14 April 2014, Writing Ideas - Characters (Vampire Novel), part 4
Announcement: There is action on my new novels. The publisher renamed the series--they are still working on the name. I provided suggestions as did one of my prepub readers. Now the individual books will be given single names: Leora, Leila, Russia, Lumiere', China, Sveta, and Klava--at least these are some of the suggestions. They are also working on a single theme for the covers. 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.
All novels have five discrete parts:
1. The initial scene (the beginning)
2. The rising action
3. The climax
4. The falling action
5. The dénouement
The theme statement of this new novel is: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed.
This discussion about vampires is to show how you flesh out a character. In this case, a vampire's character. In this novel, I wanted to make the vampire the protagonist's helper, and the protagonist the agent. I wanted a classical vampire. A classical vampire is one who meets all the criteria of Bram Stoker's Dracula. A non-classical vampire is a vampire who does not have the characteristics of the monster Bram Stoker created. A vampire should not be a hero, but it might have some heroic characteristics. This is the point of redemption. A vampire is a character that is a damned human on the earth. To achieve redemption, the character would have to do something special and redemptive. That has more to do with the plot development than the development of the character.
So, take the classical vampire and make it a modern character. Many have done this well. I wanted a character that could deliver pathos (emotion), therefore, I chose a character who would immediately deliver even if they were evil. The obvious best pathos type character is a beautiful girl. Place her in rags, make her hungry, and put her out on the streets--that is an immediate means to make male and female readers feel sorry for your vampire.
Better yet, if she was or is abused then that increases the level of pathos. The point is to immediately get my readers to feel positive emotion about the protagonist helper. The means to do this is by applying certain characteristic to that character. All this is in the fleshing out or development of the character before the novel is written.
With this theme statement I am ready to tackle the novel. The next step was to flesh out the characters and the setting.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: