© Roxana Arama. All rights Reserved. March 19, 2011

THE WEDDING BELL is the working title of my second novel, a book I’m writing this time following the process outlined in THE WEEKEND NOVELIST series.

THE WEDDING BELL is a coming-of-age story set in an imaginary world that draws on the culture of the Dacians, the people who lived on the current Romanian territory before the Roman conquest. The novel is built with the language and plot elements of folktale, and tells the story of a girl who redefines the rules of the game within her patriarchal social order. Her name is Meda, and she is the Princess of the Mountains. On her sixteenth birthday, her father allows her to roam the palace, but warns her of a forbidden chamber.

This book started as a short story in April 2010 and has grown into a novel during the last six months. Once I settled on the novel form, I wrote character sketches and created my repository of locations, recurring objects, maps and politics for my three kingdoms. After I learned a great deal about the fictional world I was creating, I began work on my scene list.

The scene list is a tool for organizing locations, objects, point-of-view and chronology. But it’s more than that. As I worked on my list, I noticed plot tracks on objects, locations and ritual actions that I hadn’t been aware of when I first wrote the scenes, and I could look at the way my scenes hooked to each other following the arc of their subjects throughout the story. These insights have become the building blocks of the metaphorical reality that is my book. Within this framework, I’m free to experiment and discover, to build and tear down. I’m as thrilled writing this story as I hope others will be one day reading it.

So far, I’ve written or sketched 102 scenes, which cover the main plot and seven subplots. My main antagonist is Duras, the King of the Lakes. He owns Subplot 1. For the purpose of this blog entry, I selected from my list only the ACT I scenes that have Duras as a character, up to PLOT POINT 1. I also trimmed the scene information to a handful of categories: number, name, description, plot tracks and hooks. Of course, my scene list is still evolving as I go through my writing and rewriting.

Scene List for Subplot 1 / ACT I

SCENE 5: The Battle of a Fortnight, Backstory: Meda, the Princess of the Mountains, age 10, learns about the recent battle where Scorilo, the King of the Prairies, stabbed Duras, the King of the Lakes, and left him for dead. She identifies with 17-year old Duras and makes him the hero of her dreams.

Opens the plot tracks on SCAR and KNIFE. Hooks to SCENE 6 & SCENE 14.

SCENE 16: First Sighting: Out of her window, Meda, age 16, sees the Lakes riders arrive at the Palace of the Mountains. She cannot tell which one of them is the king.

Opens the plot track on DISGUISE. Hooks to SCENE 18.

SCENE 17: The Council: Duras and Cothelas, the King of the Mountains, meet behind closed doors. They agree to an alliance in order to deter Scorilo from future attacks. Cothelas wants the trade route with the Kingdom of the Prairies reopened.

Opens the plot track on MAPS. Hooks to SCENE 19.

SCENE 19: First Encounter: Meda meets Duras at the feast offered in his honor. She is disappointed.

Continues the plot track on GEMS. Hooks to SCENE 22.

SCENE 22 (part of PLOT POINT 1): The Wedding: Meda and Duras get married.

Multiple plot tracks and subplots intersect here. Hooks to SCENE 24.