1 May 2012, Development - an example of a less than 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.
Since I'm showing examples from a classical standpoint, I might as well continue with this theme. My published novel, A Season of Honor, begins by introducing the protagonist in the first scene. We don't meet the protagonist's helper until the second scene. The first scene is not characterized by excitement. There is some revelation and emotional action. The novel begins at just the right point, but that point isn't as excitement filled as it should be. The beginning of the novel could have been improved by either an action based point or by moving it to the second scene.
The action based point for the beginning might have been when the protagonist, Baron Shawn du Locke comes to the planet, Acier. Still, I'm happy with the novel. It is published and has a small following. The novel builds very satisfactorily from the beginning to the end. If you read this novel, you might agree, it would be difficult to begin anywhere else, but a strong beginning is important to any novel.
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/.