Writing—So You Want to be a Writer, Current Novel, Scene Themes

15 February 2020, 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 scenes
  3. The climax scene
  4. The falling action scene(s)
  5. The dénouement scene(s)


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  Ancient Light has been delayed due to the economy, and it may not be published.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:  In Kansas.

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.


I’m currently writing a novel that is a little difficult to explain.  It’s a reflected worldview novel so it includes fairy creatures, British mythical beings and gods, and a vampire.  It is an adult novel, but is set in a girl’s boarding school in Saint Malo France.  The initial scene was based on another novel titled Deidre: Enchantment and the School.


What I’ll do now is focus on the details of words, sentences, paragraphs, and scenes on entertainment.  I can assure you if these are right, the other parts will be too.


I’ve been looking at scenes and especially themes for scenes and themes for novels.  The point of all of this is entertainment.  The big picture is how to write scenes, but as always, the devil is in the details.  The question is how can I help you with the details?  I have been suggesting exercises in writing to help develop writing skills.  Perhaps this would be a good means of improving skills and write about the skills required.


Let’s start writing paragraphs.  I’ve described before how to write a good paragraph.  Let me repeat it to remind us.


  1. Topic sentence
    1. Topic or subject of the paragraph
    2. Connection with the previous paragraph
  2. Body
    1. Explains and expands on the topic
    2. Has a reasoned structure
    3. Leads to a conclusion of some kind
    4. Transitions to the conclusion of the paragraph and the connection to the next paragraph.
    5. May set up a kicker
  3. Ending
    1. Potential conclusion
    2. Potential kicker
    3. Tie to the next paragraph


Setting paragraphs


Character paragraphs


Action paragraphs


Dialog paragraphs


Remember to follow the rules for human interaction (dialog).


  1. Greetings
  2. Social lubrication
  3. Introductions
  4. Small talk
  5. Deep talk
  6. Farewells


In dialog:

  1. Don’t use direct address (except when done in the conversational setting)
  2. Use contractions
  3. Use action tags
  4. Use identifying tags
  5. Dialog in books, plays, and movies is never real


Now you have all the elements put together to be able to make a scene.  You have setting, character, action, and dialog paragraphs.  These are called vignettes.  These aren’t scenes.  To make them a scene we need to apply the scene template or scene outline.


The scene outline or template presumes one very important point that is a theme and tension and release.  The theme comes from the scene input while the tension and release are related directly to the scene output and the theme.  We obviously need a theme and an output.  An input would be nice.


To turn paragraphs into scenes, we need a theme to pull them together.  Actually, as writers, we take a theme and then write the paragraphs to fit the theme.  For example, if I am writing about a party—that is the theme.  I need a setting and characters for a party.  I then write the action of the characters moving into and within the scene.  Of course, the characters should conduct conversations.


The theme drives the connections of the paragraphs and the overall information in the scene.  Of course, in an actual scene, the purpose of the scene is to support the plot and the resolution of the telic flaw.  Ultimately, what our exercise is missing is this connecting information—the telic flaw resolution.


In addition, the scene tension and release is driven by the theme and the telic flaw resolution.


Let’s look at themes and then tension and release.


The most important thing for the scene is developing the entertainment in the scene.


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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