14 October 2012, Development - more Theme to Plots
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.
A focused theme is one that begins to define characters. A theme can be general enough that it doesn't necessarily define any characters, but a focused them does. I noted that the theme of Aksinya is: the redemption of Aksinya from the demon she called and from sorcery. This is a relatively simple theme to write down. I could and did start more generally as: the redemption of a person from the demon he called and from sorcery. This general theme has a presumption of a protagonist and an antagonist. I could be more generic with simply redemption, but that is an entirely unfocused theme.
As an exercise, you might try taking an entirely unfocused theme such as: redemption, love, family, hate, fear, death, and see if you can turn them into focused themes. I did that with honor for The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox.
Note, that once you have a focused theme, you can begin to define your characters. I'm not necessarily giving you a rote method to write, but I'm trying to get you to see the intellectual steps in developing a novel. The first step is the theme. Second, a focused theme. From the focused theme comes the main characters. Next you define the characters. Next is scene setting (visualizing the plot).
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/.