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Friday, November 25, 2016

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 958, Publishing, Protagonists, Examples: Escape from Freedom

25 November 2016, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 958, Publishing, Protagonists, Examples: Escape from Freedom  

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


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? 


Readers like Romantic characters because they want to be like them.  They like pathetic characters because they want to love and comfort them.  I do use Romantic and somewhat pathos building protagonists in my science fiction.  Escape from Freedom is at the moment a one-off.  I’d like to write another novel using the same characters and setting, but I haven’t yet.  I’ve been thinking about it.


Freedom is a horrible place.  It’s an accurate view of a socialist worker’s paradise like Venezuela, Cuba, the USSR, or China.  There are three types of people: the citizens, the armed citizens, and the party members.  The citizens are provided food, a place to sleep, drugs, and sex.  They produce until their value drops below a certain point, and then they go to the hospital.  No one returns alive. 


Scott Phillips is a pilot who accidentally lands on the island nation of Freedom.  He is befriended by a girl there whose name is Rebecka.  Rebecka, Reb is a very special citizen.  She has won awards and is a great hero of the people.  Reb wants to do nothing except escape from Freedom.  She doesn’t know anything better, but she desires something better, and true freedom.  Reb is the protagonist.  You can tell right away, she is a Romantic character.  She is specially skilled, and she is in direct opposition to her culture and society.  Here is her description:


A girl or young woman of indeterminate age stood in front of Scott.  Her brown hair was pulled up into a severe bun.  Her features looked regular but unusual.  Her eyes seemed very large in her face.  They appeared a pale green.  And her nose stuck out a little longer and straighter than he would have expected for a normal person.  Her nose moved as though it possessed muscles of its own, and she sniffed the air constantly.  She wasn’t ugly, but she wasn’t very pretty either by Scott’s standards.  Her dress was a neutral dark green and reached primly from a stiff collar to the tops of her work boots.  It wasn’t very becoming, and it appeared like some kind of uniform.  Wet spots and mud stained the front of her dress.  He guessed she had to dive to the ground when he landed.  Scott unlatched his helmet at the neck and pulled it off, “Hi there.  Are you all right?”

Rebecka could understand his words although the accent sounded strange to her ears.  She asked breathless, “Did you come to get me?”

Scott stood straight.  The question caught him completely off guard, “To get you?”  He took a moment to regain his train of thought, “No my engine failed.  I’m afraid I’m stuck until they rescue me…”  The last sounded slightly desperate in his own ears.  “Do you think I could get some help here?”

Rebecka shook her head slowly, “This is Freedom.  I’ve never heard of anyone coming here from anywhere else before.”

“Freedom?  That’s an odd name for this place.  Can you help me?”

Rebecka stood in silent contemplation for a long time.

Finally, Scott asked again, “I asked, can you help me?”

“Do you really think someone will come for you?”

“Eventually…,” But that didn’t sound very reassuring either.

“If you will take me with you when you leave here—I’ll help you…”

“Take you with me?”

“Listen to me.  You don’t stand a chance here without help.  If you will take me with you, I will do everything in my power to help you.”

“I’m not too sure about that.”

Rebecka stuck her hands on her hips, “Do we have an agreement or not?  If you wait too long, the Armed Citizens will come here and take you away.  If that happens, you will be judged and categorized.  In that case, I don’t think you will ever leave here.”

“Judged and categorized…what’s that?”

“Listen to me very carefully.  I can see you know nothing about this place…”

“You’re right about that.”

“You don’t stand a chance here without my help.  I will help you, but you must promise to take me with you.”

Scott thought for a moment.  A sudden noise from the west startled them both.

Rebecka stamped her foot, “We don’t have very long.  Make up your mind…”

Scott sighed, “If you will help me, I’ll do anything you wish…”

“Is that a promise?  Do you swear?”

“I swear.”

“As a Citizen…”

“I’m not a Citizen.”

Rebecka appeared taken aback, “You do swear by all you hold in trust?”

“I swear.”

Rebecka stepped up to him and grasped his gloved hand, “Then come with me.”

“I need to get my survival gear.”

She let go of his hand, “Get it then and hurry.”

Scott ran to the side of the shuttle and climbed back up a couple of steps.  He opened a compartment on the side above the wing.  A survival kit and a raft popped out.  The raft filled and flopped onto the ground.  Scott put his arms through the straps of the kit and ran back to her, “I’d really like to get rid of this pressure suit.” 

