5 April 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 245 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.
I'm not giving this series up quite yet. I'll review some of what I've already described and tie it together.
The ideas I'm discussing in this overall conclusion are not just for science fiction, but relevant to all writing. I'm putting together the sequence of events for writing a science fiction novel. The first was to extrapolate the technology to get the setting (science fiction setting), the action (science fiction action), and the characters (science fiction characters). In reality, I only need one of these elements for science fiction, but I must have extrapolated technology. All three of these come from and go into your theme statement. From the theme statement, you get your setting, protagonist, antagonist, possibly the protagonist's helper, and the action statement of the theme. From the theme statement, you can expand the main characters and the ideas of the theme into a plot.
The first step in developing the plot (from my standpoint) is the initial scene. I craft the initial scene first for all my novels. This is the scene that must draw in your readers. This is the scene that puts all the other scenes in their proper orientation and setting. It must be exciting. I will admit, that in the past, I've not started some of my novels at the correct point or with the proper scene. I wont go back and fix those novels because, in the method I write a novel, those scenes are still necessary, they just aren't as exciting as they should be. The first scene colors and begins the novel. So, for A Season of Honor, the beginning scene is the introduction of Baron Shaun du Locke and Count Acier's proposal. This is a necessary scene and literally sets off the entire novel. In The Fox's Honor, the first scene is the introduction of Devon Rathenberg to the Ball where he meets Tamar. This is also a necessary scene that drives the rest of the novel. In The End of Honor, the first scene is a violent, bloody introduction to the novel--that's the kind of scene I recommend.
In my latest novel (not science fiction), the first scene is filled with action and excitement, blood and guts. That first scene is critical to the entire novel.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: