31 July 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 112, introductions how to develop Storyline, Entertaining, Rising Action
Announcement: I heard from my publisher that my Aegypt novels will continued to be titled Ancient Light and that the next two books will be called Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness. These were the original titles. They will be released individually and as a 3 in 1 volume. I saw the proposed cover. 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 my newest novel, Valeska, is this: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed.
Here is my proposed cover for Valeska:
The plot is developed directly from the theme. The first steps are fleshing out the characters (not accomplished in the novel, but before writing the novel) and the setting. The main characters and the setting come directly out of the theme. The characters are revealed through the storyline that is based on the plot. Then how do you get to the storyline?
I left up the example for the first scene plot outline from before. This outline is how I develop a scene in my mind. Once I have the scene outline, I can write the storyline. If you note, the plot outline comes directly out of the theme and the storyline comes directly out of the plot outline. So here is the outline--then how do you write the storyline?
Scene 1 (for this example): Christmas party at Lyons House 19 December 2014, damp night
George and Heidi arrive late
George and Heidi meet Sveta and Daniel
Heidi and Sveta have a confrontation based on contact (tension builder)
Heidi seeks a way to break off the confrontation
Daniel restrains Sveta, Heidi removes George (release)
First you set the scene. Then you set the characters in the scene. Then introductions. Not every scene will have introductions, but most with characters will have some type of introduction. If it is just a greeting or a "good morning." I'm trying to make this simple for those of you who are just starting and I'm giving a way to measure your writing if you are more experienced.
From my experience, I've found a lot of writers have problems with putting scenes together--that is in writing cohesive scenes that don't sound contrived or stilted. Every successfully written scene goes through the same basics: setting, characters, introductions, conversation, developing tension, release, output. Not to say there are modifications or potential ways scenes are shortened. All scenes must have developing tension and release (of some type). All scenes must have a setting (and be set). All scenes must have an output. All scenes usually have a character or characters. I mean, we are writing about characters here, not usually wildlife. In fact, the wildlife could be your characters. I remember a bestseller about rabbits called Watership Down. I think that was the title.
The point is this. You can break a scene down into these simple elements and write to them. I'm not trying to say that writing the storyline is simple. I think writing storyline is exhilarating and fun. I get a kick out of having all the elements come together into a cohesive whole that is a finished scene. There are scenes I have written that I remember specifically as well done and fun to read. They are usually pivotal scenes in my novels. That is the overall goal--to write a scene that has power and conveys the theme and plot. I'll continue with introductions.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: