21 August 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 133, reading skills how to develop Storyline, Entertaining, Rising Action
Announcement: We are in the countdown phase for the publication of my new novels. The date on the internet is 1 September. We will see how close we come, or if the publishers meet the deadline. My Aegypt novels will be titled Ancient Light, and 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. The proposed cover and info can be found at www.ancientlight.com. 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:
So, how are your reading skills? Can you read and evaluate what you read? Can you articulate what you read? Can you act out what you read? The ability to act out a scene--at least in your mind is essential to the ability to write. You have to visualize a scene to write it. You have to visualize a scene to understand it. I ask this because it is a basic and essential reading skill that becomes a writing skill.
Reading is the basic skill. You take coherently written words from a page and understand them in their original sense--a mental picture. In writing you take a mental picture (video) and turn it into a coherently written set of words on a page. I don't buy the idea that everyone self interprets. I understand where this idea comes from. I intentionally use the idea that every reader will interpret parts of my writing differently than I do. This is why authors intentionally give their readers latitude in the writing. The point, as a writer, is not to define and control every characteristic of the novel, but rather to herd the imagination of the reader. The author does not want to be misunderstood or misinterpreted about the important aspects of the storyline. The author intentionally allows (herds) the imagination of the reader for the rest.
Let's put it this way. Your experience as a reader should make it obvious that the writer can't control every aspect of description and narration. The writer produces a proper framework over which the reader drapes their imagination. Just writing this: a chair was in the room. Conjures a picture in the mind of the reader. Add this: a chair with a high back was in the room--the reader gets an entirely new picture. Change it to this: a high back chair with a black and yellow flowered print was in the room--gives a new picture. The author can't completely control the picture. The author can place the correct elements of the picture into the mind of the reader. The point for the writer is this, is a normal, general "chair" required for the plot and theme or is a "high back chair with a certain print" required for the plot and theme. The tools you gain by seeing how other authors tackled this question is very important to your growth as an author.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: