My Favorites

Friday, May 31, 2013

Scenes - Scene Setting, New Setting

31 May 2013, Scenes - Scene Setting, New Setting

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.

Back to basic scene setting.  This is the beginning of a chapter and the beginning of a scene.  The setting is the carriage ride to the hotel--the place is really the hotel.  The time is almost midnight.  The people are Dobrushin and Aksinya.  We are reintroduced via description and the setting.

Aksinya and Dobrushin rode in the carriage to a hotel near the center of Wien.  It was almost midnight, and she couldn’t read the name.  Aksinya trembled with chill and anticipation.  Within the carriage, she sat close to Dobrushin.  The warmth of his body came to her through her new coat and her woolen dress.  They didn’t speak the entire time.  When they arrived, Dobrushin let her down from the carriage and gave her his arm.  He didn’t have to, Aksinya took it automatically.  She held him tightly as if she never wanted to let him go.

They entered the hotel, and he spoke to her, “Princess, I have arranged a room here.”

The lobby was dark with only a single gas lamp over the reception desk.  From what Aksinya could see, the hotel was a fine but not luxurious place.  Is smelled a little of age and was a bit stuffy, but that description could fit most buildings in Wien.  The sleepy desk clerk sat up straighter.  Dobrushin came to the desk and asked for his key.  He introduced Aksinya, “This is my wife.”

Aksinya gave a broad smile.  The word, wife, from Dobrushin’s lips were very pleasant to her.  She held his arm more tightly. 

 We move to a new place and in time.  This is the purpose in such transitions in novels.  The setting may be dreamy and quiet, but we know the undercurrent of the entire novel is focused here.  In an electronic novel, you can't weigh the pages left with your fingers and your hands.  You know you are reaching the end and likely a climax of the novel.  I already wrote there are two climaxes in this novel.  We are approaching the second.
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: http://www.aegyptnovel,,,, thefoxshonor, aseasonofhonor.

No comments:

Post a Comment