”  He lowered the crown on Dobrushin’s head while stating this three times.  Then he made the sign of the cross three times on each of them.

Father Makar took the gold crown and held it over Aksinya’s head, “The servant of God, Princess Aksinya Georgovna Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov the Countess of Golitsyna, takes as her crown the servant of God, Dobrushin Sergeevich Lopuhin, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”  He said this three times as he slowly lowered the crown to her head.  He made the sign of the cross three times on each of them again.
He chanted three times, “Lord our God, crown them with honor and glory.”


Notice the crowns represent the individuals--thus the crown representing Dobrushin is gold while the crown representing Aksinya is silver.  Dobrushin wears the silver crown and Aksinya the gold crown.  This also accords with Jewish thinking.  Woman is crowned as the peak of creation--she was created last and the greatest is always created last.  But man is accorded the representation of the gold--there is a wonderful balance here.

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:,,,, thefoxshonor, aseasonofhonor.

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