Writing—Scenes: Creative Elements

14 June 2017, 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 how to begin and write a novel.

  1. The initial scene
  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 http://www.ancientlight.com.  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.

Short digression: back on the tarmac in Wichita.

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: transition from input to output focused on the telic flaw resolution)
  5. Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)
  6. Release (climax of creative elements)


First step of writing—enjoy writing. Writing is a chore—especially if you don’t know what you are doing, and you don’t know where you are going. Let me help you with that.


Here is the beginning of the scene development method from the outline:


1.Scene input (comes from the previous scene output or is an initial scene)

2.Write the scene setting (place, time, stuff, and characters)

3.Imagine the output, creative elements, plot, telic flaw resolution (climax) and develop the tension and release.

4.Write the scene using the output and creative elements to build the tension.

5.Write the release

6.Write the kicker


The input of the scene is Bill and Sharon walk home. We really didn’t determine the setting—it is so dependent on the characters and the overall setting of the novel. In any case, let’s make the setting: Sharon led Bill along the tree shaded dirt lane. The sun peaked wanly through the leaves and threatened at any moment to disappear from the sky.


The elements that drive the scene to a tension and release. These are the creative elements of the scene (and novel). They come out of the setting elements. For example, we might provide setting elements such as a frilly peach dress for Sharon and a dark green suit coat for Bill. Bill is carrying their books in book bags. Additionally, we can add the creative element of a rain storm during the day. The country lane is marked with puddles. Add to that Sharon is wearing hard shoes instead of her usual soft slippers. She keeps sinking a little in the softened dirt of the lane. She would like to ask Bill to hold her hand or let her hold his arm, but she is embarrassed to ask. He might do it, which would be embarrassing or he might reject it which would be even more embarrassing.


In any case, we are setup for some whopping tension and release. Can you see it? Just the elements I provided and the situation provides foreshadowing of the potential tension and release. This is what makes tension and release so powerful and what really excites your readers. They see the situation before it even occurs. The potential for the event is already wrapped in the creative elements—if the event doesn’t occur, the reader is more than disappointed. This is a Chekov’s gun—why provide the gun if someone isn’t going to shoot it?


I’ll write more tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site www.ldalford.com/, 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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1 Response to Writing—Scenes: Creative Elements

  1. I like your point about not telling or showing everything in a scene. I love when I read stories that allow me to bring my imagination into it more. Not a bare bones thing that feels more like a fleshed out outline, but just enough “mystery” to get me engaged.

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