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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 722, Scene Based Style, Using Creative Elements in Tension and Release Development, Style Q and A

2 April 2016, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 722, Scene Based Style, Using Creative Elements in Tension and Release 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, 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 Curse.  This might need some tweaking.  The theme statement is something like this: Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, a 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 on the tarmac at home.


Scene based style is moving down into the weeds of the novel.  So far, I’ve looked at the higher level style of the novel itself.  Now let’s look at the elements of style in the writing itself.


The point in writing every scene is to make the scene entertaining.  If it isn’t entertaining, you might as well not write it.  Let’s think about how you might write a scene to be entertaining.  First, look at my scene development outline.  I’ll repeat it here:


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)


Start with the scene input.  My scene input from yesterday was this.  Shiggy got airsick during a mission and her team lead wanted her to become acclimatized to flying.  The output is Shiggy flys in a T-6 aircraft and has a blast.  A plot point was that Angel becomes sick and Shiggy is blamed—plus the aircraft and people get contaminated and the team lead has to do something about it.  The theme point of the scene is this:  Shiggy is cursed.  Every time she tries to do something everything goes wrong.  Only everything doesn’t go wrong.  With Shiggy, the mission usually gets done, but she causes a huge problem.  Within the concept of the theme, she is cursed.  That’s why I called the novel, Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse. 


The scene setting is RAF Waddington.  The British government just signed a contract for the T-6, and I fly the T-6.  This gives me insight into the flying part.  The setting and the character settings are basic and should be easy for a new writer.


I mentioned the creative elements in the scene.  Some come out of the input and output.  Others are just added for fun.  I mentioned before a theme in the plot is clothing, makeup, weapons, and hair.  Another theme is training.  Shiggy is training.  Another is the love affair between the team members.  Dustin and Sorcha are a couple, and Shiggy and William are a couple.  The author always has great creative elements that come out of dating and love arrangements.  A further creative element is the curse factor and the supernatural factor.  I write normal novels (such as that can be) that have a touch of the supernatural in them.  A fairy along for a ride in a T-6 trainer has to be a fun creative element. 


The tension development in the scene is based on Shiggy’s potential to get sick.  The ride itself.  The clothing and preparation for the flight.  The aftermath of the flight.  Each event in the development of the creative elements builds tension.  The release is multifold with the conclusion of the flight, the issue with Angel, the problem with the aircraft, and the promised dinner and kisses.


Thus, we build an entertaining scene.  What then is the style in the scene?


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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