30 April 2019, Writing - part x844, Writing a Novel, Changing World, and Too Much Fiction
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
Most people have no idea how writing and reading came about. They assume that people always read and write just like they do today—the truth is much further than they can imagine. The Greeks invented or rather developed something else in writing.
The bottom line is that underwear, industrialization, and cotton specifically led to near universal literacy and the availability of books in general. There were also problems.
Literacy and education is wonderful, but education is only education when it is education. What happens when more than what is important gets written down? Probably the best comparison is what penny novels were attributed to doing at the end of the 1800s.
People had always embraced literacy, but when you don’t have anything to read except the Bible or nothing, your society doesn’t have many distractions, and when readers finally get their hands on anything, they read it. Literacy grows with the availability of great literature. However, most of the greatest literature at the time was in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. The truly educated could read Greek, Latin, and Hebrew or at least Greek and Latin. …And then came the penny novel. Actually, then came the novel.
The novel isn’t that ancient. In English, Robinson Caruso by Daniel Defoe is considered the first novel. There were earlier works, but not novels. After Defoe, the novel really took off. Almost overnight the novel and then the penny novel became a force of available literature in a literature starved society. The novel and especially the penny novels gave every person who could read the opportunity to self-entertainment. You could read and not study. You didn’t require tickets, clothing, and transportation to appropriate the entertainment of a play, opera, or ballet. You could sit in your own domicile and wrap yourself in a beautiful play of your own imagining. The educated fuddy-duddies didn’t approve because of the lack of quality in the penny novels except there was at least some quality. Remember, novels were pretty new. There was a lot of trash, but the penny novel trash was better in some ways than anything people ever had before—and it was inexpensive.
In any case, there was some pushback, but I think the greatest problem was not that people were reading or learning, but rather that there wasn’t enough real learning going on. It wasn’t a problem in the beginning when everyone read every work they could get their hands on. It is a problem when you have too much availability, and too many people who think they know something, but in reality they don’t know anything. What do I mean by this?
In the past people read everything they could, and there was a limited number of things to read. It wasn’t hard to read everything that was great and worthwhile. But as the availability became greater and greater, people didn’t know what to read or have been pushed intentionally away from great literature. Today, the so-called experts of literature can’t agree on the most important and greatest works to read, but if you search, you can find lists of the most important works in history--. If you have read and understand these works I think you can call yourself educated. If you have not, you need to get reading. I don’t mean this as a slam, but without a foundation of knowledge you can’t be completely or properly educated.
There is more to this than reading classics. An appropriate education includes science, philosophy, history, mathematics, geometry, theology, and writing. I suggest a full and appropriate education for all, and you can get there starting with literacy. Education was one of the greatest changes caused by near universal literacy.
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