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Friday, August 31, 2012

Development - Rules of Writing, more Experimental Scene Outlines

31 August 2012, Development - Rules of Writing, more Experimental Scene Outlines

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.
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/.

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.

All language is symbols. Therefore it shouldn't surprise you that your writing should include higher level symbols. What are higher level symbols? I mentioned before the cross as a symbol. The cross is a higher level symbol--a symbol that doesn't depend on language. Symbols can be ready made or author made symbols. Some symbols are a mix.

Here is the list for the use of storylines. In other words, whose storyline should you chose to follow in the plot:
1. Protagonist - presumed
2. Tension
3. Revelation
4. Antagonist or protagonist's helper

The presumption is that you will write your scenes with the protagonist's storyline as the primary intersection with the plot. At some points you might want to write a scene that does not include the protagonist's storyline. The question is then, when should you consider these different storylines.

The truly experimental nature of the first two novels in The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox is the use of a shared set of scenes. The End of Honor and The Fox's Honor both share a scene. This scene is a critical one to each novel. It is not the climax of either novel, but it is the scene that leads to the climax of both. You can understand how experimental this is if you consider the nature of a scene outline. The inputs and outputs of the scenes led to a shared scene. In other words, a scene outline is so versatile that multiple plots can be generated with similar (or dissimilar) inputs and outputs. This should be expected--no two writers will write the same scene even with the same inputs and outputs.

Let me describe this scene and its ramifications a little and how the inputs and outputs can be the same. I think this understanding will show how other storylines interweave in the plot especially with a scene outline.

The protagonist of The End of Honor is Prince John-Mark. The protagonist of The Fox's Honor is Prince Devon Rathenberg. By the way, John-Mark is the Dragon, and Devon is the Fox. Both characters are in the books, but they are the protagonists of the respective books. The shared scene is the scene where the rebellious houses of the Landsritter have decided to attack the forces of the loyal houses. In the scene prior, Devon Rathenberg, who was thought to be dead, returns to the rebellious houses and is coerced to become their leader and prince reagent. Prince John-Mark must step down as the leader and the prince regent for this to happen. The scenes leading up to the shared scene are not the same, one is from the PoV (Point of View) of John-Mark and the other is from the PoV of Devon.

This is the entire point of the use of storylines to drive the plot, I'll explain further tomorrow.

There is much more to writing without confusing your readers. I'll write about that tomorrow. 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. To what extent do you outline the historic context, culture, mannerism, speech, dress and thought process of the main characters, in a historic novel...in order to maintain integrity, and gradually (help) reveal attributes of a character in the story, or otherwise clarify the plot, scene, transition, tension or resolution?

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.thefoxshonorhttp://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Development - Rules of Writing, Experimental Scene Outlines

30 August 2012, Development - Rules of Writing, Experimental Scene Outlines

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.
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/.

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.

All language is symbols. Therefore it shouldn't surprise you that your writing should include higher level symbols. What are higher level symbols? I mentioned before the cross as a symbol. The cross is a higher level symbol--a symbol that doesn't depend on language. Symbols can be ready made or author made symbols. Some symbols are a mix.

Here is the list for the use of storylines. In other words, whose storyline should you chose to follow in the plot:
1. Protagonist - presumed
2. Tension
3. Revelation
4. Antagonist or protagonist's helper

The presumption is that you will write your scenes with the protagonist's storyline as the primary intersection with the plot. At some points you might want to write a scene that does not include the protagonist's storyline. The question is then, when should you consider these different storylines.

If you have been following along, you can see how the use of storylines can powerfully invigorate your writing and how you can use them to shape the plot. What I mean by shaping the plot is to build tension and release into it. Tension and release means suspense, excitement, and entertainment. After all the point of writing is to entertain--that should be your primary focus.

Now, let's look at an example that is more extreme. My science fiction Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox novels are more experimental than my historical fiction novels.  The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox series includes three independent but connected novels.  The last novel is somewhat conventional in style, but the first two are definitely not written using completely conventional plotting.

The first novel, The End of Honor, begins in the first person with the protagonist's helper. She dies in the first scene so the rest of the first half of the novel is a first person retrospective of the events that led up to her death. This is definitely not conventional, but it isn't unique either. Other novelists have used this type of retrospective--usually from the protagonist's viewpoint. The protagonist of the novel appears in the second scene and the retrospective continues relatively normally until the death of the protagonist's helper, Lyral. Although most of the retrospective is written using the scene outline technique, there is a section where I use letters during the travel scene. Letters are a great way to write so you can uncover revelation and ideas in the minds of your characters without telling. Letters can still be connected in the plot using a scene outline--the scene outline just connects in the letters.

I'll write about the other experimental forms in these novels tomorrow.

There is much more to writing without confusing your readers. I'll write about that tomorrow. 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. To what extent do you outline the historic context, culture, mannerism, speech, dress and thought process of the main characters, in a historic novel...in order to maintain integrity, and gradually (help) reveal attributes of a character in the story, or otherwise clarify the plot, scene, transition, tension or resolution?

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.thefoxshonorhttp://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Development - Rules of Writing, yet even more on Scene Outlines

29 August 2012, Development - Rules of Writing, yet even more on Scene Outlines

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.
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/.

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.

