17 August 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 17 Science Fiction Characters
Announcement: My novels Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness are about to be published. I write this blog about 2 months prior to its publication. I just heard that the proofs will be here soon--likely before the end of the week. My publisher also wants to put the entire set of novels based on Aegypt on contract--that's 5 more novels for 8 total. They also want to put my other novels on contract. The release schedule should be one novel every 2 months. I'll keep you updated.
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.
The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:
1. Don't confuse your readers.
2. Entertain your readers.
3. Ground your readers in the writing.
4. Don't show (or tell) everything.
5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.
The main point in developing the plot is this: you gain your characters from the theme statement and you develop them as part of the plot. The how is a little more complicated. I'll give you some ideas.
From the theme statement, you should have a protagonist and potentially, a protagonist's helper and an antagonist. The first step in developing the plot is to flesh out these characters. The first question is: what do they look like? I'll go back to my main point on characters. When you introduce a character in a novel, you need at least 100 to 300 words to describe them. For a primary character (protagonist, protagonist's helper, or antagonist) you need at least 300 words. For secondary characters 100 to 300 will work. Note, you must not tell us anything about these characters--you must show us these characters. This means, your description is a description of their physical (external) attributes. You are not allowed to "tell" us anything about your character.
Your job is to make a physical description that is about 300 words long for the major characters. You must also write down something about their inner description, but you are not allowed to ever "tell" us about this. You may show us all about this part of your character. So, do you get it? Your character has external attributes you are allowed to show--write about at any time--and internal attributes (mental, emotional, etc.) that you are never allowed to tell us.
You might ask then, how can I show the inner attributes of my character? The answer is simple. You can "show" us though conversation and actions. There is much more to this.
Remember, I'm trying to show you and give you examples of how to write a science fiction theme statement and turn it into a plot.
For more information, you can visit my author site www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel.com/, http://www.centurionnovel.com, www.thesecondmission.com/, http://www.theendofhonor.com/, thefoxshonor, aseasonofhonor.