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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Writing - part x705, Writing a Novel, Fleshing Out Characters, Power of the Protagonist’s Helper

12 December 2018, Writing - part x705, Writing a Novel, Fleshing Out Characters, Power of the 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. 

If you can’t tell, I really like using protagonist’s helpers.  I especially like a sounding board.  There is more to this that a character who reflects the values and ideas of the protagonist.  The protagonist’s helper is not a clone of the protagonist.  A good protagonist’s helper is a powerful and unique character that accentuates the protagonist.  It accentuates the protagonist not by agreement, but by appropriate opposition. 

My favorite protagonist’s helpers are those who have a strong tension with the protagonist.  That tension can be many faceted.  Each protagonist’s helper is as different from each other as the protagonists are different from one another.  The relationship between the protagonist and the protagonist’s helper in every case is different from the relationship from any other protagonist and protagonist’s helper.  Let me provide some examples. 

In Escape from Freedom, the protagonist is completely dependent on the protagonist’s helper.  At the same time the protagonist is taking advantage of the protagonist’s helper and she knows it.  They are set in a deadly dance of subterfuge between each other and with the society around them.  At the same time, they support each other.  They are dependent on each other and are learning from each other.  This is a powerful novel about dark issues and totalitarianism.  It’s a kind of 1984 where there is a chance for escape.

In Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer, the protagonist’s helper is being pursued by the protagonist.  This is the tension and the resolution.  The protagonist’s helper doesn’t want to necessarily fall in love, but he can’t help it.  The protagonist is controlling, overbearing, a genius, and completely helpless in some ways.  She needs help and guidance—the protagonist’s helper provides that support.

In Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse, the protagonist’s helper is like a drill sergeant.  I mentioned this before.  The protagonist is under the direct control of the protagonist’s helper.  The relationship changes and softens to a degree, but not much from the beginning to the end.

In none of these is the protagonist’s helper a sidekick.  In every case, the protagonist’s helper is a complex and powerful character on his or her own.               

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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