1 July 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 82, Entertaining Characters, Developing Storyline 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 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:
Once you have an entertaining and hopefully a unique theme statement, the next step in writing a novel is to develop the characters. I won't go back through the complete character development process, but I'll look at the aspects of entertainment and excitement in character development.
The question then is what kinds of characters are entertaining. It might be worthwhile to ask what kinds of characters are not entertaining. These are kind of trick questions because almost any character can be made entertaining; however, some characters are easier to entertain with than others. Many times, the power of entertaining is when a character (hopefully the protagonist) changes within the novel. For the greatest entertainment factor, a character should change from ineffectual (or the appearance of ineffectual) to effectual. This goes directly back to the idea of a pathetic (pathos filled) character.
Again, a pathetic character isn't one that is disdainful, but rather, one that evokes emotions in your readers. A character that evokes emotions is an entertaining character. An entertaining plot is one where a pathetic character goes from ineffectual to effectual. For example, one of the most underused adult themes, but overused young adult themes is that of character self discovery. Character self discovery is when a character who is ineffectual and deemed by others to be incapable discovers some talent or skill that they can develop to become effectual. Some of the most entertaining novels with this theme are the discovery of magic or psionic capabilities. Other similar novels reveal a self discovery of an athletic or martial skill. These are more popular in young adult novels because they fit a young adult and school setting. I think they are unplowed ground for adult novels.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: