6 April 2018, Writing - part x455, Developing Skills, Compelling Telic Flaw
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.
So what is a compelling telic flaw? Perhaps it is easier to look at a non-compelling telic flaw. In A Christmas Carol, Scrooge has a non-compelling telic flaw, but somehow the telic flaw of the plot is compelling. In my yet unpublished novel, Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse, Shiggy, the protagonist’s telic flaw, I think is compelling. My prepublication write wasn’t so sure. I think the telic flaw of the plot is compelling. In any case, the telic flaw of the plot and of the protagonist are the same. How can one be compelling and the other not?
Do you like the protagonist? I don’t know about you, but the only person who could like Scrooge is no one. No one likes Scrooge. I don’t care what people say about mercantilists, industrialists, or politicians. Everyone dislikes Scrooge. Scrooge is the antithesis of all that is good in humanity. That is what makes him so great a protagonist—he presents an irony and a caricature of humanity. No one really thinks or is like Scrooge. Scrooge represents an antithesis as much as he is an allegory. Likewise, Shiggy is an allegory and an irony.
No one could really be as bad as Shiggy. The British MI and intelligence structure would never allow a Shiggy to exist. The author job isn’t to promote reality, but to provide entertainment and ironies and caricatures are more entertaining that reality.
There is our first clue to a great protagonist and a great telic flaw. All great protagonists are caricatures of reality and of humanity. This is why Romantic characters are so popular and make such powerful protagonists. There I go again about Romantic characters, but really—they are your best bet for an entertaining character and protagonist.
Likewise, the extremes provide a great starting point for telic flaw. Scrooge is the worst of the worst. Dickens cast him in a light that is terrible. He just doesn’t care about people. There are very few humans like this—if any at all. I’m not sure there are any.
Shiggy is the same. Here is Shiggy’s career:
Sorcha smiled, “If you please me and do as I ask, the world will be pleasant for you. If you do not, it will be hell. Do I make myself clear?”
Shiggy’s eyes bulged slightly from the pressure on her cheeks. She nodded.
Sorcha released her face, “Good.”
Shiggy fell back slightly. She barely kept her hands on the table.
Sorcha sat back down, “Now, whose fault was the shooting at Sandhurst.” She stared at Shiggy. She tapped her ash wand.
Shiggy couldn’t look her in the eye. She stuttered, “It was my fault, ma’am.”
“Whose, fault the nerve gas problem in science?”
“My fault, ma’am.”
“Who designed an organizational database system that did just the opposite?”
“I made it, ma’am.”
“Who lost contraband in the Thames?”
“I did, ma’am.”
“Who sent codes to our enemies?”
“I did, ma’am.”
“Whose ID found itself in a foreign country’s diplomatic pouch and caused an international incident?”
“Mine did, ma’am.”
“Who wrecked an SUV and sent five of her team members to hospital?”
“I did, ma’am.”
“Finally, who killed a hostage during a hostage recovery exercise?”
“It wasn’t a real kill, ma’am.”
Sorcha shook her head, “If it had been real, you would have killed a person, Shiggy.”
Shiggy sobbed, “I did it, ma’am. I did all of that.”
Sorcha smiled. She stood, grabbed a towel, wet it at the sink, and threw it to Shiggy, “Clean your face, and I’ll take you to your room. You can put on your clothing. For better or worse, you are now a member of Stela in the Organization.”
Shiggy’s telic flaw, like Scrooge’s telic flaw is magnificent and an exaggeration, but this is the beginning of understanding the telic flaw of a protagonist. For entertainment and the plot, seek the exaggerated and the magnificent. The power of the author is the suspension of disbelief.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, 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