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.
Each part of the betrothal and marriage has a prayer. This is the prayer for the rings.
With a smile, Matushka Ekaterina exchanged the rings between Aksinya and Dobrushin.
Dobrushin announced, “Let us pray to the Lord.”
Ekaterina, “Lord, have mercy.”
Father Makar prayed, “Lord our God, you journeyed with the servant of the Patriarch Abraham in Mesopotamia when he was sent to obtain a wife for his lord Isaac, and by means of drawing water you revealed that he should betroth Rebecca. Bless the betrothal of your servants Dobrushin Sergeevich Lopuhin and Princess Aksinya Georgovna Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov the Countess of Golitsyna and make firm the word that they have spoken. Confirm them with the holy unity that comes from you. For it was you who in the beginning created male and female, and it is by you that woman is linked to man as a helper and for the continuation of the human race. Therefore, Lord our God, who sent truth out to your inheritance and your promise to your servants, our fathers, your elect in every generation, look on your servant Dobrushin Sergeevich Lopuhin and your servant Princess Aksinya Georgovna Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov the Countess of Golitsyna, and make firm their betrothal in faith and concord and truth and love. For it is you, Lord, who declared that times a pledge is to be given and made firm in everything. By a ring authority was given to Joseph in
. By a
ring Daniel was glorified in the country of Egypt . By a ring the truth of Thamar was
revealed. By a ring our heavenly Father showed compassion to the prodigal son.
For he said, ‘Put a ring on his hand and bring out and slay the fatted calf,
and let us eat and be joyful’. It was your right hand, Lord, that armed Moses
at the Babylon Red Sea, for through your true word the
heavens were made firm and the earth set on its foundations. And the right hand
of your servants will be blessed by your mighty word and by your upraised arm.
Therefore, Master, with your heavenly blessing now bless also this putting-on
of rings. And may an Angel of the Lord go before them all the days of their
lives. For you are the One who blesses and sanctifies all things, and to you we
give glory, to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and for
ever, and to the ages of ages.
They said, “Amen.”
In Orthodox thought, the rings represent much more than they do in general Christianity. The sweeping allegory of the rings is amazing. The rings represent authority, glorification, truth and revelation, and compassion. This representation is much grander and greater than singularity of being or person. It is also given by men as well as God.
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.