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.
Father Makar is ready to go, the Ecclesia is mostly set up. The next step is to set up the rest of the service and prepare Aksinya and Dobrushin.
Properly accoutered for his role to administer a sacrament, he lit the incense and prepared the altar. All the while, Aksinya and Dobrushin waited in the Narthex.
The scent of the incense came first to Aksinya. She breathed it in. Her heart was full. She felt nothing but joy. Perhaps it was impossible for her to feel apprehension anymore. Still, the crucifix between her breasts did not burn, and she felt no pain in her body. She was excited and filled with desire, but that didn’t seem to bother her at all.
Finally, Matushka Ekaterina entered the narthex. She placed Aksinya on the left and Dobrushin on the right. Then she asked, “Dobrushin, do you have the rings?”Dobrushin searched in the pockets of his vest and brought out a box. He placed this in Ekaterina’s outstretched hands. Aksinya watched wide-eyed. Ekaterina noticed. She opened the box for her, and Aksinya saw two simple bands, one silver and one gold. Aksinya sighed, she clasped more tightly to Dobrushin’s arm. Ekaterina took the box with the rings into the sanctuary and stepped to the altar, the Holy Table. Through the Holy Doors of the sanctuary, Aksinya saw Father Makar take the rings from the box and place them on the altar. He picked up the censer. From the Christ candle, Ekaterina lit two small candles then she led Father Makar back to the Holy Doors where Aksinya and Dobrushin waited.
Every thing in an Orthodox wedding service has a meaning. This includes the rings, the candles, the incense. The rings are placed on the altar. Notice that Dobrushin is prepared with rings--he has planned everything.
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.