2 November 2012, Development - more on Learning
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 scene outline is a means of writing a novel where each scene follows the other with a scene input from the previous scene and a scene output that leads to the next scene. The scenes don't necessarily have to follow directly in time and place, however they generally follow the storyline of the protagonist.
A storyline outline is a means of writing a novel where the author develops a scene outline for more than one character and bases the plot on one or more of these storyline scenes. This allows the scenes to focus on more than the protagonist. This is a very difficult means of writing. There is a strong chance of confusing your readers.
Whether you write with a scene outline or a storyline outline, you must properly develop your scenes. All novels are developed from scenes and each scene has a design similar to a novel. Every successful novel has the following basic parts:
1. The beginning
2. The rising action
3. The Climax
4. The falling action
5. The dénouement
Every scene has these parts:
1. The setting (where, what, who, when, how)
2. The connection (input)
3. The tension development
4. The release
5. The output
Then how do you learn to be a novel writer? Certainly the basics of grammar, English, vocabulary, style, form, etc. are important, and basic teachers and professors (even those unpublished) can teach you those kinds of things. These are subjects that you must know explicitly. If you haven't mastered English and grammar, go back to school. Let me tell you, most teachers haven't mastered English and grammar. The number of students (and teachers) who don't understand when to properly use I, me, myself, who, whom, and all is extremely large--at least 95% of the population. The number who don't understand about transitive and intransitive verbs is at least 99% of the population. The number who don't understand subjunctive verb cases is even larger.
If you wish to understand the English language, study a foreign language...and study it to learn it and not just to study it.
The first step is to understand the basics of the language you wish to write in. The basics are not such rules as conciseness or "never end a sentence with a preposition." The basics are those of the proper use of verbs parts of speech and pronouns. Sadly, the education most people receive today is insufficient to let them know the most basic use of English and English grammar.
If you understand verbs, parts of speech, and pronoun use. The next is the use of punctuation. By the way, none of this is a lifetime study. The lifetime study is the use of language and punctuation to properly express a thought in writing--this is the art of writing. The knowledge of the tool is a basic concept only.
As you begin to write, make sure you have the basics down. I'll write more in detail about the basics of scenes 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/.