6 April 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 246 Next 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. Once you have written the first scene, the rest of the novel will almost write itself. The entry into the first scene is the theme statement. The setting and characters come out of the theme statement. The action for the initial scene comes out of the theme statement and the characters. In the latest novel I am writing, the theme is about the relationship between a vampire and a government agent. The government agent is shot while on assignment and accidentally gets involved with the vampire. I know I told you that vampire themes are overused--I just had an inspiration and couldn't let it go. Every scene, including the initial scene, has an input to the scene. The input are the conditions that set the scene and make it come into place. As a writer, you don't need to tell all the initial conditions for the initial scene, you just set the scene and put it into motion.
In my newest novel, the inputs to the first scene are very complex, but simply, the agent has been tasked with a simple contact assignment and is shot through the chest. The vampire is a girl who was hunting and the agent happened to get in the way. She is starving and asks the agent if she can have some blood. In the exchange, the agent doesn't become a vampire, but the vampire gives him back his life, while the vampire has become dependent on the agent. The point is the scene is almost all setting and conversation with the strong action at the beginning. At the end, the vampire is gone and the agent is unconscious. The next scene should be obvious. The output of the first scene is that the vampire saves the agent and the agent saves the vampire. The agent is out and previously pressed the crises button on his phone. Since we follow the protagonist, the next scene must be the agent in the hospital.
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: