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.
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).
Moving on to 2. 2. Character presentation (appearance, speech, behavior, gestures, actions)
An author develops a character first and then reveals the character through the plot. Plot revelation is what it is all about. We do not reveal characters by telling. First develop, then reveal.
Once you've developed your character's history, name, and description--you have everything you need. Some might say, what about the inner workings of the character. I don't worry about those at all. I see them as natural adjuncts to the history of the character. In other words, a character has a character because of their history. It can be as simple as this--your character went to Oxford University, therefore, they speak with an Oxford accent (plus whatever negatives or positives you want to derive from going to Oxford).
Characters are simply based on their history, and I mean all their history. Further, the way I develop a character is from their thinking first and build their history based on that. So, for Essie, I knew Essie would be a strange person. She is first a shape-shifter. She is slow. She isn't pretty. Based on being a shape-shifter, her personality changes as well as her shape. She is quiet, but always listening. As a human, she is very shy and reticent. As a wildcat, she is powerful and dangerous. She was abused and caged for most of her life (whatever her life is or was). Or at least caged and abused for as long as she can remember.
I know Essie because I know her history and who she is. I developed her before I began writing about her. In writing about Essie, I never tell the reader about her. I only show Essie to the reader. I don't give the reader a history lesson about Essie--her life spills out of the pages as a revelation. For example, Essie never told anyone that she was abused or caged. Morfran, Essie's keeper told Mrs. Lyons that he kept Essie in a cage and that before that, the fae held her in a cage. Mrs. Lyons learned that Essie was abused when she saw Morfran's boys beating her to prevent her from changing. This is a wonderful scene, but the way. A scene where Morfran is trying to recapture Essie, and his boys are beating Essie to prevent her from shape-shifting. At the same time, Mrs. Lyons gets her pistol and tries to save Essie. Cool stuff--that is character revelation.
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