10 October 2012, Development - and more Unique Theme Ideas
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.
When you think of theme, think of all the great novels prior to the last half of the twentieth century. I know of a couple of golden age cataclysm novels, but at the time they were avaunt guard. They were new ideas for the new century. The idea of the end of the world is an overworked theme.
Instead of "end of the world" or "the greatest human catastrophe" or "the worst human event," think of human interaction. In my mind, a great love story is more poignant than any world threatening theme. I want to see and feel real human thoughts and interaction. I want to see new human ideas explored and brought to the forefront.
In my mind, the purpose of great literature is first to entertain and second, to put up a mirror to human thoughts and ideas to show them to the reader. I want to read about human predicaments. I would like to say, I want to read about real human predicaments, but think about Aksinya. In that novel, there are real human events that are brought to the forefront by a demon. That is just what I mean by the use of a theme to bring out human ideas.
Even science fiction themes can provide a reflection of human thoughts. Look at my Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox novels. In these novels, the science fiction brings human reality to the forefront. The theme is human honor. The mode of revelation is science fiction.
In building your themes use real human interaction and emotions. Build your themes on human interaction and not on grandiose but unlikely events.
Once you have a theme, you need to begin to visualize your plot, stabilize your theme, and focus your characters. More tomorrow.
I'll move on to basic writing exercises and creativity in the near future.
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.
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, http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.