Writing—So You Want to be a Writer, How is a Novel Written? Novel Writing Plan, Planning the Climax of a Comedy—the Expected Unexpected, Example

29 July 2018, 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:   I need a new publisher.  Ancient Light has been delayed due to the economy, and it may not be published.  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 in the USA.

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:

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


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.


How do we gain the skills to write well?  Let’s begin with reading.  Reading allows us to understand the following:


  1. What a novel is.
  2. How a novel is constructed.
  3. How a novel is entertaining.
  4. How a novel is written.
  5. How novels have evolved.
  6. Different genre in novels.


If we understand what makes a novel entertaining, we can move on to how a novel is written.


This idea incorporates significant concepts about writing.  First of all, the author must be a skilled reader.  Second, the author must be a skilled writer.  Third, the author must have an idea.  Forth, the author must have the discipline to write a novel.


The next step is the discipline to write.  Part of that is motivation to write.  My motivation comes with a creative idea.


So, this is what I need to write about again for you: scenes and the writing plan for a novel.  Novels are written in scenes.  Therefore, if you want to write a novel, you need to be able to write good scenes, and you need a plan to write your novel’s scenes.


This is a scene outline:

  1. The initial scene.
  2. The rising action scenes.
  3. The climax scene.
  4. The falling action scene(s).
  5. The dénouement scene(s).


The resolution of a comedy and a tragedy are known from the initial scene—the author must resolve the telic flaw.  The telic flaw is revealed at the very beginning.  The expectation if that the telic flaw must be overcome by the protagonist in a comedy and the telic flaw must overcome the protagonist in a tragedy.


Since the resolution of the novel is known from the beginning, the author must figure out some means to unexpectedly resolve the telic flaw.  This is called the unexpected expected.  This is the usual progression.


  1. State the telic flaw of the protagonist and the plot in the initial scene.
  2. Reveal that the resolution of the telic flaw is impossible.
  3. Reveal incomplete or inconclusive stepping stones that might allow the resolution of the telic flaw.
  4. At the climax, the elements of the rising action that pointed to the resolution of the telic flaw all come together in a reasoned and logical fashion.


Since I gave you Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon in this blog, I’ll use it again as an example.  You can read the entire novel with commentary on its development here.  I’ll address each point of the resolution development.


  1. State the telic flaw of the protagonist and the plot in the initial scene.


Aksinya calls the demon Asmodeus from hell and completes a contract with him to serve her—save her family from the Bolsheviks.  To provide surety for the contract, he gives her a pendant with a fish on it, and she gives him her hair.  (for those who read my other blogs, this research was extensive.  I probably read 100 books on the subject of Asmodeus in history and myth.  Additionally, Asmodeus is the demon from Tobit.)


  1. Reveal that the resolution of the telic flaw is impossible.


Aksinya and Asmodeus arrive too late (we find out later Asmodeus intentionally delayed them) to save Aksinya’s family.  Her purpose for calling the demon is done, but she is now linked to a demon with no known means to send him back or to rescind the contract.  Aksinya orders the demon to enact her revenge against those who murdered her family.  This further seals Aksinya’s connection with the demon—sin.  The demon forces her to move to Austria where Aksinya has relatives and position.


  1. Reveal incomplete or inconclusive stepping stones that might allow the resolution of the telic flaw.


Now, we fill in the rising action.  Aksinya attempts over and over to unsuccessfully thwart the demon.  He tempts her to greater and greater sin.  In a fit of rage, following her betrayal by her lady in waiting with her fiancé, Aksinya beats her lady in waiting to death (so she thinks).  She is taken in by the local Orthodox Church, but eventually Aksinya is captured by the authorities and put on trial by the Catholic Church for witchcraft and by the authorities for false contracts (made by the demon) and assault (of her lady in waiting).  The outcome of the ecclesiastical trial is excommunication for Aksinya and her associates and friends.  The outcome of the secular trial is more favorable because the youthful priest from the Orthodox Church defends her.  The priest has fallen in love with Aksinya and believes he has a means to defeat the demon.  The surety from the initial scene is the key—just as the fish was in Tobit.  Did I mention Aksinya is a semi-allegory of Tobit.


  1. At the climax, the elements of the rising action that pointed to the resolution of the telic flaw all come together in a reasoned and logical fashion.


Aksinya and the priest confront the demon and through some trickery and courage defeat him.  As in Tobit, the destruction (burning) of the fish pendant (part in Tobit) calls the angel Raphael ho banishes the demon Asmodeus back to hell.


I’ll give you more, but this is the overall scheme for this novel.  All well-written novels follow this outline of development.  I’ll look at another example next.


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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