31 March 2019, Writing - part x814, Writing a Novel, Changing World and more about Writing
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 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.
Let’s look at a subject that is really ignored in the modern era. I’m not certain how much this can help your current writing. I would argue that theoretically, this subject can really help those who write historical and futuristic fiction. It depends on how your write your historical and futuristic fiction. There are two ways to write historical fiction—let’s look at this.
The first and most common way to write historical fiction is to write a novel that projects modern ideas and history as historical ideas and history. In other words to present modern ideas and historical ideas as the same. I think this is perhaps the most egregious and perverse means of presenting a false view of history. The author is either completely ignorant of the past, is intentionally attempting to education people in a false view of history, or both. The real historical world is very different both culturally and socially from our current world. The true author attempts to convey this in historical writing.
The second and less common means of historical writing is to actually incorporate the past into a novel to convey the actual way people thought and acted in the past. This approach actually goes back into time to give a complete view of the way the people thought and acted. To this end, let’s look at how the world changed and how people thought in the past. This is more of a historical look at the world for the purpose of understanding how the world worked in the past and how people thought and acted. We’ll use historical information to see what concerned affected their lives. Here is a list of potential issues. We’ll look at them in detail:
3. Social construction
8. Common knowledge
9. Common sense
10. Reflected culture
11. Reflected history
12. Reflected society
Literacy brought about perhaps the greatest change in thought. You can see that directly out of literacy, the ancient Greeks invented the three ways to know truth. We use these ideas to record history, continue rule of law, create science and technology, develop mathematics and philosophy, and basically progress human invention and society. There is much more that came out of literacy.
Until I began writing about ancient history and cultures, I didn’t realize how much writing had changed over time. Not that I wasn’t interested, no one seemed to care or speak about it much. As you can see, as writing was invented and progressed, it changed considerably to give us the kind of fiction and other writing we have today. I should also note the costs, means, and expectations of writing has changed greatly too.
For example, all ancient writing is mnemonics. Ancient readers didn’t read a text, they memorized a text. Let me explain from the beginning of the process of writing in the ancient world.
Once writing was considered a practiced and developed skill in the world, the means of using this skill was given to experts called libreum in the Greek. When you wanted to write something even if you were fully literate, you had the libreum come around. The libreum brought velum (skins) and papyrus (paper) with numerous qualities of ink. The first step was to choose if the text would be written on velum or papyrus. Velum was much more expensive, but longer lasting than papyrus. Letters were usually written on papyrus while scrolls of information or philosophy were written on velum. We know that Paul’s letters were written on papyrus because he speaks of his biblium which are papyrus scrolls. By the way, until the NT (New Testament documents started traveling around, there were no books, the first books, called codexes were of the NT documents.
The libreum would help you choose the type of substrate and then the quality of the ink. Then he would sit across from you and as you dictated, the libreum would record your message. A Greek libreum would ensure your message was a well composed logos to an unstated telos—that was the educated way of expressing any Greek document, even a letter. I should specify here that although we don’t know the costs for a libreum to write a letter for you, the cost of a scroll and any manuscript in latter book form was the value of a 40 acer farm. The average library owned about 7 texts. So, the cost of even writing a letter had to be high.
Once you have finished dictating your letter to the libreum, he would read it back to you and you would approve the preliminary copy. The libreum would go home and copy your corrected text to clean papyrus sheet(s). The next day, the libreum would read and show the corrected letter to you, and you would be able to make any needed corrections. With the final approved copy, the libreum would go home and make three copies on the specified substrate. The next day, the libreum would return to you with the copies and a book slave.
Once you were happy with the text and the copies. The libreum would teach the text to the book slave. Thus, at this time, there were three individuals who had memorized the text of the letter, and these three individuals were using the mnemonics of the text to remind them of the precise langue in the document. We know this was considered mnemonics because of the reliance on book slaves and because there were no breaks in the text, no punctuation, no sentences, no paragraphs, nothing but words strung together in lines from page edge to page edge. Most people would have great problems “reading” this kind of document, but few would have trouble using such a document as a mnemonics. In fact, today, Hebrew Torah and Tanakh scrolls are memorized and the text used as mnemonics for the reader.
Now, with three copies, one went to the libreum, one you kept, and the third went with the book slave to the recipient. The book slave would remain with the document until released back to the libreum. The book slave was usually the one who carried, introduced, and of course delivered the text. This is the primary way we know the recipients knew exactly who wrote the letter to them—the book slave would announce, “I received this letter from the mouth and hands of the writer written by the libreum whoever for the recipient.” The book slave would read the letter and then teach the letter to the recipient or the recipient’s book slave. This is the way writing and reading worked in the ancient world. This is partially the reason a book or scroll was so expensive.
And still the world changed. There is more to this history about writing.
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