10 April 2012, Development - Entertainment
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 (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.
In my opinion, the purpose of fiction writing is to entertain. If a work does not entertain, it isn't worth reading. My number one rule of writing is to entertain. The reason is this, if your readers are not entertained, they won't read your novels. If they don't read your novels, they won't get whatever else you are attempting to convey. Not only that, you won't sell any novels and no one will read them. That's the ultimate point, right? You want people to read your novels. If you make entertainment your focus, you will have much more success that you will if you are trying to make a point. Further, if you entertain, you'll make your point and people will read your novels.
If you want to entertain, you must develop entertaining characters. They must resonate with your readers, but they must be unique and different. They must be touching, but not pitiful. They must be interesting and they can be eccentric. I typically like to develop romantic characters. A romantic character is not a romance character. A romantic character is a classical character who is bigger than life but that has a tellic flaw. "The Romantic hero is a literary archetype referring to a character that rejects established norms and conventions, has been rejected by society, and has the self as the center of his or her own existence." Many classic characters are romantic characters. I would guess that the most favorite characters in literature are romantic characters. They generally represent the human ideal or at least what most humans aspire to. If you make your protagonist a romantic character, you are starting down the trail to entertainment.
I'll write about classical forms in literature, and I'll write more about characters, especially about the characters, and plot 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/.