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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 545, Explanation Verbal, Gesture, Action Q and A

7 October 2015, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 545, Explanation Verbal, Gesture, Action 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 6. 6.  Verbal, gesture, action

Short digression:  I'm writing from Vancouver, British Columbia. 

Usually, my main focus on verbal, action, and gesture is for the purpose of identification of characters during conversation and to bring out the unspoken parts of the conversation.  In general, the entire purpose of gesture, action, and verbal is in character revelation. 

Here is an example from my newest novel, Shape.  This is the first cut, so it will likely change to some degree.  I doubt I will change much of the conversation or the actions or gestures.  They all convey exactly what I am trying to do with this writing.  Let’s look in detail at the conversation (verbal), actions, and gestures.  Kathrin who is also the goddess Ceridwen is speaking.  Kathrin is having second thoughts about her actions against Essie (the Aos Si).

Kathrin looked down, “She does sing the music of the fae—that’s exactly what we heard at her concert.  She played the night music of the fae.  She didn’t sing it, she allowed the organ to sing her song.”

Leila knuckled her eyes, “Grandmother, I saw her scars.  You placed them there…”

“I did not scar her.”

“You did grandmother.  You allowed the fae to capture her.  They gave her to the Morfrans.  The Morfrans beat her to keep her captive and to prevent her from using her power.”

“What is that to me?”

Leila stood, “If Essie is your subject, how can you cause her so much pain and suffering.”

Kathrin pressed her lips together, “I really don’t wish to argue with you, Leila.  She doesn’t suffer as we do—the Aos Si is a dangerous creature.”

  Kathrin is not happy with her own argument.  Watch people in real life, when they are trying to hide their real emotions, they bite their lips, purse, or press their lips together. Pressing your lips into a line can also mean neutrality as opposed to a smile or a frown.>

Leila clenched her fists, “Do you know the revenge Essie took on the fae for her confinement?”

Kathrin cocked her head.

“Essie blessed them.  She does not take revenge.  She has the power to cause all kinds of suffering, but she doesn’t.  She chooses not to.”

“I asked you—what is that to me?”

“Grandmother, the reason the fae oppose you now is because of her.”

“Sit down, Leila.”

Leila shook for a moment, then she plopped down in her chair again.

  Kathrin tells Leila to sit down, and Leila complies.  This is an advanced technique in using conversation to show an action.  The classic example of this is “Are you crying?”  This shows the reader the action of one of the characters in a conversation.  In the case here, the author still has to indicate that the character complies.  All that needs to be said is Leila complied.  In this case, I use the narrative to show the reader more.  Leila shook—she doesn’t want to take her grandmother’s orders.  She plops down.  Thus, in this conversation, I show you the required action.  I use the narrative to convey the action, and I show you the action.  This precedes the next use of silence in the conversation.>

Kathrin thought for a long moment.

  This break in the conversation indicates Kathrin is thinking about the issue—that is, Leila’s arguments are having their desired effect.  This rarely happens in a “real” conversation.  In some cases, the arguer is wise enough to let their subject have time to think.  As I mentioned before, conversation in a novel or short story are not real.  They are the conversation as we wish a conversation might go.  In almost every case, no one wins an argument in real life.  Fortunately, it is possible in a novel.>

When Leila began to speak, Kathrin put up her hand.  Finally, Kathrin stated, “I admit.  We are having a problem with the fae.  I believe that problem has to do with the Aos Si.  I think I am beginning to understand part of the problem, but I’m not certain.”  Kathrin turned to Tilly, “Tilly, what do you think about all this?”

  This is a continuation of the previous moment, but this lends credibility and reality to the conversation.  I mentioned that most of the time an argument can’t be won.  Many times the arguer sinks their own argument by being overbearing and not letting the target think through their argument.  In this case, Leila is about to submarine her own argument—Kathrin saves her.  Kathrin really does want to get to the bottom of this—it is her responsibility and problem.  In the second part of this paragraph, Kathrin moves the conversation to Tilly.  This is another advanced trick in writing conversation.  The author doesn’t have to write, Tilly said (or anything else).  Kathrin moves the conversation to Tilly and asks her a question—the next speaker must then be Tilly and the conversation continues.>

“I saw the scars on Essie’s back.  I have her cage in my garden shed.  I saw the Morfrans beat her…”

Kathrin sat up, “Beat her—you actually saw them beat her?”

“They told me, Ceridwen required them to hold and beat her.  They said they acted on Ceridwen’s orders.”

Kathrin colored, “I didn’t imagine.”

Leila snarled, “You said yourself she doesn’t suffer as we do—she suffers much more than we do.”

Kathrin put out her hand, “Hush, Leila.  I am trying to determine what to do about this.”

Leila curled her lip, “It should be obvious to you.”

Kathrin stared at her, “I want to ask Tilly’s opinion.”

I’ve left the rest up.  I’ll explain more tomorrow.            

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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