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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Development - What's Next

31 March 2012, Development - What's Next

Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, 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.

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.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

The steps in making and using a character in a novel are as follows:

1. Development of the character
2. Revelation of the character
a. Description of the character - introduction
b. Voice of the character

If you've been following along, you know I started this dive into creative process with the two main characters.  These characters were well developed before I started the novel.  To me the main characters are the novel.  Okay, okay, there is this thing called the plot, but in reality, the characters are what make the novel.  The plot's important too, but it flows out of the characters.  What do I mean by that?

In the novel Aksinya, the plot flows out of the fact that Aksinya conjured up a demon.  If you call a demon and contract yourself to it, you really have only three choices:

1.  Go along with the demon
2.  Try to control the demon
3.  Try to get out of the contract

Based on Aksinya's personality, you know she will not choose number one.  She tries number two, but doesn't get anywhere.  So, the novel eventually turns to number three.  Add in the details of Aksinya's history and the motivations of the demon and the novel almost writes itself.  That's not to say another author with the same material might not write something completely different.  It means that the plot springs from the characters.

I'll introduce you to some more example, tomorrow.
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.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Development - Importance of Character Voice in a Novel

30 March 2012, Development - Importance of Character Voice in a Novel

Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, 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.

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.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

The steps in making and using a character in a novel are as follows:

1.  Development of the character
2.  Revelation of the character
      a.  Description of the character - introduction 
      b.  Voice of the character

I've been writing about character voice and revelation of a character in a novel.  I've tried to show you how important character voice is.  I made the list above to illustrate the basic steps in developing and revealing a character.  Remember, I made the point that a character doesn't really develop in a novel.  What we call development is really revelation.  The character was already developed (we hope) by the author.  What we call development is where the author shows us the character--the entire novel is really about this revelation.  The success or failure of the author begins and ends with character revelation.  This is how important the concept is. 

In the discussion, I showed some ways to develop and use character voice.  I also showed when the voice should change, and I gave examples of how to change character voice properly.  The point is to change the voice without making the character become something so different they can't be properly recognized in the framework of the plot. 

I also discussed how the main character might and should change within the framework of a novel.  I don't like to use the term character development here either, but this idea is more akin to what a writer means when they talk about character development. 

I'll write more about character voice in terms of scenes in a novel.  We'll start tomorrow.

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.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Development - Importance of Change of Voice in a Novel

29 March 2012, Development - Importance of Change of Voice in a Novel

Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, 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.

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.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

Sometimes (rarely) character voice must change.  You may and should change character voice in these circumstances:

1.  Development of the character
2.  Mental illness
3.  Physical or mental effects
4.  Personality
5.  Seduction (sales)
6.  Subterfuge (politics)
7.  ...there may be more, I'll think of them as I write about the others.

So, how important is character voice?  I think character voice is the most important expression of a character within a novel.  I already implied this, but let's make it official.  First, you develop a character.  This is likely what you learned in a creative writing class.  Character development is a very indepth topic.  You basically give the character a name and you design a life and personality for that character.  The life and personality are the aspects that interact within the novel.  Second, you reveal the character within the plot.  Third, one of the primary means you use to reveal the character is the character voice.

Remember, our goal as writers is to show and not to tell. You must discern what this means in terms of revealing a developed character.  I can tell you what it isn't.  It certainly isn't the author telling us in an omniscient voice all about the character.  You might wonder then, how do you reveal a character.  That's what I've been trying to show you for the last few weeks.  The means is not exclusively, but it is almost exclusively through character voice.  The other (reasonable) means are from physical description, other characters, and from the character telling us about themselves.

For example, the main character sits on a bar stool and has had a little too much to drink.

"You know, Angela.  I really don't like myself."

"How can you say that, Celest.  You have every thing you could want.  You have a great family."

Celest took a sip of her Martini, "That doesn't matter, I want more.  I know I'm capable of much more than that."

Angela took a deep breath, "But you've already succeeded where so many have failed."

Celest leaned across the bar, "Who will remember me when I'm gone--no one."

Okay, this is a short character revelation example, but it is very revealing.  First, it reveals a lot about the character Celest.  It is short, but we get a lot from it.  I haven't even brought in description, but you can almost see her in your mind's eye.   You can also see her friend Angela.  You begin to see into Celest's mind.  Revealing a character like this can be a lot of work, but it's worth it.  Just for grins, lets use the omniscient voice to reveal Celest.

Celest was a woman who really didn't like herself.  She was tired for her family and her work.  Although she was successful, she wasn't happy.  Her best friend Angela was her confident and conscience.

Pretty bad.  It sounds like a middle schooler wrote it--yuck.

I'll write about how to project the character's voice, tomorrow.

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.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Development - Subterfuge and Change of Voice in a Novel

28 March 2012, Development - Subterfuge and Change of Voice in a Novel

Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, 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.

