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Saturday, November 7, 2015

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 576, Plot Tension Complexity Q and A

7 November 2015, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 576, Plot Tension Complexity 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.  Historical 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 9. 9.  Complexity

Complexity is related to the value of the unstated or the intentionally understated.  Complexity comes out of tension and release.

What is complexity?

The first level of complexity is the theme.  I discussed theme complexity earlier.

The second level of complexity is the plot.  What makes a complex plot?  In addition to the interweaving of the storylines, the tension and release cycle of the plot itself is directly related to the climax.  This leads to the third level of complexity.        

The third level of complexity is the integration of the tension and release into the climax and the revelation of the characters.  A novel has an overall plot.  That plot is comprised of the interweaving of the storylines.  The storylines are the revelations of the characters and the individual lives and actions of the characters.  The plot and storylines are driven by the scenes.  Scenes are revealed events with a tension and release cycle developed into them.  The overall tension and release cycle is the plot climax.  The individual scenes drive in tension and release to the plot climax.  The complexity of the tension and release cycle is directly related to the number of integrated tension and release events in each scene.  This is also directly related to scene complexity.

So, each scene must have a tension and release.  I’ll use Aksinya as an example again.  In the initial scene, Aksinya calls the demon.  The overall tension and release in the initial scene is the calling of the demon.  A breakdown of this tension and release shows a tension and release in the expectation of the calling—will the demon really respond to this girl’s enchantment?  Second, the coming of the demon—what does a demon really look like?  Third, the demon’s actions after he is called—he attacks, but can’t harm Aksinya.  Fourth, the tension of the demon who is willing to wait out Aksinya.  Fifth, the question of what Aksinya is willing to give the demon to complete the contract.  Sixth, the reason Aksinya called the demon…and so on.  Notice, multiple tension and release events to drive the main tension and release event of the scene.  Each of these is treated as its own tension and release cycle.  Each one builds up tension and gives a release that drives into the next tension.  Within each linear tension and release cycle are additional tension and release events.  The multiple tension and release events drive complexity—the tension and release events within these increase complexity.  All tension and release increase entertainment and excitement in the writing.

The fourth level of complexity is the integration of language into the tension and release of the scenes.

The fifth level of complexity is the integration of literature and culture into the tension and release of the scenes.     

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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