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.
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 5. 5. Language and style
Short digression: I'm writing from Denali Alaska.
Every decade has their own set of words, use of words, metaphors, analogies, social knowledge, cultural knowledge, and idioms. This means that to write correct historical literature, the author must understand these concepts in the speech of the characters. It also helps to have lived in the period, but that isn't always possible. What is possible is the realization that there are differences, and the desire (and skill) to study the period enough to write the conversation as a reasonable facsimile. No one can ever get the conversation perfect for any period or character--all the author has to do is get close. The reason is that there is no "real" conversation in any novel.
I've written about this many times before--I'll make the point again. It is worth looking at this from another point of view. That is, no conversation in any novel or short story is "real." Listen to any real conversation. Better yet, just get any transcript of any conversation--you will hear filler words (um, like, uh, etc.) throughout. You will hear incomplete sentences and incomplete phrases. You will hear poor grammar or no grammar. A transcript of any conversation you have ever had will not be anything like your memory of the actual conversation. The same is true in a novel. A novel or short story gives a portrayal of perfect conversation. It is conversation like what we hear in a play or a screenplay. It is as perfect as the writer can make it and get the point across. Like I wrote, you imagine your conversations are perfect--unless you are Oxford trained and about 75 years old, your conversations are nothing like you imagine them. I'll write more about making the conversations seem "real."
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