5 August 2012, Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, more Abenadar
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.
I established for you that to be a Centurion, you had to be a citizen of Rome. Further, that my main character Abenadar was traditionally known to be of mixed Roman blood. This can be inferred by the fact that he doesn't have a Roman name and that Pilot put him in charge. Note that the other Centurion, Gaius Flacus, had a Roman name, but he wasn't in charge of the execution. This is very important in history and lets us determine the rank and the level of Abenadar as a Centurion.
You might ask, how do I have so much knowledge about the subject. That's because I spent over 2 years researching the primary source documents for the time. This is what I've been writing in the blog for a while.
To continue about Abenadar. The Romans had ambassadors in the Galiel (Galilee), Syria, and Judea. Because Herod the Great was in Tiberius, the Roman ambassador to him was likely in Tiberius. Roman ambassadors were posted for many years at a time. They tended to take concubine wives. A concubine is a slave that has conjugal rights. The ambassador would purchase a virgin from the gentry or otherwise of the nation where he was stationed. They chose the most beautiful and intelligent they could find. These concubine wives were hostesses and had to manage the ambassador's domestic needs. They helped the ambassador understand the country, language, and culture. It would not be at all surprising that Abenadar's father would choose a bride from the closest large city to Tiberius--Natzeret (Nazareth). The reason for this is that the Orthodox Jews (and Samaritans) would not set foot in Tiberius because it was built on ancient tombs. Herod the Great's city was filled with foreigners. Because Herod was an Edomite from Udemia and his family was forced to convert to be Jews (during the Maccabean era), he didn't have any such compunctions. The Roman ambassador would have wanted valuable information about the Galiel and not just about Tiberius. That is why I have Abenadar's mother coming from the city (town) of Nazareth. I'll have more 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.thefoxshonor.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.