28 April 2018, Writing - part x477, Developing Skills, Soliloquy, Favorite Protagonists
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, and specifically revelation of the plot and protagonist telic flaw (the same thing). If we want to be a successful writer, we must aim for great protagonists, and a great protagonist means a great or compelling telic flaw.
In moving to mechanics, you have to start with something. The something I recommend is the protagonist. As I noted for you, the protagonist owns the telic flaw and the telic flaw is the catalyst for the plot. The resolution of the telic flaw is the plot of the novel, so obviously, the best place to start any novel is with the protagonist. I hate to do this because I usually end up writing a new novel—let’s develop a character.
How do we make a character real? To me real is through showing. Non-real is through telling. Didn’t you wonder why all those Victorian Characters seemed so odd? In general, the early means of developing characters was through telling. The authors described the character through their narrative description and told us all about them. This went directly into the minds of the characters are produced unreal and non-real characters. This was the beginning of the romantic era in literature and the beginning of the novel era in literature. Today, we know better—our literature has gotten better.
Still, today we are still in the romantic era. Our characters are introspective, but to show, we can’t just tell what they are thinking. You need to figure a way to show the mind of your protagonist (and other characters) without telling. The last resort means is the soliloquy.
A soliloquy works pretty well in a play, but not so well in a novel. You can set up characters to be introspective in a soliloquy but you don’t have to. Let’s look first at legitimate means. You can always set up a soliloquy conversation with a target or without. For example, if you provide a doll or another nonhuman stand-in, you can have your protagonist introspectively communicate to the stand-in. This works for a child or an odd person. It might provide showing that indicates a mental instability in your character. This is one means.
You can do a straight soliloquy, but that is definitely a mental health indicator.
A better means is through a diary or journal. This is a fantastic internal use of showing to reflect the mind of a character. Note, this still gives you the capability of obfuscation and lying by the character.
You can move this even further with letters. Letters always provide the possibility of obfuscation and lying, but you can have more than one character acting in the chain of the conversation. You can express a great deal of mental thoughts with this means. A further more truthful expression is the unposted letter. I’ve seen this used in more than one way. Unposted letters can be used to show the mind and ideas of a character. These ideas can be reflective of truth, thoughts, falsehood, or completely insane. In one case the author never showed the actual letters but only alluded to them.
So, soliloquy is not my favorite means of expression of the mind of a protagonist, but especially letters, a diary, or journal can give a realistic expressing thought showing. I’d still rather present an intimate conversation. I like characters who have friends.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
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