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Sunday, March 13, 2016

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 702, Character Interaction Telic Flaw Archetypes, Style Q and A

13 March 2016, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 702, Character Interaction Telic Flaw 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.


It doesn’t matter if a character is a romantic or a non-romantic character, they all must have a telic flaw.  The protagonist must always have a telic flaw.  The telic flaw is the missing piece in the protagonist that must be resolved in the climax of the novel.  Positive resolution equals a comedy.  Negative resolution equals a tragedy.  This is basic stuff in any novel. 


The question then is internal or external telic flaw.  An internal telic flaw is one that is part of a character’s personality and inward being.  It can be a personality flaw or a character flaw or just a bad habit.  Perhaps an immorality or a vice.  These are internal character issues that can be telic flaws.  They can also be lack of intelligence or judgement or wisdom, and these are the basics of what are called psychological novels.  When a protagonist must change themselves inside or work with their own internal demons, whatever the cause, this is an internal telic flaw.  This is not to say that characters who have an external telic flaw can’t be affected or fight internally with problems.  It just means the climax of the novel doesn’t turn on an internal telic flaw.  For example, if the protagonist has anger issues and he must control them to resolve the climax, that’s an internal telic flaw.  Or, if the protagonist has magical control issues and must learn to control those problems to resolve the climax that is an internal telic flaw.  And, so on.


The external telic flaw is normal for most protagonists in most novels.  Nancy Drew wants to solve the mystery of X.  The mystery is external to Nancy.  To solve the problem, she must resolve this external telic flaw in the climax of the novel.  Oliver Twist has an external telic flaw—he must find his place in his society (or be shown it).  Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice has an internal telic flaw.  On the other hand, Sara Crew in A Little Princess has an external telic flaw.  Tarzan has an external telic flaw.  In general, most normal type novels represent external telic flaws—the solution of an external problem.  As I noted, most internal telic flaw novels are considered psychological novels, but not all.


Is there a best or a worse?  Probably not.  People find internal flaws to be both more interesting and yet more irritating.  If not handled well, the question about the internal flaw is, just buck up and do it.  These novels require great care and feeding to prevent bathos.  On the other hand, a great author can turn an internal flaw into a masterful work—just look at Pride and Prejudice or at Dune.  Yes, the telic flaw in Dune is all about an internal telic flaw—will Paul Atradies accept his fate as the Kwisatz Haderach under the control of the Bene Gesserit, or will he do something else?  The do something else is what the climax is all about.  Many internal telic flaw protagonists are pathetic characters, but not all.


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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