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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 837, The Stage of the Novel, Place and the Stage

26 July 2016, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 837, The Stage of the Novel, Place and the Stage

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 finished 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 started writing my 28th novel, working title Red Sonja. 

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.


Let’s go back to the beginning.  I’ll use my newest novel as an example.  It’s a historical novel, and you can see the theme statement just above.  Let’s look at a novel from the standpoint of a stage play.  A novel is not a stage play or a screenplay, but the author should approach some aspects of the novel from this vantage point. 


In setting the stage of the novel follow my rules for writing 4a above:


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

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


In a play, when the curtain opens where are we.  The stage setting will usually indicate generally where we are: a room, a kitchen, a street, a glade, a meadow, a village, and all.  The furniture or furnishings or the other items on the stage will indicate a general place, but where are we really?  Read your playbill.  Usually, the playbill will tell you in no uncertain terms where the play is set—it might give you time as well.  For example:


A Bavarian village in 1937.  Christmas is approaching. 


Here is plenty of information for the setting of a play.  When I write about the setting of a place, I like to use a real place.  I use actual names for towns and places in towns.  When I describe the place, I use an actual description of the setting for the place.  The only time I wouldn’t do this is if I expressed a negative impression about the place.  Not all authors are this kind.  I try not to give a negative impression of any specific place.  I don’t mind using general references or specific references to places that are negatively viewed to begin with.


So about the setting.  What I would do in a novel to describe a Bavarian village is describe the parts of the village that the point of view can see at the moment—let’s say the town center.  Describe the town center using any technique you like—there are many different styles.  Somewhere in the description place the actual name of the village or one you made up.  Say where the village is in Germany—perhaps write it is in Bavaria.  This gives you an opportunity to write about Bavaria and Germany.  This also give you the opportunity to explain about customs and ideas.  These are all pertinent to setting the place.  There’s more.      


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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