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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Writing - part x704, Writing a Novel, Fleshing Out Characters, more Protagonist’s Helper

11 December 2018, Writing - part x704, Writing a Novel, Fleshing Out Characters, more Protagonist’s Helper

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. 

The protagonist’s helper is an optional character in any novel, but I would offer that the protagonist’s helper may be the most important innovation in modern literature. 

The protagonist’s helper can be a confidant, an associate, a friend, a lover, a foil, a rival, a drinking buddy, or a sidekick.  This isn’t an all-inclusive list.  The basic point of the protagonist’s helper is to provide a sounding board to the ideas of the protagonist.  The sounding board can be direct or indirect.

The protagonist’s helper doesn’t necessarily need to be a friend at all.  The protagonist helper can be a trainer, a boss, a mentor, or a drill sergeant.  In other words, the protagonist’s helper doesn’t necessarily have to be a friend or an obvious helper. 

The most important characteristic of the protagonist’s helper is as a sounding board.  For example, a drill sergeant is definitely not your friend, but he or she might be a perfect mentor.  The purpose of a drill sergeant is to tear a protagonist down and then build them back up.  A drill sergeant as a protagonist’s helper could provide excellent direct and indirect revelation of the mind of the protagonist.  How can this work?

The direct revelation is where the protagonist converses his or her ideas and expectations and mind directly to a protagonist’s helper.  The drill sergeant as a mentor or advisor would fit this role.  The drill sergeant after hours in conversation with your protagonist is a direct conversation.  I’ve used this direct type of protagonist helper as a drill sergeant in my novels.  In Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse, Sorcha is like a drill sergeant.  She has direct conversations with the protagonist Shiggy about all kinds of subject most of the discussion is directed to Shiggy, but in many cases Shiggy speaks her thoughts to Sorcha.  In fact, the revelation of the protagonist works to this end.  As the protagonist improves and learns her lessons, the protagonist’s helper, Sorcha, becomes closer and closer to a sounding board.  They aren’t fully friends, but they tickle friendship as the novel progresses.

I also have used an indirect revelation of the protagonist’s mind through a protagonist’s helper.  This is achieved when the protagonist is excited by the protagonist’s helper to express themselves usually to others but also in a journal or other means.  In Warrior of Light the training officer discusses the actions and activities of Daniel, the protagonist, while off station.  This discussion provides an indirect revelation of Daniel from the conversation with a drill sergeant, another cadet, and from the commander.  Each of these indirect revelations about Daniel provides the reader information about the protagonist.  The revelation of the protagonist.  This is what entertainment is about.          

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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