22 October 2012, Development - more 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.
Here is an exercise in writing. Look at the development of your major characters. Build their basic storylines. Now see where the storylines intersect. That intersection is a potential beginning for your novel.
This isn't true of all novels. For example, my published novel, Centurion, starts with a secondary character, and the beginning scene doesn't include the protagonist, antagonist, or antagonist's helper. Some rare novels are like that. As I've written before, unless you get a shot out of the blue that sets a great plot and theme in motion, don't be haphazard about your novel development. I'll tell you plainly that the development of the beginning of Centurion was not haphazard, but it was a modification of the method I'm writing about here. I plan to get to these special cases eventually.
Let's look at another novel that fits this measured model. In The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox, the second novel is The Fox's Honor. The protagonist is Prince Devon Rathenberg. The protagonist's helper is Tamar Falkeep. Their storylines come together a couple of times before the beginning of the novel, but Tamar doesn't remember those occasions. The first cognizant intersection of their lives is when Devon comes to Tamar father's ball and confesses his love for her. He also plans to die in a duel on that night. This intersection is the obvious and most important point where the protagonist and the protagonist helper come together. Therefore, this is a great point to begin the first scene. Scenes are the beginning of the plot.
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/.