30 July 2018, Writing - part x570, Developing Skills, more Real Supernatural Research
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 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 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.
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: My goal is to integrate the supernatural in my writing to the degree that the reader has a suspension of disbelief and believes, at least in the context of the novel, that the elements of the narrative are true. However, this is what every author does in actuality.
No fiction story or novel is true—the author provides a suspension of disbelief such that the world and circumstances of the world appear true. Haven’t you noticed the novels that are close, but not quite close enough to reality—some are really famous and have been made into movies or are bestsellers. Some of them don’t appeal to me because they are too far from reality or even basic truth.
In any case, in the most basic sense, an author takes a subject or a plot that is not real and turns it into a novel that provides a suspension of disbelief. In general, the success of the novelist is dependent on how convincing this suspension of disbelief is. As I noted, some writing does not appeal to me at all because I am too knowledgeable about history and science. When an author gets the history or the science wrong, that completely ruins the novel for me. I’d rather read a Harry Potty novel where I know the author made up an entirely different world or a novel like Dune where the author provided a highly compelling future universe with all its didactic elements. The point is the suspension of disbelief.
This is why in my writing, I get the science right and I get the history right. I additionally, get the supernatural right. Or perhaps I should write, I get the myth right.
Back to my example, Aksinya: Enchantment and the Demon. This novel is all about a sorceress and a demon. The sorceress, Aksinya happens to call the demon Asmodeus from the depths of hell. Many might conclude there are no demons or even hell, but this isn’t the point. First, the author must provide a suspension of disbelief, and second, to help expand, sustain, and develop this suspension of disbelief, the author needs a historical and literary basis for the mythic or semi-mythic elements in the novel. And this means research.
To write Aksinya, I read every source ancient and modern I could find on Asmodeus, Tobit, and demons. I’ve written before, Aksinya is a semi-allegory of the Book of Tobit. The reason was that the Book of Tobit introduces the demon Asmodeus and the angel Raphael into the vocabulary of the Western world. Further, there is a small library of ancient literature especially medieval literature dedicated to Tobit, Asmodeua, and Raphael. This is where the author can find information on these beings.
The point isn’t to try to prove the existence of such creatures. It isn’t even to provide a source text. The point is to provide an entertaining novel where the history is correct, the science is correct, and if the reader wants to check, the myth structures and myth is correct. After all myth is simply an element of the history of mankind from a literary and cultural standpoint. Plus always remember, 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