26 January 2019, Writing - part x750, Writing a Novel, Protagonist
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: 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 actually use the theme statement and to write an initial scene, the writer needs to expand the protagonist and other critical characters (to the initial scene), define the initial setting, and define the telic flaw. The telic flaw should be a direct part of the protagonist.
The protagonist is literally the most important part of any novel. All novels are the revelation of the protagonist. This is why I’m not a huge fan of novels that appear to have more than one protagonist. I’ll not say you can’t write one, but the dilution of the primary protagonist might hobble your novel. There are also experimental forms that bring in multiple story or plot lines. In these novels each has their own protagonist. A great example of these types of novels is the Game of Thrones. In any case, the protagonist should be the most important and focus character in your novel. If this isn’t true, you chose the wrong character to focus on.
I’ve seen some novels where the wrong character was chosen as the protagonist, most are not published. I’ve argued for a long time that the magical girl would have made a better protagonist than Harry Potty in those novels.
I start every novel with a protagonist in an initial scene. My novel development begins with a protagonist, and I would argue that a protagonist defines all aspects of the theme statement and directs the plot of the novel. After all, the protagonist owns the telic flaw. So let’s start with a protagonist.
The first point in protagonist development is we need a protagonist to fit the tension and release of the initial scene. This means we need an initial scene. I think you can design a novel from a protagonist or an initial scene, but you must have one or the other—they can’t really be separated from one another. This means we need an initial scene. Does this sound recursive? If so, it is.
The development of the initial scene and the protagonist are usually iterative. For me, I get an idea for an initial scene or a protagonist and I view at protagonist in the initial scene. The initial scene is the setting for the protagonist and the initial scene launches the protagonist into the novel. Perhaps the first thing we should look at is the initial scene. This moves directly to idea and creative development.
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