3 September 2012, Development - Rules of Writing, Creativity
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.
I'm always astounded when someone mentions writer's block. I don't think I've ever had a writer's block. To me, all writing is like writing a technical report. If you have the data, and you know your subject, you just write. This is also true when using scene outlines. Since there is always an input and an output, you know your plot. If you have developed characters, you know their storylines. With all this information, the process of writing is just putting the pieces together.
Now, I will agree with those who say their writing is better at some times rather than others. This is why I love revision. For me, the hardest work is getting the words on a page. The work of editing and revision is pleasurable and easy. Writing is hard work, but creativity is part of the makeup of a writer. I'm certain there are a few writers out there with only one or two plots inside them, but I've found the opposite. I've found that creative people have all kinds of stories and plots in their minds, they just need to take the time and effort to get them out.
I find both creativity and writing to be cathartic. You fill your brain with all kinds of good information and ideas and eventually it all pours out on a piece of paper. I keep a notebook by my bed to record ideas. I record ideas in my computer notes. These random and worthwhile ideas come almost unpredictably; however, most of my best ideas and creativity comes from in depth study and serious writing.
Ah, there is the point. Creativity is work and not an act of divine providence, random fate, or abstract accident. Creativity is hard work that is equal to the effort expended on it.
So, if you wish to write (or be creative in any way): study, put lots of effort into it, and work hard at it. 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.thefoxshonorhttp://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.