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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 516, more Character Complexity Q and A

8 September 2015, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 516, more Character Complexity Q and A

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  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

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.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website and select "production schedule," you will be sent to

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 ComputerLilly is my 24th novel.
Cover Proposal
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action.  I've started writing Shape.

I'm an advocate of using the/a scene input/output method to drive the rising action--in fact, to write any novel. 

Scene development:
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
9.  Complexity
10.  Type of grammar
11.  Diction
12.  Field of reference or allusion
13.  Tone
14.  Mannerism suggest by speech
15.  Style
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 3. 3.  Change, complexity of relationship, and relation to issues/theme

I'll repeat:

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   

How complex a character should I develop for my novel?  This is a great question.  You might not like the answer.  The answer is this--how good are your skills at revealing?  I assert a novel is a revelation of characters first and the plot and theme just are part of that revelation.  In revealing the plot and theme, the author is simply revealing the life of the characters in the novel. 

If you think of the novel this way, the entire novel is a revelation of the protagonist.  This is my approach to writing novels.  I reveal the protagonist in scenes.  The scenes are tension and release events that should always be entertaining. 

So, how do you keep track of such a character?  First, I write only one novel at a time.  I have some started that I haven't written on in a while, but few of those.  Once I get a novel length idea, I write it out to the bitter end.  My character are easy for me to imagine and write about because I keep them in my head all the time.  I think continually about my characters.  I see them in my mind like they are living their lives there.  I imagine creative and entertaining ways to make their characters and revelation be come real to my readers. 

Second, I develop characters I can imagine.  I don't do crazies or evil or other characters that are not like real people in the real world--that doesn't mean my characters can't have fantasy or extra-worldly characteristics.  It means I write about characters that most people can imagine themselves.  They are real and down to earth.  They worry about things that real people worry about.  They are real.  In general, I take them from the real and adapt them to my novel.

Third, I know what they look like and who they are.   More about that...

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site, 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 

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