28 April 2012, Development - and even more on Classical First Scene
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.
If you haven't guessed yet, I've left this up because I plan to use it in the future as we move through development. The steps in making and using a character in a novel are as follows:
1. Development of the character (history, description, personality, etc.)
2. Revelation of the character (within the novel, show don't tell)
a. Description of the character - introduction
b. Voice of the character
c. Continuing revelation by showing
In a classical plot (and in most of my novels) you have a protagonist, an antagonist, and a protagonist's helper. If you develop these three characters for a novel, the plot will naturally fall out of the development of the characters.
I've already confessed in one of my blogs about my first scenes, see this entry and following for more details http://novelscene.wordpress.com/2011/04/03/beginnings/. But it is still useful to show you classical forms in novels (and my novels since I am very familiar with them) so you can see how a novel can be put together.
I was discussing novels where the protagonist is not introduced in the first scene and I told you to be careful with this. I also mentioned that my published novel, Centurion, www.CenturionNovel.com begins with a scene that does not introduce the protagonist. Additionally, the first scene of my published novel, The End of Honor, begins with a very exciting scene, but doesn't introduce the protagonist until the second scene. The End of Honor begins with the protagonist's helper. Okay, The End of Honor is a different type of novel. The novel is written in the first person point of view from the perspective of the protagonist's helper, Lyral Neuterra. In about the middle, after Lyral dies, the novel goes to third person. The protagonist is Prince John-Mark. He shows up early in the novel.
The End of Honor is not a classically developed novel, but it has many classical features. It does begin with an exciting scene in real time, but it moves to a flashback time sequence where we see Lyral's life and experience from her meeting the protagonist to her death.
The first scene of The End of Honor does introduce the protagonist's helper and the antagonist, Prince Perod-Mark. In this sense, the novel is classically put together.
I've discovered as I write more and more, I find the classical forms to be more powerful and easier to use. That doesn't mean the avant garde isn't worth pursuing. It just means that most novels will fall into classical forms as the author's experience increases.
I'll explain more about tension and first scene development. I'll talk about characteristics that make a bad first scene/chapter eventually.
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/.