Creativity –Setting, History Developing Characters

30 January 2016, this blog is about writing in scenes.  I’m focusing on the tools to build scenes.  I’ll leave up the parts of a novel because I think this is an important picture for any novelist.  I’m writing about creativity.

  1. The beginning
  2. The rising action
  3. The Climax
  4. The falling action
  5. The dénouement

Announcement:   Ancient Light has been delayed due to the economy.  Ancient Light includes Aegypt, Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness.  If you are interested in historical/suspense literature, please give my novels a try.  You can read about them at  I’ll keep you updated.

Today’s Blog: The skill of using language comes from the ability to put together figures of speech that act as symbols in writing.

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.

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

  1. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.


Creativity is the extrapolation of older ideas to form new ones or to present old ideas in a new form. It is a reflection of something new created with ties to the history, science, and logic (the intellect).  Creativity requires consuming, thinking, and producing.

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)


The plot is the revelation of the characters. The author doesn’t show everything, and the plot is where the necessary revelation occurs. To develop the plot, the author takes the characters and the theme and imagines the portions (scenes) of the plot that might be entertaining. I’ll give you an easier means to accomplish this.

Picture the initial scene. Use your theme statement. Character appearance is what you write in your setting—this is the exterior of the character that everyone can see. The interior is the part no one except the author should ever know. That interior is created through history.

When you develop a character, the absolute first step is appearance. The second step is the character’s history. The history is what makes a character the way they are—that is, inside. No man is an island and no character becomes a homicidal maniac or a Hitler without the influence of their parents, society, choices, and experiences. A character isn’t a character without their history. You don’t need a complete history for every bit player, but the protagonist, antagonist, and protagonist’s helper needs to be well defined. Who are their parents? Where did they grow up? What schools did they go to? What illness have they had? What did they read? What do they like to do? Who are their friends? Who do they like? What do they do?

If you want a dangerous smart girl, you need to determine a history that will result in a dangerous smart girl. If you want a crazy Ivan, you need to determine what history will result in a crazy Ivan. In my latest novel, Essie, the Aos Si (Essie) was captured by the fae and placed in the hands of the Morfans. The Morfans beat her to prevent her from using her magic. The Morfans kept her in a cage her entire existence with them. What would the temperament and mind be of such a person? In Essie, I never tell you what she is thinking or what motivates her thinking—I show you her actions and let you hear her conversation.

I’ll write 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

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.
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