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Friday, June 14, 2013

Scenes - Scene Setting, The Girl

14 June 2013, Scenes - Scene Setting, The Girl

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.

The scene changes location, so we need to set the next part.  This is a description of the interior.  I think that at least this degree of description is necessary for characters and places.  Tertiary characters don't need a great deal of description.  We shall see the setting of the characters tomorrow.  Here is simply the setting for the place.

The building was similar to many of the row houses Aksinya was familiar with in Boston.  The foyer wasn’t large.  It opened to a stairway that led up into the building and a hall that led to the rear.  A parlor was on the right and a classroom on the left.  Aksinya could hear the teacher lecturing through the closed door. 

The maid didn’t lead Aksinya into the parlor or upstairs but rather headed down the hall on the first floor.  They passed a second and a third classroom on the left and right and finally arrived at a large dining room and kitchen.  They were also on the left.  On the right was a door labeled Office of the Headmistress.  The door was closed.  Outside the door sat four hardback chairs in a row.  A girl of about twelve slumped in one of the seats.  She didn’t seem very happy.

The maid turned a stern look at the girl then pointed to the seats.  Aksinya sat next to the girl.  The maid knocked at the office, entered and closed the door behind her.  She exited just a moment later, “The headmistress will call for you in a moment.”

Aksinya answered “Thank you.”
In every scene, we need tension and release.  The setup here is first of all Aksinya's meeting with the head mistress.  Second it is her interaction with the girl.  Nothing extraneous to the plot of theme should be in a novel; therefore, you know that the girl's presence is important to convey some degree of knowledge or information.
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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