9 April 2012, Development - Nothing Extraneous
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.
A novel is a cohesive whole and what makes it whole and cohesive is there should be nothing extraneous in it. If you couple this with the characters, the novel will develop itself.
I don't view a novel as a story--never have. A novel is the revelation of a character encompassed by a theme. I'm not saying that the plot (or storyline) isn't important, but it is of lesser importance to the revelation of the character and the theme. Look, most people write because they want to get out an idea (a theme). Some people, like me, write to entertain. You will achieve both goals if you encompass the revelation of a character encompassed by a theme.
Remember, show don't tell? Showing is revealing a character. Have you ever heard of a storyteller, showing--or telling? The name gives it away--a storyteller, tells. A novelist shows. That's the difference. I am not a storyteller (although I can tell a mean story)--I am a novelist. Are you getting it?
I'll write about classical forms in literature, and I'll write more about characters, especially about the protagonist's helper, 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/.