14 January 2016, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 643, General Syntax/re-arrangement of Words in a Sentence 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 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?Syntax/re-arrangement of words in sentence as tools to develop tone. What makes English so versatile and so difficult as a language are the many verb forms that allow subtle changes in the syntax and meaning of the sentences. We looked at verb tense, auxiliary verbs including the do form, conjunctions, and prepositions.
There are a few other grammar forms that affect syntax we could look at, but I don’t think they have much measurable effect on tone. My main purpose was to look at English and English grammar to show how syntax could be changed and how that might affect tone.
Syntax really doesn’t have that great of an effect on tone, but it can help accentuate or hold tone. For example, we saw how prepositions and conjunctions tie ideas together. This affects pacing which is a part of tone. It should be easy to see that the use of conjunctions and prepositions increase phrase and sentence length leading to slower pacing. Slower pacing extends the tone. Here is an example from my yet unpublished novel Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si that demonstrates pacing and tone.
Essie’s eyes danced. She closed them and placed her hands on the keyboard. She began to play. It sounded entirely unlike anything Mrs. Lyons, Claire, or Seasaìdh had ever heard. If they closed their eyes they could picture meadows and grasslands. Then the music changed. They heard the tinkling of sunlight through trees and the burbling of water in a brook. Then the music became lighter, like flames on a candle building to a campfire then a roaring conflagration. The music sounded beautiful and unworldly. It rose around them, and their feet moved all on their own. They felt like jumping and dancing and running. Then Essie’s music turned slow and somber like the august march of royalty through a sunlit glade. Essie played and played then finally, she stopped. She breathed hard. A slight glow seemed to touch the top of her head—perhaps the sunlight glistened in her hair. Her lips turned up in a smile, “Like that?”
If you examine this example, you will see the use of all the tools I showed you before. They are used to change pacing and tone. The beginning is tight and terse. The middle is long and slow. The end stops then extends the action. If you look closely, you will see the careful crafting of the sentences to achieve this result. Syntax is a small part of it, but a part none-the-less.
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