3 January 2014, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 268, more Style Development, 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 25th novel, working title, Escape, is this: 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.
More small digression: I'm now on a demo tour in the AT-6 to Paraguay. I'm writing from Ecuador.
On the colony world of the novel, working title, Escape, there are numerous continents and at least one large island. The large island is a fascist nation that is based in pure extrapolated communism. This nation is called Freedom. Freedom has three groups of people on it: the Party Members, the citizens, and the armed citizens.
I like to use redemptive themes. I also like to use love in marriage as a subtheme. I generally emphasize languages and cultures in my novels, and in many of my novels, I have spiritual beings. I'd lie to look at each of these as a component of an author's style and as my style.
Authors themes are related to their styles. In many cases, their styles (of writing) are based on a type of theme. For example, Stephen King uses a suspense/horror theme that is also his style as an author. It would be hard to imagine a Stephen King novel that was not based in a suspense/horror theme. Likewise, I use redemptive themes in my writing. I've mentioned that a redemptive theme is one where the protagonist is rescued out of a terrible life or has a change of life and heart based on their beliefs or ideas. For example, in the new novel I'm writing, Escape, the protagonist is redeemed from her horrible life under a fascist tyranny.
In this novel, Escape, I don't have any spiritual beings, and I don't emphasize languages, but I do emphasize cultural differences (there is an aspect of my style). I also have a subtheme based on love, sex, and marriage. In this novel, this is related to the culture of the protagonist and the culture of the protagonist's helper. The subtheme allows me to show the cultural differences and bring them to the fore. It also allows me to have my characters recognize something about themselves and each other. I mentioned before, the citizens of Freedom don't know anything about love--they have no word for it. They understand reproduction and sex, but have no concept of love, marriage, or family. You can see the power in cultural comparisons here.
By the way, Merry tenth day of Christmas and a Happy New Year.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: