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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 546, more Explanation Verbal, Gesture, Action Q and A

8 October 2015, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 546, more 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 back from my outside of COUNUS tour, writing from Wichita, Kansas. 

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.”

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 thought for a long moment.

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?”

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

  I give Tilly no gesture here—a gesture would ruin the richness of the statement itself.  In any discussion, a statement of witnessed evidentiary proof is worth more than any untethered argument.  Here, Tilly states a fact.  Tilly is an authoritative and experienced voice.  She is someone Kathrin must listen to and heed.>

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

  Sitting up, standing straight, leaning forward, uncrossing arms, uncrossing legs, there are others, are indications of taking immediate interest.  These gestures tell your readers the character is listening closely and attentively to what is going on or the words being said.  This can be an indicator for anyone involved or hearing the conversation—thus an author can show the interest of someone on the periphery of a discussion with this type of gesture.  Additionally, this type of gesture can be accomplished silently.  In this case, Kathrin punctuates her action with a question that shows exactly what has interested her.>

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

  This is exquisite truth in a logical argument.>

Kathrin colored, “I didn’t imagine.”

  A flush is an involuntary response—the reader should know this about human physiology.  A blush shows the person is responding at a deeper level than speech or action.  This is why it is so indicative of human reaction.  There are other indicators like this, but most can be faked (eye-blinking, grimacing, etc.).  A flush is never by choice—unless you have a very unusual character.>

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

  Whether humans make these types of responses is immaterial to the writing.  I wrote before that all conversation is artificial in all fiction writing.  What is important isn’t the human authenticity of the conversation, but rather the reader’s acceptance and excitement about the conversation.  The number one question is: does the conversation entertain?  The second question is: does it move the plot and theme.  I think people really do snarl—they bare their teeth and give a snippy answer.>

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

  You never want to overdo any gesture, but to put out one’s hand means to cut off a speaker.  It can be accomplished in varying degrees and as varying response.  If Kathrin made a cutting motion with her hand, that would mean something much more direct than to put out he hand.  In this case, Kathrin is not indicating anger, but rather deep thought and interest.>

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

  She will not be silenced.  She knows she is right, and she knows she is winning the argument.  In real life, Leila should probably hold her tongue.  Did I tell you Leila is about 12, Kathrin is about 72, and Tilly is over 80?  Leila is speaking in youthful conversational speech.  Kathrin and Tilly are more mature.  This type of speech is a subtlety.  I should have noted it throughout this example to you.  Read back through the example and see how Leila’s speech patterns differ from Kathrin’s and Tilly’s.  I gave an example earlier of youth speech.  An author should carefully note the speech patterns of his characters and ensure there is a difference between generations, education, cultures, society, etc.>

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

  Just as sit up, etc. shows general attention, these show specific attention.  In this case, Kathrin is turning her attention to Leila, but then her words say, she wishes to hear from Tilly.  This indicates to the reader that Kathrin is indeed nearly in agreement with Leila’s words, but that she also wants to hear more from her best source of information—Tilly.>

I hope this explanation has been helpful.  I occasionally show you an example and give an explanation of the writing within the context of the subject I am looking at.  In this case, verbal, action, and gesture.  I just finished writing Shape.  It is a fun novel.  I’m making the first editing run-through.            

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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