21 May 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 41, Developing Characters Rising Action
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.
Real people are complex beings, but they rarely are the material for a good novel. Just like I wrote yesterday. Well developed characters are about as real as conversation in a novel. Conversation is never real--it is made more than real by the writer. Likewise, characters in a novel are not real--they, like conversation have to go through a transformation. That transformation merges, clarifies, and distills the essence of the character to allow the author the scope to reveal them in a 100,000 word novel. Look, if you tried to reveal the nuances and true expression of a real person, it would definitely take more than 100,000 words--plus, for most people, it would be boring. The best characters are not those that are like real people, but rather those that are unique, but appear to be real people. Perhaps a better way of saying this is that they are unique, but appeal and seem like a real person to the reader. They are what the reader wants to be in a person.
This is why I don't write myself into my novels (and no author should write themselves as a character). This is why I don't use singular people as a model for a character. Every character must be boiled down to an essence and yet given complexity and resonance so they are real in the eye of the reader. To develop (build) such a character, you must start with the physical characteristics.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: