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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 666, Focus Output, Outline Scene Development, Style Q and A

6 February 2016, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 666, Focus Output, Outline Scene Development, 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 editing 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


When I write about scenes, I mean, a sequence of continuous action in a novel.  This is the smallest element of a novel. 


My method for scene development will accommodate the focus and style of any author, but it is a method.  Here is my method for scene development.

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)


The focus of your input into the scene determines your style in the scene, but there is much more.  The input of the scene most of the time determines the output of the scene.  I’ve been here before, but I think it is a very important concept. Many inexperienced writers imagine that writing is all about giving your readers a totally unexpected experience and storyline.  The opposite is true.  The plots of many novels are trite.  It isn’t necessarily the plot that provides the creative impulse, it is rather the characters.  This is why I write all the time—a novel is a revelation of the main characters.  Particularly the protagonist and the protagonist’s helper.


How many novels have you heard the reviewer or reader say, “I loved the plot.”  I can’t remember many.  On the other hand, how many novels have you heard the reviewer or readers say, “I loved the characters.”  I’ve heard it so many times it’s almost a cliché.  Novels are about people and the revelation of the lives of people.  This is why I recommend your themes and plots be about people and not about things or events like “the end of the world.”  The best novels are not about the end of the world, but about the important parts of a person’s life.


So, what about the output of a scene.  Many times the input determines the output.  In fact, most of the time this is true.  I’ll provide an example—I think I just gave this, but here it is again.  In Aksinya, the output options of the initial scene are a few.  In the scene (input), Aksinya calls a demon.  The output of the scene might be—the demon kills Aksinya or Aksinya kills the demon or the demon leaves or Aksinya leaves.  The only output that continues the plot is Aksinya makes a contract with the demon.  Everything else does not continue the plot or the theme.  Aksinya must make a contract with the demon and that is the scene output.  The next scene input is that Aksinya has made a contract with the demon.


Think about all the novels you have read or know—aren’t they all this way?  Then what about setting and style.   


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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