All language is symbols. Therefore it shouldn't surprise you that your writing should include higher level symbols. What are higher level symbols? I mentioned before the cross as a symbol. The cross is a higher level symbol--a symbol that doesn't depend on language. Symbols can be ready made or author made symbols. Some symbols are a mix.

Here is the list for the use of storylines. In other words, whose storyline should you chose to follow in the plot:
1. Protagonist - presumed
2. Tension
3. Revelation
4. Antagonist or protagonist's helper

The presumption is that you will write your scenes with the protagonist's storyline as the primary intersection with the plot. At some points you might want to write a scene that does not include the protagonist's storyline. The question is then, when should you consider these different storylines.

I use a scene outline for about ninety percent of my writing.  The novel, Centurion, is entirely developed and written using a scene outline.  Each scene has an input from every other scene and an output to the next scene.  Each scene is set, the characters are set, then they are set loose to develop a tension and a release that then leads to the next scene.  This means that every scene includes and is about the protagonist.  This also means the scenes follow each other in time and logical sequence.

I like the use of a scene outline because it can be taught, it is easy to explain, and it works wondrously well.  The only trick becomes when you absolutely need to introduce a scene that 1) does not include the protagonist, 2) is not sequential in time, 3) is not sequential in the narrative, or 4) has another reason for not being directly connected within the plot.

This doesn't mean the scene is not connected to the plot--it is not directly connected to the protagonist's storyline.  If you have been paying attention, you know exactly what I am talking about.  The storylines are the existences of the characters.  Every character has a storyline.  Even when a character is not in a scene, their storyline continues "behind the scenes" until their storyline reconnects within the plot.

The point of a scene that is not directly connected to the previous scene, is that scene must be connected to the plot through another character's storyline.  In the case of the example I was using before from Dana-ana, a secondary character, Mahon provides the connection through his storyline.  And here is the big point, Mahon was fully developed and introduced earlier in the plot.  His storyline already was introduced with him.  When the plot suddenly switches to Mahon and his storyline, the reader has already learned something about him and they should not be surprised by his character.  This is very basic foreshadowing.  A character that is introduced earlier in the plot then returns to the plot.  If you want to be more specific about the use of foreshadowing, it is the expectation of the action of the reintroduced character which has been foreshadowed.  For example, in Dana-ana, you know Mahon is not a nice person.  You also know he is trying to get revenge on Dana-ana.  That is the foreshadowing for the scene where we see Mahon declaring how he will revenge himself on Dana-ana.  That's entirely the point of the revelation and for breaking out of the scene outline.  More, tomorrow.
There is much more to writing without confusing your readers. I'll write about that tomorrow. 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. To what extent do you outline the historic context, culture, mannerism, speech, dress and thought process of the main characters, in a historic novel...in order to maintain integrity, and gradually (help) reveal attributes of a character in the story, or otherwise clarify the plot, scene, transition, tension or resolution?

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.thefoxshonorhttp://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, even more on Scene Outlines

28 August 2012, Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, even more on Scene Outlines

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.
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/.

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.

All language is symbols. Therefore it shouldn't surprise you that your writing should include higher level symbols. What are higher level symbols? I mentioned before the cross as a symbol. The cross is a higher level symbol--a symbol that doesn't depend on language. Symbols can be ready made or author made symbols. Some symbols are a mix.

Here is the list for the use of storylines. In other words, whose storyline should you chose to follow in the plot:
1. Protagonist - presumed
2. Tension
3. Revelation
4. Antagonist or protagonist's helper

The presumption is that you will write your scenes with the protagonist's storyline as the primary intersection with the plot. At some points you might want to write a scene that does not include the protagonist's storyline. The question is then, when should you consider these different storylines.

You can see that a scene outline produces a beautifully connected narrative. The framework of the storylines and the plot must be sequential and will fit together perfectly. This is the value of using an input and output from one scene to the next. If you use this technique, you can also foreshadow powerfully. In fact, foreshadowing and other related writing techniques are easily and strongly accomplished with a scene outline. This is where the power of using a scene outline for scenes that don't appear to use the same input output sequence.

I've used this example before from my unpublished novel, Dana-ana. In this example, Dana-ana has been abandoned on the streets of London. She has nowhere to turn. So far, in Dana-ana's life there has been some odd and mystical involvement of others but we don't know what exactly is going on around her. The output of the scene before was where Dana-ana is noticed to be gone. Logically, the next scene would be of her or her family out in London. Instead, the next scene begins with a magic user character who was introduced earlier in the novel. He is discussing Dana-ana's state with two other secondary characters. During their discussion, Dana-ana is searching the garbage cans on the other side of the building for food. There is the tie--the tie or input is the previously introduced character and Dana-ana searching for food. The scene shows us what has caused Dana-ana's downfall and what forces have been at work in the background. Also, in the scene, we see the threat to Dana-ana. The output of the scene is a threat against Dana-ana and the other characters in the scene.

The next scene catches up with the output and input from the scene before. Therefore, what I have in the novel Dana-ana is a scene, not entirely disconnected from the scene outline, that changes Point of View (POV) from Dana-ana to these secondary characters. The reason for this is to develop the tension and to reveal something very important to the readers. The important revelation is about the people who are trying to cause Dana-ana's downfall. The tension should be obvious--the reader was not aware of this conspiracy against Dana-ana before. There are more ways and uses of this type of scene transition. I'll write about that tomorrow.

