27 May 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 47, Past, 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.
Once you have a name and a description, you might imagine you can then begin to flesh out the character of your character--that is the furthest from the truth. What makes your character a "real" character isn't necessarily how they might think or how they might act. What makes a character "real' is the same thing that makes a person real--their past. I don't develop characters by writing, Heidi is a vampire who has a poker-faced personality and is sarcastic. Don't get me wrong, you can develop a character using that type of description, but I think that makes a limited character--is the character always sarcastic and poker-faced? Of course not. What makes great character development is the actual past of the character. This, by the way, is the part that is your goal to reveal in the novel. You want to reveal the past of your characters. Usually, you focus mainly on the primary characters, but their revelation is what makes their reactions seem real.
For example, a poker-faced vampire who is sarcastic--why is she sarcastic? Why is she poker-faced. The reason must come from her past. If fact, Heidi is neither poker-faced and usually not sarcastic. She is polite and generally capable. She thinks of others and is very patient. You might ask, how can a vampire be like that? All the vampires you might have read about are animal-like or driven by evil--or normal high schoolers who drink blood. In any case, the reason they are the way they are is based in their past. That is what you must explore when you develop a character.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: