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Friday, October 26, 2018

Writing - part x658, Developing Skills, Day 3 Scotland

26 October 2018, Writing - part x658, Developing Skills, Day 3 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:  The day started in Dornoch with a breakfast of poached haddock and eggs and continued down whisky road.  We passed the McCallan distillery because we couldn’t get a reservation and on to the Cardue distillery.  We were slightly late due to traffic. 

I should note, the traffic is light, but the two lane roads with no median or shoulders cause delays when there is any kind of breakdown or accident.  We also had a couple of coffee types who needed us to stop by a lone but filled Starbucks for a drink.  I’d rather have a lager.

We made it to Cardue just in time for our reservation and headed into the distillery.  First, the smell of every room in the place is astounding—something like baking bread mixed with a touch of peat and ethanol.  We climbed the stairs to the grain mixer and then the fermentation vats—they are made like huge barrels.  Just below and to the side are the stills.  The brew goes through a set of multiple stills and comes out of a spirit safe.  It is a locked box with glass sides and the actual distillate comes rushing through where it can be seen and either back to the stills or on to be kegged.

We saw the aging racks of kegs all in a cellar with spider webs covering the windows—very picturesque. The end of the tour was a tasting and a test to match the Cardue whiskies.  It was very fine whisky.

I should mention that Cardue makes Oban, Telasker, Cardue, Lagavolin, and provides whisky for the Jonnie Walker blend.  I had no idea.  I have a greater impression of the Cardue brand.

We stopped at the Mash Tun pub for lunch.  This was a classic whisky bar, but I had a pint of cider on tap and a brie and cranberry baguette.  I’m trying everything I can that is odd or different and classically Scottish on the menus.   

We were then on our way to the “Dracula” castle that inspired Bram Stoker’s classic.  The ruins of the castle are not exactly what I would describe as ruins.  Plenty of the walls still exist well up to the second and in some cases the fourth floor.  A tower and stairs is still extant in the tall tower, and the stairs go up and down. 

I went down to the drear dungeon to see the single remaining cell below the tower, and I went up to the dizzy top.  The place must have been a wonder in its time.  It was obviously not really a defensive castle as much as a house—the casings and doorways are too open.  The castle sits at the top of a large crag that falls steeply to the sea.  The vistas and photo opportunities are fantastic.  I should mention that you can imagine the first scene in Dracula when the vampire climbs the side of the tower to enter his castle.  We had to walk a half mile to the ruins from the road.

We arrived at our accommodations in Cruden Bay, the Kilmarnock Arms Hotel.  The rooms were in the old hotel and very spacious with a small yard and private area behind.  The heating is in the floors, and the bath is very modern, but with a touch of the ancient, the furnishings are fittingly antiques.  The feel is ancient, but modern.

Dinner reservations were at 1900 and I had the mixed grill and a Tennents lager.  The mixed grill was more food than I needed, almost all meat sirloin, chicken breast, bacon, fried egg, black pudding, and chunky chips and onion rings as well.  The food wasn’t seasoned much, but that is a characteristic of Scotland.  The plan for tomorrow is to play Cruden Bay likely in the rain.                                                      

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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