There is much more to writing without confusing your readers. I'll write about that tomorrow. 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. To what extent do you outline the historic context, culture, mannerism, speech, dress and thought process of the main characters, in a historic novel...in order to maintain integrity, and gradually (help) reveal attributes of a character in the story, or otherwise clarify the plot, scene, transition, tension or resolution?

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.thefoxshonorhttp://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, more on Scene Outlines

27 August 2012, Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, more on Scene Outlines

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.
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/.

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.

All language is symbols. Therefore it shouldn't surprise you that your writing should include higher level symbols. What are higher level symbols? I mentioned before the cross as a symbol. The cross is a higher level symbol--a symbol that doesn't depend on language. Symbols can be ready made or author made symbols. Some symbols are a mix.

Here is the list for the use of storylines. In other words, whose storyline should you chose to follow in the plot:
1. Protagonist - presumed
2. Tension
3. Revelation
4. Antagonist or protagonist's helper


The presumption is that you will write your scenes with the protagonist's storyline as the primary intersection with the plot. At some points you might want to write a scene that does not include the protagonist's storyline. The question is then, when should you consider these different storylines.


Let's look back at how to use a scene outline. In a scene outline, each scene has an input and an output. Each scene has a setting and tension and release development. So in writing a scene, I begin with the input and write the setting. I introduce the characters and set them in motion. The characters take the input from the preceding scene and continue through the tension and release until the end of the scene. The output of the scene becomes the input for the next scene.

Since I'm using Centurion as an example, I'll show how this works in the novel. The initial scene has an assumed input. This assumed input is that Abenadar's mother, Naomi, has been deserted by her Roman ambassador husband. She is pregnant and living outside of Nazareth. The setting is the well at Nazareth. Naomi goes to the well at noon and meets another pregnant woman. I should tell you that culturally, women did not go to the well at noon. They usually went in the cooler hours of the day--morning or evening. The fact that both went at noon means they didn't want to meet other women. The tension in the scene is that Naomi is pregnant by a Roman and being shamed by the people and that Miryam is pregnant and also being shamed. The output is that Miryam offers to visit Naomi. The next scene input is a visit from Miriam to Naomi. The setting is Naomi's shack. The tension is the reason Miriam is pregnant and the coming birth of Naomi's child. The output is about birth and midwives. The input of the next scene is the birth of Naomi's child. The setting is Naomi's shack. The tension is the birth of the child and about the birth of Miryam's child...and so on. Each scene provides an input from the previous scene and an output to the next scene.

Using a scene outline, every scene is directly connected to every other scene. The progression is logical in time and events. However, there are times when scenes don't connect directly and when they might not fall into the same sequence in time and space. I'll write about that tomorrow.

There is much more to writing without confusing your readers. I'll write about that tomorrow. 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. To what extent do you outline the historic context, culture, mannerism, speech, dress and thought process of the main characters, in a historic novel...in order to maintain integrity, and gradually (help) reveal attributes of a character in the story, or otherwise clarify the plot, scene, transition, tension or resolution?

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.thefoxshonorhttp://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, Scene Outlines

26 August 2012, Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, Scene Outlines

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.
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/.

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.

All language is symbols. Therefore it shouldn't surprise you that your writing should include higher level symbols. What are higher level symbols? I mentioned before the cross as a symbol. The cross is a higher level symbol--a symbol that doesn't depend on language. Symbols can be ready made or author made symbols. Some symbols are a mix.

Here is the list for the use of storylines. In other words, whose storyline should you chose to follow in the plot:
1. Protagonist - presumed
2. Tension
3. Revelation
4. Antagonist or protagonist's helper

The presumption is that you will write your scenes with the protagonist's storyline as the primary intersection with the plot. At some points you might want to write a scene that does not include the protagonist's storyline. The question is then, when should you consider these different storylines.

In general, I've answered this with yesterday's considerations, but it is worth going into greater detail. This is really an important question. I've mentioned over and over, that the best method to write a novel (or any fiction) is through the use of scenes and a scene outline. However, many times a scene might not appear to follow another scene directly.

Let me remind you, I wrote that when you use a scene outline, one scene follows the other. The scenes are conected to each other logically, physically, and in time. What I'll do tomorrow is show you how the scenes in a scene outline should be constructed and how they fit together. That will allow us to determine when a scene might interact with the plot in a different manner than we might expect from the use of a scene outline.
There is much more to writing without confusing your readers. I'll write about that tomorrow. 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. To what extent do you outline the historic context, culture, mannerism, speech, dress and thought process of the main characters, in a historic novel...in order to maintain integrity, and gradually (help) reveal attributes of a character in the story, or otherwise clarify the plot, scene, transition, tension or resolution?

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.thefoxshonorhttp://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, Storyline and Plot

25 August 2012, Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, Storyline and Plot

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.
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/.

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.

All language is symbols. Therefore it shouldn't surprise you that your writing should include higher level symbols. What are higher level symbols? I mentioned before the cross as a symbol. The cross is a higher level symbol--a symbol that doesn't depend on language. Symbols can be ready made or author made symbols. Some symbols are a mix.

