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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Writing - part x866, Writing a Novel, Changing World and Reflected Cultures and more Reason

22 May 2019, Writing - part x866, Writing a Novel, Changing World and Reflected Cultures and more Reason

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
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:  Deirdre and Sorcha are redirected to French finishing school where they discover difficult mysteries, people, and events. 

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. 

To start a novel, I picture an initial scene.  I may start from a protagonist or just launch into mental development of an initial scene.  I get the idea for an initial scene from all kinds of sources.  To help get the creative juices flowing, let’s look at the initial scene. 

1.     Meeting between the protagonist and the antagonist or the protagonist’s helper
2.     Action point in the plot
3.     Buildup to an exciting scene
4.     Indirect introduction of the protagonist

The protagonist is the novel and the initial scene.  If you look at the four basic types of initial scenes, you see the reflection of the protagonist in each one.  If you noticed my examples yesterday, I expressed the scene idea, but none were completely independent of the protagonist.  Indeed, in most cases, I get an idea with a protagonist.  The protagonist is incomplete, but a sketch to begin with.  You can start with a protagonist, but in my opinion, as we see above, the protagonist is never completely independent from the initial scene.  As the ideas above imply, we can start with the characters, specifically the protagonist, antagonist or protagonist’s helper, and develop an initial scene. 

Let’s look at a subject that is really ignored in the modern era.  I’m not certain how much this can help your current writing.  I would argue that theoretically, this subject can really help those who write historical and futuristic fiction.  It depends on how your write your historical and futuristic fiction.  There are two ways to write historical fiction—let’s look at this.

The first and most common way to write historical fiction is to write a novel that projects modern ideas and history as historical ideas and history.  In other words to present modern ideas and historical ideas as the same.  I think this is perhaps the most egregious and perverse means of presenting a false view of history.  The author is either completely ignorant of the past, is intentionally attempting to education people in a false view of history, or both.  The real historical world is very different both culturally and socially from our current world.  The true author attempts to convey this in historical writing.

The second and less common means of historical writing is to actually incorporate the past into a novel to convey the actual way people thought and acted in the past.  This approach actually goes back into time to give a complete view of the way the people thought and acted.  To this end, let’s look at how the world changed and how people thought in the past.  This is more of a historical look at the world for the purpose of understanding how the world worked in the past and how people thought and acted.  We’ll use historical information to see what concerned affected their lives. Here is a list of potential issues.  We’ll look at them in detail:

1.   Vocabulary
2.   Ideas
3.   Social construction
4.   Culture
5.   Politics
6.   History
7.   Language
8.   Common knowledge
9.   Common sense
10. Reflected culture
11. Reflected history
12. Reflected society
13. Truth
14. Food
15. Weapons
16. Transportation
17. Communication
18. Writing 

In writing, the author must define the real, reflected, and the created.  If you notice, this fits directly into the different worldviews or settings.  The real is completely real in setting or worldview.  The reflected is real however, it includes concepts that are not necessarily real but some or many humans agree with either historically, ideologically, religiously, or theoretically agree or know about them.  For example, myths, imaginary creatures like dragons, vampires, and fairies, gods and goddesses, and all.  Created means invented or extrapolated—basically science fiction.  The real is the known and the knowable.  The fiction trade space is the unknown and the unknowable. 

The fiction author creates fiction in the fictional trade space.  The fictional trade space is the unknown and the unknowable.  If the author wanders out of the fiction trade space, they are writing alternate history or science fiction. 

I love to write using a reflected worldview.  A reflected worldview allows you to expand the fictional trade space significantly.  For example, the reflected worldview generally deals with elements in the world that can’t usually be seen or that can only be seen by certain people.  So, if you wish to interject magic, fairies, dragons, other fae creatures, other mythological characters or creatures, you can express a real worldview filled with these creatures that are outside of the rest of the real world.

In general, reason in a reflected worldview and reason in a created worldview come out of the same common sense, common knowledge, and reality. 

I discussed how common knowledge makes the unreasonable become acceptably reasonable to your readers.  They have to agree about common knowledge or the subject has to be close enough to their common knowledge to be considered reasonable.  The problem for both the reflected and a created worldview are those subjects or areas that aren’t in common knowledge or are significantly complex.

You could just lie and make up something—if you are reasonable, you might get away with it.  If you are not reasonable, you still might get away with it.  For example, in the Jurassic Park novels, the author completely misunderstands and fails to properly explain chaos mathematics.  Most readers won’t have any clue and will accept his description and explanations without realizing they are completely wrong.  The reason is most readers have no real idea what chaos math is or can do. 

