10 January 2019, Writing - part x734, Writing a Novel, Power of Settings, Week Time Settings
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 Christmas, I gave you scenes from my writing that were set during Christmas. I hope this was enlightening and entertaining to you. I just wanted to entertain you for the Christmas season. I also wanted to show you how important real events and settings are to novels.
There are three ways to create a setting or a world: real, reflected, and created.
A real worldview comes directly from the real world. A reflected worldview comes from a historical and real basis but from a fictional or mythic basis. A created worldview is developed from a real base, but is either fantasy or futuristic.
We saw how days are all similar in their general construction. The development of the day in any novel must fit this construction in some way. The author may or may not focus the writing directly in this construction, but the author must do something with it. Your characters will wake up, eat breakfast, do activities, eat lunch, do activities, eat dinner, do activities, go to sleep. You can manage this manually (make physical notes) or mentally (keep track mentally). As I noted before, variations from this general pattern needs explanation and can create scenes and developments. For example, Jake woke well before his usual time—it was still dark. Or, Ms. Lyons woke in the middle of the night to a strange sound coming from her pantry. Further, the times labeled “do activities” are really work, play, actions, or school depending on the characters and novel. The action of a novel, depending on its setting fits in these spaces. An author also can creatively use the meal times, but most of the action is carved out of the free time or fits into the do activities.
This is really more important than you might imagine. Have you ever read a book or seen a movie where the characters suddenly seem to be skipping out on their work or school. It’s like school or work suddenly isn’t part of the novel at all. In real life, we know this can’t be. I haven’t seen it as often in books, but very often in movies. Most books that don’t get time and the time setting right just aren’t published. The publisher can’t get past it like a movie director can. A novel is literally carved out of the time in the general day schedule. Some characters might have a lot of free time—you see many novels like this. In the past, there were entire classes of people who had time to spare—not so much anymore. We just don’t have that type of culture or society.
The next carve-out we need to move to is the week. Not so many novels, but many movies don’t follow the obvious setting of time derived from the week. We have Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Days mean something to people no matter their class or place in society. People who work are very aware of the days of the week and their work. People in school are super aware of the days of the week. Each day has its particular duties, events, and feel. The duties and events are specific to the novel and setting. For example, in a school setting a student will have certain classes on a Monday, different classes on a Tuesday, and etc. This will vary by the week. A student character might have fencing on every day but Monday.
Every person in a modern society looks forward to Friday and the weekend. Friday and the weekend means free time and a change of pace from the rest of the week. There are other events that can take place in the real world and in the context of a novel. We’ll look at this.
More on this weekends, weeks, months, and why Christmas is an expression of the real world.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
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