16 December 2015, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 614, Diction and Rhythm Tools for Developing Tone 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 www.ancientlight.com. 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 http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.
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 http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.
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 Freedom. Escape is my 25th novel.
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.
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.
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
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 13. 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.
If tone is the feel of the writing, the author must start first with what tone he wants to convey.
The second method of developing tone is through tension and release. Before I give anymore examples, let’s look at the specific tools used to create tone in tension and release (these can also be used in the scene setting). I like the list from the question—it is nearly exhaustive: 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. Why don’t we look at each of these tools?
Diction is used mainly in conversation and rhythm in narration. Let’s talk about tension and release and relate it to diction and rhythm. Remember, the point of novel writing is entertainment. This means every scene must be entertaining. Entertainment in a scene comes out of the tension and release cycle in the scene. The power of diction and rhythm in tension and release is similar to a comedy exchange. Many times you hear actors talk about comedic timing. This is rhythm and diction applied to acting (specifically comedy). It refers to an actor’s ability to time their response to produce the perfect comedy response from the audience. This doesn’t apply only to comedy—in drama, the use of timing, specifically the pregnant pause or a vocal continuation is used to properly time the entertainment in the scene. In a drama, the actor isn’t aiming for laughs, but for tears and pathos. The concept is the same in comedy and in drama. An author aims for the same kind of timing in the tension and release of a scene. Diction and rhythm are subtle parts of this timing. The larger pieces of the timing are found in the storyline of the scene. Thus, the author drives the tension to a fever’s pitch and then provides the release at just the proper moment in the scene to produce the greatest entertainment and effects.
Think of a Perry Mason trial—the defense attorney approaches the bench and at the precise moment, he asks the special question or brings out the special evidence or the special witness that causes the prosecutor’s arguments to crumble. The writer builds up the tension (excitement) in the scene to the moment of revelation and bang, the release and end of tension. The author’s approach should produce tension and release. The timing of the storyline in the scene should provide this tension and release. The diction and rhythm of the scene should enhance the tension and release. The tension and release should reflect the tone of the scene.More tomorrow.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.ancientlight.com/fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic