14 November 2014, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 218, still more the Point of Proof and Other's Conversation, Methods of Revelation How to Develop Storyline, Rising Action
Announcement: My new novels should be available from any webseller or can be ordered from any brick and mortar bookstore. Information can be found at www.ancientlight.com. Check out my novels--I think you'll really enjoy them.
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.
There are three ways to know truth: the scientific method, the historical-witness method, and logic. The three tests used for all documentary evidence in history are: the bibliographical test, the internal test, and the external test. Let's see how we can use these tests.
Let's look back at the first principles of what I've been writing about. The first principle is that a novel is always the revelation of a protagonist and sometimes a protagonist's helper. In the past, authors use omniscient voice or a God-like narration to reveal the basics of the protagonist, then they used showing methods. In a modern novel, the author should only use showing methods to reveal the characters. I mentioned the methods above as means of revelation and gave examples of how to use them. One very critical aspect I wrote about was truth in a novel. My point was to describe the tools that could be used to know truth and the tools to convey truth in your novels. Those are the methods mentioned above.
As a pivot, let's discuss again, the use of truth in a novel. I have written before about secrets. No novel is any good without secrets. The major secret is the unrevealed part of the protagonist. The other great secret is the plot itself. The author teases these secrets to the forefront in a novel. The trick is to enable the reader to know what is truth and what is false at the proper time in the novel.
Let's look at an example. The Scarlet Letter is a novel that everyone should have read--if you haven't, get reading. In this novel, the protagonist, Hester Prinn has a great secret. It was a secret that confinement, punishment, interrogation, and shaming could not make her reveal. It was the name of her lover--the man who fathered her child. The author keeps this secret to the last. The novel is a mystery as well as a tragic tale of honor and dishonor. Throughout the novel, the author gives hints and drops crumbs for the reader. An astute reader might figure out the secret on his own--or not. The point is that the author is playing a game. For the characters in the novel, it is a deadly game that means the end of their lives, professions, and peace. It means the same for the community. The author keeps this secret and lets it build until the conclusion when the lover confesses.
What is important to note is the use of "truth" and falsehood by the author to build the suspense in the novel to its bitter end.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: