28 August 2012, Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, even more on Scene Outlines
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.
Here is the list for the use of storylines. In other words, whose storyline should you chose to follow in the plot:
1. Protagonist - presumed
4. Antagonist or protagonist's helper
The presumption is that you will write your scenes with the protagonist's storyline as the primary intersection with the plot. At some points you might want to write a scene that does not include the protagonist's storyline. The question is then, when should you consider these different storylines.
You can see that a scene outline produces a beautifully connected narrative. The framework of the storylines and the plot must be sequential and will fit together perfectly. This is the value of using an input and output from one scene to the next. If you use this technique, you can also foreshadow powerfully. In fact, foreshadowing and other related writing techniques are easily and strongly accomplished with a scene outline. This is where the power of using a scene outline for scenes that don't appear to use the same input output sequence.
I've used this example before from my unpublished novel, Dana-ana. In this example, Dana-ana has been abandoned on the streets of London. She has nowhere to turn. So far, in Dana-ana's life there has been some odd and mystical involvement of others but we don't know what exactly is going on around her. The output of the scene before was where Dana-ana is noticed to be gone. Logically, the next scene would be of her or her family out in London. Instead, the next scene begins with a magic user character who was introduced earlier in the novel. He is discussing Dana-ana's state with two other secondary characters. During their discussion, Dana-ana is searching the garbage cans on the other side of the building for food. There is the tie--the tie or input is the previously introduced character and Dana-ana searching for food. The scene shows us what has caused Dana-ana's downfall and what forces have been at work in the background. Also, in the scene, we see the threat to Dana-ana. The output of the scene is a threat against Dana-ana and the other characters in the scene.
The next scene catches up with the output and input from the scene before. Therefore, what I have in the novel Dana-ana is a scene, not entirely disconnected from the scene outline, that changes Point of View (POV) from Dana-ana to these secondary characters. The reason for this is to develop the tension and to reveal something very important to the readers. The important revelation is about the people who are trying to cause Dana-ana's downfall. The tension should be obvious--the reader was not aware of this conspiracy against Dana-ana before. There are more ways and uses of this type of scene transition. I'll write about that 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/.