2 September 2012, Development - Rules of Writing, yet more Experimental 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.
The experimental shared scene in my novels, The End of Honor and The Fox's Honor is a great example of the use of storylines to drive the plot. Each character in the scene has their own storyline. The predominate storyline is the basis for any plot. In The End of Honor, the predominate storyline is that of the protagonist, John-Mark. In The Fox's Honor, the predominate storyline is that of the protagonist, Devon Rathenberg. The storylines drive the plot, but the shared scene is literally a scene shared by these two men. The fact that they are both protagonists of their respective novels brings into focus everything I wrote about storyline and plot. This kind of makes this experimental scene seem to be not very experimental at all.
This is the plan from the beginning; I want my readers to read both books. Although they are a series, they are independent novel. I want them to note the shared scene, and I want them to see how this very important turning point in both novels greatly affects these two men and their futures. One goes on to strategic victory and personal defeat--the other to personal and corporate victory. The decisions of these men lead them along different and independent storylines, which leads to different and independent plots, which gives theme that are similar, but with critical differences.
I'll tie this into some of the subjects below, 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/.