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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Writing - part x704, Writing a Novel, Fleshing Out Characters, more Protagonist’s Helper

11 December 2018, Writing - part x704, Writing a Novel, Fleshing Out Characters, more Protagonist’s Helper

Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but my primary publisher has gone out of business—they couldn’t succeed in the past business and publishing environment.  I'll keep you informed, but I need a new publisher.  More information can be found at www.ancientlight.com.  Check out my novels--I think you'll really enjoy them.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.

I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.
The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:
1. Don't confuse your readers.
2. Entertain 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.
5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.
These are the steps I use to write a novel including the five discrete parts of a novel:

1.      Design the initial scene
2.      Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
a.       Research as required
b.      Develop the initial setting
c.       Develop the characters
d.      Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
3.      Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
4.      Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
5.      Write the climax scene
6.      Write the falling action scene(s)
7.      Write the dénouement scene
I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential title Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.  The theme statement is: Lady Azure Rose Wishart, the Chancellor of the Fae, supernatural detective, and all around dangerous girl, finds love, solves cases, breaks heads, and plays golf.  
Here is the cover proposal for Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective
Cover Proposal
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I am continuing to write on my 30th novel, working title Red Sonja.  I finished my 29th novel, working title Detective.  I’m planning to start on number 31, working title Shifter
How to begin a novel.  Number one thought, we need an entertaining idea.  I usually encapsulate such an idea with a theme statement.  Since I’m writing a new novel, we need a new theme statement.  Here is an initial cut.

For novel 30:  Red Sonja, a Soviet spy, infiltrates the X-plane programs at Edwards AFB as a test pilot’s administrative clerk, learns about freedom, and is redeemed.

For novel 31:  TBD 

Here is the scene development 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
          
Today:  Why don’t we go back to the basics and just writing a novel?  I can tell you what I do, and show you how I go about putting a novel together.  We can start with developing an idea then move into the details of the writing. 

The protagonist’s helper is an optional character in any novel, but I would offer that the protagonist’s helper may be the most important innovation in modern literature. 

The protagonist’s helper can be a confidant, an associate, a friend, a lover, a foil, a rival, a drinking buddy, or a sidekick.  This isn’t an all-inclusive list.  The basic point of the protagonist’s helper is to provide a sounding board to the ideas of the protagonist.  The sounding board can be direct or indirect.

The protagonist’s helper doesn’t necessarily need to be a friend at all.  The protagonist helper can be a trainer, a boss, a mentor, or a drill sergeant.  In other words, the protagonist’s helper doesn’t necessarily have to be a friend or an obvious helper. 

The most important characteristic of the protagonist’s helper is as a sounding board.  For example, a drill sergeant is definitely not your friend, but he or she might be a perfect mentor.  The purpose of a drill sergeant is to tear a protagonist down and then build them back up.  A drill sergeant as a protagonist’s helper could provide excellent direct and indirect revelation of the mind of the protagonist.  How can this work?

The direct revelation is where the protagonist converses his or her ideas and expectations and mind directly to a protagonist’s helper.  The drill sergeant as a mentor or advisor would fit this role.  The drill sergeant after hours in conversation with your protagonist is a direct conversation.  I’ve used this direct type of protagonist helper as a drill sergeant in my novels.  In Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse, Sorcha is like a drill sergeant.  She has direct conversations with the protagonist Shiggy about all kinds of subject most of the discussion is directed to Shiggy, but in many cases Shiggy speaks her thoughts to Sorcha.  In fact, the revelation of the protagonist works to this end.  As the protagonist improves and learns her lessons, the protagonist’s helper, Sorcha, becomes closer and closer to a sounding board.  They aren’t fully friends, but they tickle friendship as the novel progresses.

I also have used an indirect revelation of the protagonist’s mind through a protagonist’s helper.  This is achieved when the protagonist is excited by the protagonist’s helper to express themselves usually to others but also in a journal or other means.  In Warrior of Light the training officer discusses the actions and activities of Daniel, the protagonist, while off station.  This discussion provides an indirect revelation of Daniel from the conversation with a drill sergeant, another cadet, and from the commander.  Each of these indirect revelations about Daniel provides the reader information about the protagonist.  The revelation of the protagonist.  This is what entertainment is about.          

