5 October 2012, Development - Theme
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 hope you are writing, and you have some kind of daily, weekly, and yearly goal for your writing. If you are writing, the next step is relatively simple. First you need an idea--I wrote about this yesterday. The idea is the creative part. Once you have an idea, you can begin a novel. I really can't help you much more than I have with building an idea. Don't copy. Don't write knockoffs. Don't steal material.
Using similar themes is okay. Using the same environment or settings (unless they are real) is wrong. On the other hand, you can take a classical or historical setting, place a similar theme within it, and create an entirely unique novel.
Take the theme of boy meets girl, falls in love, and wins her love. This theme has been done a million times. You can modify this theme in all kinds of ways to produce a relatively unique novel. For example, vampire girl meets boy or vampire boy meets girl--whoops, that's been done. How about demon boy meets girl or monster boy meets girl or poor boy meets girl. Take any modified theme for now and place it in a setting.
Let's say we have as a theme: army boy meets Kurdish girl, falls in love, and wins her love. Choose as a setting Turkey or Iraq. Are you seeing how this works? How about the theme of my newest novel: boy rescues a feral girl (who happens to be a demigod) after an accident, the girl falls in love, the girl wins the boy. The setting is Boston. I like unique and odd themes.
Once you have a theme, you need to begin to visualize your plot, stabilize your theme, and focus 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/.