We are putting some basic rules together concerning which storylines to show in the plot. Remember a storyline is the life and events of a specific character. Each character has a storyline, and the determination of which storylines at which time to include in the plot is a critical one.

The first determinate was the protagonist. Generally, if the protagonist's storyline intersects with the plot, you should show that storyline. There is a catch 22 here because, the storylines make up the plot. Let's put this another way. Usually, we show the storyline of the protagonist in the plot, that is, if it supports the theme and is intrinsic to the plot. There are times when we don't show the storyline of the protagonist.  Usually when the protagonist's storyline doesn't support the plot or the theme. 

The second determination was the tension. The development of the scenes in the plot should always include the element of tension and release. The inclusion of a storyline because it promotes tension and release is a fantastic reason to include a storyline.  Remember, the storyline must be intrinsic to the plot.

The third reason is revelation itself. There are times when you want to provide information to the reader that is outside the scope of the protagonist. I gave an example of this yesterday from my unpublished novel, Dana-ana. This was also an example of choosing a storyline for tension. Generally, the use of this technique to develop tension is very effective. It is a means of revelation outsdie the storyline of the protagonist.

A fourth reason is to introduce the antagonist or a protagonist's helper. The reason for this is as simple as increasing the tension by bringing in a revelation from one of these other major characters. Usually, major characters are the only ones who should have a storyline that doesn't intersect with the protagonist's shown in the plot. This was also shown in the example yesterday. Tomorrow, I'll write about when to move out of the protagonist's storyline in the plot.

There is much more to writing without confusing your readers. I'll write about that tomorrow. 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. To what extent do you outline the historic context, culture, mannerism, speech, dress and thought process of the main characters, in a historic novel...in order to maintain integrity, and gradually (help) reveal attributes of a character in the story, or otherwise clarify the plot, scene, transition, tension or resolution?

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.thefoxshonorhttp://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, Tension

24 August 2012, Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, Tension

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.
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/.

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.

All language is symbols. Therefore it shouldn't surprise you that your writing should include higher level symbols. What are higher level symbols? I mentioned before the cross as a symbol. The cross is a higher level symbol--a symbol that doesn't depend on language. Symbols can be ready made or author made symbols. Some symbols are a mix.

I wrote that one way to choose which storylines to show is to pick those storylines which form scenes with the highest degree of tension.  Remember, tension in a scene is the element which gives excitement and entertainment to a scene. 

In general, you chose the storylines by the interaction of the protagonist with the plot.  This isn't always true.  For example, in my unpublished novel, Dana-ana, there is an important scene where the antagonist speaks to a couple of minor characters about Dana-ana.  The tension and power of this scene is that the antagonist and minor characters are discussing how they will destroy Dana-ana.  The reason this is such a powerful scene is that the reader has a vague idea that there is some kind of conspiracy against Dana-ana, but there is no real proof until this scene.  Suddenly, the reader discovers that Dana-ana is in real trouble.  All the woes of Dana-ana come into focus in a scene that doesn't include Dana-ana at all.

This is the important point here.  In Dana-ana, this specific scene does not include Dana-ana at all.  The scene is all about Dana-ana, but there is no Dana-ana in the scene.  The tension is that Dana-ana and her friends have no idea that she is in this level of danger.  The reader knows Dana-ana is in grave danger--they don't know the exact type of danger, but they know it is terrible.  This is the tension I am talking about.  By writing a scene that includes the antagonist and two minor characters and not the protagonist, the tension of the novel increases significantly, and information is shown to the reader that is not available to Dana-ana or her friends. There is more to choosing which storylines to show.

There is much more to writing without confusing your readers. I'll write about that tomorrow. 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. To what extent do you outline the historic context, culture, mannerism, speech, dress and thought process of the main characters, in a historic novel...in order to maintain integrity, and gradually (help) reveal attributes of a character in the story, or otherwise clarify the plot, scene, transition, tension or resolution?

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.thefoxshonorhttp://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, and What to Show

23 August 2012, Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, and What to Show

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.
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/.

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.

All language is symbols. Therefore it shouldn't surprise you that your writing should include higher level symbols. What are higher level symbols? I mentioned before the cross as a symbol. The cross is a higher level symbol--a symbol that doesn't depend on language. Symbols can be ready made or author made symbols. Some symbols are a mix.

The primary means of writing a good novel is the use of scenes and a scene outline. Scenes and a scene outline can be enhanced through the use of storylines to reveal characters.

Ruth is the protagonist's helper (a major character) in my published novel, Centurion.  I am writing about how I decided when to include her storyline in the novel.  Note that the plots of all novels are an interweaving of the characters storylines.

Since the focus of the novel, Centurion, is the protagonist Abenadar, the general choice of what scenes to show is relatively easy--in general, almost every scene included Abenadar.  His storyline is prevailent in the plot.  However, as I've written before, there are times you want to give your readers insight into events, actions, and conversations outside of the storyline of the protagonist.  There are many methods to do this.  One of the chief methods I used in Centurion was Ruth's reports to Abenadar.  Ruth was intrigued by the prophet, Jesus.  She listened to him in the marketplace and the Temple.  I never show you these interactions, but I have Ruth relate them to Abenadar.  Even then, her reports are simple.  The point here is both the focus of the novel and a dramatic means to build tension in the novel.  There is a third purpose, that is to reveal Ruth's thinking about Jesus without telling.

