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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Writing - part x657, Developing Skills, Day 1 and 2 Scotland

25 October 2018, Writing - part x657, Developing Skills, Day 1 and 2 Scotland

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:  We travelled to Glascow Scotland via Delta and landed about 1130.  Our driver picked up our group and we headed for the highlands.  First stop was Perth (Scotland not Australia) and a large shopping center for snacks and drinks.  You can get sandwiches, booze, pub food, and anything else you need.  So, we stocked up.  This was also the first chance to use the credit cards and see if they worked and how they worked.  I was surprised a PIN wasn’t required.  In most of Europe and England, I’ve had to use the card’s PIN.  In Scotland, they make you sign a slip for any transaction.  I got an avocado and chicken breast samo, a coke, wine, and some other junk.

The sandwich needed more flavor, but it was fresh and tasty.  The quality was good.  The Coke called itself a fizzy vegetable flavored drink, ha ha.  We continued on our four hour drive up to Dornach. 

Our hotel was the Royal Dornach Golf Hotel.  The rooms were small and old but immaculate.  They had an ancient feel, but were pretty modern.  The bath was very modern and looked like the Icelandic or high end European places I’ve stayed.  They door had an actual key with two door keys on a golf ball.  One key was for the room, and the other was for the front door.  They lock it after 2300. 

Supper at the hotel was astounding and much better than any restaurant I’ve eaten at in the UK.  The food quality was high and varied.  I ate a seafood starter and venison for the entrée.  The vegies were wonderful and the venison local and perfectly cooked.  It was rich and not gamey.  I drank two pints of the local lager. 

I should mention out room was well illuminated with windows in every part of two walls.  We were on the corner and overlooked the first tee of he Royal Dornoch course.  The heating was through steam radiators.  Housekeeping opens the windows and the blinds every morning.

Second day: in the morning, we ate breakfast.  The choices were wonderful and very Scottish.  I had smoked salmon with eggs, then we were off to the Royal Dornoch golf course.  Our group was five, so we were paired as three and two with other golfers.  And we were off. 

Royal Dornach is a real links course but the tee boxes and greens are not shared.  We had caddies and my caddie, Paul was a midlands transplant who wintered in the USA and was a member of the Royal Dornach.  He was also a Stearman pilot—who could imagine having the only pilot caddy in Dornach as my caddy.  In any case, Paul is a wonderful caddy and conversationalist. 

The day was cool and windy, but the sun shined until the 14th hole when the rain began and then hail—in the middle of August.  Who could imagine hail while putting?  I have pictures.  As soon as we got to the fifteenth tee, the rain and hail had cleared.  I finished the round over my average, but hey—the reason for going to Scotland is golf, castles, and scotch. 

Let me mention we were paired with the rudest couple I have ever met.  They were the epitome of the ugly American.  They likely should not be allowed to travel.  This kind of traveler makes America and Americans look bad.  We can only hope they put a target on their back.  They were from Tucson, so if you know these people, prevent them from leaving their house again.

After our round, we regrouped and headed to the hotel for a late lunch.  The hotel dining room opened special for us and fed us.  This was astounding.  I can’t recommend this hotel and these wonderful people with greater accolades.  We met our bus for a visit to the Glenmorangie distillery, but we were too late for a tour and missed the tasting—so we went back to our hotel and drank scotch whisky in the hotel bar.

Our driver took us to the Eagle pub for a wonderful pub meal where we drank more scotch whisky, and I had a Strongbow Cider.  The food choices were classically pub inspired.  The Eagle pub was recommended and very good.  I will mention an interesting circumstance.  A beautiful teen lass with an older man who seemed to try to promote something to her.  I wish I knew exactly what he wanted her to do.  I hope it wasn’t immoral or illicit, but it seemed odd.  There must be a story there.  I did learn a few other bits of information worth writing about.  For example, that haggis is served with whisky and that the scots originally made a hole in their haggis for their neighbor with their thumbs.  The hole was filled with whisky.  I need to set a novel in Scotland.  I’m gathering material.                                             

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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