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.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

Sometimes (rarely) character voice must change.  You may and should change character voice in these circumstances:

1.  Development of the character
2.  Mental illness
3.  Physical or mental effects
4.  Personality
5.  Seduction (sales)
6.  Subterfuge (politics)
4.  ...there may be more, I'll think of them as I write about the others.

Are politics and seduction the same?  I guess they can be.  We might expect a successful cheat of any ilk to have a change of voice when he or she begins to convince.  I showed you yesterday an example of this kind of change.  In a current novel I am writing, the main character plays very successfully at subterfuge until she is caught.  I give her an entirely different voice before and after.

In the beginning, she acts like she can't speak English very well, she was injured and acts as though the injury still affects her, she acts like she is ignorant, there is much more.  After she is caught, her character's voice changes in that she speaks English well, she is not as ignorant as she acted (she is still kind of ignorant), her injury had healed a while ago.  The voice of the character changed because she was acting in a different manner than before.  However, you can still tell who she is, that is, her character did not change at all.  The way she portrayed herself to the world did change significantly.  So, the voice changed, but it didn't change so much that you you couldn't tell who the character was.

Not often should a character's voice change in a novel.  When it does change, the readers must still be able to tell who the character is and to discern that character from the others.  Character voice is a critical part of a novel and reveals the developed character.
I'll write about how to project the character's voice, tomorrow.

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.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Development - Seduction and Change of Voice in a Novel

27 March 2012, Development - Seduction and Change of Voice in a Novel

Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, 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.

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.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

Sometimes (rarely) character voice must change.  You may and should change character voice in these circumstances:

1.  Development of the character
2.  Mental illness
3.  Physical or mental effects
4.  Personality
5.  Seduction (sales)
6.  Subterfuge (politics)
4.  ...there may be more, I'll think of them as I write about the others.

Seduction and sales are about the same thing.  They are both selling something.  In the question of character voice and seduction (sales), the example is a character whose personality (or at least the way of acting and speaking) changes when they are trying to seduce or sale.  You can surely imagine a character who acts one way when speaking normally, but an entirely different way when trying to seduce or sale.  Here's a conversation:

Jack turned abruptly, "I can't imagine how stupid these women are."

Dave spoke behind his hand, "Don't be so disingenuous.  You would take any one of them home with you."

Jack snorted and headed to the closest blond.  He spoke with a very syrupy tone, "Hi.  I saw you across the room and thought you looked very intellectual."

Okay, I made this obvious for you.  The speaker's tone and way of speaking is entirely different and the words are completely opposite.  A salesman would be similar.  In the novel Aegypt Monsieur Perain speaks in French to Paul Bolang in an entirely different way that he speaks in English to the Englishmen.  This is Perain's personality, and the way he exerts his authority over the Frenchmen at Fort Saint.

An author needs to realize seduction and sales are one of those rare situations where the voice of a character might change.  In Perain's case, it isn't seduction or sales as much as it is political.  Perhaps I should add that to the list.

How to project the character's voice is an important tool to a writer.  I'll discuss this and the other circumstances for change of voice, tomorrow.

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.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Development - Personality and Change of Voice in a Novel

26 March 2012, Development - Personality and Change of Voice in a Novel

Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, 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.

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.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

Sometimes (rarely) character voice must change.  You may and should change character voice in these circumstances:

1.  Development of the character
2.  Mental illness
3.  Physical or mental effects
4.  Personality
5.  Seduction (sales)
6.  Subterfuge
4.  ...there may be more, I'll think of them as I write about the others.

If you haven't gathered, I think characters voice is one of the most important jobs/tools/skills of a writer.  A writer develops a character (before the novel is written) and the writer reveals the developed character, plus any change in that character, through the novel.  The writer must not tell, he must show.  The means of revealing the character is mainly through the character voice.  When I write "voice," I hope you have been following along and know I am not writing just about the way a character sounds, but the way the character sounds, acts, speaks, gestures, etc.  That is, every word and action goes into defining the character voice.  Further, every character in a novel should be discernible simply by the character voice.

Another circumstance where you might see a character's voice change is through personality.  I mentioned before, some characters show one personality to certain people and another personality to another group.  For example, Aksinya shows one personality to Natalya and the demon and quite a different personality to others.  Her voice, however, isn't that much different, it is the words she speaks.  On the other hand, in one of my unpublished novels, Dana-ana, Dr. Mariread May Rowley shows a delightful change in personality and voice when she speaks privately about Dana-ana.  Mariread is a unique character, but remember, I wrote that those are the best to write about.  She isn't a main character in Dana-ana, but she has an important role and a delicious personality--one that changes.

How to project the character's voice is an important tool to a writer.  I'll discuss this and the other circumstances for change of voice, tomorrow.

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.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Development - Assumption of Truth and Change of Voice in a Novel

25 March 2012, Development - Assumption of Truth and Change of Voice in a Novel

Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, 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.

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.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

Sometimes (rarely) character voice must change.  You may and should change character voice in these circumstances:

1.  Development of the character
2.  Mental illness
3.  Physical or mental effects
4.  Personality
5.  Seduction
6.  Subterfuge
4.  ...there may be more, I'll think of them as I write about the others.

