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 http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.
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.
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.
There really is little tension and release in the marriage ceremony, and I'm not intending to interject anything like that into it. We will get some action in the scene, but it is really a chance to give release to the entire novel prior to the ending climax.
Dobrushin, “Let us pray to the Lord.”
“Lord, have mercy.”
Father Makar prayed, “Blessed are you, Lord our God, sacred Celebrant of the mystical and most pure marriage, Lawgiver of bodily marriage, Guardian of incorruption, loving Steward of our livelihood. In the beginning, Master, you fashioned man and established him as king of creation, and said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone on the earth. Let us make him a helper like himself.’ And taking one of his ribs you fashioned a woman. When Adam saw her he said, ‘Now this is bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh. She will be called ‘woman’ because she was taken from her man. For this reason a man will leave behind his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’. And ‘Those whom God has joined together, let no human separate’. Now, Master, Lord our God, send down your heavenly grace also on these servants of yours, Dobrushin Sergeevich Lopuhin and Princess Aksinya Georgovna Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov the Countess of Golitsyna, and grant that this handmaid of yours may be subject in all things to her husband and that this servant of yours may be the head of his wife, so that they may live in accordance with your will. Bless them, Lord our God, as you blessed Abraham and Sara. Bless them, Lord our God, as you blessed Isaac and Rebecca. Bless them, Lord our God, as you blessed Jacob and all the Patriarchs. Bless them, Lord our God, as you blessed Joseph and Aseneth. Bless them, Lord our God, as you blessed Moses and Sepphora. Bless them, Lord our God, as you blessed Joachim and Anna. Bless them, Lord our God, as you blessed Zachary and Elisabeth. Preserve them, Lord our God, as you preserved Noë in the Ark. Preserve them, Lord our God, as you preserved Jonas in the belly of the whale. Preserve them, Lord our God, as you preserved the three holy Youths from the fire, by sending down on them dew from heaven. And let the joy come upon them that the blessed Helen had when she found the precious Cross. Remember them, Lord our God, as you remembered Enoch, Sem and Elias. Remember them, Lord our God, as you remembered the holy Forty Martyrs, sending down on them crowns from heaven. Remember also, Lord our God, the parents who have brought them up, for the prayers of parents make firm the foundations of households. Remember, Lord our God, your servants, who have come together to share this joy. Remember, Lord our God, your servant Dobrushin Sergeevich Lopuhin and your servant Princess Aksinya Georgovna Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov the Countess of Golitsyna, and bless them. Give them the fruit of the womb, fair offspring, concord of soul and body. Exalt them like the cedars of Lebanon, like a well-cultured vine. Grant then rich harvest, so that, having all sufficiency for themselves, they may overflow into every good work that is also well-pleasing to you, and that they may see their children’s children like newly planted olive trees all around their table. And, having been well pleasing to you, may they shine like beacons in heaven, in you our Lord, to whom belong all glory might, honor and worship, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages.”
This is a prayer for material blessings, but also in preparation for the crowning.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 audiences...ie, multi-layered story, for various audiences...like CS Lewis did. JustTake care, and keep up the writing; I am enjoying it, and learning a lot.