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Monday, May 6, 2013

Scenes - Scene Setting, Ecclesia

6 May 2013, Scenes - Scene Setting, Ecclesia

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.

Here is the scene setting and the input into the next scene.  We start with the basics of place--the church.  I don't use Ecclesia because I want the reader to focus on the fact it is a church.  The time is late--the lights are off except in the rectory.  This means it is night and past the time of the services for the evening.  Aksinya has already taken possession of Dobrushin.  Her actions are not meant to show any subservience, but rather her decision to possess him.

When they arrived at the church, the lights were off except in the rectory.  Father Dobrushin helped Aksinya down from the carriage and they walked together to the door.  Aksinya held onto his arm.  She kept very close to him.

At Father Dobrushin’s knock, Father Makar answered the door to the rectory.  It was the same door Aksinya had fallen before when she came there to confess and be absolved.  The moment he saw them, Father Makar pressed his lips together and tried to shut the door.  Father Dobrushin held it open with his hand, “Please Father Makar.  We need you to do something for us.”

“Dobrushin, I told you before, I don’t want to have anything to do with… her.”

“This last thing we need from you.  Only you can do it for us.”

“If it has to do with the imaginary demon, you are both insane.”

They heard the voice of Ekaterina from the kitchen, “Makaruska, let them in.  There is no reason our friends should stand out in the cold night.  We have tea and a warm kitchen.”

Father Makar snarled, but he stepped out of the door way, “You are welcome only because of her.”

What has Dobrushin not told Aksinya?  We shall discover.  Father Makar has become completely antagonistic to Aksinya and Dobrushin--only Ekaterina is the reason Aksinya and Dobrushin are allowed in.

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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