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Saturday, July 20, 2019

Writing - part x925, Writing a Novel, Horses

20 July 2019, Writing - part x925, Writing a Novel, Horses

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 websites 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. Money
16. Weapons and warfare
17. Transportation
18. Communication
19. Writing
20. Education

Transportation means have changed significantly over time. 

The problems with horses were slowly overcome with time.  The first problem, of course, was the size and strength of the horse.  Sometime around 500 BC, the first man carrying horses were bred.  These could carry a human man, but not a fully armored human male.  As I mentioned before, armies that used these very early cavalry had three means of operation and deployment.

The first was solely for transportation.  This is a simple model.  You didn’t need special lightweight weapons, you didn’t need stirrups, you could only gain the availability of transportation and troop movement.  The real problem was you needed to move the troops’ armor and weapons via some other means.  This little problem obviously significantly reduced the capability of horses for transportation.  The way you solved this problem was to provide two horses per soldier.  One horse carried the warrior, and the other carried the armor and weapons.  This was obviously not a very successful method.

A better use for these light cavalry was for scouting, harassment, and communications.  The Roman Legions had two Decurion assigned per legion.  These were horsemen who were lightly armored and used light weapons to scout, harass, and communicate.  The Romans were wise enough to not deploy their Decurion against fully armed and trained infantry.  You can read about these troops in my published novel Centurion.

The third and very effective use for early light cavalry was as mounted bowmen.  This type of cavalry was successful enough that it brought legions to their knees.  The bowmen were not armored and carried a compound bow.  They were extremely effective against infantry that didn’t use much supporting bowmen.  These cavalry were able to surround, attack at range, and move quickly away from any infantry force.  They could not hold ground, and they could not directly defeat a trained infantry force.  Theirs was a warfare of attrition.  It was not effective against bow supported infantry, but as I mentioned, the Scythians, brought a Legion to its knees—the legions did not have bowmen in support and were vulnerable to these fast moving arrow firing warriors.  They couldn’t touch them.  This problem led almost all infantry armies to begin including missile troops as a significant part of their forces.  We can see this in armies from the First Century on up.

Now, what does this have to do with transportation?  The big deal is that although ox carts and other transportation was still considered the most effective and efficient means of transportation especially for goods, once a horse could carry a human man, horses became a viable means of human transportation.  Horses were faster than oxen, and didn’t require a lot of extra stuff—like carts.  Horses did require a harness, stirrups, and a means of control.

Yeah yeah, you can ride bareback, but you and the horse won’t be happy.  In addition, even if you aren’t fighting, you need a way to support yourself on the horse.  Without stirrups, you can’t really comfortably ride any horse and you can’t ride much faster than a walk.  Horse size and strength required very light saddles and harness at first, these gained in weight and size as the horses and men became larger.  All these inventions took time to create and perfect, but eventually, all of them were available for horses and horses took their place in transportation. 

Horses eventually reached a size and strength where they were very effective.

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

Friday, July 19, 2019

Writing - part x924, Writing a Novel, Transportation

19 July 2019, Writing - part x924, Writing a Novel, Transportation

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 websites 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. Money
16. Weapons and warfare
17. Transportation
18. Communication
19. Writing
20. Education

Transportation means have changed significantly over time. 

Of course in the beginning everyone walked.  There were no other options, unless you ran.  Walking was pretty limiting.  You might get fifty miles out of a day, but generally, if you were walking, you needed to carry stuff, like food, clothing, and trading items.  Carrying loads of stuff reduced the distance you could achieve, and in most cases, why go anywhere?

The answer, of course, is trade, herding, and raiding.  These are the reasons for movement beyond your local area.  All three of these are significant changes in human civilization.  All three are related too, that is, in the development of civilization.  As you might note, herding doesn’t require speed but it does require the movement of stuff.  Trade and raiding really requires you to move large amounts of stuff as quickly as possible.  The key to this was draft animals.

The first draft animal that usually comes to mind is horses.  The problem with horses are many.  First, in the beginning, horses were not very large.  They were not large enough to carry a fully grown man.  They could carry stuff, but horses could not initially be controlled easily.  Humans needed to invent the horse collar, the bit, and the blinder to effectively control horses. 

The problem was how the shoulders of a horse are made—you can’t just put a looped rope around a horse’s neck without choking the horse.  Horses are herd animals—they don’t do well alone.  Until the invention of the blinder, you couldn’t control a horse in harness alone—you needed two together.  Additionally, horses can get out of control.  You either choke them for control or you use their mouths.  The bit really gave full control to a rider or a horse in harness.  In the beginning, none of these inventions existed. 

Initially, horses were used in harness in pairs with likely a choke harness.  This required one hundred percent of the driver’s attention.  Horses don’t like choking.  Horses were initially used for chariots and required all the driver’s attention.  This was a means of transportation, but the problem of no horse collar and the size of the horse means you couldn’t carry much.  Chariots were mainly used for warfare and human transportation.  Adequate for raiders, if they could afford them, but not for herdsmen or traders.  For these purposes, oxen were the choice.

Oxen for transportation are significantly more useful than horses.  Oxen seem to be made for a yoke or a collar.  They don’t rest on the neck but on the shoulders.  Oxen are fixed and more docile than geldings.  They work best in a pair, but they don’t require a pair.  You can manage oxen without a bit or blinders.  They can really pull a lot, not very quickly, but a lot.  This was perfect for traders and for herdsmen. 

There are other draft animals you can use, but most follow either the horse or the oxen path.  For example, you can use dogs, goats, not sheep, and a few other varieties of animals for draft.  Herdsmen and traders have used them all.  Raiders not so much.  Until you could ride horses, the concept of personal transportation was the cart or the chariot.  I mentioned before, chariots had their place in warfare, but were overcome by organized infantry pretty early.

Eventually, horses were bred large and strong enough to carry a grown man.                                

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