In my novel, Aegypt, the main character did not have a change in voice.  In fact, none of the characters had a change in voice.  The change in the main character was real, but it didn't meet any of the criteria above.  The main character, Paul Bolang, did have some development as a person, but there was no change of being that might be caused by mental illness or physical or mental effects. 

The main point in the novel Aegypt is that I never let the reader know what was really real until the very end of the novel.  In Aksinya, the reader understood, at least from the point of view of the novel, that Aksinya was sane and the demon was real.  In Aegypt, I don't let you know that Paul Bolang's impressions are correct.  The reader is in the dark as much as the main character.  As the plot unfolds in Aegypt, the reader gradually begins to believe Paul's observations but never entirely.  The climax gives the answer to the great question in Aegypt:  what is truth?

This is a great comparison between novels because in one novel (Aksinya), the reader assumes the main character is right, and in the other (Aegypt), the reader isn't certain the main character is right.  The fun part is you can read Aksinya in the previous entries in this blog, and you can buy and read Aegypt.  In this way, you can see exactly what I'm talking about.  You can also see how in a novel the reader's question of truth and assumption of truth makes the novel.
How to project the character's voice is an important tool to a writer.  I'll discuss this and the other circumstances for change of voice, tomorrow.

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.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Development - Personality and Mental Illness and Change of Voice in a Novel

24 March 2012, Development - Personality and Mental Illness and Change of Voice in a Novel

Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, 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.

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.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

Sometimes (rarely) character voice must change.  You may and should change character voice in these circumstances:

1.  Development of the character
2.  Mental illness
3.  Physical or mental effects
4.  Personality
5.  Seduction
6.  Subterfuge
4.  ...there may be more, I'll think of them as I write about the others.

The revelation of the character in a novel (a change of personality) many times requires a change of voice of the character just like mental or physical effects.  I will discuss some of the details of how to portray this change.  The descent into mental illness or the ascent out of mental illness requires the writer to express the character's voice as singular and unique, but changing.  For example, a character who is not ill at the beginning of the novel may act very reasonably.  The author defines their unique voice and then over chapters and with each scene, the character begins to act in ways that gradually shows the change.  A character may have an affected attitude, mannerism, or appearance that the author begins to show as repetitive as the novel progresses.  The point is not to tell the reader that the character is going crazy, but rather to reveal the change through the voice. 

This is the entire point--in a novel about the onset of a mental illness, the author should not expressly tell the readers what is happening.  The author should show the evidences and allow the reader to gradually discover what is happening.  If you look back at Aksinya, Aksinya slowly begins to descend into what her captors think is mental illness.  She sees a demon.  She appears to attempt suicide.  She tries to get needle and thread to put crosses on her clothing and does use her own blood to mark crosses on her clothes.  These actions are mistaken by her ecclesiastical and secular judges that she is insane.  The reader realizes (or thinks they realize) she is not insane but rather making intelligent choices.  I intentionally change the voice of the character for two reasons.  The first is that Aksinya does have a true change in personality.  The second is that I want the reader to not assume she is completely sane.  As I wrote in my commentary on the novel, I want the reader to question, in their own mind, the sanity of Aksinya.  I could have been more deliberate with this (like I was in Aegypt), but I didn't.

How to project the character's voice is an important tool to a writer.  I'll discuss this and the other circumstances for change of voice, tomorrow.

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.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Development - Characters and Change of Voice in a Novel

23 March 2012, Development - Characters and Change of Voice in a Novel

Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, 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.

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.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

Sometimes (rarely) character voice must change.  You may and should change character voice in these circumstances:

1.  Development of the character
2.  Mental illness
3.  Physical or mental effects
4.  Personality
5.  Seduction
6.  Subterfuge
4.  ...there may be more, I'll think of them as I write about the others.

Any physical and mental effects need to be portrayed properly through voice--this includes mental illness.  In most of my novels, I try to portray characters that are real.  I also want to portray the unique.  I've written about this before.  Characters that are too real, that is like normal people, are really not worth reading about.  Characters that are unique and interesting in their own right are the ones that make great characters and produce great scenes.

All great characters have a telic flaw and are unusual.  They all are (or should be) at the edges of human normalcy.  This means the mental and/or physical aspects are somehow different than the norm.  In many great novels, the characters have personalities, features, mental characteristics, situations, abilities, training, etc. that makes them unique or very special in human existence.  The trick is to take these types of characters and make them real and acceptable to your readers.  I intentionally didn't use the words likable or lovable.  Some characters are likable or lovable, many are not.

If you think back to your favorite novels, you will find that the characters are very human and very enjoyable, but they are not normal.  They either have characteristics or abilities that make them very different or special of they develop characteristics that make them different or special.  The trick in writing is to give them a real voice that expresses these characteristics yet that sets them apart.  

How to project the character's voice is an important tool to a writer.  I'll discuss this and the other circumstances for change of voice, tomorrow.