The focus of Centurion  is Abenadar and not Ruth or Jesus.  By centering on Abenadar and the knowledge he has about the world, I keep the focus of the plot and theme.  Beyond that, the dramatic tension (tension) in both the plot and the scenes is kept high because of Ruth's reports.  Abenadar uses Ruth as a spy on Jesus.  When Ruth speaks to Abenadar, there is always the tension that Abenadar might decide to arrest Jesus.  Ruth realizes she is a spy and yet she still reports to Abenadar.  The tension developed by the scenes where Ruth and Abenadar speak about Jesus are much more powerful (in terms of tension) than if I showed Ruth's interaction with Jesus.

And there is the main point of any writing.  When you choose which scenes (which storylines) to show, chose those with the most tension.  Look for the most powerful tension possible.  Tension is the means (the only means) to develop excitement and entertainment in a scene.  If you are interested in the elements of tension in a scene, I covered them in detail in my blog at www.novelscene.wordpress.com.  More on what storylines to show, tomorrow.

There is much more to writing without confusing your readers. I'll write about that tomorrow. 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. To what extent do you outline the historic context, culture, mannerism, speech, dress and thought process of the main characters, in a historic novel...in order to maintain integrity, and gradually (help) reveal attributes of a character in the story, or otherwise clarify the plot, scene, transition, tension or resolution?

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.thefoxshonorhttp://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, and even more on Storylines

22 August 2012, Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, and even more on Storylines

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.
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/.

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.

All language is symbols. Therefore it shouldn't surprise you that your writing should include higher level symbols. What are higher level symbols? I mentioned before the cross as a symbol. The cross is a higher level symbol--a symbol that doesn't depend on language. Symbols can be ready made or author made symbols. Some symbols are a mix.

The primary means of writing a good novel is the use of scenes and a scene outline. Scenes and a scene outline can be enhanced through the use of storylines to reveal characters.

A novel can't show any character's entire storyline--not even the protagonist.  You don't care to read about the protagonist's every action...or at least, you shouldn't care about their every action.  The only parts that should be in the novel are the parts specific to the theme and the plot.  So, even though every character has a storyline from womb to tomb, you will never see the entire storyline of any character.

What an author must do is determine which parts of each character's storyline must be shown.  This is easier than it sounds.  For example, in Centurion, the protagonist is Abenadar.  He is the focus of the plot and the theme.  Ruth becomes the protagonist's helper.  Her job is to support the plot and the theme.  When Ruth and Abenadar are together, that might be a scene that should be shown in the novel.  Not every time where their storylines come together, only those time where their storylines support the plot and the theme. 

How to determine those points is really easy if you use the scene outline method I wrote about before.  If you write in scenes and each scene follows the other, then those scenes that should e included will be included and the storylines that should be show will generally be shown.

I also wrote that storylines can be used to manage the complexity of character revelation in a novel.  This is true too.  For example, a part of a storyline that is important in the life of a character might become the focus of the plot of support the theme.  This happens at various times in the novel Centurion.  At times where Ruth and Abenadar's storylines intersect with Jesus, these are scenes that might possibly be included if they support the plot and the theme.  If they don't, they should be excluded and they were.  I did not show all the possible scenes where Jesus and Ruth interacted, but I did show every scene where Abenadar, Ruth, and Jesus interacted.  Those times when Ruth and Jesus' storylines intersected were alluded to in the novel, but they weren't important to show.  I'll discuss more about how to choose what to show tomorrow.
There is much more to writing without confusing your readers. I'll write about that tomorrow. 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. To what extent do you outline the historic context, culture, mannerism, speech, dress and thought process of the main characters, in a historic novel...in order to maintain integrity, and gradually (help) reveal attributes of a character in the story, or otherwise clarify the plot, scene, transition, tension or resolution?

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.thefoxshonorhttp://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, even more on Storylines

21 August 2012, Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, even more on Storylines

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.
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/.

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.

All language is symbols. Therefore it shouldn't surprise you that your writing should include higher level symbols. What are higher level symbols? I mentioned before the cross as a symbol. The cross is a higher level symbol--a symbol that doesn't depend on language. Symbols can be ready made or author made symbols. Some symbols are a mix.

The primary means of writing a good novel is the use of scenes and a scene outline.  Scenes and a scene outline can be enhanced through the use of storylines to reveal characters.

Every character has a storyline. A character's storyline begins when they are born.  It is basically their entire life story and experiences from birth to death--and in some novels beyond death.  The storyline is what happens to a character.  Let's take a character from Centurion as an example.  Ruth is Abenadar's lover.  She is the woman he rescued from an abusive customer.  We don't know anything about Ruth until she is introduced in the novel.  The initial description and the initial scene are her debut, but we know she had a life prior to that point in the novel--I just didn't show it to you directly.

In later scenes, we find out a lot more about Ruth.  We find out about her birth and family and the death of her parents.  We find out that she was left without anyone or anything on the streets of Jerusalem.  All of this is her storyline.  In the novel, we see parts of her storyline--that is, when she is on stage (in a scene), we see her storyline played out, but when she isn't on stage (in a scene), her storyline is still going.  We just don't see her when she is not in a scene. 

