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Monday, May 9, 2016

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 759, Theme Setting

9 May 2016, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 759, Theme Setting

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: 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 my 27th novel, working title Claire.  I’m working on marketing materials.

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)


How to begin a novel.  Number one thought, we need an entertaining idea.  I usually encapsulate such an idea with a theme statement.  Here’s the theme statement from Sorcha.


Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, a dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.


Already, based on the theme statement, I’ve fleshed out the protagonist’s helper, the protagonist, and the focus of the climax of the novel.  Next, from the theme statement, we can develop the novel and initial scene setting.  Let’s start with the overall novel setting.


I previously developed the main setting pieces in other novels:  the organization and Stela in the organization.  Even if I hadn’t already, I have the basis for a setting.  For example, I could have written.


Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, a dangerous screw-up, into her special branch of British Intelligence and rehabilitates her.


This is less direct, but gets the ideas across.  If I hadn’t already developed Stela and the Organization, I would just do it as part of the setting development.  Let’s start.


First, we are in Britain.  This makes things pretty easy for the author.  If it is Britain, I know something about MI6 and MI5.  MI6 is Military Intelligence office six and five is office five.  MI6 is similar to the US CIA while MI5 is similar to the FBI.  Similar, but not the same.  The major, not the same, is the FBI and CIA are both civilian organizations, while the MIs are military organizations.  For research, you can find info all over the web.  Some is accurate and some is not.  I used to be in military special missions and I tested for special operations.  I accomplished special missions when it was covert.  In general, I used to do some of the work an MI5 or MI6 accomplishes.  This is why I don’t write about the US covert operations and instead use the Brits and the French.


So, I made up the Organization and Stela.  They are major settings in many of my novels.  The organization was the language and interrogation branch of the MI structure—MI19 in WWII.  In my novels, the Organization is the branch of the MI structure that took over covert language and infiltration operations after WWII.  Also, in my novels, Stela is a special group in the Organization that deals with the supernatural.  Many of the members of Stela are supernatural.  There aren’t many of them, but that’s okay.  This is the spice of my novels.  It’s the special bit of tweak I like to place in my writing. 


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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