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Thursday, August 22, 2019

Writing - part x958 Writing a Novel, Computers and Phones

22 August 2019, Writing - part x958 Writing a Novel, Computers and Phones

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 websites 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
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

Communications have moved in a more unpredictable and interesting manner over time—especially in the modern era.

Communications can occur through any of the senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste.  The most obvious seems to be hearing because that is how most of our communication through speech is presented.  However, sight is the most used and powerful of human senses.

In the history of communications, everything is interconnected.  Modern electronics is what made all types of immediate communications possible but especially phone communications. 

As you might have guessed, the first problem was switching.  In the early part of the integration of phones, switching was accomplished by hand—operators physically plugged and unplugged lines to connect phone calls.  And then came electronic switching.  This was pretty complex stuff but rudimentary compared to today.  As the numbers of phones and people with wired phones grew, so did the need to have more wires.  The problem with wired communications was only one wire set per call—you had to share or wait.

With digital communications, however, came multiplexing.  Multiplexing is the bread and butter of all modern communications.  It allows a single wire or frequency to handle many connections all at once.  All these innovations provided the technology to move to the next step, but something else was necessary—computing power.

As you might guess, all these innovations required some degree of computing power.  Early multiplexing had bleed-through.  Today’s multiplexing is seamless.  Early electronic switching could sometimes go awry.  Today, it’s exact and precise.  What provided the ability of all of the technology improvements was computing power and especially computing power in the actual devices as well as in the equipment providing the services.  Computers were what propelled this innovation.

Computers in the hands of service providers might seem reasonable, but originally, all personal computers were considered nothing but entertainment devices.  The revolution in computers did not come from massive UNIVACs or WAN terminals connected to immense servers.  The computer revolution occurred when the average person could own a computer and millions began writing programs for them.  When the Apple II and the TRS-80, there was no perceived business purpose for a personal computer.  Not even a year later, word processors, spreadsheets, and database programs had been written along with thousands of game programs for these early computers. 

It wasn’t necessarily the word processors or database programs that started the great computer revolution, but the spreadsheet was a capability that didn’t exist anywhere else in the computing world.  In the hands of a business person, the spreadsheet could accomplish miracles.  Suddenly, everyone in business needed a computer.  The computing revolution became a cost saving proposal for all businesses.  With a word processor, who needed a secretary to write letters?  With a spreadsheet, who needed complex financial departments filled with green visor accountants?  With database capability, who needed to spend millions on complex servers?  And then came networking.

Early giant computers were a single computer shared by many terminals.  Personal computers could be linked to each other and share data in the same way.  Now, there was little reason for an expensive single server except to share data or programs.  And then computers miniaturized.

The miniaturization of computers moved the computing power of the desktop first into the lap, and then into the pocket.  Once it got to the pocket, all those computing capabilities that made communications possible could do the same in a tiny package.  Of course, we saw the development of wireless computer connections, the internet, and computer connectivity.  At the same time, wireless phone connectivity was happening at a similar rate.  The early cellular phones were just computers that specialized in communications.  Later and more modern cellular phones happen to be cellular connected phones that use their computing power in all kinds of ways from communications, to programs, to games, to apps, to the internet, wireless computing, and all. 

The function of the modern pocket phone is astounding, and what we should see in the future is more seamless integration of all these capabilities that have been incorporated into these devices.       

More tomorrow.

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

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Writing - part x957 Writing a Novel, Cable to Wireless, Wireless to Cable

21 August 2019, Writing - part x957 Writing a Novel, Cable to Wireless, Wireless to Cable

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 websites 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

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

Communications have moved in a more unpredictable and interesting manner over time—especially in the modern era.

Communications can occur through any of the senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste.  The most obvious seems to be hearing because that is how most of our communication through speech is presented.  However, sight is the most used and powerful of human senses.

I write science fiction and military history in addition to historical fiction, so the concept of the radio as pure communication is of great interest to me and my writing.  However, for most and many, radios for communications aren’t of that great of interest.  Most of us are aware of radios on the AM and FM dials in our houses and automobiles.

Radios reception for entertainment purposes has been very popular around the world from its heyday in the 1930s to today.  Things are changing, but not that much.  And then there is television.

Television started as a broadcast media just like radios.  Radios and TV are likely the most powerful communication means today.  I will point out that radios and TV went from wireless to cable (wired), TV first, and now radios through the internet.

What is important about radios and TV is how universal it is, and based on that universality how effective it is in propaganda.  This works amazingly in both directions.  For example, partially, the visual reality of the Western world through their TVs caused Soviet Russia to fall.  Likewise, Radio Free Europe greatly affected the ideas of the Soviet people.  The fascists and allies in World War II used the radio to great effect as propaganda and in providing true information. 

However, the greatest power in TV and radio transmission isn’t just government propaganda, although that is very effective, commercials as well as government control of TV and radio is likely the most powerful tool of these means of communication.

First, everyone needs to realize, the purpose of both TV and radio is not entertainment of any kind.  The only way TV and radio makes money is through advertising.  The purpose of both TV and radio is to get you to listen long enough to hear a commercial.  They would additionally like you to purchase the product, but the presumption of advertising is its effectivity. 

So, if you understand the purpose of TV and radio is advertising, you may begin to understand the power and problems with these means of communication.  You can also see the danger of TV and radio under government control.  Advertising and sales can be very destabilizing to communications and society, but the problem is the use of the medias to produce needs for services and products.  For example, US advertisers made a concerted effort in the 1960s and beyond to sell more cosmetics, soaps, and shampoos.  The main method was to show people in all the radio and TV shows bathing frequently and using these type of products more often than the normal US consumer.  The advertisers in the rest of the world copied these ideas.  Thus, programs all became long commercials about general products and product use which was directly connected to the commercials shown at station breaks.  It worked very well and significantly increased the use of these products. 

The problem of government control of these types of assets should be obvious.  Just like government control of education, if the government wants to effect the opinions of the population, they don’t need advertisements and direct propaganda, they just need to provide programs that appear to be entertainment but incorporates the desired cultural or social messaging.  These create changes in social and cultural norms for anyone who watches or hears the programing. 

In any case, most of this doesn’t play much in writing of novels, but I usually don’t write about or include much about radio or television in my novels.  If you do, you need to be more careful about event horizon and common knowledge than the actual means of communication.

More tomorrow.

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