31 May 2019, Writing - part x875, Writing a Novel, Changing World and Using Truth
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
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 s 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
From the ancient Greeks and propagated through civilization, we have three means to prove truth: the historical-legal method for non-repeatable events, the scientific method for repeatable events, and logic for the non-measurable (like math).
These three means to know truth interact and support each other. For example, I mentioned before how the historical-legal method is used to record and report scientific method results. In addition, logic, through deduction, is used to support both the historical-legal and the scientific method. Mathematics, which is completely based in logic, is used to support both other methods.
So, what can you do with the means to know truth? The first is that you can use them. I’ve used them and explained them in some of my writing. In most novels, you won’t need to explain, but you will always want to use them. They don’t need to be overt, but every novel is about secrets—secrets revealed is the climax of almost every novel, in one way or another.
Not every novel is a mystery novel, but every novel is filled with secrets. If you apply the three means to know truth, you will achieve a basis for understanding than most of your readers will acknowledge. As a lark, let’s look at the means to not know truth. These come mostly out of Eastern civilizations, but they are not isolated to Eastern civilizations. The ways to not know truth are these: meditation, spirituality, revelation, and mentallization. None of these methods can be used to know truth.
Meditation all day on the wrong concepts or idea remain mediation on the wrong ideas and concepts. No one will ever determine anything through meditation. In the West, we expect people to study and think about some subject. Meditation will definitely not get you to truth and never result in anything new. In fact, meditation on nothing will result in nothing. The Greeks believed that human thought is what set humans from the animals. No though was considered impossible by the ancient Greeks. Humans thought because humans were humans. The entire idea of not thinking about something would have been considered impassible and silly by the Greeks. They would have said that the non-thinker was not human. I think this has a lot of validity.
Spirituality has its own problems. I’ll go with the idea that meditation on God and His ideas might have a potential for great influence on people, but the end point is the problem. If I note that God told me or God revealed to me, that’s a great personal confession, but it can’t apply to me. This is the ultimate problem with spirituality—it applies only to the confessor and not to anyone else. I’m not against the idea of spirituality, in fact, I like it in literature, but the idea that you can prove truth through spirituality is a huge stretch. As I noted before, the moment an author brings spirituality into his or her writing, the gauntlet is down—they must bring God into the mix. Spirituality equals God, but that is personal and a reflection of society and culture—the proof goes much deeper.
Revelation has the same problem of spirituality. In fact, the two are very similar. One is a study, the other is a realization. These have their place in literature, but not in proving truth. The truth is for the one who has the revelation. If the reader agrees or accepts the view of the writer or protagonist, that’s great, but it is an individual discovery and not a communal truth.
Finally, mentallization is pure hokum. You can only mentalize or conceptualize only what you can conceive or already know. For example, the people of the twentieth century could barely conceptualize computers—they were writing about slide rules in the hands of space goers until computers hit them upside the head. Not a single science fiction writer got the advent and universality of computers right at all. They were all flopping around in the dark while computers were changing and advancing the world. And then computers started slowly appearing in science fiction. It started as magic and spirituality and slowly became a part of reality—then it was reality.
I think if science fiction writers had appropriately applied the three methods to know truth, they would have predicted, extrapolated, and interpolated to the proper use of computers. As it is, they missed it all. You see in my novels in 1984 the prediction of the electronic book. I even called them eBooks. Unfortunately, this novel wasn’t published until 2008. The electronic book was already a reality.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
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