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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Writing - part x774, Writing a Novel, Protagonist in the Initial Scene, Leaders

19 February 2019, Writing - part x774, Writing a Novel, Protagonist in the Initial Scene, Leaders

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  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

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 and select "production schedule," you will be sent to
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. 

If we start with a protagonist, we need some kind of guide.  Here is a general guide for developing a modern protagonist.  We’ll look at examples and explain the ideas.

1.        Normal person (not wealthy, noble, or privileged)
2.      Loves to read
3.      Loves to learn
4.     Unique skill(s), power(s) and/or learning
5.      Pathos (poor, homeless, abused, friendless, ill)
6.     Individualistic and independent
7.      Introspective
8.     Leader
9.     Naturally good
10.  Rejection of the urban
11.   Rejection of the modern
12.  Appeal to the imagination

A great protagonist is a great leader.  A romantic protagonist is a natural leader.

Readers want their leaders to be leaders because of what they know and not necessarily because of position, strength, or overbearing personality.  They want intellectual leaders.  What does this kind of leader look like? 

I think this is a very interesting subject.  The strength of my interest is that I work and have worked for leaders in the military, business, industry, and in charity organizations.  I have also been a leader in these organizations.  I continue to act as an official and unofficial leader in my current work.  I have always tried to act just like the leaders I have described.  I want to be a leader because of knowledge and empathy.  I’ll have to write, I have seen effective leaders who aren’t and don’t base their leadership on knowledge or empathy.  I have also seen leaders who failed using knowledge and empathetic leadership.  This doesn’t make this type of leadership a lessor or less capable type of leadership, it just means that in the real world different types of leadership works as well, and in some cases, better than knowledge and empathy leadership.  The real world is different than the world of literature and novels.

In my opinion, readers feel the most comfortable with protagonist leaders who are based in knowledge and empathy.  I will go further, most readers want their protagonists to be romantic leaders whose leadership is based on knowledge and empathy.  Therefore, I advise you to make your protagonists this kind of leader when leadership is part of your plot or setting. 

The way to express this is through the actions and dialog of the protagonist.  You can also use the dialog and actions of other characters to further this expression.  This is just what I did in my yet unpublished novel, Warrior of Light.  In this novel, Daniel Long is a young man who is a knowledge based and empathetic leader.  He is also the typical unwilling romantic leader.  The novel is a discovery plot where Daniel learns to become a great man and a great leader.  The focus of the novel is how Daniel gains skills and knowledge and then applies those skills and knowledge to succeed and lead. 

Daniel is an empathetic character to begin with.  This is shown through his actions and dialog.  If you notice, I specified that he learns skills and knowledge.  This makes it possible for him to act in a leadership position because of both.  Thus, when Daniel goes to Sandhurst to become an officer, he already knows how to accomplish many of the military actions and work he is expected to do.  This makes him a leader in the school and in his squadron.  Further, his empathy allows him to interact as a strong leader within the military setting.  I also use side scene conversations to let you see the thoughts of the young men who interact with Daniel.  This lets you see how effective his leadership is.  As a military officer, a young man or woman in military training who knows how to accomplish basic military drills, ceremonies, and honors, is an automatic leader as long as they are empathetic enough to share that knowledge and work with others.  The independent and unhelpful is no leader at all.  Empathy and help is the entire focus of leadership under these conditions.  This is true of all leadership.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site, 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

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