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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Scenes - Scene Setting, Marriage

1 May 2013, Scenes - Scene Setting, Marriage

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.

Has Dobrushin determined a way to free Aksinya from the demon.  He tells her that the answer is in the Book of Tobit.  In Tobit, Tobias is helped by an angel to get rid of the demon.  Father Dobrushin is of the mind that holy actions can help solve the problem--thus the statement about prayer.  This is important within the construct of the novel.  Please bear with me--if there are demons that can be called from hell, there must also be a God who has power over demons.  Everything fallows from this logic.  There can't be demons opposed to God unless there is also a God.  If there is a God and there are demons, there are also angels.  If all this is so, then logically prayer can also work.  Prayer was one of the means in Tobit used to fight off the demon and assure Sarah was free of the demon.  Thus Dobrushin's words.  Even if you don't agree with the ideas, you must agree with the premise of the logic in play.

“I remember, Tobias took parts of a fish and burned it on the incense.  The smell caused the demon to stay away and it was bound by Raphael in Upper Egypt—I think.  But who would bind the demon for me?”

Father Dobrushin sipped his wine, “You forget the part that says they prayed together.”

“Who did?”

“Tobias and Sarah prayed together.”

Aksinya laughed, “So we must find someone foolish enough to marry me and confront the demon.  I am ugly and shaped like a boy.  I have no money, family, position, or goods.  No man would marry me.  Plus, I don’t have a magic fish, and my father is dead.  There is no one to find a husband for me.”

“Listen very closely to me, Princess Aksinya.  I am willing to marry you.”

She swallowed, “Why…why would you do that?”

He smiled, “I am foolish enough to marry you to confront this demon.”

“In spite of my ugliness?”

“Your beauty lies within your soul, but Princess, I don’t believe you are ugly at all.”

“If I marry, I don’t intend it to be for less than life.  Do you think you could put up with me for that long?”

Dobrushin leaned back, “You ask that and you don’t even know who I am.”

In Tobit, as we will discover, Tobias rescues Sarah by marrying her and getting rid of the demon.  He is helped by an angel.  I already told you that Aksinya is a semi-allegory of Tobit.  Dobrushin is Tobias.  Aksinya is Sarah.  The demon is himself.  Dobrushin is willing to marry Aksinya--we will discover the reason soon enough.

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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