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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Writing - part x702, Writing a Novel, Fleshing Out Characters, more Antagonist

9 December 2018, Writing - part x702, Writing a Novel, Fleshing Out Characters, more Antagonist

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:  Why don’t we go back to the basics and just writing a novel?  I can tell you what I do, and show you how I go about putting a novel together.  We can start with developing an idea then move into the details of the writing. 

I’m writing while flying away from the Florida Coast, a tropical storm/hurricane is on its way. 

In this new novel, who is the antagonist?  At this moment, I don’t know.  The antagonist is a necessary character.  You can’t have a novel without one—I should write, you can’t have a classical entertaining novel without an antagonist.  What is an antagonist?
Let’s look a little deeper at the antagonist.  The antagonist doesn’t have to be a person.  I advise that you always have a person act as the antagonist, but it is possible to cast an organization, an idea, a group, a government, nature, a city, a concept, an ideology, and all.  Modern novels have gotten into the practice of making the antagonist something other than a singular person.

For example, in many Cold War novels, the Soviet Union is the antagonist.  In many World War II novels, the Nazis are the antagonist.  In some novels, the Catholic Church, Evangelical Churches, Islam, the Illuminate are the antagonist.  In other novels, a business, a government, or a political party are the antagonists.  In 1984, the government and a political party are the antagonist.  In Logan’s Run, the government is the antagonist.  In some novels, nature is the antagonist.  You find this in survival novels. 

I want to point out that the very wise author takes a generic antagonist and gives it the face of a person.  A great example of this in literature is in 1984, although the antagonist is the government, Orwell provides a person who represents everything vile about the government.  This antagonist provokes, stalks, and tries to catch the protagonist.  This is personalizing a generic antagonist.  The Matrix does this with Mr. Smith and then others.

A generic antagonist is a great way to provide a dark and dangerous setting for a novel.  Such a novel gets darker and darker, we call it dystopian today, as the power or setting of the generic antagonist increases.  During the Cold War, the horror of the Soviet was contrasted with the freedom of the West—characters could potentially escape the clutches of the Soviet Union by going to the West.  On the other hand, in 1984 or Logan’s Run, all the world is encompassed or seems encompassed by the power of the antagonist.  Where can you run if everything is dire?

The antagonist is a necessary part of a novel.  It is also a very powerful part of a novel—entertaining and developing excitement.     

What about the protagonist’s helper?  

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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