21 October 2012, Development - Initial Beginnings
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.
From creative idea to theme to focused theme, these define the major characters. The development of the major characters produces storylines and potential settings for the novel. The initial intersection of the storylines gives possible beginning points for the novel.
Aksinya is the perfect example of this. The theme of Akisnya is about a woman who is redeemed from sorcery and the demon she called. The demon, Asmodeus, was created at some point in the existence of the world. Aksinya was born in 1900. The first intersection of their storylines (lives) occurs when Aksinya calls Asmodeus and makes a contract with him. The setting is Aksinya's family estate in Russia. The time is set by the incidents in Aksinya's life. The exact place is set by Aksinya's sorcery and isolation. The event is the sorcery Aksinya accomplishes to call and contract Asmodeus.
You couldn't ask for a much better first scene--you have the protagonist and the antagonist together for the first time. You have mystery and excitement. You have sorcery and danger. Not all novels lend themselves to such luscious and powerful initial scenes, but if you use this technique, you can build the initial scene and begin the plot of the novel on a strong footing.
Note that I still haven't written about the plot or outlining the plot or anything like that at all. We only have an amorphous theme, major characters, a setting, and a beginning. I'll get to the plot eventually, but plot ain't everything. If you notice, we've put together the main focus of a novel without touching the plot at all.
I'll write more about this tomorrow, but the theme should define the major characters which defines the potential settings of the novel. That is especially evident from the examples of my science fiction novels.
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/.