8 September 2018, Writing - part x610, Developing Skills, How to Suspend Disbelief, Protagonist and Telic Flaw
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: Suspension of disbelief is the characteristic of writing that pulls the reader into the world of the novel in such a way that the reader would rather face the world of the novel rather than the real world—at least while reading. If this occurs while not reading, it is potentially a mental problem. To achieve the suspension of disbelief your writing has to meet some basic criteria and contain some strong inspiration. If you want to call the inspiration creativity, that works too. Here is a list of the basic criteria to hope to achieve some degree of suspension of disbelief.
1. Reasonably written in standard English
2. No glaring logical fallacies
3. Reasoned worldview
4. Creative and interesting topic
5. A Plot
The telic flaw is the problem the protagonist must resolve. The expectation of most writing and especially romantic fiction is that the protagonist uniquely is the only person, at least in the worldview of the novel, who can resolve the telic flaw.
We can approach this two different ways. We can either design a protagonist with a telic flaw or we can design a telic flaw and wrap a protagonist around it. Either method works, but starting with a telic flaw is usually a difficult proposition. Let’s look at it.
Let’s start with a telic flaw. Say we want to write a mystery or detective novel. The telic flaw is a detective problem and let’s say a crime. Do you see the problem already? You have to drill down much deeper to even begin to build a protagonist.
Say we further move from a crime to a supernatural crime. Still not enough. How about serial supernatural murders. Still not enough. So serial supernatural murders of magic users. Still not enough. How about serial supernatural murders of magic users by ancient gods. This is still not enough. Let’s go all the way to the end. Serial supernatural murders of magic users by ancient Celtic gods who are trying to cause problems in Britain in the modern era. That is a reasonable telic flaw and a plot statement. It’s the plot statement and telic flaw from my novel Blue Rose Enchantment and the Detective. If you notice, we aren’t close to the protagonist at all. To finish this, we need to find a protagonist who can solve: the serial supernatural murders of magic users by ancient Celtic gods who are trying to cause problems in Britain in the modern era.
If you haven’t noticed, we have a telic flaw, the beginnings of a plot, and still no protagonist. We still need to design a protagonist who can achieve this telic flaw resolution. That becomes a real problem. I had to develop an entire plot to build a protagonist. This is one method, but not my preferred method. I guess we should keep writing about this, but I wanted to point out some ideas from the telic flaw.
If you look at the telic flaw, you can break it into distinct parts. These parts and observations can help you design a telic flaw and a plot. Let’s look at that next.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
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