24 April 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 14, Initial Scene
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.
From the theme statement, the obvious initial scene is when the vampire meets the agent. In most novels, the obvious initial scene is either the meeting between the protagonist and the antagonist or the meeting between the protagonist and the protagonist's helper. In this case, the protagonist is the agent and the protagonist's helper is the vampire.
The protagonist could equally be the vampire, but I chose differently for a couple of reasons. The first is that a vampire should be mysterious. You can't really have a mysterious protagonist. Second, I wanted the agent to be the protagonist. Ah, the astute reader will say, then the vampire doesn't change and the agent does. Bingo. The identification of the protagonist is that the character has a telic change during the novel. The vampire can't have a telic change, the agent must. I did this trick in Khione. The protagonist's helper, Khione had a telic change, but so did the protagonist. This might be a little modern for some purists, but this is how many novels with a strong redemption theme work. The main character is not the only one redeemed.
In almost every novel, the initial meeting of the protagonist and the protagonist's helper or the antagonist makes the best initial scene. Now, imagine other scenes as a contrast.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: