1 January 2019, Writing - part x725, Writing a Novel, Fleshing Out Characters, The Eighth Day of Christmas
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.
I’ve been writing about choosing and developing protagonists who are interesting and entertaining to your readers. Readers like characters who they can intellectually identify with. These are the characters who appeal to them. If there is no intellectual connection, there is usually no connection. We saw this by the many characters whom readers can’t share any or many characteristics, but the characters still appeal.
For the Christmas Season, I guess I’m giving you scenes from my novels. Merry and Happy Christmas. Hope you enjoy. This is a Christmas scene from Deirdre: Enchantment and the School. I don’t think I’ve ever given this to you.
On the evening of the twenty-third, the entire Calloway family took two Bentleys to the MacLeod Clan House in London. Deidre rode with Luna, Sorcha, Flora, and Mr. and Mrs. Calloway. The house was a mansion on the outskirts of London. It was closer to Eton and Wycombe than Deirdre had imagined. Her eyes bugged out when they entered the gates and the house came in sight.
Luna was watching Deirdre, “Deidre dear, you should know a little more about the young men you take up with.”
Deirdre mumbled, “I had no idea.”
“Come, come, he’s at Eton, and aiming for Cranwell, who did you think he was?”
“I thought he was just a regular chap.”
Mrs. Calloway clucked her tongue, “Really, Deirdre, do you think a girl like you would attract a regular chap.”
Their driver, Bob, took them up to the brilliantly light front of the house. He opened the door and let them all out. Deirdre and Sorcha wore new gowns bought especially for this event. Deidre’s was a light green slip of silk from Christy’s. She pined roses from her bouquet to it. Sorcha wore a similar light red gown with accents of green. She wanted to wear a dark red one, but Luna and Mrs. Calloway nixed that idea as too mature. Luna had reused her blue gown from the Annual Ball.
Chris was waiting at the top of the entrance stairs and came running. He wore a formal tartan with the colors of MacLeod. Tim wasn’t very far behind him. Chris offered his arm and a red rose wrist boutonniere to Deirdre, and Tim his arm and similar wrist boutonniere to Sorcha. Deirdre wore a slightly perturbed look, but at Chris’ obvious attention, she turned it into a smile. Flora just snarled at the side where no one could see.
They entered an oak lined foyer and then a large ballroom. It was awash in the colors of the season and decorated to a tee. All the couples mingled in formal attire and many men wore formal tartans. Chris steered them to the receiving line. They didn’t have long to wait. Mr. MacLeod also wore a formal tartan, and Mrs. MacLeod a long white and silver designer gown with a sash of the MacLeod tartan.
Mr. MacLeod took Deidre’s hand, “Good evening Ms. Calloway. I’m glad you could come.”
Mrs. MacLeod also shook her hand.
They greeted Sorcha and the rest of Deidre’s family.
As they walked into the ballroom proper, Mrs. MacLeod whispered to Deirdre, “We’ll make time to have a little tête-à-tête later.”
Deirdre wasn’t certain what to make of that or say. She mumbled, “Yes, ma’am.”
That seemed to cause Mrs. MacLeod’s smile to broaden.
Chris escorted Deirdre to the banquet table. They selected a platter of food and took it to the side tables. Sorcha and Tim followed them as did Luna and the other Calloways. Deirdre wanted an opportunity to speak to Chris alone. This was not alone. After they ate, Chris asked, would you like to dance?”
He whisked her onto the dancefloor. An orchestra played mostly waltzes and other sedentary pieces. Chris was accomplished and Deirdre unusually accomplished at ballroom dancing. The first thing he said to her was, “Ms. Calloway, you didn’t tell me about all your skills.”
Deirdre could have pulled back and popped him one, instead she countered, “Mr. MacLeod, you didn’t tell me anything about yourself.”
“That’s not fair. We haven’t had as much chance to get to know one another—not as much as I would have liked.”
“I’d rather not let everyone know about my skills.”
“Really? Whyever not? You are marvelous.” He thought a moment, “You aren’t in that group, are you?”
Chris smiled, “My father warned me. Your father and mother work in the British Intelligence structure. Rather high up I understand.”
She blushed, “That isn’t common knowledge, and you shouldn’t let anyone know.”
“I’m not letting anyone know—except you. Except to tell you that I understand a little. I’ll not let on anything you want to keep under wraps, but I’ll warn you. My father is rather keen on singing. We’ve had a few very accomplished artists in our family. He might even ask you to sing tonight.”
Deirdre stopped suddenly, “He wouldn’t.”
“You can’t keep anything secret when you are participating as the principle singer in a professional performance in the middle of London.”
Deirdre let him lead her back into the dance, “It was just for my church. I didn’t mean for it to become common knowledge especially at Wycombe or Eton for that matter.”
“Too late, Ms. Calloway. Too late by far. Your brother won’t keep his mouth shut either.”
“Either? If I belt him a couple of times, he’ll shut it, I assure you.”
“I don’t want you to strike me, so I won’t say anything. I promise.”
“I’d rather not sing.”
“You may have no choice in the matter. My father isn’t the Clan Chief, but he ranks pretty high.”
“You think he might demand it of me?”
“I, for one, would like to hear you sing again. My parents couldn’t stop talking about your performance or you. I heard it all evening and yesterday. My father originally contracted a band. After he heard you sing, he had to engage an orchestra.”
She stared at him.
“They like you very much. Almost as much as I do.”
“I really am not at all what you think. They might not like me at all if they knew.”
“Ah, a scandalous woman. That would even please me more.”
Deirdre squinted at him. She studied his face to see if he was making fun of her. She didn’t see any sarcasm in his features so she asked, “Are you teasing me?”
“Yes. Yes, I am teasing you as much as I can. I’m impressed with you and becoming more impressed by the day.”
“Well don’t. I don’t want to impress anyone.”
He took her through a turn, “What do you want?”
“I want a kiss, but this is far too public a place.”
Chris laughed, “I would like very much to kiss you, but that would surely cause a scandal. The press are here. Didn’t you note them near the door?”
Deirdre glanced around a little frantically, “The press. That’s all I need.”
“You are a peculiar girl. All the other girls I’ve brought around couldn’t wait to jump into the arms of the press. I think they were more interested in their attention than in me.”
Deirdre glowered, “Just how many girls have you brought around?”
Chris laughed, “Many, many girls, but I’ve only kissed you.”
Deirdre flushed to the roots of her strawberry blond hair.
Chris bore a fake troubled look, “Why don’t you want the attention of the press—you aren’t a criminal, are you?”
Deirdre did sneer then, “Oh, I should have been, but the truth of the matter is that I am already a celebrity. I’m a very bad celebrity. If your father asks me to sing, I have half a mind to—then you will all be punished in the papers.”
“Punished? What do you mean punished?”
Deirdre returned a smug smile and a nod to him. She just continued to dance.
This is a fun novel that I hope is published soon.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
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