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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Writing - part x474, Developing Skills, Conversation, Favorite Protagonists

25 April 2018, Writing - part x474, Developing Skills, Conversation, Favorite Protagonists

Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but the publisher has delayed all their fiction output due to the economy.  I'll keep you informed.  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 28th novel, working title, School, potential title Deirdre: Enchantment and the School.  The theme statement is: Sorcha, the abandoned child of an Unseelie and a human, secretly attends Wycombe Abbey girls’ school where she meets the problem child Deirdre and is redeemed.  
Here is the cover proposal for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School
 
Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I continued writing my 29th novel, working title Red Sonja.  I finished my 28th novel, working title School.  If you noticed, I started on number 28, but finished number 29 (in the starting sequence—it’s actually higher than that).  I adjusted the numbering.  I do keep everything clear in my records.  I’m just finishing number 30, working title Detective
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 29:  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 30:  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 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:  Many people would like to write, but writing is hard work.  I’ll express again, if you want to be a skilled and potentially a published author, you need to write about one million words.  That equates to about ten 100,000 word novels.  When you look at it this way, it is a daunting goal especially if you haven’t written a single novel. 

To become a good writer, you need two specific skill sets first reading and then writing.  Without these skill sets, I really can’t help you much.  I provide advanced help and information on how to write great fiction. 

Characters are the key to great writing.  Entertainment is the purpose of fiction writing.  The key to entertainment is character revelation, and specifically revelation of the plot and protagonist telic flaw (the same thing).  If we want to be a successful writer, we must aim for great protagonists, and a great protagonist means a great or compelling telic flaw.

In moving to mechanics, you have to start with something.  The something I recommend is the protagonist.  As I noted for you, the protagonist owns the telic flaw and the telic flaw is the catalyst for the plot.  The resolution of the telic flaw is the plot of the novel, so obviously, the best place to start any novel is with the protagonist.  I hate to do this because I usually end up writing a new novel—let’s develop a character.

How do we make a character real?  Conversation is another powerful means for showing.  Usually, when we think of showing, we think of action—conversation is an action.  I use showing in action very effectively to reveal my characters, however, I also use conversation extensively to reveal my characters.

The reason conversation is so useful is that you can show elements from your character’s thoughts—at least you can put their thoughts into words and present those words.  There is always the question of truth versus perception or even lies.

Here’s how this works.  If an author tells, the telling must be truth—if it isn’t there is no purpose for any omniscient perspective.  This is one of the reasons most adult authors hate omniscient voice or any omniscient perspective.  This is why most good authors don’t use mental reflection or tell the mind of the protagonist (or another other character).  Telling the mind, and this is real telling, is like giving a truth serum to your character.  When you tell the mind of any character, you are baring the mind of that character completely.  There is no equivocation, hiding, or lying—there can’t be.  In my opinion, this is so foreign to good writing and real life, that no character can be “real” within this context.  There is no reality for a character who is told.

What is telling exactly?  Telling a character is when I get into the character’s mind and either reveal their thoughts or use the omniscient voice to tell you their thoughts.  Here’s some examples:

Here is simple telling:
Jack greeted them.

Here is telling directly from a character’s thoughts:
Jack thought, I’ll grab the boat from the side and pull it directly to me.

Here is omniscient telling:
Jack knew just what to do now.  He would snag the side of the boat and pull it directly to him.                         

Don’t tell.  Don’t use telling.
Here are showing examples of each of the above.  Use these:

Jack raised his hand, “Good morning.”

This time Jack reached for the boat and grabbed it at the side.  He pulled it straight toward him.  It stayed on course.  He finally had it.

Here is an example of thought filled conversation based on the above omniscient voice.
Jack turned to Jill, “This time, I’ll try to grab the boat at the side and pull it directly toward me.”
Jill chewed her lip, “Do you think that will work—the last three times…”
Jack shook his head, “I think it will.  Wish me luck.”

This is how you show and this is what showing is all about.  Next, I’ll explain the whys and hows of the intimate conversation for character revelation.

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

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Writing - part x473, Developing Skills, Real Showing, Favorite Protagonists

24 April 2018, Writing - part x473, Developing Skills, Real Showing, Favorite Protagonists

Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but the publisher has delayed all their fiction output due to the economy.  I'll keep you informed.  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 28th novel, working title, School, potential title Deirdre: Enchantment and the School.  The theme statement is: Sorcha, the abandoned child of an Unseelie and a human, secretly attends Wycombe Abbey girls’ school where she meets the problem child Deirdre and is redeemed.  
Here is the cover proposal for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School
 
Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I continued writing my 29th novel, working title Red Sonja.  I finished my 28th novel, working title School.  If you noticed, I started on number 28, but finished number 29 (in the starting sequence—it’s actually higher than that).  I adjusted the numbering.  I do keep everything clear in my records.  I’m just finishing number 30, working title Detective
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 29:  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 30:  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 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:  Many people would like to write, but writing is hard work.  I’ll express again, if you want to be a skilled and potentially a published author, you need to write about one million words.  That equates to about ten 100,000 word novels.  When you look at it this way, it is a daunting goal especially if you haven’t written a single novel. 

To become a good writer, you need two specific skill sets first reading and then writing.  Without these skill sets, I really can’t help you much.  I provide advanced help and information on how to write great fiction. 

Characters are the key to great writing.  Entertainment is the purpose of fiction writing.  The key to entertainment is character revelation, and specifically revelation of the plot and protagonist telic flaw (the same thing).  If we want to be a successful writer, we must aim for great protagonists, and a great protagonist means a great or compelling telic flaw.

In moving to mechanics, you have to start with something.  The something I recommend is the protagonist.  As I noted for you, the protagonist owns the telic flaw and the telic flaw is the catalyst for the plot.  The resolution of the telic flaw is the plot of the novel, so obviously, the best place to start any novel is with the protagonist.  I hate to do this because I usually end up writing a new novel—let’s develop a character.

How do we make a character real?  Showing is the other side of description.  If you notice, in many modern novels, description is almost an afterthought.  The few authors who really understand description and do it well are true artists.  I advise you to practice description and to engage in description of both setting and characters.  Now to showing.

If an author is not adept at description, we hope they are, at least, capable of showing their characters.  Showing is a deeper and more powerful means of description.  In description, I show the external parts of the character and I may add in a few secretive personal thoughts—in showing, I show exactly who the character is.

For example, I might describe Sir Mallory as looking hard as nails with a tense and abrupt smile.  That sets the description of Sir Mallory.  If I show how he goes out of his way to help a young person o I show how he works hard to make another comfortable despite the circumstances that is showing.  I have shown Sir Mallory to be a person much different than his outward appearance.

On the other hand, if Sir Mallory goes out of his way to ignore a person in need or he ignores the needy to suck up to the wealthy and attached—that is showing too.

We show characters to make them real and to show instead of telling.  I’ve written before, don’t tell us how kind, charitable, and hard-working your character is.  Place them in a circumstance that would show them as kind, charitable, and hard-working.

I am constantly reminded of Sara Crew as A Little Princess when the author presents her even though she is starving, when she finds a six pence on the street, she gives five buns out of six to a girl much poorer than she.  This results in the girl being given work and being taken in by a baker.  The overall result of Sara Crew acting in a marvelously charitable fashion is the rescue of at least one human soul.  The scene is powerful and an example to all writers. 

This is what showing is all about, taking a character and presenting them through the narrative and action.  There is further, conversation as description.                      

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