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Friday, June 7, 2013

Scenes - Scene Setting, Time

7 June 2013, Scenes - Scene Setting, Time

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.

Solving problems in novels is very different than in the real world.  In a novel, the author just has to make the circumstances match the solution.  An angel can't heal, but an angel can turn back time to repair the evil of a demon.  Since an author makes the rules of the world she or he is writing about, he or she can make the solutions possible.  The problem is that an author can't break the rules of the world he developed.  She can't make events that look like a deus ex machina.  I provided the rules that an angel can't heal.  I equally provided the rule that an angel can undo evil.  The point isn't what the rules are, but rather the acceptance of these rules by the readers and in the context of the novel.  The rules must seem reasonable or be made to seem reasonable to the reader.

Dobrushin raised his hopeless face to Raphael, “Please help her.”

“I’ll do better than that.  Just as her surety returned with the end of her contract, so the spiritual and physical injury caused by that creature can be removed.”  Raphael held his hands over Aksinya, “In the name of God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Remove the marks of Satan from this woman, your servant, Princess Aksinya.”

“Please, God,” cried Dobrushin.

Immediately the horrible wounds across Aksinya’s body sealed.  As thought time turned back, from left to right, her flesh stitched together and the blood returned to her veins.  Her face became less pale and her breathing returned to normal.  In moments, she lay peacefully in Dobrushin’s arms.  Her lips turned up in a gentle smile.  Her dress still bore the claw marks of the demon.  Her pale flesh showed through it.

Raphael shrugged, “I could not do anything about the dress.  It is fully corporeal.”  He stood and backed toward the fireplace, “That creature will not bother you again.  I bound him for a time, and he shall not be released again until that time shall pass.  Ensure you do marry her tonight, otherwise I can’t be responsible for what might occur.”

“I have married her.”

Raphael smiled, “Until you are one, there is no marriage in the eyes of God.”  With a flash and a low gonglike sound, the angel was gone.
I do history, and I write historical novels.  The ideas are not just mine, but the ideas of humanity.  The ideas about angels are ideas borrowed from more than one source--I didn't just make them up.  That's why they seem reasonable.  They are accepted in human lore.  The ideas about marriage are not from lore, but from history.  In the not so ancient world, people were married by having sex.  This was the point, reason, and means of marriage.  The church consecrated the union, but the union consecrated the marriage.  This is the angel's point.  The point for the reader is to learn something about history.

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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