19 August 2012, Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, Storylines
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. Entertain your readers.
2. Don't confuse 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.
Characters in a novel define and create storylines. These storylines weave together to form the plot. The storylines and the plot support and form the theme. Major characters (protagonist, antagonist, and protagonist's helper) are necessary to the theme and to the plot. They also form storylines. All the other characters form storylines to one degree or another. In general, major characters (primary characters) always have a storyline. Secondary characters always have a story line. Tertiary characters may have a storyline.
This is how I try to define primary, secondary, and tertiary characters. The primary characters are the protagonist, antagonist, and the protagonist helper. The secondary characters always have a storyline. So, what's a storyline? And what's the point?
A storyline is the portion of the story (on screen or off screen) that concerns a certain character. Every primary and secondary character has a storyline--that storyline just isn't always completely visible within the novel. This is true of all your primary and your secondary characters. The weaving of the storylines makes the plot.
Storylines can help you determine what to reveal and how much to reveal about a character. I'll describe more about storylines tomorrow.
There is much more to writing without confusing your readers. I'll write about that tomorrow. The following is a question asked by one of my readers. I'm going to address this over time: Please elaborate on scene, theme, plot, character development in a new novel creation....ie, the framework, the development, order if operation, the level of detail, guidelines, rule of thumb, tricks, traps and techniques. To what extent do you outline the historic context, culture, mannerism, speech, dress and thought process of the main characters, in a historic novel...in order to maintain integrity, and gradually (help) reveal attributes of a character in the story, or otherwise clarify the plot, scene, transition, tension or resolution?
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.thefoxshonorhttp://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.