1 April 2012, Development - Characters Drive the Plot
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/.
The steps in making and using a character in a novel are as follows:
1. Development of the character
2. Revelation of the character
a. Description of the character - introduction
b. Voice of the character
In one of my published novels, Centurion, the main character is the Centurion Abenadar. This novel is about his life from birth to the moment when he proclaims about Jesus Christ "This man was surely the son of God."
This novel about Adenadar develops itself from the character (and the history of the times). That history of the times is the history of Abenadar. Much of the development of the character, Abenadar was put together backwards based on history. So, Abenadar had to be a Roman citizen. He was reportedly not fully Roman. I made him half Jewish. His mother was a Jewish concubine for a Roman ambassador. Abenadar had to be a Roman citizen to become a member of a Roman Legion. His father conferred the privilege of Roman citizen on him.
You can see the necessary scenes already:
1. His birth
2. His mother takes him to Roman officials to procure the right of Roman citizen
3. He joins the Legion
4. He trains in the Legion
5. He moves up in rank
6. He becomes a Centurion
7. and so on.
These are not all the scenes or the full development of the scenes in Centurion, but it is the basic beginning outline. The developed character, Abenadar, determines the scenes even more strongly than Aksinya. There is much leeway in Aksinya, but not much at all in Centurion. The reason for this is the characters. I noted that in Aksinya there are three ways the story can go and only two of those were viable because of the main character. This is my point about any novel, the main character(s) determines the plot.
I'll introduce you to some more examples, 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/.