16 July 2012, Development - Rules of Writing, Art Conversation and Symbols
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.
Here are my rules of writing:
1. Don't confuse your readers.
2. Entertain your readers.
3. Ground your readers in the writing.
4. Don't show (or tell) everything.
All language is symbols. Therefore it shouldn't surprise you that your writing should include higher level symbols. What are higher level symbols? I mentioned before the cross as a symbol. The cross is a higher level symbol--a symbol that doesn't depend on language. Symbols can be ready made or author made symbols. Some symbols are a mix.
Yesterday, I gave you an example of conversation from the novel, Aksinya. In the example, I commented on the use of symbols and the levels of the writing. If you go back to the beginning of the novel that I published in this blog, you can see other comments on the symbols. I didn't write about the levels of the writing at that time; however, you can easily see how the symbols drive the writing to levels above the literal and that eventually reach the level of the theme.
All cogent fiction writing has at least two levels: literal and theme. Any writing of any power has many levels between the literal and the theme. Additionally, great writing will also have different storylines running through it. Each of these need to support the basic plot and the theme. These different storylines each might have their own levels in the writing...and it is the symbols that drive these storylines and their levels.
You might ask how can an author keep everything together? The answer is that is the art of experienced writing. This is also why I write that you must have at least the experience of writing 1 million words before you will achieve any real success as an author. The experience necessary to write on many levels and to manipulate words and symbols to create entertaining writing takes a long time to develop. I'll write more about how to achieve this kind of writing.
There is much more to writing without confusing your readers. I'll write about that 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/.