When an author writes, the storyline of every character is critical to the writing.  Even the storyline that the readers don't see is important.  For example, when we see Abenadar in a scene at the Legion headquarters, the assumption is that Ruth is at their house either working on domestic things, at the Inn, or shopping.  Except that I, the author, show you what she was doing during the day, you rarely get to see any of that part of her storyline.  Still, even the parts of her storyline, you don't see are important.  More, tomorrow.

There is much more to writing without confusing your readers. I'll write about that tomorrow. 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. To what extent do you outline the historic context, culture, mannerism, speech, dress and thought process of the main characters, in a historic novel...in order to maintain integrity, and gradually (help) reveal attributes of a character in the story, or otherwise clarify the plot, scene, transition, tension or resolution?

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.thefoxshonorhttp://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, more on Storylines

20 August 2012, Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, more on Storylines

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.
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/.

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.

All language is symbols. Therefore it shouldn't surprise you that your writing should include higher level symbols. What are higher level symbols? I mentioned before the cross as a symbol. The cross is a higher level symbol--a symbol that doesn't depend on language. Symbols can be ready made or author made symbols. Some symbols are a mix.

One of the ways authors keep complex plots and complex themes together is through the use of storylines to determine the plot and interweaving of the characters' lives. This is also a means to determine what to show and what not to show.

The point of storylines is this. In any novel, you don't show everything that happens to a major character or any character for that matter. Storylines are the entire life of a character. The part of a character's storyline you show in a novel is the plot.

If you are wise, you use the scene outline technique I wrote about before to design your scenes. The point is to have nothing extraneous in a novel. Everything must support the plot and theme and nothing can be out of place or extra. Using a scene outline and developing your novel by scenes is one of the cleanest methods to ensure excitement in every scene and to keep out extraneous writing. However, the scene method doesn't work for everyone. One of the reasons the scene outline doesn't work for everyone is that some people have problems keeping complex portions of characters other than the protagonist in balance and focused to the plot. Additionally, the scene outline method can produce great writing, but the writing tends to be ordered chronologically. Many times an author wants to vary the chronology of a novel scene development. Using storylines can be an effective method of plot and scene development. More, tomorrow.

There is much more to writing without confusing your readers. I'll write about that tomorrow. 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. To what extent do you outline the historic context, culture, mannerism, speech, dress and thought process of the main characters, in a historic novel...in order to maintain integrity, and gradually (help) reveal attributes of a character in the story, or otherwise clarify the plot, scene, transition, tension or resolution?

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.thefoxshonorhttp://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, Storylines

19 August 2012, Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, Storylines

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.
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/.

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.

All language is symbols. Therefore it shouldn't surprise you that your writing should include higher level symbols. What are higher level symbols? I mentioned before the cross as a symbol. The cross is a higher level symbol--a symbol that doesn't depend on language. Symbols can be ready made or author made symbols. Some symbols are a mix.

Characters in a novel define and create storylines.  These storylines weave together to form the plot.  The storylines and the plot support and form the theme.  Major characters (protagonist, antagonist, and protagonist's helper) are necessary to the theme and to the plot.  They also form storylines.  All the other characters form storylines to one degree or another.  In general, major characters (primary characters) always have a storyline.  Secondary characters always have a story line.  Tertiary characters may have a storyline. 

This is how I try to define primary, secondary, and tertiary characters.  The primary characters are the protagonist, antagonist, and the protagonist helper.  The secondary characters always have a storyline.  So, what's a storyline?  And what's the point?

A storyline is the portion of the story (on screen or off screen) that concerns a certain character.  Every primary and secondary character has a storyline--that storyline just isn't always completely visible within the novel.  This is true of all your primary and your secondary characters.  The weaving of the storylines makes the plot.

Storylines can help you determine what to reveal and how much to reveal about a character.  I'll describe more about storylines tomorrow.

There is much more to writing without confusing your readers. I'll write about that tomorrow. 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. To what extent do you outline the historic context, culture, mannerism, speech, dress and thought process of the main characters, in a historic novel...in order to maintain integrity, and gradually (help) reveal attributes of a character in the story, or otherwise clarify the plot, scene, transition, tension or resolution?

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.thefoxshonorhttp://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, Types of Characters

18 August 2012, Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, Types of Characters

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.
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/.

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.

All language is symbols. Therefore it shouldn't surprise you that your writing should include higher level symbols. What are higher level symbols? I mentioned before the cross as a symbol. The cross is a higher level symbol--a symbol that doesn't depend on language. Symbols can be ready made or author made symbols. Some symbols are a mix.

I defined three types of characters within a novel for you in yesterday's post.  The first type of character is a major character (protagonist, antagonist, and protagonist's helper).  These characters are necessary to the theme and to the plot.  They are the primary characters that spring out of the theme and that define the entire novel.  They must be carefully and fully developed.  They are the focus of most of your research and writing activity.

The second type of character are those that support the theme and are necessary to the plot, but from the beginning of writing the novel, you realized and developed the character.  Or you planned for the character while outlining the plot and developed the character when you arrived at that point in the writing.  I did this with Ernst in Aksinya, and with numerous characters in other novels.  Many times you realize what the character should be like, but you really don't want to fully develop them until you reach that point in the novel.  The reason is that if you develop these characters too early, you might end up with a character that doesn't fit as well as she should--or you might end up having to rewrite much of the character.  I'll try to give detailed examples.

