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 http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.
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.
Here are my rules of writing:
1. Entertain your readers.
2. Don't confuse your readers.
3. Ground your readers in the writing.
4. Don't show (or tell) everything.
A scene outline is a means of writing a novel where each scene follows the other with a scene input from the previous scene and a scene output that leads to the next scene. The scenes don't necessarily have to follow directly in time and place, however they generally follow the storyline of the protagonist.
A storyline outline is a means of writing a novel where the author develops a scene outline for more than one character and bases the plot on one or more of these storyline scenes. This allows the scenes to focus on more than the protagonist. This is a very difficult means of writing. There is a strong chance of confusing your readers.
Whether you write with a scene outline or a storyline outline, you must properly develop your scenes. All novels are developed from scenes and each scene has a design similar to a novel. Every successful novel has the following basic parts:
1. The beginning
2. The rising action
3. The Climax
4. The falling action
5. The dénouement
Every scene has these parts:
1. The setting (where, what, who, when, how)
2. The connection (input)
3. The tension development
4. The release
5. The output
There are lots of approaches to scene setting. That means there are about a million plus ways you can set a scene. The main point is you have to clearly get across the where, when, who, what, and how.
Here is another example of scene setting from the novel, Aksinya. Here is the beginning of the next chapter in Aksinya. This gives an example of the entire scene setting.
Natalya woke Aksinya in the early morning. She served her tea, dressed her in the uniform of Sacré Coeur, and arranged her hair. Aksinya fit very primly into her clothing. The severe uniform of Sacré Coeur didn’t improve her figure at all. The cut made her look more boyish than usual. Her hair simply turned her features from those of a maiden to those of a lovely boy. Natalya carefully steered her away from the mirrors in their room and bath. Natalya, on the other hand, appeared like an especially proper and beautiful young woman. Her figure was very evident even in the unflattering uniform. Natalya put on her baggy sweater to cover her curves—she hoped Aksinya wouldn’t notice.They went down together for breakfast and more tea. Aksinya was very fond of tea, especially the tea Natalya made for her. They sat together and no one dared to sit with them. After breakfast, everyone marched to chapel in the church. They went through the dormitory to the second floor and entered the nave from the back of the choir. The moment Aksinya stepped through the door, she felt a pain in the pit of her stomach. Natalya took Aksinya’s arm when she faltered and helped her to her seat near the back at the main floor.
In their seats, Natalya put her hand on Aksinya’s forehead, “Mistress, you are pale. Are you well?”
Aksinya bent over a little, “I just feel a little ill. I’ll be all right.”
Natalya bit her lip. She steadied Aksinya when they stood and when they knelt. The entire time, Aksinya clasped her arms across her chest and couldn’t raise her head. Natalya held the prayer book for her. Aksinya seemed to get worse as the service progressed. She mumbled in Latin, a counterpoint to the priest, but luckily in a throaty whisper that only Natalya could hear. When the bells announced communion, Aksinya gave a groan. Natalya put her arm around her. No one else seemed to notice, or they carefully ignored the two. Natalya and Aksinya didn’t take communion. Aksinya was happy they couldn’t. The very thought made her nauseous. At the blessing, Aksinya slipped out of her seat and hurried to the side door up and out through the choir. Natalya followed behind her.
I added a little more than the setting to let you see the entire setting at the beginning of the scene. The important point of the character setting is the clothing and appearance of the main characters Aksinya and Natalya. The description of these characters as part of the setting is critical. This is something you should learn in writing, when you set your scenes, don't forget that it isn't enough to simply say "Aksinya is here." The power of scene setting is the ability to newly describe your characters. This gives you the ability to put them in new clothing or change their hair, makeup, etc. This is the way an author keeps character description and their characters fresh.More tomorrow.
My Notes: once you have a theme, you need to begin to visualize your plot, focus your theme, and define your characters. More tomorrow.
I'll move on to basic writing exercises and creativity in the near future.
The following is a question asked by one of my readers. I'm going to address this over time: Please elaborate on scene, theme, plot, character development in a new novel creation....ie, the framework, the development, order if operation, the level of detail, guidelines, rule of thumb, tricks, traps and techniques.
I'll repeat my published novel websites so you can see more examples: http://www.ldalford.com/, and the individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel.com/, http://www.centurionnovel.com, www.thesecondmission.com/, http://www.theendofhonor.com/, http://www.thefoxshonor, http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.