This doesn’t show Rebecka at her best as a Romantic character, but it begins the process of making her a pathetic character.  Do you see the note of desperation—you get the message: I will do anything to escape…anything.  Desire is the emotion that drives Rebecka to a pathetic character.  Indeed, Scott begins to love her, even though he is not certain he loves her.  This is another aspect of the pathos—she will do anything, and actually does, but there is an undercurrent that everything she does and has done is not enough…never enough.  This is a feeling though the novel and not a single moment of realization.  This passage touches on her pathos:


He lifted her onto his back and headed back to her room.  The night was dark and in solitary circles, only the very dim lights on the outside of the buildings illuminated the place. 

He carefully watched for anyone moving around and saw absolutely no one.  At her door, Scott held Reb’s wrist under the coder and opened the door.  He entered and the dim lights blinked on.  Scott stared uncomprehending for a moment.

A woman sat on Reb’s foot locker.  She looked slightly older than Reb, and her face appeared more lined.  Her eyes seemed smaller—more normal-looking, but her straight nose appeared slightly longer.  It moved somehow similarly to Reb’s.  She wasn’t ugly, but her features appeared plainer than Reb’s.  The woman stood, “There’s our wayward child.  I knew it…come in Citizen and don’t close the door.  The woman called in a slightly louder voice, “Robin, Racheal, she’s back.”  The woman glared at him, “Don’t just stand there, bring her inside.”

Scott slowly walked into the room.  He kept the woman in sight and eased Reb down on her cot.

The woman looked from Scott to Reb, “What did you do to her?”

“I…I, she’s sick.  She vomited and passed out.”

The woman came to Reb and touched her face, “She’s burning up.”  She stared at Scott, “I’ll ask you again—what did you do to her?”

At that moment, two other women came through the door.  One looked very similar to the woman in the room.  The other possessed large eyes like Reb, but not the straight odd nose.  The large eyed woman closed the door behind her.  They both stood between Scott and any escape.

The first woman made an aggressive motion with her hand, “You, Citizen, don’t move an inch.  I can call the Armed Citizens at any time, and they’ll take you to the hospital for this.”

Scott was sweating.

The woman came up to him and grabbed his arm.  She pushed up his sleeve and stared at the life mark there.  She announced, “He’s CN 20537 Scott.  I knew it.  Reb’s in an illicit relationship.”  She dropped his arm and seemed like she wanted to hit him.  She snarled, “Construction…construction.  A construction Citizen could never have a special like Reb.  You defiled her.  I can smell her scent on you.”

Scott lamely stuttered, “The neutralizer…”

“No neutralizer could hide that stench.”  Her nose moved like Reb’s, “I would know her scent and that scent no matter what you did to hide it.  And you’ve hurt her.”

“I didn’t do anything to her—not to hurt her.  She’s ill.”

“She’s never been ill before.”

The wide-eyed woman stepped forward, “Ruth, we all know Reb hasn’t been taking the greens or the browns for a while.”

Ruth spat, “Because of him.”

The wide-eyed woman came and sat beside Reb.  She held her hand and examined her, “I think she’s sick from not taking them.”

“Robin, she’s having a reproductive relationship with a citizen who shouldn’t have her.”

“That may be so, but what else could she do?”

Ruth stepped back, “What do you mean?”

“You know how she’s been all her life.  We’ve been with her, raised her as a special.  If she wanted him and couldn’t have him, what else could she do?”

“She should have told us.”

“She couldn’t tell us—you know why.  The question is what do we do now?”

Ruth turned to Scott again, “Because of you, they took her pen.  She’s kept it since she began training.”

Robin laughed, “You helped her steal it—I remember.”

Ruth snarled, “Rachael, this isn’t the time to reminisce about the past…”

“It’s time to think about her future and what we will do.”

Ruth crossed her arms, “We can’t turn her in—they’d…they’d…”

Robin stroked Reb’s face, “Her value is very high—it’s unlikely they’d send her to the hospital for that.”

“Punishment then…”

“Perhaps.”  Robin felt Reb’s forehead, “She has a fever.”

“He did it to her.”

“I’m sure he’s done a lot to her, but I doubt he gave her an illness.”  Robin asked, “What do you think Rachael?”

Rachael stood in front of the door.  Her head remained down.  She pointed with her thumb, “It depends on him.”

Reb began moaning.  Scott moved toward her.  Ruth spoke in a hoarse whisper, “You…don’t get any closer to her.”  Scott stood still.

Reb awoke with a start.  Robin held her hand.  Reb glanced around.  She saw Scott and screwed up her face.  She spotted Ruth and then Rachael.  Her features smoothed, but her lip trembled when she spoke.  Her voice let out barely a whisper, “Why is he here?”

Ruth response sounded stronger than she intended, “We know all about it Reb.”