This is true of many subjects from nuclear science to aviation.  I recommend that if you aren’t an expert or you can’t make yourself an expert, then stay out of the subject.  Don’t lie and hope, because many of your readers will know.  Of course, if you find a subject like chaos mathematics that only a handful of people understand, you might get away with it.  Eventually, someone, like me will notice.

So, how can we ensure the reasonability of our real, reflected, and created worldviews.  I added real because some authors mess that up. 

The first, is understand your subject.  If you are writing about space, you need to understand space.  This is like, if you are going to mention chaos theory and chaos mathematics, you need to understand what you are talking about. 

The second, even the understanding can write silly stuff.  Does it sound reasonable?  I haven’t read many professionally published novels that were way out to lunch, but I have seen a million movies that bear no relation to the real world.  Star Dreck may be the worst, but Star Bores is a close second.  I’ve never seen so much fake science and fake reality in any single place.  The real world doesn’t work like either Star Bores or Star Dreck.  Don’t get any of your scientific information from these sources.  In fact, only about 1% of any science fiction movie is close to accurate. 

Third, does it sound accurate, and is it accurate.  If you had a science fiction book or movie where there is gravity in outer space away from a planet, you should immediately reject it.  Yet, in Star Bores space ships are banking to turn and acting as if they are aircraft in a gravity field instead of space craft in outer space.  At the same time you have magic gravity and gravity control, space ships are somehow still being propelled and somewhat controlled by some kind of magic propulsion.  I write magic propulsion because it’s all magic without any connection with science and reality.  A little reality would be very helpful to make anything in these fantasy science worlds even seem a little real. 

Forth, the details matter.  Perhaps Iron Man has magic in his fingertips and oxygen in his intestinal gas, but no one else in the world does.  He heads into space in his Iron suit and only worries about getting too cold.  Only a nonscientist moron could write this kind of stuff.  Only an audience of the uneducated could believe it.  I guess among the multiple realities, the magic, pseudoscience, and lack of any science, life and death details like oxygen doesn’t really matter.  To educated readers, it really matters.  I guess if you are writing a farce, but then again, I’m not sure most people write serious novels or end of the world movie screenplays for people to laugh at.  In general, most publishers won’t read or publish your novel if it is as poorly written as most of the movies I’ve seen.  Ian Fleming’s James Bond was much more readable and believable than any of the movies—even the newer movies.  I can assure you people shot in the chest may be pissed about it, but they aren’t pissed for long.  Without significant and immediate help, they die.  The very premise of James Bond being shot and then falling into a river and surviving a rifle shot to the chest is pure fantasy.  The writers should have spoken with people who were really shot in the chest—if they can find one.

So make it real even if it is reflected or created.            

More tomorrow.

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

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Writing - part x865, Writing a Novel, Changing World and Reflected Cultures and Reason

21 May 2019, Writing - part x865, Writing a Novel, Changing World and Reflected Cultures and Reason

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
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:  Deirdre and Sorcha are redirected to French finishing school where they discover difficult mysteries, people, and events. 

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. 

To start a novel, I picture an initial scene.  I may start from a protagonist or just launch into mental development of an initial scene.  I get the idea for an initial scene from all kinds of sources.  To help get the creative juices flowing, let’s look at the initial scene. 

1.     Meeting between the protagonist and the antagonist or the protagonist’s helper
2.     Action point in the plot
3.     Buildup to an exciting scene
4.     Indirect introduction of the protagonist

The protagonist is the novel and the initial scene.  If you look at the four basic types of initial scenes, you see the reflection of the protagonist in each one.  If you noticed my examples yesterday, I expressed the scene idea, but none were completely independent of the protagonist.  Indeed, in most cases, I get an idea with a protagonist.  The protagonist is incomplete, but a sketch to begin with.  You can start with a protagonist, but in my opinion, as we see above, the protagonist is never completely independent from the initial scene.  As the ideas above imply, we can start with the characters, specifically the protagonist, antagonist or protagonist’s helper, and develop an initial scene. 

Let’s look at a subject that is really ignored in the modern era.  I’m not certain how much this can help your current writing.  I would argue that theoretically, this subject can really help those who write historical and futuristic fiction.  It depends on how your write your historical and futuristic fiction.  There are two ways to write historical fiction—let’s look at this.

The first and most common way to write historical fiction is to write a novel that projects modern ideas and history as historical ideas and history.  In other words to present modern ideas and historical ideas as the same.  I think this is perhaps the most egregious and perverse means of presenting a false view of history.  The author is either completely ignorant of the past, is intentionally attempting to education people in a false view of history, or both.  The real historical world is very different both culturally and socially from our current world.  The true author attempts to convey this in historical writing.

