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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Scenes - Scene Setting, The Gospel

25 May 2013, Scenes - Scene Setting, The Gospel

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 Gospel reading...

Father Makar, “Peace to all.”

Matushka Ekaterina, “And to your spirit.”

Father Makar, “The Reading is from the holy Gospel according to John.”

Ekaterina, “Glory to you, Lord, glory to you.”

Dobrushin, “Let us attend.”

Father Makar read, “At that time, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the marriage. When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother said to him, ‘They have no wine’. Jesus said to her. ‘Woman, why do you trouble me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Whatever he tells you, do it.’ Now there were six stone water jars standing there for the Jewish ritual of purification, holding twenty or thirty gallons each. Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ And they filled them to the brim. He said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward of the feast. They took it. When the chief steward tasted the water that had become wine and did not know where it had come from — but the servants who had drawn the water knew — he summoned the bridegroom and said to him, ‘Everyone puts out the good wine first, and when people are drunk, then he puts out the worse. But you have kept the good wine until now.’ This was the beginning of the signs that Jesus did in Cana of Galilee and he manifested his glory and his disciples believed in him.”

Matushka Ekaterina, “Glory to you, Lord, glory to you.”

Father Makar, “Let us all say, with all our soul and with all our mind, let us say.”

Ekaterina, “Lord, have mercy.”

Father Makar, “Lord almighty, the God of our fathers, we pray you, hear and have mercy.”

Ekaterina, “Lord, have mercy.”

Father Makar, “Have mercy on us, O God, according to your great mercy, we pray you, hear and have mercy.”
Ekaterina, “Lord, have mercy.  Lord, have mercy.  Lord, have mercy.”

The Orthodox Church places marriage at a high point because Jesus made the first of his great miracles (signs) at one.  They see in this that Jesus blessed marriage and everything around it--including the festivities.  He made the equivalent of 600 bottles of wine.  This is the foundation of Orthodox marriage--the blessing of Jesus, not the wine.
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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