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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 656, Conversation, Style Q and A

27 January 2016, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 656, Conversation, Style 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.

     4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.

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 editing many of my novels using comments from my primary reader.  I’m on Children of Light and Darkness at the moment.

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 15. 15.  Style

Woah—style is huge.  I just spent more than six months defining style from almost every angle I could imagine. Here are the elements I found for an author’s style.

1.  Novel based style

a.  Writing focus
b.  Conversations
c.  Scene development
d.  Word use
e.  Foreshadowing
f.  Analogies
g.  Use of figures of speech
h.  Subthemes
I.  Character revelation
j.  Historicity
k.  Real world ties
l.  Punctuation
m.  Character interaction

2.  Scene based style

a.  Time
b.  Setting
c.  Tension and release development
e.  Theme development
f.  POV


So what does it mean to focus your writing on conversation?  And what does it mean to connect style with conversation?  These are two different questions. 


First of all, all novels must include some degree of conversation.  I hope this is always true.  Conversation is the most powerful means for the author to show and not tell. 


Despite all we wish to do, narration (the part of writing that isn’t conversation) can quickly turn into telling.  Conversation can’t ever be telling.  All conversation is showing.  This means the author can build a powerful novel easily through conversation.  This by itself is a reason for using conversation as a major part of your writing.  Conversation should normally be the greater part of a novel.  Without conversation, I’m not sure what an author has to write.  Description and action can only go so far. 


If conversation is a major part of a novel anyway, why isn’t every novel conversation focused?  To be conversation focused, the plot, theme, and tension and release cycles need to be based in the conversation.  Look at the tension and release cycle in the novel.  If most of the tension and release comes from conversation, the novel is focused on conversation.  If the tension and release comes from character introspection or thoughts, the novel could be character based.  If words drive the tension and release, words are the focus.


In my novels, I use conversation to drive tension and release.  This doesn’t mean the tension and release cycle doesn’t have action to provide release.  In almost every case, release is an action, but the tension development is where the focus usually comes from.  For example, if your characters begin to argue and the argument builds and builds to almost fisticuffs.  If the release comes from a conversational de-escalation, the focus is likely conversational.  If the release comes from character introspection, the focus is likely character or individual based.  If the release comes from fisticuffs, the focus is likely action based.  If the release comes from an external force or action, the focus is likely the environment. 


Conversation usually drives my tension and release.  This means my writing focus is based on tension and release, and my style is conversation based.   


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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