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.
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 4. 4. Evolving vs static character
Let's go back to the beginning. The author first develops the characters. All characters "evolve" and none are ever static. The reason for this is that the fully developed character is always revealed through the novel. This revelation shows how the character is growing and changing in the novel. For the writer, the character is simply being revealed. For the reader, their knowledge about the character increases.
All characters change (evolve) in a novel. Even the simplest character evolves (changes) in a novel. The first level of change is the revelation. That is, every time the author mentions the character is a new revelation of that character. Whatever the character is, the revelation tells the reader more and more--thus, the character may not change from the developed person, but the perception of the reader improves and changes. This is true character change.
Now, as I mentioned before, in a novel, the characters change their clothing, ideas, underwear, and all. I never understood this push for the evolving character--how can a character not evolve? How can a character not change. I think it is impossible. In the real world, people grow old. People change their ideas--no one is the same. Perhaps in some novels, unbelievably, there might be characters that don't change. Some change less than we might like or expect, but they still change. I would say, that if a character doesn't change at all, there is a significant problem with the character and the novel. Or, if the author seems to know what they are doing, the character might be an archetype of something very specific. I've never had a character that didn't change.
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