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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 779, more the Initial Scene Setting

29 May 2016, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 779, more the Initial Scene Setting

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.


In a perfect world, an author might have every piece of relevant documentation (primary and secondary) available to him and then have a person from the place and time review the writing.  That’s in a perfect world.  One of my writer friends wrote about the War of 1812. He had multiple experts on the period review the work.  Most of us don’t have the connections or the ability to get this kind of help.  You have a couple of means to make your historical writing as good as possible.


The first is focus on primary and secondary accounts.  This means you want eyewitness and interviews of eyewitness accounts.  You also want pictures, recordings, videos, first person writing, and reports from the time and place.  Use details from these sources to punctuate the historicity.  Additionally, go see or look at pictures for accuracy of the things and places you are writing about.  For example, this new novel is about Edwards and flight test.  First, I found direct information about the place in some autobiographical books.  They had great pictures in them.  Second, I looked at historical records and timelines for the year.  Third, I am going to include information on flying and aircraft.  I have pictures of the aircraft and their cockpits.  There is more to this.  The point is to gather details that people from the period can’t miss and will not miss. 


The other trick is where you can’t find details or there are no details, use the current world, dial it back in time, and then obfuscate it.  This can work for a military formation, a church service, a promotion ceremony, a military award ceremony, an emergency response, or any other detailed event where data will not exist, but the author needs details.  In other words, take the best you have from the modern world and back it into the past.  I assure you, you will get it very close.  You can also use this method for future events as well as the past.  For example, in my science fiction in the far future, I still have pilots giving flight briefings.  They give them almost the same way they do today.  How else would they?


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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