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.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Development - Reasons for Change of Voice in a Novel

22 March 2012, Development - Reasons for Change of Voice in a Novel

Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, 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.

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.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

Sometimes (rarely) character voice must change.  You may and should change character voice in these circumstances:

1.  Development of the character
2.  Mental illness
3.  Physical or mental effects
4.  Personality
5.  Seduction
6.  Subterfuge
4.  ...there may be more, I'll think of them as I write about the others.

When you have a character with mental illness, the voice of the character might change through the novel--or it might change from scene to scene.  This also applies to a character who has a radically different public and private personality.  In some characters, the voice might change when addressing other characters of a specific type.  For example, a man or a woman who is attempting to seduce a member of the opposite (or same sex) might have an entirely different voice than when they are speaking to a friend or acquaintance.  Some writers understand the feel of voice in a character and portray these variances well--many do not.

I mentioned before, a writer does well to imagine their characters are like players in a play.  The players take on the roles they are given and the author makes they act out the story and plot within the scenes.  An author sees these scenes and writes the characters each with their own voice.  When the voice changes (due to mental illness, public vs. private personality, etc.) the author is making slight controlled changes in the actions of the character such that the reader picks up on that character's changes and perceives the character properly.  That is the whole point of voice, after all.  The writer is using the voice of the character to reveal and identify the character in the novel. 

How to project the character's voice is part of the problem.  I'll discuss this and the other circumstances for change of voice, tomorrow.

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.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Development - more Change of Voice in a Novel

21 March 2012, Development - more Change of Voice in a Novel

Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, 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.

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.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

Sometimes (rarely) character voice must change.  You may and should change character voice in these circumstances:

1.  Development of the character
2.  Mental illness
3.  Physical or mental effects
4.  ...there may be more, I'll think of them as I write about the others.

When a character develops significantly, the voice of that character should change.  The change must be subtle and gradual, but at the end of the novel, the character is not the same character as at the beginning.  As Aristotle (and many others have noted) this change can only occur to the protagonist.  In any novel, only the protagonist can have a telic change.  That doesn't mean other characters can't change in some way, but they can't have a life changing turn of events--that is reserved for the protagonist.  If someone other than your protagonist has a life changing turn of events, you wrote about the wrong character.

In one of my novels, the main character grows up.  She goes from a gawky underdeveloped girl to a somewhat mature woman.  She finds love and discipline and realizes what is really worthwhile in the world.  She also learns to control herself.  This is the greatest difference in voice from the beginning to the end.  She begins as an unsure person and ends up more sure of herself.  The change and the change in voice are gradual and subtle.  At the beginning of the novel and at the end of the novel, you know who this character is--in other words, the voice of the character is strong, but it is different.  Can you see how difficult and yet important this is?  You must be able to write your character's voice such that it changes gradually and subtly through the entire novel.  The result can't lose the original character and the final character must be similar enough to the original that the voice is not lost.

How to project the character's voice is part of the problem.  I'll discuss this and the other circumstances for change of voice, tomorrow.

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.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Development - Change of Voice in a Novel

20 March 2012, Development - Change of Voice in a Novel

Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, 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.

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.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

Sometimes (rarely) character voice must change.  You may and should change character voice in these circumstances:

1.  Development of the character
2.  Mental illness
3.  Physical or mental effects
4.  ...there may be more, I'll think of them as I write about the others.

When the character develops over a novel or a series of novels, the voice of the character will/must change.  For example, in my Aegypt novels (Ancient Light Series), the characters Sveta and Klava are introduced as 10 year old children.  In a later novel, they start at 14 and end up at 18.  In the final novel in the series, Klava is over 20.  The point is that the voice of a 10 year old must be different than the voice of a 20 year old (unless they are mentally disabled).  Klava and Sveta's voice changes very gradually through the novels.  In fact, in Warrior of Light, Sveta's voice as well as her maturity changes significantly.  That's the point, with a change in the maturity of the character, you should expect some change in the voice of the character.

If the character is still picking their nose after significant etiquette training, you have a character whose voice shouldn't change.  The point of true character development is that the character has a significant change in maturity, personal understanding, educational understanding, etc.  These kinds of novels are my favorite.  I really enjoy novels where the main character discovers themselves (self discovery novels), significantly improves themselves (improvement novels), or finds their special skills (self discovery novels).  I especially like novels similar to those of Andre Norton where the main character discovers their special magical, mental, physical abilities and uses them in the climax and resolution of the novel.  The change of voice in every case must be gradual--especially in a single novel.  I'll discuss that tomorrow.

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.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Development - Telic Change and Voice in the First Scene

19 March 2012, Development - Telic Change and Voice in the First Scene

Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, 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.

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.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

Sometimes (rarely) character voice must change.  You may and should change character voice in these circumstances:

1.  Development of the character
2.  Mental illness
3.  Physical or mental effects
4.  ...there may be more, I'll think of them as I write about the others.

