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Monday, July 15, 2019

Writing - part x920, Writing a Novel, Future War

15 July 2019, Writing - part x920, Writing a Novel, Future War

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 websites
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. 

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:

1.   Vocabulary
2.   Ideas
3.   Social construction
4.   Culture
5.   Politics
6.   History
7.   Language
8.   Common knowledge
9.   Common sense
10. Reflected culture
11. Reflected history
12. Reflected society
13. Truth
14. Food
15. Money
16. Weapons and warfare
17. Transportation
18. Communication
19. Writing
20. Education

It’s become very popular to write using dystopian plots, themes, and settings.  In addition, science fiction plots, themes, and settings have almost become a secret infiltrator in modern novels. 

Dystopian means you need to find a reason for the society to become dystopian.  In the last blogs I gave you classic reasons and means for a society to head to more government control and therefore dystopian settings.  Science fiction on the other hand appears to be a more and more common setting and theme that reflects our incredibly fast technology development.  What either of these means is you must learn to extrapolate technology and/or society and culture.

Extrapolation means you have to start from the now and move technology and societies into the future.  If you use my examples of the means to control people, nations, and societies, you can easily develop a dystopian society or nation.  You can also use the concepts to develop any future society.  The concepts of technology applied to the means of government control equal the future.

For example, today facial recognition is being developed in technology.  This facial recognition will be used by government and private companies for many reasons.  Private companies would like to identify potential and past customers.  They would like to provide directed advertising and personal treatment to their customers.  Private companies are not a problem.  They only have the right to use facial recognition on their property.  Their use of facial recognition is no different than their use of salespeople with excellent memories.  In addition, it is likely that governments will intentionally limit the use of facial recognition.  The problem is governments.

Governments unless somehow restricted can exert power over all their domains and the people within their domains.  Technically, they are restricted from private property, as long as they recognize private property, but everything outside most buildings and most property including the air belongs to them (or so they think).  The government can use facial recognition to identify and track every single person in a nation.  In the USA, the law has typically allowed government surveillance as long as it is in the open.  Whether this will stand in the future is a great question. 

The law has never asked the question before.  The serious problem with this technology is that it allows the government to know where everyone is at any point in time.  This allows indirect control of the people, and direct knowledge of where they are.  The potential for abuse should be obvious. 

My point in bringing this up is not to simply warn of facial recognition technology—the point is to give you a stepping off point with a real example.  Your future can be based in all kinds of ideas from full government use to partial government restriction.  I don’t think the government will be completely restricted from the use of this capability.  You might design a nation or a future where this is true.  On the other hand, the government will use these techniques to some degree or another.  Private industry will use these technologies to the max extent possible.  You will want to use these technologies.  How valuable will it be for you to be able to have your phone take or see a picture of a customer, boss, potential friend, or other and be able to know who they really are?  You could pick the criminals out of the good people, and know who are charlatans who will likely try to trick, harm, or steal from you.

Facial recognition has great legs and obvious legs in any future setting.  The point is to use it.  This is just one example of a technology.  You can imagine or think of hundreds more.  The point is to extrapolate these ideas to populate your novel set in the now, a little more than now, or full out future now.       

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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