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Friday, May 13, 2016

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 763, Developing the Initial Scene

13 May 2016, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 763, Developing the Initial Scene

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, proposed title, Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si, is this: Mrs. Lyons captures a shape-shifting girl in her pantry and rehabilitates her.

I just started writing my 27th novel, working title, Claire, potential title Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse.  This might need some tweaking.  The theme statement is: Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, a dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.  

Here is the cover proposal for Essie: Enchantment and the Aos SiEssie is my 26th 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 finished my 27th novel, working title Claire.  I’m working on marketing materials.

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)


How to begin a novel.  Number one thought, we need an entertaining idea.  I usually encapsulate such an idea with a theme statement.  Here’s the theme statement from Sorcha.


Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, a dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.


When I write that I start with the initial scene, I mean I start with the idea of the initial scene.  This is as opposed to the climax or the theme statement.  When I begin a novel, I really don’t know where it is going.  I develop a theme statement to help me determine where it should go to a climax, but at the beginning, I only have a rudimentary idea.  This is partially because the initial scene is much more important than the climax and because this is the way I envision novels.  I get an idea for characters and an initial scene and want to write from there.  When I first started to write, I had an idea for the climax first and wrote to the climax.  That produced some great novels, many that are currently published.  I discovered a better way for me to approach writing that has been very successful and produced novels I enjoy reading over and over.  There is much more to this topic, but I wanted to write more about getting to the initial scene.


I mentioned that I like novels where the telic flaw of the protagonist is both internal and external.  In most modern adult novels, the telic flaw of the protagonist (This is slightly redundant.  Only the protagonist can have a telic flaw.) is internal.  This is what we used to call a psychological novel.  In the past, many adult novels had an external telic flaw.  In fact, it isn’t uncommon for modern crime, mystery, romance, genre type novels to have an external telic flaw.  Many times these novels are crossover novels (into literature) when their telic flaw is also internal or the protagonist has internal inconsistencies.  For example, Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade doesn’t have an internal telic flaw--he is just an internally, and some may say externally flawed character.  This internal look at the protagonist is what modern readers are looking for.


Unlike Dashiell Hammett, the modern reader doesn’t want much telling.  The power is in the showing.  Internal thinking is right out.  You can’t let your character tell us what they are thinking (unless you use conversation), and you can’t use soliloquy neither speaking nor thinking.  The only (and best) way to show the internal workings of your character is through an internal telic flaw.  This goes back to character development.       


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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