Scenes – Scene Setting, Who, more Exercises

9 March 2013, Scenes – Scene Setting, Who, more Exercises

Introduction:  I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon.  This was my 21st novel, and on 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–start 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.  At this moment, I’m showing you the creative process I used to put together the novel.

Today’s Blog:   To see the steps in the publication process, go to my writing website and select “production schedule,” you will be sent to

Here are my four rules of 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.

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 the beginning introductions and who setting of the major characters from the novel Sister of Darkness.  This novel is on contract and should be published soon.  Paul Bolang is a major character in the novel.  Leroa Bolang is a major character.  The children are secondary characters except  Lumière.  Lumière is a major character in the novel.

      On Saturday, Paul Bolang came home.  The children heard the moment his cab turned off the road from Hyères.  It pulled noisily through the gate above the beach, and the four children came running.  With anticipation they watched as the cab tracked down the thin cliff side road and came to a halt in the sandy yard of their small house.  Paul threw out his small bag and leapt out of the automobile.  The cabby, already paid, turned the car around and roared back toward the road.  Paul stood for only a moment before his children overwhelmed him.  Marie, nine, insufferably cute with a perpetual pout and dangerously precocious reached him first.  She launched herself into his arms and almost knocked Paul over.  Robert, eleven, strong limbed and tall with an amused smirk on his face as though he alone ensured Marie reached Paul first, stepped into the fray and grabbed Paul’s right arm.  Jacques, ten, loudly protested Robert’s tactics that let Marie arrive before him.  Almost as tall as Robert, his shoulders were wider, and his look more playful.  He took a firm hold of Paul’s left arm.  Paul shifted Marie’s weight to one side and sat her in the crook of his arm.  Lumière, all of twelve and completely refined, stepped with stately grace in front of her father and curtsied, “Welcome home, Papa.”
      Paul kissed her cheek.  Kissed Marie’s cheek.  Kissed Robert and Jacques cheeks.  “I bless you for your courteous greeting.”  The children stared up at him, adoration plain on their youthful faces.  Paul’s features were angular and handsome.  They were refined; they combined both gentleness with a hardness that was rooted in his past and his profession.  His skin was uniformly tanned by exposure to life outdoors in the mountains that formed the border of France and Italy.  His blue uniform announced him as a Colonel of the French Cavalry.  The bright cord around his right arm said he acted as a consultant and liaison for the French Alpine forces that guarded the border between France and Italy.  Around his eyes and mouth were fine wrinkles
caused by the sun and wind as well as the lines from his bright smile.  His children loved those small wrinkles that always heralded his smile.  He was of average build and height, but that masked a strength trained by harsh conditions and constant warfare.

Do your exercises look like this?  Have you put some character setting like this on paper.   Try some secondary characters, and I’ll give you more examples tomorrow.

Try these exercises, and I’ll give you some direct examples 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.

A note from one of my readers:  Speaking of which, I am awaiting for you to write a detailed installment on identifying, and targeting your audience, or audiences…ie, multi-layered story, for various audiences…like CS Lewis did. Just a thought.

I’ll repeat my published novel websites so you can see more examples:, and the individual novel websites:,,,,, and

Aksinya Cover Proposal


About L.D. Alford

L. D. Alford is a novelist whose writing explores with originality those cultures and societies we think we already know. His writing distinctively develops the connections between present events and history—he combines them with threads of reality that bring the past alive. L. D. Alford is familiar with technology and cultures—he is widely traveled and earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Pacific Lutheran University, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University, a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from The University of Dayton, and is a graduate of Air War College, Air Command and Staff College, and the USAF Test Pilot School. L. D. Alford is an author who combines intimate scientific and cultural knowledge into fiction worlds that breathe reality. He is the author of three historical fiction novels: Centurion, Aegypt, and The Second Mission, and three science fiction novels: The End of Honor, The Fox’s Honor, and A Season of Honor.
This entry was posted in Daemon, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s