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Monday, April 9, 2018

Writing - part x458, Developing Skills, Telic Flaw, Entertaining and Life

9 April 2018, Writing - part x458, Developing Skills, Telic Flaw, Entertaining and Life

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.
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
Cover Proposal

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?  We need a direct and specific telic flaw. 

Almost every telic flaw in the plot and for the protagonist (should be the same), is based on the threat of loss.  In the Greek sense from Aristotle, this is a set up for the development of pity and fear as the major components of plot.  In the focus of ancient Greek literature, the loss was almost always the loss of life.  This has been viewed as the ultimate loss by most human societies.  Thus most Greek tragedies orbited around the idea of the death of the protagonist—in the case of the tragedies, that usually came true.

In the case of the comedies, the possibility of loss could be broader, but in the early age of literature, the general telic flaw was the potential loss of life.  Then Christianity came around.

With Christianity came an entirely new idea in literature—the loss of salvation or rather, the need of redemption.  Either one is a new concept that is not reflected in most other literature.  Since the spread of Christianity, the idea of redemption has moved into the literature of other cultures.  This concept also gave wings to other telic flaws—specifically, the idea of other types of loss.  The ancient Greeks could not relate to the telic flaw of the loss of love—their idea of love was much different than ours, but with the advent of Christianity and the concepts of romantic love and courtly love, literature could begin to accommodate the idea of the loss of love.

Thus, in Shakespeare, we see the reflection of these telic flaws.  In Hamlet, we see the loss of a kingdom as well as the loss of a father—it still results in the loss of life (it’s a tragedy).  In Taming of the Shrew, we see the loss and gain of love purely as a function of redemption but no loss of life (it’s a comedy).  Redemption and the gain or loss of love are consistent themes in English literature that continue on to today. 

From this, we can take that the telic flaw should be developed from the threat of loss or of actual loss—loss of life is a great one.  In addition, the telic flaw, especially in a comedy, can be based on a redemption theme.  The idea that a person must change for the resolution of the novel is a consistently powerful theme and plot in literature.  Think of A Christmas Carol and Scrooge for a quick example.   

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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