14 January 2019, Writing - part x738, Writing a Novel, Power of Settings, More Holidays in Time
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.
If you agree with me that it is a good idea to focus on reality in time settings, then how can we incorporate the holidays in our novels? My examples were my holiday gift of Christmas scenes from my novels to you.
I’m not sure how it worked out this way exactly. Many of my novels have school students. Schools almost always start at the beginning of September. It makes sense that the characters both students and adults would look forward to the holidays. Many of my novels are set in Britain, and the British celebrate Christmas, but not a Thanksgiving similar to the USA. Since the first semester runs up into Christmas, there is no reason to not incorporate Christmas parties and get-togethers.
The parties and get-togethers provide reasons for the characters to interact with certain other characters. In fact, parties and get-togethers provide opportunities for characters who normally would never otherwise converse to converse. Parties give you a reason to bring characters together. Parties provide all kinds of opportunities for scene development. And then there are private family dinners and other meals.
Family meals give you the opportunity for private conversations, declarations, and events. Let’s look at it this way, and I love to do this. My characters actually go to church. I know this isn’t popular today as it was in the past, but it is with your readers. Your readers by a large measure are those who go to church or to a synagogue. Even if they don’t go regularly, there is an even greater probability they will go at Christmas or Easter. What I’m writing to you is a great secret—or so it seems. People really do live in a real world that is somewhat different than many books. I want to provide them an atmosphere that is like their real world, or which they picture the real world to be.
Even if you aren’t a fan of Christmas, which puts you in a Western (and major parts of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East) minority, you can use the season to great effect in your novels. This is my suggestion. Just as my examples showed you, use and have your characters live in the Christmas season.
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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