10 March 2012, Development - The First Scene in the Creative Process
Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, 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.
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/.
I have a picture to begin the novel. All that picture needs is to be turned on--that is, the scene needs to start. All the research is not complete, the novel isn't written yet, but all the necessary elements are in place to begin. My creative process has started. My next step is to write the first scene.
The first scene of any novel is the most important. If you grasp your readers with the first scene, you will most likely hold them through the entire novel. To turn the picture into the first scene, I need a couple of things.
First, I need the entertaining and exciting part that will make up the scene. Every scene must be exciting and entertaining. If your scenes are not entertaining or exciting, rewrite them. If you can't write an entertaining or exciting scene, give it up. Your primary purpose as a writer is to write things people will read and that entertains them.
To make an entertaining scene, you must develop the tension and the release in the scene. Tension and release is the means to make a scene exciting and entertaining. A scene is exciting because it has strong tension and release. This is the only means to make a scene. The tension and release is how you write a worthwhile scene. I've been discussing this topic in depth on my Zen of Scenes blog at www.novelscene.wordpress.com. I'll extend some of that discussion here in the future.
Second, I need the voice of the characters. The history and description of the characters is not enough. An author gives a voice to his characters. The voice of the character includes their history, description, personality, et al, but it is the individual feel and writing that brings that character alive. You will understand what I mean if you think back to characters in books who had little voice--you had no idea when that character was acting or speaking. The author failed to bring that unique character alive. This is akin to character revelation (development). However, you can have a perfectly developed or revealed character who has little or no voice.
We'll look more at the first scene in the creative process in Aksinya tomorrow.
I'll repeat my published novel websites so you can see more examples: http://www.ldalford.com/, and the individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel.com/, http://www.centurionnovel.com/, http://www.thesecondmission.com/, http://www.theendofhonor.com/, http://www.thefoxshonor.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.