19 October 2012, Development - more Character to Place
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 would guess that most people just set their novel. I mean by that, they get an idea that includes the location they intend to use for the beginning and scene setting of the novel. I'm telling you, this is a very bad idea. Just as the characters must support the theme and the plot must support the theme, the setting of the novel must support the theme. This means the theme always comes first.
I will concede that if you get a fantastic idea for a plot with characters, setting, and storylines, then back into the theme, you can produce a great novel--it's just harder to do. If you notice, in starting with the theme, that builds the characters when builds the setting.
In my published novel, Aegypt, the protagonist, Paul Bolang, is a French Lieutenant in the Foreign Legion. He is stationed in Tunisia--where the novel starts. In this case, again, the theme defines the protagonist and the protagonist defines the setting. The novel begins in Tunisia.
In my published novels, The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox, in the first novel, The End of Honor, the theme defines the characters, specifically the protagonist's helper, which defines the setting, the planet, Neuterra, and this is the setting for the beginning of the novel. In the second novel, The Fox's Honor, again the protagonist's helper define the setting, the planet, Falkeep, which is the setting for the beginning of the novel. In the third novel, A Season of Honor, the protagonist's helper, again, defines the setting for the beginning of the novel, the planet, Acier.
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.
More on turning your themes into plots tomorrow.
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/.