Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but the publisher has delayed all their fiction output due to the economy. I'll keep you informed. More 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 shuttle pilot not following the rules crashes on the island.
Here is the cover proposal for Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer. Lilly is my 24th novel.
Let's review my guidelines for conversation.
1. Cultural norms (greeting, introduction, small talk, big talk)
2. Logical response (characters must respond to each other in the conversation)
3. ID the speaker
4. Show us the picture of the conversation
5. Use contractions (most of the time)
6. What are you trying to say?
7. What is unsaid in the conversation?
8. Build the tone of the conversation.
9. Show don't tell.
10. Keep proper names to a minimum.
I'm an advocate of using the/a scene input/output method to drive the rising action--in fact, to write any novel. I'll describe this technique (and style) again if you are new to my blog or you missed it before.
In the novel, Scott wants as much information as possible about Freedom. His purpose is to escape Freedom. The reader wants to know just as much, if not more, than Scott--that's entertainment.
In developing scenes that lead toward the climax, I use the output of the last scene to propel the input of the next scene. Each scene follows the other in a logical and time sequence. The climax of the novel Escape is to escape. The characters must gain enough information to escape the nation of Freedom--plus, as an author, I can give them a push when I need to. I mentioned knowledge from another source. Specifically, I wrote that the initial information the protagonist and the reader gain in the rising action is through observation. This is descriptive narration. This process or narration and description continues through the novel. I am not talking about the narrator telling the reader information the protagonist doesn't see or know--I am writing about the description of the land of Freedom that the protagonist and protagonist's helper sees. It is a description of the place seen through the eyes of the main characters. Don't use omniscient voice or anything the protagonist or protagonist's helper can't see to progress the knowledge of the reader. What the protagonist knows the reader should know and no more. There is a caveat to this in terms of the use of scenes to provide information the protagonist might not know, but that the author wishes to show the reader. I'll get to this later. Here is an example fro the rising action of description that moves into character interaction and conversation.
Scott put his phone back in his pocket and headed down the coast. He headed in the direction Reb had brought him into the community last night. He passed the dorms and headed down a road that paralleled the coast. He hadn’t gone very far before he spotted a tall rectangular building. This building was large with lower extensions to the left and right. Like the other buildings, it had no windows. No one was on the road at all—compared to everywhere else around here that was unusual. He wondered if he should hide—or at least approach the place with a little more caution. When he came closer, he spotted a large sign above the main door: reuse, recycle, reduce. He didn’t see anyone around, so he was completely surprised when the door opened and a Citizen stepped out and walked toward him. The man wore the regular clothing of a citizen, but he had an instrument around his neck and a belt filled with medical tools around his waist. His face was symmetrical and fine. His features were more regular than Rebs. His face possessed a naturally positive and gentle appearance as though whatever skills he had, compassion was supposed to be one of them. The man didn’t come too close to Scott, and he didn’t really look directly at him, “Good day, Citizen. I didn’t expect any patients at the moment, and I asked for help with some work here. Am I wrong to presume you have been assigned here?”
Scott didn’t delay his response, “Perhaps I have the skills you require.”
The man smiled, “I’m HD08 950 Steve. I know that names are not very important, but if you are assigned here it will help me to address you properly.”
Scott had to glance at his wrist, “I’m CN 20537 Scott.”
The man, Steve smiled, “Construction—that is exactly what I needed here, and you are in my series. Those are both very good.” He almost seemed conspiratable when he stated, “The last time they sent a cleaning specialist and before that a vegetation clearer. I have been very clear in my requests—don’t take any of that as a complaint. I’m certain, the Party is trying their hardest to meet the needs of our Citizens…it’s just so difficult…” he finished lamely, “when they don’t send the right specialties.” Steve motioned to Scott, “Come, I’ll show you what needs to be done.”
Steve mistakes Scott for the assigned construction worker. The reason is because no one wants to work at the hospital if they can help it. The hospital is a terrible place. One of my main goals in the writing is to show the reader how horrible a place the hospital is in Freedom. Scott's work at the hospital and his friendship with Steve allows me to explore this. Steve provides great information to Scott that only an HD (Hospital Doctor) could provide.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
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