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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Scenes - Scene Setting, Do You Love Me?

2 June 2013, Scenes - Scene Setting, Do You Love Me?

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.

Do you remember, Dobrushin made a point about how Tobias saved Sara.  In the marriage chamber, before they came together as husband and wife, Tobias prayed with Sara and he burned the parts of the fish.  In this scene, we have Dobrushin burning the fish marked surety of the demon and now he calls for them to pray.

Dobrushin took her hand and blushed, “I’m sorry.  I forgot to get you any nightclothes.”

Aksinya trembled, “I won’t need any.”  She raised her face to his, “Kiss me.  I want you to kiss me.”

Dobrushin took her in his arms and put his lips on hers.  Aksinya threw her arms around his neck, “I don’t understand what this kind of love is, but I want to know it with you tonight.”  She pressed her lips to his and wouldn’t stop kissing him.

Finally Dobrushin finally disentangled her arms from his neck.  His face was red, “Come, my love, we need to ask God to show us mercy and keep us in safety.”

Aksinya’s breath released in gentle pants.  She nodded.

They knelt at the side of the bed, he took her hand, and Dobrushin prayed, “We praise you God of our fathers.  We praise your name forever and ever.  Let the heavens and all your creation praise you forever.  You made Adam and also Eve his wife, who was to be his partner and support; and those two were the parents of all human beings.  This was your word: ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; let us provide a partner suited to him.’  So now I take this my beloved to wife, not out of lust but in true marriage.  Grant that she and I may find mercy and grow old together.  Amen.”

“Amen,” Aksinya replied, “Do you love me?”

“I love you.  I married you.”

“Help me take off my clothes

Aksinya stood before him expectantly.  Dobrushin took off his coat and unbuttoned his shirt.  Aksinya reached up and fumbled with his buttons.  She smiled, “I’m not very good with buttons.”  She undid one after the other.  A golden cross lay against his chest.  It depended from a necklace.

Dobrushin pulled her to him and kissed her again.

The prayer is simple, and if you note, it is the same prayer as the one used during the Orthodox wedding.  This is no accident.  It is one of the reasons I choose Tobit as the basis for the semi-allegory.  Aksinya wants Dobrushin, her mind and heart are focused singularly.  This is important and will be important to the climax and the release of this climax.

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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