19 October 2016, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 921, Publishing, About the 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 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
Would you like to write a novel that a publisher will consider? Would you like to write a novel that is published? How about one that sells? I’m not ready to wrap this up yet, but I’ll give you a break. I’m at 12,000 feet flying out to Tucumcari on the way to Scottsdale—I’m doing the flying, of course. I’m listening to my buddy do air start flight testing on Kansas City Center. The weather is slightly cloudy with some high rain clouds. I don’t have access to the internet, so I can’t get any examples—except my own. I gave you those not that long ago. I’m considering providing them again as examples of how I think you should begin a novel.
This initial scene and initial paragraph design and development isn’t that difficult—you just need to remember action, world, and protagonist. I’ll expand from the initial paragraphs to the scene itself, again. For the initial scene remember, unique, entertaining, action, protagonist meets antagonist or the protagonist’s helper, and world setting.
Let’s yack a little about the protagonist, the protagonist’s helper, and the antagonist. First, you can’t write a novel without a protagonist—that just ain’t happening. You also must have an antagonist. The antagonist can be ethereal, for example, an idea, a system, a government, but it can also be a person. In most classical literature, the antagonist is a person. It has only been in modern literature where we find a common theme where the antagonist is not a person. This is also unfortunately a extension of many poor and some great modern concept themes. We find many of these new concept themes in science fiction and fantasy. In fact, much modern literature is moving back to the physical antagonist by embodying a concept as a person. Harry Potty does this with Voldermort—the theme is evil; this evil is encapsulated in a person Voldermort. Likewise, the Twilight series did the same thing. The theme is evil, and this evil is personified by the bad, evil vampires as opposed to the good, nice vampires. I’m in favor of personal antagonists myself, and I like to have protagonist’s helpers.
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