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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 594, Diction Q and A

25 November 2015, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 594, Diction 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 suggested 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 11. 11.  Diction

Here is a dictionary definition of diction:

Diction is style of speaking or writing as dependent upon choice of words: good diction. the accent, inflection, intonation, and speech-sound quality manifested by an individual speaker, usually judged in terms of prevailing standards of acceptability; enunciation.

Based on this definition, we have basically covered diction under types of grammar.  Although we’ve looked at it before, this might be a good time to discuss youth, age, education, and culture as reflected by language use (diction) in conversation.  I wish my novel Essie was published—that would give a great example of age to youth in conversation.  Mrs. Lyons is an older person, 87 to be exact.  Essie is a very older being, but appears 15.  In the novel, Essie goes to an all girl’s boarding school.  Now she is surrounded by young women.  Essie’s initial way of speaking is very simplistic, almost childish.  Compared to Mrs. Lyons, the two are a great contrast in diction and style.  Compared to the young women, the speaking styles and diction are again in contrast. 

Really, I’d like to give you all the rules and ideas on how to bring these little subtleties out in your writing, but I admit, I think that is much too difficult.  The author must listen to how people speak.  The author must read good examples of older speakers and younger speakers.  Much of the power of the author is to develop a character and then put words in the mouth of the character that fully reflect that character. 

For example, I could write that the older a person, the longer their speaking tends to be—this is a simple truism, until you write about an older man whose speaking style is very brief.  I’m sure you’ve heard them—the old farmer or old fisherman.  They might use as few words as a child. 

On the other hand, a young child might be verbose or sparse with their words—it all depends on the personality and character begin developed.  In Essie, Claire is a precocious child of 7—she uses many words and speaks at quite a high level. 

Generally, the higher the level of education, the greater a person’s verbosity, but not always.  Some educated people are notoriously quiet—they are listeners more than conversationalists.

So, although I’d like to give you the rule book for writing conversation—there really is none.  The only thing a good author can do is read and listen.     

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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