13 December 2018, Writing - part x706, Writing a Novel, Fleshing Out Characters, Making a Great Character
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 www.ancientlight.com. 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 http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.
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 http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.
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.
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.
You must have a protagonist and an antagonist. You may have a protagonist’s helper. Then there are other characters. Let’s talk about characters in general and then specifically.
What makes a good or great character? Number one, I have rarely seen, I could almost say, I have never seen a good protagonist in real life. Particularly, I have never seen a great romantic protagonist in real life. The first great point of writing is that characters are not real—they look real, but they aren’t real.
Let me go back to the example of conversation. No conversation in any novel, play, or movie is real. If you listen closely to real conversation, or better yet, if you read a transcript of real conversation, you will quickly understand what I mean. Real conversation is filled with everything we can’t allow in most novel, play, or movie conversation. The reader or viewer would quickly get tired of “real” conversation and put the book down.
Conversation in novels is perfect in many ways. It is developed, edited, and contrived—to sound real, but to convey the revelation of the protagonist. This is another point we must get to.
Every word in the novel is part of the revelation of the protagonist. If it isn’t, you should remove it. Every word in a novel moves the plot to the telic flaw resolution. If it doesn’t, you should remove it. The movement of the plot to the telic flaw resolution inculdes the revelation of the protagonist. Let me tell you a little more about real.
Do you imagine any plot is “real?” Plots are about as real as conversation in a novel is real. The possibility of a plot to be real exists, but plots are not real, they are entertaining. They might appear real, but we know that is all show. The possibility exists, but the actuality rarely exists. Novels are about entertainment and that’s it. How real then is the protagonist?
That’s my point, you really can’t pluck a protagonist from real life, and you really don’t want to. A protagonist is like a conversation in a novel. It looks, tastes, and feels real, but it isn’t real. You will rarely see a person who will make a great protagonist is the real world. In that case, how do we create a great protagonist?
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, 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