The third type of character is the kind that suddenly becomes a need in the plot.  Most novels end up this way.  You work against an outline, but an active plot in writing is a really malleable thing.  The theme is the critical part and the plot (and storylines) develop and interweave as you write the novel.  You will reach points where you suddenly need a new character.  I mentioned the Centurion Fabius  as one of these characters.  When I wrote Centurion, I wanted to build a situation in the plot where Abenadar was dependent on Ruth.  I also wanted to build a situation where Ruth disobeyed Abenadar and went to the Legion Camp.  I additionally wanted to have Ruth and Abenadar exposed in their relationship to the Legion and the Legion leaders.   The addition of the Centurion Fabius allowed me to have a Centurion for Abenadar to rescue who would retaliate against Abenadar for the rescue.  That resulted in an attack on Abenadar which led to Ruth seeking him out in the camp.  More, tomorrow.
There is much more to writing without confusing your readers. I'll write about that tomorrow. 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. To what extent do you outline the historic context, culture, mannerism, speech, dress and thought process of the main characters, in a historic novel...in order to maintain integrity, and gradually (help) reveal attributes of a character in the story, or otherwise clarify the plot, scene, transition, tension or resolution?

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.thefoxshonorhttp://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, Design in Plot

17 August 2012, Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, Design in Plot

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.
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/.

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.

All language is symbols. Therefore it shouldn't surprise you that your writing should include higher level symbols. What are higher level symbols? I mentioned before the cross as a symbol. The cross is a higher level symbol--a symbol that doesn't depend on language. Symbols can be ready made or author made symbols. Some symbols are a mix.

Back to Centurion with this idea that the characters support the theme but are necessary to the plot.  The protagonist of Centurion, Abenadar is both necessary to the theme and to the plot.  He, as the protagonist, is literally the glue that holds the novel together.  Likewise, in the example I used yesterday, Dana-ana, Dana-ana is the glue that holds the novel together--she is necessary to the plot and the theme.  In both of these novels, the other characters are only necessary to the plot, but support the theme. 

Let's look at Centurion.  The protagonist's helper, Ruth, is an important character through the last half of the novel.  She is the woman that Abenadar rescues from the streets of Jerusalem.  She is the woman he longed for in his life.  She becomes a necessary part of the plot, but she is not necessary to the theme.  The novel could progress within the theme without her, but not the plot.  Ruth additionally becomes a symbol in the writing of Adenadar's dependency on others.  This idea supports the theme and is necessary to the plot. 

An author develops the plot and the characters within the plot to support the theme.  To write, then, you must first have a theme, you develop the characters, and you then weave them into the plot.  The last step is sometimes coincident.  For example, when I was writing Centurion, I knew there would be a Ruth character from the beginning.  I designed the plot to introduce her and build her relationship with Abenadar.  The scenes are both touching and fit well with the theme.

On the other hand, another Centurion who causes Abenadar problems was not in my list of characters or plot design.  I built him into the plot to provide a reason for Abenadar to rescue another Roman patrol.  This kind of character development on the fly is necessary to some degree for all novels.  Most of the time, this kind of character is secondary or tertiary.  I developed this Centurion who causes Adenadar problems to build on the theme of Abenadar's skill and the trust his leaders placed in him.  In this way, this centurion supports the theme and became necessary to the plot.  The plot is based in Abenadar saving this other centurion's life and century.  Later, this centurion tries to have Abenadar murdered.  This event precipitates many theme points and plot events which move the novel toward its ultimate conclusion.

As another example of character development as necessary, in the novel, Aksinya, the four senior girls at Akinsya and Natalya's table were planned and designed into the plot.  I didn't know who they were, their names, descriptions, etc. until I arrived at their introduction in the plot.  At that moment of their conception, they became necessary to the plot and they were supporting of the theme.  Another character, the witness of Akisnya's sorcery when she saved Natalya and Sister Margarete from rape, was a character developed on the fly for the plot.  The plot was designed with such a character in mind, but not until necessary did I develop him.

Thus, keep this in mind, the characters must support the theme and be necessary to the plot.  I'll go into more detail in the character development, tomorrow.

There is much more to writing without confusing your readers. I'll write about that tomorrow. 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. To what extent do you outline the historic context, culture, mannerism, speech, dress and thought process of the main characters, in a historic novel...in order to maintain integrity, and gradually (help) reveal attributes of a character in the story, or otherwise clarify the plot, scene, transition, tension or resolution?

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.thefoxshonorhttp://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, Plot and Theme

16 August 2012, Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, Plot and 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.
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/.

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.

All language is symbols. Therefore it shouldn't surprise you that your writing should include higher level symbols. What are higher level symbols? I mentioned before the cross as a symbol. The cross is a higher level symbol--a symbol that doesn't depend on language. Symbols can be ready made or author made symbols. Some symbols are a mix.

The development of a character comes directly out of the theme.  That is, the development of all the characters in your novel comes directly out of the theme.  In a novel, there should be nothing extraneous.  Every character has a reason.  Every character must support the theme.  Every characters must be necessary to the plot.  Did you get the difference here?  Not every character is necessary to the theme, but every character is necessary to the plot.  In a perfect world, and in your novels, you should attempt to have every character necessary to the theme as well.  Let me show you the difference.

