3 October 2016, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 905, Publishing, Learning to Write, Purpose and Entertainment
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 www.ancientlight.com. 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 http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.
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 http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.
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 Si. Essie is my 26th novel.
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.
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
What is your strategy as a writer? What are your goals as a writer? The purpose of writing is communication. That’s all. The purpose of writing fiction is to entertain. You don’t have to take my word for it—we can prove it. Let’s go back to the beginning of fiction. The bard and the skalds developed fiction in poems and epics: Beowulf, The Odyssey, The Iliad, The Aeneid, and all. There are many written pieces of epic poetry from the ancient world. These were originally developed orally, and written down as compositions once literacy caught up with them. They represented the greatest art and being of the cultures they came from—or so said those cultures. They were made for the purpose of entertainment. They were tales from the annuls of time recited by a skilled bard or skald to entertain. Their initial purpose was just of entertain. Their purpose in later times was to remember the heroes, enemies, and events of the past, but we can’t ever forget, their initial purpose was entertainment. The purpose of fiction is to entertain.
Here is my chance to express again how the writer should view his novels. A novel is not ever written to teach, preach, philosophize, proselytize, educate, etc. These may be characteristics, but they can’t be the purpose. Let’s think about this. As a writer, do you want your novel to be read or not read? If you said read, you are thinking correctly. If your novel is not read, none of the ideas you wrote into it will ever be taken in or thought about. On the other hand, if your novel is read, people will be able to cogitate on your thoughts and ideas. People read novels to be entertained—there is no other purpose. They can easily read histories for history or technical papers for science. The can read philosophies for philosophy. They need fiction and novels for entertainment. No one will read an unentertaining novel—not unless they are forced somehow.
I hope this is clear. As authors, we want to communicate through our writing. The communication is entertainment. This is our goal and this is the purpose of novels. Anything else is a freebie. Think carefully about this however—if your purpose is not to entertain, the chances of failure as a writer are very high.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.ancientlight.com/fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic