24 September 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 167, Other's Conversation methods of Revelation How to Develop Storyline, Rising Action
Announcement: I received the proofs and a three-day deadline to give comments. One of my regular prepub readers and I went through the three book. I was able to correct some second edition issues in Aegypt. The proposed cover and info can be found at www.ancientlight.com. I'll keep you updated. I should have three new books out soon.
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 purpose of a novel is to reveal the protagonist and usually the protagonist's helper, the author needs to place them in circumstance that allows them to reveal themselves. The means can be conversation, exploration, discovery, other's conversation, confession, accidental discovery.
The revelation of the protagonist's character can also come through other's conversation and other's point of view (POV). Other's conversation is an excellent means to progress the theme, plot, and storyline. The trick here is to swing to a scene involving the other characters and where the protagonist is not around. Alternately, you could have the characters speaking in another language while the protagonist is in the scene. I haven't used this before, but it has potential.
The point of putting conversation about a character in the mouths of others is one of the expression of "truth." In a novel, like real life, there is always "truth." There is a reality that is the absolute truth. On the other hand, along with truth, there is also the perception of the protagonist, the protagonist's helper, and the other characters. Each character has a piece of the truth, the rest is their perceptions or understandings. It is not the job of the author to show or tell the truth--it is the job of the author to entertain the reader. Much of the concept of entertaining is the revelation of the characters, theme, plot, and storyline.
The main rule of real life and novels, is the question of "what is truth?" Each character has a piece of the "truth," and only the author really knows what is true in the novel. It doesn't matter that the characters know the truth--they only need to know enough "truth" to provide the revelations in the story. The level of truth is determined by many factors. Ultimately, the omniscient author, like god, can provide the truth--that is telling. Don't do it. You can let the protagonist tell everything in the first person--he might be lying, and that is telling. Don't do it. That's why I don't like the first person in novels--there is too much chance for telling and the readers know too much about the protagonist. Just don't do it. That's why using other's conversations is a good method of character revelation.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: