My Favorites

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 700, Character Interaction Archetypes, Style Q and A

11 March 2016, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 700, Character Interaction Archetypes, 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, proposed title, Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si, is this: Mrs. Lyons captures a shape-shifting girl in her pantry and rehabilitates her.

I just started writing my 27th novel, working title, Claire, potential title Sorcha: Enchantment and the Trainee.  This might need some tweaking.  The theme statement is something like this: Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, the dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.  

Here is the cover proposal for Essie: Enchantment and the Aos SiEssie is my 26th 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 finished editing Children of Light and Darkness and am now writing on my 27th novel, working title Claire.

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)

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


Quick digression:  Back in the USA.


There are types or better written, archetypes of characters.  We’ve noted: romantic, romance, pathetic, non-pathetic, internal telic flaw, external telic flaw, and there are others.  I want to write a little about archetypes—these are the characters that really mean something in fiction.  You might imagine the protagonist, protagonist’s helper, and antagonist are archetypes, but they are not.  The protagonist, protagonist’s helper, and antagonist are types of characters, but they are like scenes, necessary to the development of the novel.  Usually, and specifically, when we discuss archetypes of characters, we mean the protagonist.  It does no good for a character other than the protagonist to be an archetype.  In general, the archetype character points to a character with a telic flaw.  A telic flaw, by definition can’t exist in any character other than the protagonist. 


Only the protagonist can have a telic flaw, because the telic flaw is the point on which the climax of the novel resolves.  Only the protagonist can have a telic flaw, therefore, each of the archetypes exists based on a telic flaw.  The romantic character is practically perfect in every way—except his or her telic flaw.  The non-romantic character is supposed to represent a normal human being, but still has a telic flaw.  In this case, you have a romantic character or you don’t.  Romantic characters are Tarzan (or any of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ other protagonists), Howard Roark (and most of Any Rand’s protagonists), Jean val Jean (Victor Hugo liked romantic characters), Paul Atradies (from Dune, many of Herbert’s protagonists are romantic characters), Sara Crew.  In fact, pick your favorite character, that protagonist is likely a romantic character.  A romantic character is always bigger than life and functionally capable no matter what.  They do not bow to authority unless they bow on their own.  They do not acknowledge failure, and they do not fall due to normal human failings.  Their telic flaw is usually another human’s virtue.  For example, Howard Roark’s telic flaw is his inability to compromise.  Tarzan’s telic flaw is that he is not acknowledged as his rightful nobility would show.


The romantic character is likely the most powerful archetype in the fiction author’s repertoire.  They are character who are bigger than life and willing to face life without compromise.  They are the unreal that everyone wishes were real and that they wish to be.  Like romantic characters or not (and most people love and thrive on them in literature), they are who most people want to be.  These are archetypes for life as well as for novels.  If you choose to write with one of these are your protagonist, you mad a wise choice and your novel has a greater chance at success.  The common non-romantic characters are represented best by the Victorian era writers.     


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

No comments:

Post a Comment