4 January 2014, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 269, Culture 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.
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.
My style is culture and language comparisons in novels. Escape doesn't give any real scope for language differences--in it, I assume everyone speaks the same language and that there are few differences in dialect or accents. This is reasonable because all the people on the planet in Escape came as colonists from Earth. The important focus of the work is about culture.
Culture is one of the central ideas in all of my writing. For example, in Centurion I explore the differences between Roman, Greek, and Jewish cultures and societies in the first Century. In Aegypt, I depict the cultures of the Bedouin, Tunisians, French, and French Foreign Legion. In The Second Mission, the ancient Greek culture is the subject of the novel. I mentioned many times before that the Anglo-Saxon culture was the model for my Honor novels--The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox. To me culture is one of the most powerful and important ideas an author can depict. Here the importance of this idea.
An author's setting is not just a description of the physical world, the society, or the way of life of the characters--the setting is always the culture. If the culture is that of the modern Western world--the author's job is easy. If the culture is ancient, foreign, or otherwise unique, the author's job becomes the revelation of the culture. I consider the revelation of cultures as part of my "style" as a writer. This is what I want my novels known for--that they accurately and candidly depict other cultures in a way that people can appreciate and enjoy the differences and nuances of them.
By the way, Merry eleventh 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: