13 April 2012, Development - Entertainment, Scenes
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.
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.
Each scene begins with description--the scene setting. It then moves to character introduction. This is description at first and then movement and conversation. When I write "description" I mean physical description--show, don't tell.
Each scene has an input and an output. The input to the beginning scene is assumed. The first scene is not the time to fill in back story or mention anything else except the first scene. You can drop nuggets during the first scene, but use caution. The first scene must move forward with energy and excitement. You shouldn't have anything that gets in its way. The first scene needs to grab your reader by the throat and hold tight. It needs to convince your reader to continue to read. If you can't catch them with the first scene, you never will--they won't read any further.
As a matter of fact, if your teaser doesn't catch them, you won't get them to open your book. I've been seeing some horrible descriptions in the indie scene. I'll discuss that tomorrow and get back to introducing the theme in the first scene later.
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/.