3 April 2018, Writing - part x452, Developing Skills, more Positive Antagonist
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.
I wrote about my novel Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse. This is an unusual novel that has a negative protagonist and a positive antagonist. The antagonist is first a person and second a concept. The antagonist concept is responsibility and intelligence training.
In my novel, Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse, Shiggy is the protagonist. She is a very unusual person. She is exceedingly intelligent and very well educated, but she has caused an immense problem for British Intelligence. Shiggy has been a trainee in multiple intelligence offices and agencies. She originally started at Sandhurst, but she flunked out after causing an injury. Shiggy is very smart and was retained and moved from office and agency to office and agency until there wasn’t any agency or office left. The problem is what to do with Shiggy—she knows everything about everything. Shiggy is a negative protagonist. In other words, she is not necessarily likable, and she has a personal telic flaw that prevents the resolution of the novel.
Shiggy is similar to Scrooge in this fashion. Scrooge had a problem with greed and lack of Christian generosity. In A Christmas Carol, the personal telic flaw of Scrooge prevents him from resolving the telic flaw of the novel. Likewise, Shiggy’s telic flaw prevents the resolution of the telic flaw of the novel. Not so different from any other novel. The difference is that no one likes Scrooge. Scrooge is an unlikeable character, and you will find that any negative protagonist is an unlikable character—the job of the author is to redeem the character and make them a likeable character. If the protagonist is unlikable and unsuccessful at the end of the novel, the author has really failed.
The specific antagonists in A Christmas Carol are the characters who have a positive effect on Scrooge. In my novel, the antagonist is Sorcha. Sorcha is not a strongly likable character, but most of the time, we don’t expect the antagonist to be likeable. The antagonists in A Christmas Carol are not particularly likable either. In any case, these types of novels don’t really turn the concept of the telic flaw or the resolution of the novel around, but they do turn the idea of the protagonist and the antagonist around. Usually, we seek to write a likeable protagonist. I usually write likable protagonists. There is and are options, and as far as I can see, this is the only problem with the negative protagonist.
Think about it. Think about the use of this concept and see if it produces a wonderful novel for you.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
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