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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 660, Scene Development, Style Q and A

31 January 2016, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 660, Scene Development, Style Q and A

Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but the publisher has delayed all their fiction output due to the economy.  I'll keep you informed.  More information can be found at  Check out my novels--I think you'll really enjoy them.

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

The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:

1. Don't confuse your readers.

2. Entertain your readers.

3. Ground your readers in the writing.

4. Don't show (or tell) everything.

     4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.

5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

All novels have five discrete parts:

1.  The initial scene (the beginning)

2.  The rising action

3.  The climax

4.  The falling action

5.  The dénouement

The theme statement of my 26th novel, working title, Shape, is this: Mrs. Lyons captures a shape-shifting girl in her pantry and rehabilitates her.

Here is the cover proposal for Escape from FreedomEscape is my 25th novel.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action.  I’m editing many of my novels using comments from my primary reader.  I’m on Children of Light and Darkness at the moment.

I'm an advocate of using the/a scene input/output method to drive the rising action--in fact, to write any novel. 

Scene development:

1.  Scene input (easy)

2.  Scene output (a little harder)

3.  Scene setting (basic stuff)

4.  Creativity (creative elements of the scene)

5.  Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)

6.  Release (climax of creative elements)

I can immediately discern three ways to invoke creativity:

1.  Historical extrapolation

2.  Technological extrapolation

3.  Intellectual extrapolation

Creativity is like an extrapolation of what has been.  It is a reflection of something new created with ties to the history, science, and logic (the intellect).  Creativity requires consuming, thinking, and producing. 

One of my blog readers posed these questions.  I'll use the next few weeks to answer them.

1.  Conflict/tension between characters

2.  Character presentation (appearance, speech, behavior, gestures, actions)

3.  Change, complexity of relationship, and relation to issues/theme

4.  Evolving vs static character

5.  Language and style

6.  Verbal, gesture, action

7.  Words employed

8.  Sentence length

9.  Complexity

10.  Type of grammar

11.  Diction

12.  Field of reference or allusion

13.  Tone - how tone is created through diction, rhythm, sentence construction, sound effects, images created by similes, syntax/re-arrangement of words in sentence, the inflections of the silent or spoken voice, etc.

14.  Mannerism suggested by speech

15.  Style

16.  Distinct manner of writing or speaking you employ, and why (like Pinter's style includes gaps, silences, non-sequitors, and fragments while Chekhov's includes 'apparent' inconclusiveness).

Moving on to 15. 15.  Style

Woah—style is huge.  I just spent more than six months defining style from almost every angle I could imagine. Here are the elements I found for an author’s style.

1.  Novel based style

a.  Writing focus
b.  Conversations
c.  Scene development
d.  Word use
e.  Foreshadowing
f.  Analogies
g.  Use of figures of speech
h.  Subthemes
I.  Character revelation
j.  Historicity
k.  Real world ties
l.  Punctuation
m.  Character interaction

2.  Scene based style

a.  Time
b.  Setting
c.  Tension and release development
e.  Theme development
f.  POV


Okay, my style is to focus my writing on conversation (dialog).  I am very opinionated about this because I think it is a very good technique and a very successful approach.  If you don’t believe me, just start reading modern novels, or take a good look at your favorite novels.  I’m just pointing out something that is a fact—perhaps this “fact” was well known to you already, perhaps not.  I’m going to move the conversation to another element of style—scene development.


How a scene is put together is a critical element of style.  It is also a critical element of writing, good or otherwise.  In other words, one of the first hurdles of the fiction writing profession is the skill of writing a good scene.  Most inexperienced writers don’t know this because this is a skill that is rarely taught in a writing class or at the university. 


If you don’t know already, all fiction writing is scene based.  This is a simple fact.  Some who write about writing break scene development into other parts or pieces.  This is okay, but for my purposes, there are just scenes.  In my world of writing, the scene is the smallest functional piece of a novel.  Scenes make up chapters.  Chapters make up the novel.  Here are definitions for scene:

1.    the place where an incident in real life or fiction occurs or occurred.

"the emergency team were among the first on the scene"

"the scene of the accident"

§  a place, with the people, objects, and events in it, regarded as having a particular character or making a particular impression.

"a scene of carnage"

§  a landscape.

"thick snow had turned the scene outside into a picture postcard"

"an impressive mountain scene"

§  an incident of a specified nature.

"there had already been some scenes of violence"

"terrible scenes of violence"

§  a place or representation of an incident.

"scenes of 1930s America"

§  a specified area of activity or interest.

"the country music scene"

area of interest, field, field of interest, specialty, province, preserve;
"the political scene"

§  a public display of emotion or anger.

"she was loath to make a scene in the office"

informalsong and dance, to-do
"she created a scene outside the bank"

2.    A sequence of continuous action in a play, movie, opera, or book.

"a scene from Brando's first film"

"a scene from a Laurel and Hardy movie"


What is great about these two definitions is that they encapsulate exactly what I mean by a scene.  Note that the second definition is precisely what we mean when we write about scenes in a novel.  The first definition is exactly what we mean when we talk about the setting of a scene in a novel.  I especially like the scene (setting) definition that states: a place, with the people, objects, and events in it, regarded as having a particular character or making a particular impression.  This is exactly the setting of a scene in a novel. 


When I write about scenes, I mean, a sequence of continuous action in a novel.


More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site, and my individual novel websites:

fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic

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