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Monday, March 14, 2016

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 703, Character Interaction Pathos Archetypes, Style Q and A

14 March 2016, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 703, Character Interaction Pathos 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.


Pathetic characters are not pathetic.  A pathetic character in literature is a character who invokes pathos.  Pathos is emotion.  Most precisely pathos means from the ridiculous to the sublime.  That means a character whose emotional connection moves the reader to reach a point of self-understanding.  In very simple terms it means the reader feels for the character and that feeling creates understanding on a level beyond emotion.  Most romantic characters are not pathetic.  I however like the challenge of writing about romantic characters who are pathetic characters.  For example, Essie from my yet unpublished novel Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si, is a romantic character with an internal telic flaw and who is a pathetic character.  My current novel, code named Claire is about a romantic character (almost an anti-romantic character) who has an internal telic flaw and is written to be pathetic.  In general, she is a character who shouldn’t be pathetic at all.  She is made to look pathetic by the writing.


Whoa, how is this and how can it be?  How do you create a pathetic character?  In general, women and girls make the best emotion based characters.  The reason is that people will easily feel sorry or bad for them.  You don’t feel very bad about a boy who loses his love or a boy who is down on his luck or hungry.  Put a woman or girl in place of the boy or man and you have pathos.  People just don’t feel sorry for men and boys in the same circumstance.  Count that as unfair for men and boys or unfair for women and girls.  I really don’t care it if’s fair—it’s true.  If you want a character whom people immediately feel sorry for, make your protagonist a woman or girl.  Make her hungry and dirty with old clothing and you have pathos.  Put her in a situation of danger and men and women will want to immediately feel for them.  You can ruin this pathos if the person doesn’t deserve it.  But in general, this builds an immediate emotional connection to your character.  Don’t denigrate the power of pathos—this single idea can create very powerful characters.      


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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