My Favorites

Monday, June 3, 2013

Scenes - Scene Setting, The Demon

4 June 2013, Scenes - Scene Setting, The Demon

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.

This sweet scene could not continue.  You should remember that the demon came to kill Sara's husbands when they took her to the marriage chamber.  She was betrothed to seven men, and each time the demon murdered them.  This is a semi-allegory and although Aksinya has not been betrothed to seven men, she is betrothed and not yet married in the proper sense.  Note the use of parallism in the appearance of the demon and in his words.

Suddenly, a great roar filled the small room.  A hot sulfurous wind rushed through the place.  There was a dark flash then a scream like the sound of metal cutting metal, and across the room, beside the fireplace stood a large black shape.

Dobrushin clasped Aksinya closer, and she could feel him tremble.

The demon looked them both up and down and laughed, “Be very afraid.”  He sniffed, “What do we have here?  I should have guessed as much.  The contract called me because of this.  I knew your lust would eventually be your undoing.”

Aksinya pushed back a little from Dobrushin, “There is no question of lust here.  This is my husband, Dobrushin Sergeevich Lopuhin.”

“Your husband?”  The demon cackled.  “He is not your husband yet.  Not until he beds you.  Haven’t you heard what Solomon wrote about me?  That I am always hatching plots against newlyweds; I mar the beauty of virgins and cause their hearts to grow cold.  Plus, you are contracted to me.  You can’t be the crown of any man while I hold your surety.”

Dobrushin’s voice was strangely calm though Aksinya could feel his hands shake as he held her, “Demon, the surety of the Princess Aksinya is being consumed.  You must return hers and release her to me.  I claim her in the name of the Lord God Almighty.”

Asmodeus spat, “That isn’t that guy’s name.  I know that guy’s name.  You must properly invoke it or your claims are void.”

“You lie, Asmodeus.  I know God.  The hearts of men cry out His name because he is just and merciful.”

Asmodeus took a step toward them, “You forget, puny man.  I have been here before—many times.  I killed Sarah’s seven betrothed one after the other so none were left.”

Aksinya yelled, “But you couldn’t murder Tobias.”

The demon snarled, “Do you think this man is like Tobias?  Tobias had an angel to help him.  This man is nothing.  I will kill him as easily as you crush an insect under your foot.  As easily as you beat the Lady Natalya.  As easily as you tried to seduce, Ernst von Taaffe.”

Aksinya put out her hand, “I am forgiven those sins, and you may not murder my beloved, because he is innocent.”

Asmodeus howled, “No man is innocent.  Especially one who is about to rob you of your virtue.”

“He is my husband.  I gladly give him everything.”

“Your betrothed until he takes your virginity.  But he can’t have you because you are betrothed to me.”

“My surety…”
The demon took a sniff.  He glanced around, “Your surety.”  He stared at the heart-shaped necklace in the incense and his eye twitched.  Already the flames licked around it.  Already it blackened and glowed.  Aksinya could detect a smell unlike the frankincense.  It was a smell like fresh caviar, but sweeter.  It was the sweetest scent Aksinya had ever known.

This is scene setting for a new/old character--the demon.  We set the character in the scene and then let him go.  There is a release in the appearance of the demon.  There is then tension building all over again.  The tension building is in what he will do and the affect of the burning of the surety.  The demon banters words with Aksinya and Dobrushin.  This conversation is not only for entertainment, but also to inform the reader of the situation.  Some is reminder.  Some is new.  At the end, the demon realizes his surety is being consummed.  He will react.

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