15 December 2014, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 249, Protagonist's Helper 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 started writing on my newest novel. Here is the theme statement: 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.
I'll move on to the protagonist's helper. I've mentioned before, an opposite sex protagonist's helper in an adult novel immediately gives you a love interest. A same sex protagonist's helper gives you a sidekick or friend. As my experience with writing has grown, so has my realization of the importance of the protagonist's helper. I would say that in modern novels, the protagonist's helper is a much more important character than the antagonist. All three of these characters are necessary to a novel, but the antagonist can be abstract and general, while the protagonist helper cannot. The protagonist's helper allows the revelation of the protagonist in ways the antagonist can never do.
Imagine, the protagonist and the protagonist's helper can engage almost at will in conversation the author can use to reveal them. Very few conversations between the protagonist and the antagonist can be used to directly reveal those characters. The interaction of those characters in the narration can be used to reveal, but the conversation between an antagonist and a protagonist is more likely to be filled with half-truths, lies, and intentional obscuration. Depending on the novel, the antagonist might be torturing the protagonist. This is definitely true about this novel that I'm writing. The antagonist is a fascist government with a supreme leader. The protagonist's helper is a stranded pilot.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: