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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Scenes - Scene Setting, Worth

30 May 2013, Scenes - Scene Setting, Worth

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 the action and scene setting.  I am still driving the action via conversation.  I'll point out to you when this changes to narration.  Conversation is the best means to drive any novel.  You shouldn't go overboard--some narration is good, and I think, necessary.

“I’ll hire a carriage,” Dobrushin stated.  Aksinya let go of his arm by stages.  Father Makar announced, “I’ll help him.”

Aksinya and Ekaterina were left together in the Ecclesia.  Ekaterina put her hands on her hips, “Do you plan to try it tonight?”

“Yes, we must.  There is no other choice…how did you know?”

“Dobrushin told me what he had in mind.  He asked my advice.”

Aksinya turned her eyes away, “What did you tell him?”

Ekaterina embraced Aksinya, “I told him you were worth it.”

“Worth the loss of his work, the loss of his friend, and potentially the loss of his life?  Am I worth all that?”

“And more, sweet Princess Aksinya.”

“I have been a Princess of darkness, the Queen of the Night.  I intend to be a princess of light.”

Father Makar called from the Holy Doors, “The carriage is here.”

Ekaterina kissed Aksinya’s cheeks, “You are worth this and much much more, never forget that Princess.”

Aksinya kissed Ekaterina’s cheeks in return, “Yes.  I shall never forget, but I’m not certain I believe it.”
What is the worth of a person.  Aksinya doesn't believe she has much worth.  Ekaterina and Dobrushin both believe in her worth--they both think it is great.  Makar thinks she is insane.  He does not value her highly.  I will make a statement of value here.  Both Ekaterina and Dobrushin don't imagine that Aksinya's worth is simply due to her being a human.  A human life has value, but Aksinya's value comes from her strength of character, her skills, and her willingness to repent.  When I write repent, she is willing to change herself and make things right in the world.  We will see more how far she is willing to go to repent of her sins.
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.

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