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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 762, Initial Scene

12 May 2016, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 762, Initial Scene

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.


I always start a novel with the initial scene.  Usually, I begin a novel-length creative idea by imagining the initial scene.  With Sorcha, the creative development was kind of a mix.  I began with Sorcha and developed her perfect foil, Shiggy. 


My ideas for Shiggy came from many sources.  First, I imagined a character who could make the perfect spy but who looked nothing like a spy.  Second, I wanted a tragic and potentially cursed character.  Third, I wanted her to be beholden to Sorcha—beholden to the point of absolute dependency.  Forth, I wanted a character who needed redemption, but who had to be confronted with that fact.  Fifth, I wanted a character who seemed common to many.  Fifth, I needed a character who could really be competent.  Sixth, I wanted a person who could be pursued in love.   Thus, my Shiggy.


The Shiggy I developed in the beginning didn’t change much through the writing of the novel.  The Shiggy in the novel does change greatly.  I’ve mentioned this before.  An author develops the characters first and reveals them through the novel.  Any change in the characters should be planned in the development of the character.  In general, the protagonist changes.  The other characters can change, but those changes are more limited and usually external.


Here is something we can and should sink our teeth into—character changes in a novel.  This is directly related to internal and external telic flaws in the protagonist.  An internal telic flaw means the character must make an internal change (or fail to make such a change, tragedy).  An external telic flaw means the character must make an external change or achievement (or fail, tragedy).  I like novels where the protagonist’s telic flaw is both internal and external.  Such is the case with Shiggy.  This is a very important part of the initial scene and character.  Let’s look at this a little deeper before we continue with the initial scene development.  


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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