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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 625, more Images Created by Similes Tools for Developing Tone Q and A

27 December 2015, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 625, more Images Created by Similes 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  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 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 first method of developing tone is through scene setting--the second method is through tension and release.  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?
Images created by figures of speech, including similes, are tools in scene setting and tension and release that help create tone.

Woe is me.  I discovered I am too much of a realist—my writing doesn’t include many similes or metaphors.  Perhaps more metaphors than similes.  I’m not certain this is a problem.  I am an advocate for figures of speech, but I use many others than similes.  I’m not sure this is a real problem.  Here is an example from my unpublished novel Essie.

Mrs. Lyons took a book, and they both went to the parlor at the front of the house.  The thick summer sunlight sifted through the front windows.    The room possessed two large wingback chairs and a small French provincial visiting-sofa with open carved wooden armrests.  A low tea table sat before the chairs and the sofa.  Under the tea table lay an ancient oriental rug.  By this time, Essie’s eyes looked heavy.  The girl blinked them as though she could barely hold them open.  Mrs. Lyons sat Essie on the sofa and tied her leash to its arm.  She sat in her favorite wingback, the one nearest the windows and the front door on the left.

The sunlight fell full on the sofa.  Essie immediately curled up in the sunshine and fell asleep.  Mrs. Lyons began to read.  As the sun moved across the room, so did Essie.  She mysteriously followed the pool of sunlight to the full extent of her leash.    When the sunlight slipped off the sofa, so did she.  She ended up on the rug curled up like a large cat, still immersed in the sunlight.    Immersed in sunlight.>
  Mrs. Lyons read quietly and watched her unusual charge.  As the sun progressed, Essie came to the end of her rope, so to speak, and couldn’t move any further to follow the sunlight.    Her eyes opened slowly.  She yawned.  She glanced at the light and then at Mrs. Lyons.  She slipped as much of her body as she could into the pool of sunlight and closed her eyes again. 
Mrs. Lyons finally felt sorry for her and untied the leash.  The moment Mrs. Lyons touched it, Essie woke and bared her teeth.  She recognized her surroundings and yawned.  Her appearance slipped back to normalcy.  Mrs. Lyons moved the leash to the other end of the sofa, and Essie returned to the sunlight.  She fell asleep again.  That lasted for a few more hours until the noon sun left the parlor completely in shadows.  Essie sat up with a slightly grumpy look and glanced around.
You could consider this entire sequence a metaphor of sorts.  Essie acts like a cat, but she isn’t a cat (in her human form).  I include figures of speech throughout all my writing.  Not so many similes, but many metaphors and other figures of speech.  Can you feel the tone in the above sequence?  The tone is indeed developed by the images created by the figures of speech.  Almost all of these come out of the narrative descriptions of the action.    

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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