The most common reason for a change in character voice is when the character develops in a novel.  This development is much different than character revelation.  The development I am talking about is the classical development of a character where we see a telic change in the character.  A telic change is only supposed to happen to the protagonist (please keep it to the protagonist).  A telic change is a change either to a telic fault or that results in a novel resolution.  Usually they are the same.  The concept of a telic change comes from Aristotle's study of art (plays).  Aristotle defined the change of the protagonist as the key character change than produces the resolution of the tragedy.  For example, in Oedipus Rex, the reconciliation of fate, that is Oedipus' recognition of his faults and sin results in his self-mutilation (he poked out his eyes), loss of his family, and loss of his position (kingship).  The telic change resulted in the resolution of the play.  The change in the character is significant.  In this case, however, there really isn't a change in character voice.

I'm going to mention a little more about telic change before we move back to the main subject (change in character voice).  Most novels deal with some type of telic change (or they should).  If you have a novel and the main character does not have a telic change, rewrite the novel.  The whole point of a novel is the telic change.  For example, in Aksinya, her telic fault is her sorcery (symbolized by the demon).  The telic change in the novel is the redemptive change in her that allows her to be free of the demon and free from sorcery.  There is no change of character voice in Aksinya either.  Remember, I said that a change in character voice is rare.  I'll get to the first point tomorrow.

We'll look more at voice in the first scene in the creative process in Aksinya tomorrow.

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.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Development - Strong Characters and Voice in the First Scene

18 March 2012, Development - Strong Characters and Voice in the First Scene

Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, 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.

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.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

You set voice in the same way that you set a scene.  You set voice on characters; however, the voice proceeds out of the developed character.  Voice is an intimate part of character revelation.  Note, that you can't really vary or change character voice.  I find it easy to keep a strong character voice throughout my novels.  This is critical for an author.  There are some times when character voice can change, but these are very rare.  I'll discuss them.

Character voice, as a rule, should not change.  Just as the history, character, and personality of your characters should not change, the voice (the projection of your character in the novel) must not change.  This is what voice is--so if you were waiting for an erudite definition, this is it:  character voice is the projection of a character's history, character, and personality within a novel.  You can see why it should not change and why it can't change much over novels.  In other words, if your character appears in a later novel, the character voice must not change much.  The readers must be able to identify your character from their voice.

Now to the point of why I don't have problems with character voice.  If you draw your characters strongly, you will not have a problem with character voice.  It isn't the strongly developed characters that are a problem, but rather the weakly developed characters.  Many writers draw their characters too finely.  If you do this, your characters will fade into each other.  People in the real worlds are many times milquetoast.  Milquetoast people make terrible characters.  I try to always write about characters who are bigger than life.  Bigger than life characters have a strong voice and can't fade into the background.  That's the point, isn't it?  You don't want weak characters that are obscure in your book.  You want to write strong characters that people remember.
We'll look more at voice in the first scene in the creative process in Aksinya tomorrow.

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.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Development - The World of Voice in the First Scene

17 March 2012, Development - The World of Voice in the First Scene

Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, 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.

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.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

The point of voice, just as the point of character revelation, is to produce a world that immerses your reader.  I've written here and elsewhere about how not to kick your readers out of the world you create on paper.  I've also written about how to keep them in that world.  Character voice and character revelation are just means of creating that world.

The proper use of character voice allows you to identify and enhance characters to ingrain them in your readers' minds.  This also becomes an important study in how to introduce and describe characters.  For example, whatever you do, don't introduce a gaggle of main characters all at once.  This is one of the best ways to lose your readers and ruin their reading experience.  An experienced writer will introduce characters one at a time or in threes at the most.  If you introduce more than one character at a time, you must ensure they are significantly different.

I'd recommend you introduce one new character per scene.  When you must bring in more than one character in a scene, very carefully introduce each character with strong description and stronger introductions.  Here are the character introductions from Aegypt:

Mr. Audrey.” Paul clasped the Englishman’s hand as he dismounted.


