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Sunday, November 1, 2015

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 570, Conclusions Sentence Length Q and A

1 November 2015, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 570, Conclusions Sentence Length 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 Escape from FreedomEscape is my 25th 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'm on my first editing run-through of 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 - how tone is created through diction, rhythm, sentence construction, sound effects, images created by similes, syntax/re-arrangement of words in sentence, the inflections of the silent or spoken voice, etc.

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 8. 8.  Sentence length

What have we seen with sentence length in writing fiction?  The most important point of all writing is entertainment.  Entertainment means the author writes using tension and release cycles to make entertaining scenes.  The writer conveys tension and release using pacing.  Pacing can be expressed through sentence length.  Pacing is the expression of time in writing; therefore, sentence length can also be used to convey time.

In a nutshell, this is the use of sentence length in fiction writing.  Put on your thinking cap and imagine the punchline and pacing of a joke.  Pacing in fiction is exactly the same thing.  The author should build tension to an appropriate release and pacing is one of those very important tools. 

There is no rule that action requires short sentences and lack of action requires long sentences.  The rule is that pacing for tension and release requires the correct sentence length to convey the correct pacing to lead to the most powerful release.  I’ll provide a simple example of pacing for tension and release and try to connect that to pacing and sentence length.

If you will remember, a famous and simplistic writing dictum in tension and release is the try three times concept.  In this dictum, the character when facing a difficult trial makes two unsuccessful attempts and a final successful attempt.  I don’t use this in my writing, but I do keep it in mind.  The idea is that the tension of the building attempts then is balanced with the final success which is a release.  This is a very simple and classic explanation of tension and release in fiction writing.  Pacing, in this case, is both the three attempts as well as in the writing of the three attempts.  The pacing is then directly tied to the tension and release cycle.  In sentence length, the pacing of the events and the events themselves will relate to the event and not necessarily the fact there are three attempts.  In other words, the pacing will relate more to the type of event.  If the event is a chess match, the pacing will relate and reflect the tension of playing chess (perhaps long sentences and long phrasing punctuated by short action when a piece is finally moved).  If the event is a physical trial, the pacing will likely be thoughtful periods of preparation (represented by long phrasing and pacing) punctuated by short periods of action (short phrasing and sentences).  Does anyone else see a pattern here. 

To conclude: in the case of almost all pacing, tension will dictate a portion of time for reflection and thinking followed by action.  The pacing will relate to this and the sentence and phrasing length should follow in some degree.  Just remember, pacing is what matters and tension and release is the goal (entertainment).   

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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