My Favorites

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 886, Novel Development, Side Stories

13 September 2016, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 886, Novel Development, Side Stories

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 finished 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 started writing my 28th novel, working title Red Sonja. 

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.  Since I’m writing a new novel, we need a new theme statement.  Here is an initial cut.


Red Sonja, a Soviet spy, infiltrates the X-plane programs at Edwards AFB as a test pilot’s administrative clerk, learns about freedom, and is redeemed.


These are the steps I use to write a novel:


1.      Design the initial scene

2.      Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)

a.       Research as required

b.      Develop the initial setting

c.       Develop the characters

d.      Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)

3.      Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)

4.      Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)

5.      Write the climax scene

6.      Write the falling action scene(s)

7.      Write the dénouement scene


Here is my list of ways an author might add extraneous writing to a novel.  Let’s look at the second.


1.      Material not relevant to the climax or plot.

2.      Characters or character arcs not relevant to the climax or plot.

3.      Side stories.

4.      Information not relevant to the climax, setting, or plot.

5.      Excessive storylines.

6.      Lack of a sufficient telic flaw.

7.      Incorrect protagonist.


Side stories are prevalent in some types of literature and cultures—they are not appropriate in novels, or at least in classically designed novels.  The Game of Thrones has really screwed up what many people think of as literature and novels.  Thrones is not a classical novel design, and I predict that although many young (and perhaps older) authors might attempt to write like George R.R. Martin, none will get their novels published.  Thrones is a cultural and a media phenomenon.  It is an epic piece of writing in a non-epic world.  I would like to see more, but I think Star Wars, James Bond, Star Trek, and other similar modern “epics” will overshadow, or just overpower it.  I don’ think much of the others—that’s why I wrote “epic.”  I do think Thrones is close to epic.  Not that is it inherently great, but it is epic.  Since Dune brought the first science fiction epic into to the world, and The Lord of the Rings brought the first fantasy epic into the world, society has been longing for more.  They got Star Borz when they wanted Beowulf. 


In any case, Rings and Dune are true epics and classically written.  Their character arcs and storylines all interact with the climax.  On the other hand, Thrones is not classically based or written.  In it, the character arcs are more akin to short stories or side stories and the actual protagonist and telic flaw or climax arc (plot) is not identifiable.  It really isn’t fair to call Thrones multiple character arcs side stories.  To have a side story, you need an identifiable plot and protagonist.  In any case, I suggest unless you are a best-selling author already and are paid well for such a novel, that you not attempt to write like Thrones.  Such a novel is only sellable by an author like Martin. 


Now about side stories.        


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

No comments:

Post a Comment