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://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

Monday, December 10, 2018

Writing - part x703, Writing a Novel, Fleshing Out Characters, Protagonist’s Helper

10 December 2018, Writing - part x703, Writing a Novel, Fleshing Out Characters, Protagonist’s Helper

Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but my primary publisher has gone out of business—they couldn’t succeed in the past business and publishing environment.  I'll keep you informed, but I need a new publisher.  More information can be found at www.ancientlight.com.  Check out my novels--I think you'll really enjoy them.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.
I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:
1. Don't confuse your readers.
2. Entertain 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.
5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.
These are the steps I use to write a novel including the five discrete parts of a novel:

1.      Design the initial scene
2.      Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
a.       Research as required
b.      Develop the initial setting
c.       Develop the characters
d.      Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
3.      Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
4.      Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
5.      Write the climax scene
6.      Write the falling action scene(s)
7.      Write the dénouement scene
I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential title Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.  The theme statement is: Lady Azure Rose Wishart, the Chancellor of the Fae, supernatural detective, and all around dangerous girl, finds love, solves cases, breaks heads, and plays golf.  
Here is the cover proposal for Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective
Cover Proposal
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I am continuing to write on my 30th novel, working title Red Sonja.  I finished my 29th novel, working title Detective.  I’m planning to start on number 31, working title Shifter
How to begin a novel.  Number one thought, we need an entertaining idea.  I usually encapsulate such an idea with a theme statement.  Since I’m writing a new novel, we need a new theme statement.  Here is an initial cut.

For novel 30:  Red Sonja, a Soviet spy, infiltrates the X-plane programs at Edwards AFB as a test pilot’s administrative clerk, learns about freedom, and is redeemed.

For novel 31:  TBD 

Here is the scene development 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
          
Today:  Why don’t we go back to the basics and just writing a novel?  I can tell you what I do, and show you how I go about putting a novel together.  We can start with developing an idea then move into the details of the writing. 

The protagonist’s helper is an optional character in any novel, but I would offer that the protagonist’s helper may be the most important innovation in modern literature. 

The reason for this comes out of the development of the novel.  Novels started in English theoretically with Daniel Defoe and Robinson CarusoRobinson Caruso was written in the first person past tense journalistic style implying the present.  The journalistic style allowed the author to tell the mind of the protagonist, but that was telling.  It was new and entertaining to its audiences, but readers wanted a more immersive experience.  Literature developed into the third person past tense in a story centric style implying the present.  The author could only show the mind of the protagonist through telling, showing actions, through conversation, journalistically, or through other intimate means. 

The novel moved from the idea of story centric to a more immersive concept.  The point of literature today became one of the suspension of disbelief.  The author wants to place the reader in the novel and hold them in the novel.  The novel becomes immersive and the presentation is showing and not telling. 

If we wish to show and not tell, how do we show the mind of the protagonist?  Authors found that telling the thoughts of the protagonist was a turnoff to many readers, and it just isn’t considered a good form for writing.  You will find many young adult novels still follow the telling tract.  Victorian novels were trying to cut away from telling.  Novels in the twentieth century did achieve a strong degree of showing instead of telling.  Back to the main point, what is the best way to show and not tell the mind of the protagonist?

It is always best to show the mind of the protagonist through their actions, but this isn’t always the most effective or immersive way to express the protagonist.  You can’t easily express the mind of the protagonist just through showing—that is unless you have an intimate whom the protagonist can converse with about the depths of their heart and soul.  This is what the protagonist’s helper is all about.

There are other perks as well.  The protagonist’s helper can be a confidant, an associate, a friend, a lover, a foil, a rival, a drinking buddy, or a sidekick.  This isn’t an all-inclusive list.  The basic point of the protagonist’s helper is to provide a sounding board to the ideas of the protagonist.  The sounding board can be direct or indirect, but that’s worth another discussion.      