Lionel Audrey was a medium-height man with thinning brown hair. He wore a heavy wool suit, but he had removed the coat. Perspiration salted his brow and made his face glisten. Audrey
looked young, but his eyes were surrounded by wrinkles. He squinted out from under his thick glasses as if the glass wasn’t the right prescription, or as if he sought to penetrate further than just the surface. In spite of this impression, Audrey’s attitude was breezy and facile. He didn’t speak; he lectured in an arrogant Oxford accent.
Paul tossed the reigns of l’Orage to Sergeant le Boehm, then turned
toward the Sergeant and spoke in French. “Take the troops, Sergeant le
Boehm. Double rations and open the commissary.”
Oui, mon Lieutenant.” Sergeant le Boehm wheeled his horse and
 headed for the fort’s entrance.
“Mr. Audrey,” Paul said again, “it is indeed a pleasure to meet you.
I thought no one would come to investigate this thing I have found in
the desert.”
“When Sir Barot told me of your find,” Audrey said, “it was all I
could do to keep from coming immediately. Oxford had to be
convinced, however, but Sir Barot said you were good as your word.”
One of the Europeans behind Audrey cleared his throat.
“Pardon me,” Audrey apologized, “I have not completed the
introductions. This—” he pointed to a small, deeply tanned Frenchman
in a fresh white suit and a Panama hat—“is Monsieur Claude Parrain.
He is an emissary of your government representing the Academie des
Sciences department of archeology and antiquities.”
"Bonjour, Lieutenant Bolang, your reputation precedes you.” He shook Paul’s hand. “I am directly responsible to the Foreign Bureau in Tunis. My job is to represent the interests of our government in this exploration.” He wiped his neck with an already damp handkerchief.
“Whatever may be found belongs to France, and I must see all protocol
is adhered to.”
Paul knew Parrain as a career bureaucrat. The little man’s smile
was tinged with irony, and he watched Paul with a curious stare, a
blend of pity and apathy. He knew the circumstances at Fort Saint, and
his manner insinuated a level of conspiracy outside of his responsibility.
Parrain was a minor official in cultural affairs; he had no official
knowledge of the Legion’s operations and little of classical archeology.
Paul kept his features bland. Parrain still had some authority over the
use of French property. He was not a man Paul wanted to antagonize
purposelessly.
Before Audrey could introduce him, the third European stepped
forward and engulfed Paul’s hand in his own. His accent was a thick
Scottish brogue, which Paul had trouble deciphering, but he made out,
“Aye, Lieutenant, glad to meet you. Now we can get to work. I’m James
Williams, Engineer on this project.” Williams had a radiant, almost
burnished, scarlet complexion. Later, Paul would discover that the
sunburn was perpetual and never turned into a tan. Williams had
worked in Africa for years—right out of the mines of Scotland, and he
could curse in more tongues than Paul could speak. His confident
demeanor advertised his competence, and to Paul that reduced the
coarseness of his voice and features.

In this scene, I introduce three primary characters in the published novel, Aegypt. Notice that each man gets his own description, introduction, and has specific markers, mannerisms, and characteristic that are unique to him. I'll posit this as a proper example of how to introduce multiple characters in a novel. To introduce a single character, simply do the same once. There isn't much difference except you must ensure with multiple characters, they are separately identified.

We'll look more at voice in the first scene in the creative process in Aksinya tomorrow.

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.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Development - Using Voice in the First Scene

16 March 2012, Development - Using Voice in the First Scene

Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, 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.

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.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

Voice is the words and actions of the character that you use to reveal the character in your novel.  The voice of the character(s) is a critical piece of creating a character.  It is so important, that you must give a voice to every character--this includes the secondary and tertiary characters.  My measure is that all characters must have some voice.  Voice means that the characters are unique enough that you can determine them through their actions, name, and speech.  You might think that a name makes it easy to determine differences.  This isn't true at all.  A name is simply one handle (a tag) used to identify a character.  In perfect character voice, the reader should be able to determine the character simply by their actions and their way of speaking.

Using voice like this is a goal, but almost impossible to achieve.  In some scenes, you can do this.  In other scenes, it is not possible.  What you should strive to do is to make the characters come alive so well, they pop out of the page.  In a perfect situation, the reader should be able to determine the character simply by the words and actions of the character.  The tags are simply redundant.  In reality, the author should use the name tags, actions, and words to differentiate and identify the characters the best they can.

We'll look more at voice in the first scene in the creative process in Aksinya tomorrow.

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.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Development - Setting up Voice in the First Scene

15 March 2012, Development - Setting up Voice in the First Scene

Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, 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.

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.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

Character voice is the last stage of character revelation.  Many people call this character development.  I'll make the point again.  The characters must be developed prior to their revelation in the novel.  In a novel, you don't develop the characters, you reveal them.  There is a step of true character development, but this is very particular and usually reserved for the main character.

So the point is to reveal the character that you have already developed.  The revelation is letting the reader know the character of the character.  When you do this, you can't tell the reader anything.  You can use description.  For example from Aksinya:

The woman was dressed in a black gown that was much too large for her.  Beautiful handmade lace cascaded down the front of the dress and decorated the sleeves.  Thick velvet competed with black satin to form a perfect attire to greet a Tsar, but certainly not a commissar.  The gown fell loosely away from the woman’s thin chest and small breasts.  It looked odd draped on her body, like a girl playing dress-up from her mother’s closet.  But this gown obviously came from the closet of a princess.
Aksinya, the woman within the pentagram, squinted across the dark cellar.  She was barely eighteen and much too thin for her age.  She was petite; that was a polite way of saying small.  And underdeveloped, that was a polite way of saying she didn’t yet appear much like a woman.  Aksinya’s hair was dark brown and silky and beautiful, bound up in a long braid, but her face was plain and Russian, so Russian.  Her voice was soft and sometimes too shrill.  When she was excited it rose in strength and pitch, so she never sounded very mature or well mannered.

