30 March 2018, Writing - part x448, Developing Skills, Opposite Antagonists
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 then 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.
We know that every novel must have an antagonist. The antagonist can be an idea or concept as well as a human being. I mentioned before, the antagonist in A Christmas Carol is the concept of Christian generosity. The face of the antagonists are the ghosts and the characters in the novel. Almost everyone is an antagonist against the protagonist, Scrooge.
This is an unusual novel and displays many interesting ideas of the antagonist. First, the antagonist is a positive. None of the antagonists are negative, but they are all opposed to the protagonist. In the case of Scrooge, the protagonist is a negative character. Now, in this regard, Scrooge represents the limit of the protagonist.
All protagonists should have a telic flaw that is tied to the telic flaw of the novel. The telic flaw of A Christmas Carol and of Scrooge is his lack of human generosity. This won’t destroy the world, but it brings great pain and suffering to others including Scrooge himself. The expected resolution is that Scrooge will realize his lack of Christian generosity and come back to the human sphere. This is depicted as impossible by Scrooge’s own heart and then by his untimely death (implied). In the end, the ghosts have their way and Scrooge’s arguments are found dross—he corrects his telic flaw and the telic flaw of the novel is resolved.
The power of this novel is to reveal that the antagonist can be a good figure of character. Our view from our education is that the antagonist opposes the good intentions and actions of the protagonist. In many cases, the protagonist is a soul in need of redemption. Now, an author might get away with a novel such as A Christmas Carol one in a generation, but the concept of the protagonist at odds with a good and legitimate antagonist is too good to ignore.
Most of my protagonists are people in need of redemption from something. It isn’t necessarily Christian generosity that is their issue. My protagonists tend to have similar, but less acute problems. Or perhaps more terrible, but less direct resolutions. For example, they might be a vampire, a shape-shifter at odds with the goddess of the lands, a goddess from the past trying to determine the current world, a genius who is friendless, a celebrity who doesn’t want celebrity, a screw-up who is an intelligence risk…all of these are characters in need of redemption—they need to resolve their problems to bring peace back to their worlds. Many times their antagonists are truly opposing them and their destiny—many times their antagonists are aiding them and their destiny. It’s a thought to consider.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
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