My unpublished novel, Dana-ana, is about a girl who thinks she is an Anglo-Saxon maiden in the modern world.  She will not speak to people unless properly approached, but she is in a modern high school.  The theme is about an Anglo-Saxon maiden in the modern world--there is much more to the theme, but that is sufficient for now.  In the initial scene, Dana-ana is being attacked by students because of her strangeness and because they accuse her of stealing lunches.  In this scene I have four tertiary characters--two boys and two girls.  The boys are attacking Dana-ana on the behalf of the girls. 

In this scene, I could have had one boy and one girl or one boy and two girls or two boys and one girl.  I could have had the main contention be that Dana-ana stole something other than lunches or stole some food other than their lunches.  We find that the theme requires Dana-ana to have some power over the natural world--I chose food as part of her power.  The plot develops this idea.  The characters all support the theme, but I made them necessary to the plot because of my choices from the plot.  In this case, you can see, the characters support the theme, but are necessary to the plot.

What this means is that in a cohesive plot, you can't change the details once they are established.  This is a critical difference between the plot and the theme.  Many plots can support the same theme.  Or said another way, you can develop many different plots from a theme.  Once you write, your plot and theme must be cohesive and the characters are the glue that binds it all together.  More, tomorrow.
There is much more to writing without confusing your readers. I'll write about that tomorrow. 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. To what extent do you outline the historic context, culture, mannerism, speech, dress and thought process of the main characters, in a historic novel...in order to maintain integrity, and gradually (help) reveal attributes of a character in the story, or otherwise clarify the plot, scene, transition, tension or resolution?

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, August 15, 2012

Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, Definitions

15 August 2012, Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, Definitions

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.
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/.

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.

All language is symbols. Therefore it shouldn't surprise you that your writing should include higher level symbols. What are higher level symbols? I mentioned before the cross as a symbol. The cross is a higher level symbol--a symbol that doesn't depend on language. Symbols can be ready made or author made symbols. Some symbols are a mix.

The design of a character is the same as the development of a character.  I've explained this before--I want to make it clear again.  An author takes the theme of the novel and conceives a character that fulfills the theme.  This process of conception is what I call development.  I could call it design of the character.  The reason I call it development is to intentionally separate it from revelation of the character.  Revelation is showing the character through the novel.  A character may change in a novel--the protagonist only, please, but they always are revealed.

To recap this very important information:
Development is the process the author goes through to use the theme to conceive and design the characters.
Revelation is the process of showing the character in the novel.
Change is the process the protagonist goes through that shows a difference in the initial character and the final character of the novel--that change involves the protagonist's telic (tragic) flaw.

These three definitions are critical to your writing.  They mean you must develop your characters before you write about them.  They mean you must use the theme to develop the perfect and unique character for your protagonist (and I would argue all the other characters).  Finally, you must reveal your characters by showing, and you must consider the telic (tragic) flaw of the protagonist.  More tomorrow. 

There is much more to writing without confusing your readers. I'll write about that tomorrow. 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. To what extent do you outline the historic context, culture, mannerism, speech, dress and thought process of the main characters, in a historic novel...in order to maintain integrity, and gradually (help) reveal attributes of a character in the story, or otherwise clarify the plot, scene, transition, tension or resolution?

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, August 14, 2012

Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, Comparison in Plot and Theme

14 August 2012, Development - Rules of Writing, Characters of Centurion, Comparison in Plot and 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.
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/.

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.

All language is symbols. Therefore it shouldn't surprise you that your writing should include higher level symbols. What are higher level symbols? I mentioned before the cross as a symbol. The cross is a higher level symbol--a symbol that doesn't depend on language. Symbols can be ready made or author made symbols. Some symbols are a mix.

Now, concerning the author's development of the characters.  When I write a character into a novel, I fully understand the character.  I fully understand the theme.  I don't know exactly where the plot will lead.  I do know how and if the protagonist will change within the novel.  Theoretically, there must be some change in your protagonist.  They must overcome or be overcome by their telic (tragic) flaw.  If there is no change in the protagonist, you picked the wrong character to make the protagonist.

The easiest way to make a change in the protagonist is to kill him.  Tragedies are the simplest.  That my be why Aristotle wrote about them.  Comedies are not so simple--the protagonist must change in a nonlethal way and overcome her telic (tragic) flaw.  This is the theme and what shapes the plot.

Using our examples of Abenadar and Aksinya.  Adenadar's telic flaw is his loyalty.  He must overcome it for Centurion to have its ultimate conclusion.  This completes the theme and the plot is driven by it.  In Aksinya, Aksinya's telic flaw is her temptation.  Her temptation is represented by the demon.  She must overcome her temptation and the demon--that is both the theme and the plot of the novel.  In this regard, the characters are completely wedded to their novels.  You can't remove or change them by too much or the plot and theme of the novel will come crashing down.  The characteristics of the protagonists come directly out of this.  I'll go into more detail, tomorrow.

There is much more to writing without confusing your readers. I'll write about that tomorrow. 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. To what extent do you outline the historic context, culture, mannerism, speech, dress and thought process of the main characters, in a historic novel...in order to maintain integrity, and gradually (help) reveal attributes of a character in the story, or otherwise clarify the plot, scene, transition, tension or resolution?

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/.