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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 598, Classical Allusion Q and A

29 November 2015, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 598, Classical Allusion 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 12. 12.  Field of reference or allusion

Here is a dictionary definition of allusion:

Allusion an expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference.

Here is definition of allusion I like even better:

Allusion, in literature, an implied or indirect reference to a person, event, or thing or to a part of another text

And, with that we have the purpose for field of reference and allusion—they immerse the reader into a historical world.  They immerse the reader into a frame of reference that is different than the present.  They immerse the reader into a place, event, or time such that those become real within the context of the writing.

The major sources of references and allusions in classical literature are, in order of precedence, the Bible, Greek myth, and antiquity.  If you intend to mirror or at least match classical literature, you need to use these three general sources for your allusions and references.  What ho, you say, you didn’t intend to write inspirational, mythical, or antiquated literature.  Please begin by reading the classics to see how the concept of field of reference and allusion work.

I’ll try to help with some examples.  I you made a reference to a field being as muddy as Mount Arat after the flood or you noted a character looked as distrustful as a Judas, you are using allusions to the Bible.  If you noted a girl moved as silently as a nymph or was as elusive as a sylph, you are referring to Greek myth.  If you wrote, he looked like a hairy Socrates, you are alluding to Greek antiquity.  I hope you are well versed in this type of literature and that you have the skills and temperament to make it work.  All literature was at one time judged by the power of its allusions and the degrees and fields of reference developed in the writing.

Today, most writing is not connected to any reference or allusion—this is unfortunate.  This means that most modern writing is simply writing and not literature.  It exists in a vacuum of lifelessness, unconnected to the past and unconnected to humanity.  If you think this is strong, just imagine that no human development can exist apart from the past.  A piece of writing without any reference to past literature is like a piece of the world disconnected from the whole.          

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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