From this description of Aksinya, you know a lot about her.  You see more than once that she is small, thin, and underdeveloped.  You know she is Russian.  You can see her features in your mind, if you know anything about Russian women.  You know her hair is long and brown and braided.  You know her voice is soft, but shrill when she is excited.  You don't know anything about her character, but you might be picking up a little about her personality.  The description just begins the process of revelation.  The true revelation happens through the character's words and actions.

We'll look more at voice in the first scene in the creative process in Aksinya tomorrow.

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.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Development - more Voice in the First Scene

14 March 2012, Development - more Voice in the First Scene

Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, 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.

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.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

This is where the character description and history (development) is critical.  But development isn't enough.  That is, it isn't enough to design a character, you have to give that character life.  First, you create a character.  You build them like an object with a framework of being.  You give them a history and a brain.  You give them a place in the world.  You describe a body, features, and face for them.  You clothe them.  Finally, you set them loose.

The setting loose is the voice.  A character can be as stiff as a board or as fluid and real as the author can write them.  For example:

Jack said, "I don't like you, Mike."
Mike said, "I don't like you either."

Instead, giving the characters' voice, we could write:

Jack shook his head, "Mike, you are an absolute pain."
Mike punched Jack's shoulder playfully, "Yeah, you're a pain yourself."

Or a totally different voice:

Jack scowled, "So help me, Mike."
"I'll help you," Mike smacked the side of Jack's face.
Or even different:

Jack's fingers twitched.  The sides of his face twitched, "So help me, Mike."
Mike raised his hands, "Don't do it, Jack."

In each of these examples, the characters Jack and Mike have been given different voices.  In the first example, they are like boards.  There is little meaning or intensity in their interaction.  In the second example, the voice and the interchange is playful.  In the third example, they are both contentious.  In the fourth, Jack is aggressive and Mike the opposite.  Yet, in each example, they said almost the same thing.  In each example, they were the same people with the same description, same history, name, etc. (I didn't tell you any different).  The point in each example is the voice of the characters.

We'll look more at voice in the first scene in the creative process in Aksinya tomorrow.

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.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Development - Voice in the First Scene

13 March 2012, Development - Voice in the First Scene

Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, 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.

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.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

The other piece necessary to build the first scene is character voice.  I told you I would get into character revelation (development) so, here we go. 

One question you might ask: is character voice different than character development.  I think the answer is yes.  I have read many novels with really neat characters whose presence in the novel was nearly zilch.  This is true of main characters as well as minor characters.  A character can be perfectly conceived and perfectly developed, but imperfectly revealed.  The revelation is the voice and the voice is the particular feel of the character in a novel that allows the reader to immediately know that is the person being described or speaking.  This doesn't mean you can get rid of all those special markers or indicators of who is speaking, what it means is that the indicators and markers are uniquely those of the character and the feel of the speak and mannerisms reveals the character.

To develop character voice, the writer needs to think like an actress or actor.  They need to portray the character with individual and unique characteristics just like an actor or actress on a stage.

We'll look more at voice in the first scene in the creative process in Aksinya tomorrow.

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.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Development - more Tension and Release in the First Scene

12 March 2012, Development - more Tension and Release in the First Scene

Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, 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.

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.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

The picture developed for the novel is turned into action within the first scene through the use of tension and release.  An important question is this: can a novel have action without tension and and release?  Yes it can, but it shouldn't.  For example, I could have built up the picture of Aksinya and Asmodeus and then simply had them walk around and talk to each other.  Is there any tension (that perhaps depends on what they do and talk about), but theoretically, they could just speak of banalities and just "walk around."  This would be neither entertaining or exciting, but it isn't far from what many writers do.  It isn't enough to have good characters in a great setting with fantastic potential; you must set them in motion with tension and release in every scene.

Simply put, the tension is what makes the novel entertaining and exciting--what makes it worth reading.  The release is what naturally occurs in proper development of a scene.  If there is no tension, you need to add it.  If there is no release, you have improperly handled the tension.  Look, it is really difficult for me to imagine a scene without tension, but I have read examples (I've probably written examples in the past--far past, I hope).  Likewise, it is difficult for me to imagine tension without release, but I'm certain someone has done it. 

What is more important is this--if you recognise the pattern of tension and release in the scenes, you can properly address them in your writing.
We'll look more at the first scene in the creative process in Aksinya tomorrow.

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.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Development - Tension and Release in the First Scene

11 March 2012, Development - Tension and Release in the First Scene

Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, 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.

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.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

The picture that began the creative process for the novel Aksinya is complete, but to write the first scene requires the tension development and the characters' voice.  The obvious tension device is the conjuring (calling) of the demon.  This is the action in the first scene and the main tension device.  Within the first scene, I use many other means to develop tension.  We can make a short list of them.

