8 December 2014, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 242, Protagonist Characters and Plot, How to Develop Storyline
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: while on assignment in Gdansk, Poland, 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:
I haven't started writing yet, but I have a theme statement for my next novel: a girl in a fascist island nation will do anything to escape--a young cargo ferry pilot not following the rules crashes on the island.
This theme statement lends itself well to each part of the development of a novel. Note, there is a setting, an initial scene, protagonist, protagonist helper, antagonist, and the climax is obvious. Let's talk about each.
Let's look at the protagonist and then the protagonist's helper. I suspect I will make the protagonist the girl and the protagonist's helper the guy, but I'll show the story from the protagonist's helper's point of view (POV). I've done this in my latest novels and I like the way it works. There is great power in having a POV completely outside that of the protagonist. This lends credibility to the story in ways a first person or a normal third person protagonist POV will not. This goes back to what I wrote about character revelation. A character revelation from the POV of the protagonist has less credibility than that of an outside POV. Character revelation from a fist person POV is definitely worthless--with the omniscient view required of the first person, the entire truth is all there is or the reader never knows what is really true--the first person might lie or be insane or be deluded. Like I wrote before, from an outside POV, the actions of the protagonist become truth--from an internal POV, they are always questionable.
The POV of the protagonist helper gives a realistic view of the protagonist, at least from the standpoint of the protagonist's helper. I like slightly distanced protagonist's helpers--this provides a good separation that gives a strong impression of truth to the reader.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: