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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Writing - part x566, Developing Skills, Practicing Skills

26 July 2018, Writing - part x566, Developing Skills, Practicing Skills  

Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but my primary publisher has gone out of business—they couldn’t succeed in the past business and publishing environment.  I'll keep you informed, but I need a new publisher.  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 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential title Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.  The theme statement is: 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 cover proposal for Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective
Cover Proposal
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I am continuing to write on my 30th novel, working title Red Sonja.  I finished my 29th novel, working title Detective.  I’m planning to start on number 31, working title Shifter
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 30:  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 31:  TBD 

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:  The next obvious topic is what do you do with your marketing materials?  I’ve kind of filled you in on this while covering each section and idea in them.  Therefore, I’m moving on to a new topic, or rather, I’m continuing with developing writing skills.

I’ve written that the major skill sets for the writer are reading and writing—this is true, but there is another general skill set that we usually pull under reading, and that is study. 

Study, next to writing and reading, may be the most important skill set of the author.  Since I just spent five hours researching a single school for the current book I am writing, this may not be far off the mark.  The most important issue is to note the means to study.

First, the importance of study.  An inexperienced author might ask, why spend hours researching a school for a novel—just make one up?  You can certainly, “just make one up,” and when I was a younger writer or rather a less experienced writer, that’s just what I would do—to a degree.

One of the major characteristics of my writing is realism.  Since I set my novels in time and space but provide a supernatural twist in them, the historical and factual parts of them have become a characteristic of my writing.  I use real places, events, and people and fit my novels directly into the real world.  My obstinacy and care in this should be obvious.  Since I incorporate a supernatural twist in my writing, I wish the rest to fit perfectly and whole into the fabric of the real world—this makes my writing more realistic and makes the supernatural seem to be part of the real world.  This is the effect I’m trying to achieve.  I’d like my readers to be unaware that the touches of supernatural I incorporate are anything abnormal or odd.  I use this as part of the suspension of disbelief in my writing.

Thus, to me, I want to place my characters squarely into the real world.  As I wrote, the places, people, and events are real.  I’ve given this example before.  In my Aegypt (Ancient Light Series) novel, Sister of Darkness, I had my protagonist attend an event at the British Foreign Office.  During this event, the protagonist went through a receiving line that included the foreign representatives who were in the embassies in London at the time (Fall 1941).  I needed to know the names of the ambassadors and their wives.  Many were available in historical sources and I used that for my factual information, but I wanted my protagonist to meet and greet the Greek ambassador and his wife (it’s a tiny plot point).  The names were not available from the normal sources, so I wrote the Greek foreign office and got my information.  This is the degree I try to make my novels factual.

There is a further need for accuracy even in the supernatural.  The fact of research but modify is an important point in writing the way I do.  I’ll get to that next.

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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