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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Writing - part xx146 Writing a Novel, Audience Becoming

26 February 2020, Writing - part xx146 Writing a Novel, Audience Becoming

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 websites 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:  Deirdre and Sorcha are redirected to French finishing school where they discover difficult mysteries, people, and events. 

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. 

To start a novel, I picture an initial scene.  I may start from a protagonist or just launch into mental development of an initial scene.  I get the idea for an initial scene from all kinds of sources.  To help get the creative juices flowing, let’s look at the initial scene. 

1.     Meeting between the protagonist and the antagonist or the protagonist’s helper
2.     Action point in the plot
3.     Buildup to an exciting scene
4.     Indirect introduction of the protagonist

Ideas.  We need ideas.  Ideas allow us to figure out the protagonist and the telic flaw.  Ideas don’t come fully armed from the mind of Zeus.  We need to cultivate ideas. 

1.     Read novels. 
2.     Fill your mind with good stuff—basically the stuff you want to write about. 
3.     Figure out what will build ideas in your mind and what will kill ideas in your mind.
4.     Study.
5.     Teach. 
6.     Make the catharsis. 
7.     Write.

The development of ideas is based on study and research, but it is also based on creativity.  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, schience, and logic (the intellect).  Creativity requires consuming, thinking, and producing.

If we have filled our mind with all kinds of information and ideas, we are ready to become creative.  Creativity means the extrapolation of older ideas to form new ones or to present old ideas in a new form.  Literally, we are seeing the world in a new way, or actually, we are seeing some part of the world in a new way.  Let’s look at an example.

The writer must create like an artist with the manipulation of writing (language) in the world through hard work to present something that is not natural, common, or previously existing in the world, and adds beauty to the world and humanity.

The other very powerful audience builder is a protagonist or characters who are becoming.  Usually this means seeking knowledge of some kind.  This is also the Romantic protagonist.

The Romantic protagonist is a protagonist who comes from the common person, discovers or has some special skill that they then expend significant effort to perfect.  The resolution of the telic flaw is then the result of the use of the skills the Romantic protagonist perfected. 

A great example of the Romantic protagonist is Johnny Rico in Starship Troopers.  Johnny discovers he could be a leader.  He works hard to become a great leader, and then uses that leadership skill to lead his soldiers to success in the Great Bug War.

An example of a poor Romantic protagonist is Harry Potty.  He isn’t common, Harry is one of the special wizards from an inherited wizardly family.  Harry discovers he is a wizard.  Because he is a wizard, he gets to go to wizard school to learn to become a great wizard.  He is a pretty poor student, or we are given the impression that he isn’t the greatest student—that is he doesn’t have discipline, but rather special skills he doesn’t have to work hard to achieve.  He just has to discover his skills and unlike the very hard working Hermione, he doesn’t even need to practice—they just come to him.  Harry is very much like the Victorian protagonists—born to their success and positions.

Personally, I love Romantic characters.  Back to creativity.  If you want to found a great character, start with the common, usually the impoverished or downtrodden is even better. Give them a desire to succeed along with being hardworking.  Let them discover a skill.  Learning or education is a skill anyone can have.  If you couch the skill in terms of the common person and project extreme work as the tool to success, you are following the common Romantic thinking. 

Special skills has become the focus of modern Romantic characters.  For example, music, writing, poetical, artistry, and all.  The problem with some of these skills is that for a very strong Romantic protagonist, they can’t be too exclusionary.  In my novel, Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer.  Lilly is a math and computer genius.  She does have special math and programming skills, but I present her as a child of the streets who just worked extra hard to achieve her current scholarships and skills.  The reason she had to work so hard was to better her life through her math and programming skills.  I think the reader can accept this from a completely reasoned standpoint.  The educated reader will presume that under similar circumstances, they could achieve just as Lilly did.  Expedience forces the Romantic protagonist to find and perfect their skills. 

As we look for creative ideas, and I believe creative ideas begin with creative characters, we should look at just what excites and interests us.  How can we project what we like and enjoy into a great character.             

Let’s look at the other suggestions and see how we can use them to develop entertaining writing.

The beginning of creativity is study and effort.  We can use this to extrapolate to creativity.  In addition, we need to look at recording ideas and working with ideas.    
    
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, February 25, 2020

Writing - part xx145 Writing a Novel, Audience

25 February 2020, Writing - part xx145 Writing a Novel, Audience

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 websites 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:  Deirdre and Sorcha are redirected to French finishing school where they discover difficult mysteries, people, and events. 

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. 