The second and less common means of historical writing is to actually incorporate the past into a novel to convey the actual way people thought and acted in the past.  This approach actually goes back into time to give a complete view of the way the people thought and acted.  To this end, let’s look at how the world changed and how people thought in the past.  This is more of a historical look at the world for the purpose of understanding how the world worked in the past and how people thought and acted.  We’ll use historical information to see what concerned affected their lives. Here is a list of potential issues.  We’ll look at them in detail:

1.   Vocabulary
2.   Ideas
3.   Social construction
4.   Culture
5.   Politics
6.   History
7.   Language
8.   Common knowledge
9.   Common sense
10. Reflected culture
11. Reflected history
12. Reflected society
13. Truth
14. Food
15. Weapons
16. Transportation
17. Communication
18. Writing 

In writing, the author must define the real, reflected, and the created.  If you notice, this fits directly into the different worldviews or settings.  The real is completely real in setting or worldview.  The reflected is real however, it includes concepts that are not necessarily real but some or many humans agree with either historically, ideologically, religiously, or theoretically agree or know about them.  For example, myths, imaginary creatures like dragons, vampires, and fairies, gods and goddesses, and all.  Created means invented or extrapolated—basically science fiction.  The real is the known and the knowable.  The fiction trade space is the unknown and the unknowable. 

The fiction author creates fiction in the fictional trade space.  The fictional trade space is the unknown and the unknowable.  If the author wanders out of the fiction trade space, they are writing alternate history or science fiction. 

I love to write using a reflected worldview.  A reflected worldview allows you to expand the fictional trade space significantly.  For example, the reflected worldview generally deals with elements in the world that can’t usually be seen or that can only be seen by certain people.  So, if you wish to interject magic, fairies, dragons, other fae creatures, other mythological characters or creatures, you can express a real worldview filled with these creatures that are outside of the rest of the real world.

How can a reflected worldview be based in reason?  The answer is common knowledge and common sense.  Everyone in a culture is familiar with the myths, gods, and religions (religious ideas) of that culture.  If you don’t know this about your own culture, you need to start studying.  This is called common knowledge.  The expectation is that the common person should know about basic Bible events and ideas.  The common person should know about most Greek myths and about English myths.  The common person should know about most nursery rhymes, fairytales, and children’s stories.  The common person should know about most classical literature.  This is common knowledge.

Thus, when I write about Mother Goose, Noah and the Ark, Sisyphus, the Fae, Hansel and Gretel, and Oliver Twist, the average person and every readers should know exactly what I’m writing about.  I could list all the common knowledge a person needs to know in English culture, but it’s already been done.  Hirsch in Cultural Literacy explains in his writings on Core Knowledge what everyone should know.  This is specifically called common knowledge.  The assumption is that these ideas and subjects communicate and provide a basis for understanding.  These also provide a basis for the real and the reflected worldview.

Most specifically, if I mention Zeus, the reader should immediately recognize the history, person, and being I mentioned.  Every English person should know exactly who I’m writing about.  Notice that the use of the name Zeus is a Chekov’s Gun—mentioning the name means the author is not necessarily bringing up a real Zeus, but it means the author is drawing an analogy and figure of speech based on the mythical idea of Zeus.

This is true of all reflected worldviews.  If the author uses the word vampire, every reader should understand what the concept of a vampire is.  The author might further explain and develop the idea, but the reflected worldview including the idea of a vampire is common knowledge.  How can we ensure this common knowledge also makes common sense?  That is that it is rational.

Let’s be very clear, a reflected worldview might not be rational at all.  Many if not most educated people will tell you a vampire is a myth or fiction.  That doesn’t mean a vampire can’t be a rational idea.  In fact, we know it is a rational idea because it exists in human folklore and myth.  What we wish to do in our writing is to present a common knowledge reflected worldview that feels rational.  If you notice, just the fact that it is common knowledge makes it rational to a degree.

I must stay within the bounds of rationality.  For example, if I bring up a big polka-dotted purple people eater, it might be common knowledge, but still silly.  If I bring up a vampire that isn’t undead, isn’t affected by crosses, isn’t a blood drinker and human hunter, doesn’t live in a coffin during the day, that might be acceptable to my readers, but it certainly isn’t a vampire.  As a reader, I’d think you were producing an irony or a satire.  Sparkly vampires might be popular, but they kinda aren’t really vampires.  They might be pseudo-vampires.  The book’s a best seller so the author was able to use the concept of a vampire and expand it in a rational construct that the readers could accept as common sense if not fully common knowledge.  

This is a great and powerful idea in using a reflected worldview.  This is what I meant by expanding the fictional trade space by using a reflected worldview.            

More tomorrow.

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