Tears began to track down the sides of Reb’s face, “Don’t tell…whatever you do…don’t tell about him.”

Robin shook her hands, “Don’t tell about him?  What about you?”

Reb shook her head, “I don’t care what you do to me, just not him…”

Ruth’s hands shook, “He’s a construction for gosh sakes.  What are you thinking?”

Reb curled into a ball, “I want him.  He gives me joy.”

Robin shook her head, “Many men could give you joy…why him?”

“I want him.  Don’t take him from me.”

Ruth pointed at Scott, “He isn’t the one we’re worried about.  You’re off the greens and browns.”  She looked Scott up and down, “I’ll bet he’s off them too.  Unless…you don’t already have a reproducing partner, do you?”

Reb cried, “He doesn’t have another partner, only me.”

Robin squeezed Reb’s hand, “He’s got to be off them…right?”

Reb wailed, “He’s off.  He’s off them.”

Ruth gave a grimace, “Both of you need to be on the blue.”

Robin shook her head, “Ruth, how are they going to get the blue?  They’re any illicit couple.”

Ruth shut her mouth.

Robin pressed Reb’s hands together, “Reb, you have to stop.”

Reb moaned, “I can’t stop right now.”

Robin continued, “If you don’t stop.  The blood will come.  He’ll make you pregnant.  They’ll take you to the hospital for the child.  If that happens, you won’t be able to protect him.  He’s only construction.  He’ll go to the hospital and not return.”

Reb wept, “I understand all that.  Just give me some time with him…”

“How much time?”

Reb raised her head, “Will you really?”

“How much time?” Robin repeated.

Reb mumbled something.

“I didn’t get that.”

Reb said a little louder, “Until the blood comes.  Give me until then.  Let him stay with me.”

Ruth stepped toward the cot, “Wait a moment, no one said anything about him staying with you.”

Reb closed her eyes, “Then let me stay with him.”

Ruth shook her head, “Not that either.”

Reb cried, “Then what can I do.  No one else knows.”

Ruth held her head in her hands, “Geeze, I’m so pissed right now.  This isn’t a negotiation.”

Robin sighed, “Rachael, what do you think?”

Rachael nodded, “I think… give her until the blood comes.  They have to stop immediately when that happens.  Until then, we don’t turn him in.  If they keep it up after that, we turn him in and say he raped her.  If she tells them otherwise, we say he coerced her.  That way it will be clean and only he goes to the hospital.”

Robin pressed Reb’s hands, “I agree.  Ruth?”

Ruth growled a little.  She tipped her head back, “Oh…I guess I agree, but if he hurts her.”

Reb breathed heavily, “He never hurt me.  He makes me feel good.”

Ruth grumbled, “I’ll bet he does.”

Robin asked, “The next question is, what are we going to do about you now?”

Reb moaned, “About what?”

“You’re ill.  I think it’s the chemicals, but you might be sick.  I can give you a work leave until you feel better.”

Reb moaned again, “No evaluation?”

“No evaluation.  It’s just a virus, or the chemicals.  You shouldn’t have gone off them.”

Reb mumbled something.

Robin still held onto Reb, “The third question is this, should we leave Reb alone with this male?”

Ruth curled her lip, “I vote no.”

Robin bent her head, “Rachael, what do you think?”

“He brought her here.  He took care of her.  He washed and cleaned her.  He has sex with her.  I’d say that’s safe.  We can hear them from our rooms.  I only heard happy sounds before.”

Robin squeezed Reb’s hands and let them go, “I think we should leave them.  This male is just a construction Citizen, but he’s been treating our workmate well.  She wants time with him.”

Ruth stood straight, “I’ll give in, but no sex in the room.  You’re both too loud.  It’s like listening to animals in the field.”

Scott colored.

Reb blushed, “I didn’t think you could hear us.”

Rachael smirked, “Trust me, you really don’t want to know.”

The three went to the door.  Scott put out his hands, “Thanks.”

Robin turned slightly, “Don’t thank us—thank her.  We’re not doing this for you—only for her.”

Ruth cast over her shoulder, “By the way—nothing funny while she can’t defend herself.”


The greens and browns are drugs.  This exchange demonstrates how Reb has become a pathos based character.  She has fallen in love with Scott—or that’s the impression.  She has fallen in love with Scott, but she will do anything to escape from freedom.  Her friends warn her.  Scott tries to dissuade her.  Ultimately, she seeks only one thing, and she will give up everything for it—freedom.  The pathos development is what she does for freedom, this is also what drives her character.  Reb is a Romantic character who has become pathos developing.  I’ll look at the Ghost Ship Chronicles next.  


More tomorrow.

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