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 26th novel, working title, Shape, is this: Mrs. Lyons captures a shape-shifting girl in her pantry and rehabilitates her.
Here is the cover proposal for Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer. Lilly is my 24th novel.
I'm an advocate of using the/a scene input/output method to drive the rising action--in fact, to write any novel.
1. Scene input (easy)
2. Scene output (a little harder)
3. Scene setting (basic stuff)
4. Creativity (creative elements of the scene)
5. Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)
6. Release (climax of creative elements)
I can immediately discern three ways to invoke creativity:
1. History extrapolation
2. Technological extrapolation
3. Intellectual extrapolation
Creativity is like an extrapolation of what has been. It is a reflection of something new created with ties to the history, science, and logic (the intellect). Creativity requires consuming, thinking, and producing.
One of my blog readers posed these questions. I'll use the next few weeks to answer them.
1. Conflict/tension between characters
2. Character presentation (appearance, speech, behavior, gestures, actions)
3. Change, complexity of relationship, and relation to issues/theme
4. Evolving vs static character
5. Language and style
6. Verbal, gesture, action
7. Words employed
8. Sentence length
10. Type of grammar
12. Field of reference or allusion
14. Mannerism suggest by speech
16. Distinct manner of writing or speaking you employ, and why (like Pinter's style includes gaps, silences, non-sequitors, and fragments while Chekhov's includes 'apparent' inconclusiveness).
17. Intro the concepts to my boys, using Homer's Illiad, chp 4-7.
Moving on to 17. 17. Intro the concepts to my boys, using Homer's Illiad, chp 4-7.
Slight digression: I'm writing from Cairo on another world tour.
The New Testament Gospels are the beginning of modern literature. They are the first documents in the ancient world to include narrative and quotations within the same text. That isn't the end of the story. This is just the beginning of modern literature.
Now, here is the problem of using the Illiad to introduce complex writing concepts--it is not modern literature and it is basically narrative based story telling. That is not to say, it is not creative in its own right or that it isn't skillfully accomplished, but it is ancient Greek and that is another problem. All ancient Greek literature is written using a logos to telos structure. The New Testament documents are all written in a logos to telos structure. This is why they are so confusing to English (and Latin readers). English is supposed to be written in an Intro, Body, Conclusion structure--if it isn't, that's bad English writing.
So, the Illiad as an example has three major trikes against it. First, it isn't a modern type of literature (you have to get to the NT for that). Second, it is ancient Greek. Third, it is ancient Greek logos to telos.
You might say, what is wrong with ancient Greek? For literature, ancient Greek is some of the sparsest writing known to the world. The Greeks never used an extra word. For example, a Greek poet might write: the waves were large. An English writer might wax poetic: the blustery waves pitched valiantly against the shore. Again, in modern literature, we prize the modern use of language and not the sparse ancient Greek style.
There is another problem. Modern literature has come a long way from the Gospels.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
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