1.  The room is in darkness--darkness is a means of building tension.
2.  Aksinya's clothing doesn't fit her well and she is over exposing herself--this is a means of creating embarrassment and sexual tension.  It also becomes a means of release as a joke in the text.
3.  Sorcery that is making magic can be considered a tension builder.  We will see how the elements of this play out.
4.  Threat of injury--the sorcery is couched in terms of injury if it fails or if it is done incorrectly.
5.  The threat of the demon--this is also a multifaceted tension builder.
6.  The confusion of the demon--he can't believe Aksinya called him.
7.  The sealing of the agreement--Aksinya must give a part of her body as a surety.
8.  The threat of death and hell--the demon threatens and promises her.
9.  The threat of injury when Aksinya takes up the dagger to cut off a body part.
10.  The threat of the death of Aksinya's family.
11.  The beginning of the demon's temptations--this concludes the chapter.

Each of these tension builders also have their own release (the resolution).  The darkness is resolved by movement to another location.  The sorcery is resolved by the completion of the spell (the surety).  The sexual tension caused by Aksinya's clothing is not resolved in this chapter--it continues for quite a while in the text.  The threat of injury in every case is resolved when the contract is concluded with the demon.  The confusion of the demon is fully resolved by the contract.  The threat of death for Aksinya's family is resolved in their death.  Finally, we don't see the resolution of the demon's temptations.  This carries over into the second chapter.  This is the major theme of the novel--that is, the temptation of Aksinya.

We'll look more at the first scene in the creative process in Aksinya tomorrow.

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.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Development - The First Scene in the Creative Process

10 March 2012, Development - The First Scene in the Creative Process

Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, 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.

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.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

I have a picture to begin the novel.  All that picture needs is to be turned on--that is, the scene needs to start.  All the research is not complete, the novel isn't written yet, but all the necessary elements are in place to begin.  My creative process has started.  My next step is to write the first scene.

The first scene of any novel is the most important.  If you grasp your readers with the first scene, you will most likely hold them through the entire novel.  To turn the picture into the first scene, I need a couple of things. 

First, I need the entertaining and exciting part that will make up the scene.  Every scene must be exciting and entertaining.  If your scenes are not entertaining or exciting, rewrite them.  If you can't write an entertaining or exciting scene, give it up.  Your primary purpose as a writer is to write things people will read and that entertains them. 

To make an entertaining scene, you must develop the tension and the release in the scene.  Tension and release is the means to make a scene exciting and entertaining.  A scene is exciting because it has strong tension and release.  This is the only means to make a scene.  The tension and release is how you write a worthwhile scene.  I've been discussing this topic in depth on my Zen of Scenes blog at www.novelscene.wordpress.com.  I'll extend some of that discussion here in the future.

Second, I need the voice of the characters.  The history and description of the characters is not enough.  An author gives a voice to his characters.  The voice of the character includes their history, description, personality, et al, but it is the individual feel and writing that brings that character alive.  You will understand what I mean if you think back to characters in books who had little voice--you had no idea when that character was acting or speaking.  The author failed to bring that unique character alive.  This is akin to character revelation (development).  However, you can have a perfectly developed or revealed character who has little or no voice.
We'll look more at the first scene in the creative process in Aksinya tomorrow.

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.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Development - The Completed Picture in the Creative Process

9 March 2012, Development - The Completed Picture in the Creative Process

Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, 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.

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.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

You might have noticed, the creative process takes a lot of effort.  If you can imagine the way I developed this first picture--the picture of Aksinya, the demon, and the setting--you can see how the creative process works in my mind.  With this single picture, the novel is not written, and the novel doesn't write itself; however, with this single picture, the novel begins.  From this single picture, the first scene explodes.  This picture is the beginning of the creative process.  This picture defines even the beginning details such as the theme.

Out of this picture is born the entire novel, but more specifically, from this picture comes the first scene.

We'll look more at the first scene in the creative process in Aksinya tomorrow.

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.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Development - The Scene in the Creative Process

8 March 2012, Development - The Scene in the Creative Process

Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, 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.

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.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

Now we have a picture.  In the picture there is Aksinya with all her baggage, Asmodeus with his history, and the initial scene.  This picture forms the basis for the first scene in the novel.  In my development of a novel, I build this first scene as the focus of the entire novel.  Of course there are many things a single picture can't convey.  For example, the theme of the novel.  You might guess that the theme is a logical expansion of this initial picture.

With the picture of a demon and a sorceress, the theme could go many ways.  You could have a theme like Faust, a man who was willing to give his soul to a demon for wealth and power.  You could have the theme of a sorceress who called a demon to accomplish evil.  These themes were already used or seemed too trite to me.  Instead, I wanted a theme based on temptation and a main character who called a demon for moral reasons.  Aksinya called Asmodeus to protect her family from the Red Russians, the Bolsheviks.  Instead, she was too late and her family was murdered. 

The theme is then the actions of the demon through temptation.  Aksinya isn't necessarily a good person, but she never intended to use the demon for evil.  In spite of this, the demon's purpose is temptation and evil.  Already, we see the tension that will begin with the first scene in the novel.
We'll look more at the creative process in Aksinya tomorrow.

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.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.