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.
Finally, we are coming to the end of the marriage ceremony. I'll not lie--I tried to make the ceremony as interesting as possible while keeping it clear and relating it properly. I wanted to make certain you knew they were properly married before the next and obvious step in the process of getting rid of the demon.
Dobrushin, “Let us pray to the Lord.”
Ekaterina, “Lord, have mercy.”
Father Makar prayed, “God, our God, who were present in Cana of Galilee, and blessed the marriage there, bless these servants of yours also, who by your providence have been joined in the communion of marriage. Bless their goings out and their comings in. Fill their life with good things. Take up their crowns…” he took the crowns from their heads and placed them on the altar, “…in your Kingdom, unspotted and unblemished, and keep them without offence to the ages of ages.”
Father Makar, “Peace to all.”
Ekaterina, “And to your spirit.”
Dobrushin, “Bow your heads to the Lord.”
Ekaterina, “To you, O Lord.”
Father Makar prayed, “May Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the all-holy, consubstantial Trinity, origin of life, the one Godhead and Kingship, bless you and grant you long life, fair offspring, progress in life and faith, and fill you with every good thing on earth, and count you worthy of the promised good things of the enjoyment of heaven, at the prayers of the Mother of God and of all the Saints.”
Father Makar stated a loud voice, “Glory to you, Christ God, our hope, glory to you. Glory to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and for ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
“Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Holy Father, give the blessing. May he who by his presence at Cana declared marriage honorable, Christ our true God, through the prayers of his all-pure Mother, of the holy, glorious and all-praised Apostles, of the holy Sovereigns crowned by God and Equals of the Apostles, Constantine and Helen, of the holy great Martyr Prokopios and all the Saints, have mercy on us and save us, for he is good and loves mankind. Through the prayers of our holy fathers Lord Jesus Christ our God have mercy on us.
Aksinya held tightly to Dobrushin’s arm. She would not let go. Ekaterina embraced her, “You are now married.”
Father Makar smiled for just a moment, then frowned, “Yes, you are married. I wish every peace I can offer you. I do pray for you. Especially, you Dobrushin to come to your senses.”
Ekaterina stuck her tongue out at him, “Makeruska, you married them. They have no senses to come to anymore. Bless you, I say. Bless you.” She glanced at Father Makar, “And no, they will not stay for tea or to talk. They have better things to do.” She grinned at Aksinya, who blushed.
We move from ceremony back to the action in the novel. The symbol is Aksinya and Ekaterina's actions. We are back to tension and release and humor. Not to say there can't be tension and release or humor in a ceremony, but I didn't include any. We are moving the readers back into the flow of the novel.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.
For more information, you can visit my author site www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel, http://www.centurionnovel.com, www.thesecondmission.com/, http://www.theendofhonor.com/, thefoxshonor, aseasonofhonor.