26 February 2018, Writing - part x416, Developing Skills, Types of Characters
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.
These are the steps I use to write a novel including the five discrete parts of 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
I finished writing my 28th novel, working title, School, potential title Deirdre: Enchantment and the School. The theme statement is: Sorcha, the abandoned child of an Unseelie and a human, secretly attends Wycombe Abbey girls’ school where she meets the problem child Deirdre and is redeemed.
Here is the cover proposal for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School.
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I continued writing my 29th novel, working title Red Sonja. I finished my 28th novel, working title School. If you noticed, I started on number 28, but finished number 29 (in the starting sequence—it’s actually higher than that). I adjusted the numbering. I do keep everything clear in my records. I’m just finishing number 30, working title Detective.
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.
For novel 29: 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.
For novel 30: Lady Azure Rose Wishart, the Chancellor of the Fae, supernatural detective, and all around dangerous girl, finds love, solves cases, breaks heads, and plays golf.
Here is the scene development outline:
1. Scene input (comes from the previous scene output or is an initial scene)
2. Write the scene setting (place, time, stuff, and characters)
3. Imagine the output, creative elements, plot, telic flaw resolution (climax) and develop the tension and release.
4. Write the scene using the output and creative elements to build the tension.
5. Write the release
6. Write the kicker
Today: Many people would like to write, but writing is hard work. I’ll express again, if you want to be a skilled and potentially a published author, you need to write about one million words. That equates to about ten 100,000 word novels. When you look at it this way, it is a daunting goal especially if you haven’t written a single novel.
To become a good writer, you need two specific skill sets first reading and writing. Without these skill sets, I really can’t help you much. I provide advanced help and information on how to write great fiction.
Characters are the key to great writing. Entertainment is the purpose of fiction writing. The key to entertainment is character revelation. If we want to be a successful writer, we must aim for great protagonists, and I would say, great protagonist’s helpers.
Look at yesterday’s example: Flavia de Luce. Flavia is a romantic character. Here is a list of characteristics of romanticism from ReadWriteThink:
Interest in the common man and childhood
Romantics believed in the natural goodness of humans which is hindered by the urban life of
civilization. They believed that the savage is noble, childhood is good and the emotions inspired by both beliefs causes the heart to soar.
Strong senses, emotions, and feelings
Romantics believed that knowledge is gained through intuition rather than deduction. This is best summed up by Wordsworth who stated that “all good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.”
Awe of nature
Romantics stressed the awe of nature in art and language and the experience of sublimity through
a connection with nature. Romantics rejected the rationalization of nature by the previous thinkers of the Enlightenment period.
Celebration of the individual
Romantics often elevated the achievements of the misunderstood, heroic individual outcast.
Importance of imagination
Romantics legitimized the individual imagination as a critical authority.
These are ideas that came out of the Romanticism Movement in art and Literature. This led directly to such characters as Tarzan and conceived not just an era, but an entire type of character. To be very specific, we are not writing about romance literature or romance characters. A romantic character (hero, protagonist) may have nothing to do with romance at all. For reference, here is a list of the types of heroes (protagonists) in literature. I’ve found more than one list, but I think this one from Rebecca Ray is the most comprehensive and best I’ve seen:
I left the list with her names intact. Our romantic hero is the classical hero. I also left the links so you can go to the site and see her definitions.
The reason we have come to call the romantic hero (character) a classical hero is because of the popularity of this type of character and the use of this character in literature. If you look at the list of romanticism ideas above, you might think the romantic or classical character is more specific than you might imagine, but this is not the case. In spite of the characteristics of romanticism and the plot connections in classical literature to the romantic hero (character, protagonist), the major points of the romantic protagonist are those that make her or him favorites of most readers—favorites of most readers should key the thought in your mind. They are characters readers like and find entertaining.
To help our understanding, let me deal with the problems of the other types of character first. That will help explain why they are not as suitable for entertainment as the romantic character.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
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