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Friday, May 27, 2016

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 777, The Initial Scene

27 May 2016, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 777, 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.  Since I’m writing a new novel, we need a new theme statement.  Here is an initial cut.


Red Sonja, a Soviet spy, infiltrates the X-plane programs at Edwards AFB as a test pilot’s administrative clerk, learns about freedom, and is redeemed.


I don’t mean to be overly simplistic about the climax or the telic change, but this is a challenge for an author too.  With a protagonist and a protagonist’s helper, we can contemplate the initial scene.  Usually, the best initial scene is the meeting of the protagonist and the protagonist’s helper.  This is also the practical and a good point to introduce (describe or set) the characters.  This is not the most action oriented initial scene, but I’m not sure of a better place to start the novel.


Dorothy Smith, aka Red Sonja, aka Sophia Iosifovna Sokolov gets off the train at Lancaster Station, California.  She has to wait for Lieutenant Mike Rush to pick her up.  On the drive to Edwards AFB, he explains about her work and the program.  This provides info to the reader and to the characters.  Dorothy doesn’t give up much information.  I haven’t let the reader know yet that she is a spy.  I won’t tell the reader—I’ll let them guess entirely through her actions. 


The novel will progress as Dorothy gets to know the people at Edwards.  She’ll meet people and find out about the X-15 and other programs.  She’ll begin to collect intelligence for the USSR and begin to broadcast it.


Not a super exciting initial scene, but one that begins to excite the curiosity of the reader.  This will be a mystery and a discovery novel.  The reader will slowly begin to see who Dorothy really is.  Red Sonja will begin to see what the USA is like.  I can’t wait until she gets her first paycheck and sees what she can buy with it.        


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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