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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 894, Novel Development, still more Insufficient Telic Flaw

22 September 2016, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 894, Novel Development, still more Insufficient Telic Flaw  

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 sixth.


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.


If you can understand bathos and pathos, you will begin to understand the problem of an insufficient telos.  This is why I write using pathetic characters—I want to move from the ridiculous to the sublime, using the words of the Greeks.  A pathetic character is one that produces pathos (basically a strong and proper emotional response).  I design characters who produce this response just be living.  For example, my character Lilly from the yet unpublished Lilly Enchantment and the Computer is a super genius hacker girl who has been abused most of her life.  She lives on the streets and eats whatever she can scam from convenience stores that have point based rewards systems.  The vision of a hungry, abused girl who is really a smart person instantly invokes pathos (strong and proper emotion).  Such a character in Greek thinking is ridiculous (abused, girl, smart, poor, malnourished, etc.), the proper response of the audience (readers) produces pathos.


As I mentioned, bathos is more than the opposite of pathos—bathos is the inappropriate response to an emotional appeal.  The examples are difficult to find because such literature doesn’t make it into publication (usually).  You can remember them—movies that evoke laughter instead of tears at an emotional scene.  The writer and director intended to produce a strong emotion, but that only resulted in the opposite.  I can think of one great example, perhaps two.  Although I really admire Miazaki and his anime works, The Wind also Rises and the Grave of the Fireflies are both bathos producing works.  Their construction is well done, but both are defenses or rather emotive views of the Japanese during World War Two.  Where the bathos comes in is that Fireflies is about two Japanese children whose parents die during the war, and Wind is about the love of the creator of the Zero fighter and his wife.  Imperial Japan was as evil as Nazi Germany during WWII.  The policy of the Japanese was to abuse, rape, murder, torture, and etc. the women and children of their enemies.  Any movie that tries to show any of the actions or effects on the Japanese people without referring to the mass atrocities of the Japanese people is simply propaganda.  This is exactly what the Greeks meant by an appeal to bathos.  Bathos is an improper emotional response to an emotional argument.  This is getting much deeper than a simple misreading of the audience based on a poorly constructed dialog or action sequence.  I’ll tie this directly to literature next.


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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