28 October 2012, Development - Don't Confuse
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 advise using a scene outline to write a novel. That isn't the only way to write a novel, but it is the cleanest. It produces the cleanest and clearest direction for the settings, time, and characters. Other methods are possible, but they add complexity. I wrote yesterday about the next simplest method, that is using a storyline outline. I don't usually use this method. It is more difficult and can lead the writer to revealing too much.
One of my rules of writing is number four above: don't show (or tell) everything. You could rewrite this, don't show too much. Or let your readers use their brains.
I think a bad novel is one that confuses your readers. These are the most terrible creations because the readers are confused. Confused readers are unhappy readers. Unhappy readers won't recommend or reread your novel. You definitely don't want your writing to be confusing, so I'll offer you a simple method to ensure your writing is not confusing--use the scene outline method. This also helps to keep your writing at the proper level of revelation. The problem with using storyline outlines is the author must work twice as hard to place scene setting and placement markers in them. I'll write about this tomorrow.
This is the basics of scene development. Every scene must have a setting, characters, and tension and release.
My Notes: once you have a theme, you need to begin to visualize your plot, focus your theme, and define 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/.