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. My flying schedule with the Egyptian AF and in business meetings has made it very difficult to write on my newest novel.
I consider Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine to be one if not the best modern novel. I would use Dandelion Wine as an example of great fiction writing.
Why use Dandelion Wine? This novel is the apex of great fiction novels. It is a coming of age novel about coming of age in the 20th Century. It stands for the move in human history between ox carts and automobiles, between birds and aircraft, between thoughts of flight and rockets, between human brains and computers. Dandelion Wine is all about what makes a person human and how humans become truly human. It is a wonderful novel.
One of the most powerful characteristics of Dandelion Wine is that Ray Bradbury began his writing life as a short story writer. This means the scenes in Dandelion Wine are constructed like short stories. These are put together in a cohesive whole in the novel. Part of the worth in studying the novel is to see the interconnections between the short stories. It also demonstrates how anyone can write a novel through short stories. Let's face facts--writing a novel is daunting, but not so much if you can break it into pieces and build each piece as a part of perfection.
Another reason Dandelion Wine is a good choice is that it represents the peak of current novel writing: third-person, past tense, implying a future.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic