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Monday, December 5, 2016

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 968, Publishing, Protagonists, Conclusions, more of the Problem with Superheroes

5 December 2016, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 968, Publishing, Protagonists, Conclusions, more of the Problem with Superheroes  

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? 


I’m going to repeat myself from a little different standpoint.  I’ll say it again, readers like Romantic characters because they want to be like them.  They like pathos characters because they want to comfort them.  Put them together and you have an irresistible combination.  Let me say this differently.  In the case of strong Romantic characters, your readers imagine it is possible to be like them.  In the case of strong pathos characters, your readers don’t want to be like them, but they can see themselves in those types of characters. 


What does a superhero as a character give them?  It is indeed possible to have a superhero who is not a Romantic character.  Hard to do, but possible.  In any case, the main quality of a superhero is some kind of irresistible power.  This is also true of gods, demi-gods, and other supernatural characters.  If the superhero is invulnerable, you have no telic flaw and no story for your novel.  The same is true of the other character archetypes (I’m using this term loosely).  Such a character requires an appropriate foil.  This foil comes in multiple varieties, but the most common is an archrival and a vulnerability.  Real humans have multiple vulnerabilities—superheroes, not so much.  The problem of rivals is you need a new one after each victory.  Just look at poor Batman.  As soon as he puts away one criminal, he has a new one to fight.  The other problem is the escalation of peril until we get to the end of the world theme.  The world has almost been destroyed so many times in modern superhero movies, it’s a wonder that anything is still standing.  This is the problem with Superman—he’s just too super to be a man.  Anyone can be brave if nothing can kill you.  Readers just don’t care if this kind of character lives or dies.


Back to the main point, your readers need to want and think they can be like your Romantic characters or there is no point.                    


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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