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Friday, October 7, 2016

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 909, Publishing, Learning to Write, Initial Scene

7 October 2016, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 909, Publishing, Learning to Write, 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 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.


These are the steps I use to write a novel:


1.      Design the initial scene

2.      Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)

a.       Research as required

b.      Develop the initial setting

c.       Develop the characters

d.      Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)

3.      Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)

4.      Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)

5.      Write the climax scene

6.      Write the falling action scene(s)

7.      Write the dénouement scene


How to make people desire to read your novels.  Everything depends on the initial scene.  In the first few paragraphs, you, the author, must set the novel and present a compelling rhetorical statement in fiction why the reader should continue to read your novel.  If you succeed, they will buy your novel and hopefully read it.  If you fail, they will return your novel to the shelf and look at someone else’s writing.


I’ve been over crafting the initial scene before, I might as well go over it again.  You can have an okay rising action, a terrible climax, and a woeful falling action and dénouement, yet as long as the initial scene is smashing, people will buy and read your novel.  A great example is the first Flavia de Luca novel.  I just reread it.  The initial scene is great.  The main character is compelling.  The rising action is okay but not well developed or connected.  The climax is crap as is the falling action and dénouement.  The novel succeeds because of the initial scene and the protagonist.  There isn’t all that much more there, there.  I recommend reading it, but read my novels first.  The Flavia de Luca novels are entertaining, but slightly overwrought. 


The initial scene of any novel is that important.  It literally makes or breaks the novel and the novelist.  So, how do you write a compelling initial scene?  You must start with a unique and interesting idea to have an exciting initial scene.  It helps to have exciting and entertaining major characters.  You must start in the middle of the action—any action.  You can’t begin a novel at an unexciting part.  No prologues.  Prologues dilute the power of the initial scene.  For the initial scene action is better than conversation.  Perhaps we should start with what makes a novel idea (theme idea) unique and interesting.


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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