To start a novel, I picture an initial scene.  I may start from a protagonist or just launch into mental development of an initial scene.  I get the idea for an initial scene from all kinds of sources.  To help get the creative juices flowing, let’s look at the initial scene. 

1.     Meeting between the protagonist and the antagonist or the protagonist’s helper
2.     Action point in the plot
3.     Buildup to an exciting scene
4.     Indirect introduction of the protagonist

Ideas.  We need ideas.  Ideas allow us to figure out the protagonist and the telic flaw.  Ideas don’t come fully armed from the mind of Zeus.  We need to cultivate ideas. 

1.     Read novels. 
2.     Fill your mind with good stuff—basically the stuff you want to write about. 
3.     Figure out what will build ideas in your mind and what will kill ideas in your mind.
4.     Study.
5.     Teach. 
6.     Make the catharsis. 
7.     Write.

The development of ideas is based on study and research, but it is also based on creativity.  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, schience, and logic (the intellect).  Creativity requires consuming, thinking, and producing.

If we have filled our mind with all kinds of information and ideas, we are ready to become creative.  Creativity means the extrapolation of older ideas to form new ones or to present old ideas in a new form.  Literally, we are seeing the world in a new way, or actually, we are seeing some part of the world in a new way.  Let’s look at an example.

The writer must create like an artist with the manipulation of writing (language) in the world through hard work to present something that is not natural, common, or previously existing in the world, and adds beauty to the world and humanity.

Adding beauty to the world and humanity.  This is surprisingly limiting in writing due to your audience.  Remember, we are looking for entertainment.  Entertainment in writing adds beauty to the world and humanity.  The reason it is limiting is specifically because of your audience.

Think about this.  You audience is a group of educated readers.  I can assure you, readers are educated, at least to the degree of enjoying fiction, and they are readers.  The reason I ask you to think about it is that educated readers are always interested in protagonists specifically and characters generally who are readers and interested in education.  I know I’ve written about this extensively before, but I need to mention this again as a concept in creativity.

You need to evaluate how readers will look at your protagonist and characters.  Most precisely, you need to look at how your audience, publishers and readers, will look at and accept your characters.  Let me use Menolly from the Dragoninger and Dragonsong novels as an example.

Menolly is an artist, most specifically, she is a musician and songwriter.  The presumption in her culture and our culture is that she is educated and something of a reader.  The reader is presumed even though books aren’t a key focus of the novels or the character.  The presumption is that a songwriter must also be a reader and a writer.  Certain artists and professions in our culture and others automatically produce positive associations of education and reading to your readers.  Certain professions and activities do not.

I hate to tell you this, but sports figures and sports don’t directly support the ideas of most readers.  What you need is to present your sports and sports figures in an environment of education and readership.  The question is how to do this.  This is not to say that sports stories or novels might not appeal to a certain audience, but unless your audience is purely or largely a sports audience, you might not have great success unless you pose your characters and protagonist in some type of educational environment or as readers.  Thus, the greatest appeal of these types of novels isn’t in professional sports but in an educational environment.  For example, in school or the university. 

You can see this in the Harry Potty novels.  The sport is quidich.  The protagonist is a student in wizarding school and a highly “skilled” quidich player.  Part of the problem or perhaps the main draw for the reader is that Harry is skilled in quidich not because he is especially athletic, but rather that he has high wizard skills.  It is the wizard skills that appeal to the readers especially in the sense of education and the romantic concept of magic.  In other words, readers don’t see Harry as an athlete as much as they see his as a capable wizard who is learning magic.  The readers perceive that if they had Harry’s (impossible in the real world) skills, they too could be just like him. 

A reader doesn’t see the same about track or football in any variety.  On the other hand, if you want to propose a student athlete who is juggling their sport and their classes.  If the athlete is a student first and an athlete second, you might produce a character who readers will like and enjoy.

This goes back to Menolly.  I’ve mentioned before that most readers also love music.  A musician appeals to them especially a musician who is working hard at their education.  In spite of the work we know music requires, it’s like being a wizard.  A wizard is an impossible skill in the real world, but a definite skill in a reflected or created worldview.  Musician is a possible skill, but readers imagine that under similar circumstances, they too could be like Menolly, just as they imagine that under the circumstances of the wizard worldview of Harry Potty, they might be a wizard like Harry. 

The trick is to turn a character or protagonist into one that readers can associate with and enjoy.  As I noted, the best way is to project the character into education and reading.          

I recommend expanding your audience through an appeal to education and reading.       

Let’s look at the other suggestions and see how we can use them to develop entertaining writing.

The beginning of creativity is study and effort.  We can use this to extrapolate to creativity.  In addition, we need to look at recording ideas and working with ideas.    
    
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