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://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

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Writing - part x702, Writing a Novel, Fleshing Out Characters, more Antagonist

9 December 2018, Writing - part x702, Writing a Novel, Fleshing Out Characters, more Antagonist

Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but my primary publisher has gone out of business—they couldn’t succeed in the past business and publishing environment.  I'll keep you informed, but I need a new publisher.  More information can be found at www.ancientlight.com.  Check out my novels--I think you'll really enjoy them.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.

I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:
1. Don't confuse your readers.
2. Entertain 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.
5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.
These are the steps I use to write a novel including the five discrete parts of a novel:

1.      Design the initial scene
2.      Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
a.       Research as required
b.      Develop the initial setting
c.       Develop the characters
d.      Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
3.      Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
4.      Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
5.      Write the climax scene
6.      Write the falling action scene(s)
7.      Write the dénouement scene
I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential title Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.  The theme statement is: Lady Azure Rose Wishart, the Chancellor of the Fae, supernatural detective, and all around dangerous girl, finds love, solves cases, breaks heads, and plays golf.  
Here is the cover proposal for Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective
Cover Proposal
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I am continuing to write on my 30th novel, working title Red Sonja.  I finished my 29th novel, working title Detective.  I’m planning to start on number 31, working title Shifter
How to begin a novel.  Number one thought, we need an entertaining idea.  I usually encapsulate such an idea with a theme statement.  Since I’m writing a new novel, we need a new theme statement.  Here is an initial cut.

For novel 30:  Red Sonja, a Soviet spy, infiltrates the X-plane programs at Edwards AFB as a test pilot’s administrative clerk, learns about freedom, and is redeemed.

For novel 31:  TBD 

Here is the scene development 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
          
Today:  Why don’t we go back to the basics and just writing a novel?  I can tell you what I do, and show you how I go about putting a novel together.  We can start with developing an idea then move into the details of the writing. 

I’m writing while flying away from the Florida Coast, a tropical storm/hurricane is on its way. 

In this new novel, who is the antagonist?  At this moment, I don’t know.  The antagonist is a necessary character.  You can’t have a novel without one—I should write, you can’t have a classical entertaining novel without an antagonist.  What is an antagonist?
         
Let’s look a little deeper at the antagonist.  The antagonist doesn’t have to be a person.  I advise that you always have a person act as the antagonist, but it is possible to cast an organization, an idea, a group, a government, nature, a city, a concept, an ideology, and all.  Modern novels have gotten into the practice of making the antagonist something other than a singular person.

For example, in many Cold War novels, the Soviet Union is the antagonist.  In many World War II novels, the Nazis are the antagonist.  In some novels, the Catholic Church, Evangelical Churches, Islam, the Illuminate are the antagonist.  In other novels, a business, a government, or a political party are the antagonists.  In 1984, the government and a political party are the antagonist.  In Logan’s Run, the government is the antagonist.  In some novels, nature is the antagonist.  You find this in survival novels. 

I want to point out that the very wise author takes a generic antagonist and gives it the face of a person.  A great example of this in literature is in 1984, although the antagonist is the government, Orwell provides a person who represents everything vile about the government.  This antagonist provokes, stalks, and tries to catch the protagonist.  This is personalizing a generic antagonist.  The Matrix does this with Mr. Smith and then others.

A generic antagonist is a great way to provide a dark and dangerous setting for a novel.  Such a novel gets darker and darker, we call it dystopian today, as the power or setting of the generic antagonist increases.  During the Cold War, the horror of the Soviet was contrasted with the freedom of the West—characters could potentially escape the clutches of the Soviet Union by going to the West.  On the other hand, in 1984 or Logan’s Run, all the world is encompassed or seems encompassed by the power of the antagonist.  Where can you run if everything is dire?

The antagonist is a necessary part of a novel.  It is also a very powerful part of a novel—entertaining and developing excitement.     

What about the protagonist’s helper?  

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://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