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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Writing Ideas - How I Start a Novel Part 3

7 July 2013, Writing Ideas - How I Start a Novel Part 3

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.

It would be impossible for me to tell you everything you need to know to write a scene. There is already a lot of great writing on this specific subject. What I will try to do is tell you how I write a scene. First, I need an input and an output. The scene has to have something that is the cause of it--that is the input. It has to have an end with a potential transition to the next scene--that is the output. You can see the input is driven by the previous scene transition (or by another earlier scene transition--your scenes don't necessarily have to be back to back in time). So to start a novel, your first scene must have an implied or explained transition from the imagined scene before. You detail this at some point in the novel or the first scene, but that's getting into the details--I'll stick a little higher than that for now. You could call the input to the scene the "why" of the scene. The "why" is necessary, but the most important part of a scene is the "what." The what of a scene is what happens to entertain the reader and drive the plot. I develop a scene around this singular "what." The "what" can be an event, a revelation, a conversation, an adventure, a joke, whatever. The most important key is that the "what" must be entertaining to your reader. It should draw emotion and or excitement. For example, in the first scene of Dana-ana,, the main character Dana is accused of stealing lunches and is about to be beaten for it. There is the excitement. The reader has no idea who this Dana-ana person is, but already the novel jumps into adventure and danger. Within the scene, I deliver all kinds of information to the reader explaining the "why" and the "what." That's what is so great about a scene--in it you show the reader what is going on, but at the same time, you can reveal important information for the plot and theme of the novel. So, the most important thing to me in writing is to entertain my reader--the scene is the mode I employ. Each scene must be entertaining. If it is not entertaining, there is no purpose in the writing. I'll go into more detail tomorrow on the scene.

See more writing secrets at

For more information, you can visit my author site, and my individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel,,,, thefoxshonor, aseasonofhonor.

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