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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Writing - part x943, Writing a Novel, Punctuation

7 August 2019, Writing - part x943, Writing a Novel, Punctuation

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

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.

We saw how vowels were a huge improvement for writing.  With vowels and spaces, suddenly there was no need for scroll slaves.  Writing had moved from mnemonics to actual phonetic writing.  Phonetic writing meant that people could decipher and read for themselves.  I need to point out a couple of important points based on these observations.

First, in the first century, Hebrew was a dead language.  It was read aloud from the Torah scrolls and from the Tanakh, but it was not spoken.  There were also problems with knowing exactly how the words and the language was properly pronounced.  This was caused by the diaspora of the Jewish people and exacerbated by the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD and the Jewish revolution in 120 AD.  Other languages were developing and improving their writing through the implementation of vowels and spaces between the words.  In around 600 AD the Masoretes borrowed the vowel pointlets and pronunciation from Aramaic and Arabic and added spaces to simplify the Hebrew documents so they could be first, read, and second, so scholars could quickly find information in them. 

The reason the finding information was so important was that Christianity which was a sect of Judaism called teen Hodos was making great inroads through the use of their New Testament Greek documents and the Septuagint documents.  The Septuagint was the Greek translation of the Torah and Tanakh.  Many Jews were being converted to teen Hodos that is Christianity and this was causing problems for Jews in the diaspora.  By putting in vowel pointlets and spaces, the Jews could read and use their sacred documents.  Something else happened.

The Christians were also beginning to break the Greek documents into chapters.  This allowed readers to quickly move to a place in a scroll or codex and point out information.  The Masoretes did the same for the Hebrew Tanakh and Torah.  However, Masoretic texts are not allowed to be read in the synagogue.  They are used as training and study documents.

The other important point about moving to true phonetic writing, is that this is the obvious means to reading and learning to read.  People stopped using documents as mnemonics and were able to sound out and read for themselves.  In the past, all scrolls and writing was memorized, and the most wonderful invention was when people could read phonetically.  You might ask, why in the world would anyone move away from phonetic reading especially in training children to read?  Going from phonetics to any other form of training and reading is like discarding one of the greatest inventions in human writing and reading.  I just thought you might want to think about that.

Hebrew with vowel and pointlets allowed Hebrew to be able to be pronounced and read, and this caused an immediate problem.  The words were in some cases were incorrectly passed along and in some cases the wrong vowels had been used in memorization.  This was discovered when the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.  For example, the Hebrew word for Red as in Red Sea was actually Reed as in Reed Sea, and the Hebrew word for “many colors” as in many colored cloak was actually “long-sleeved” as in long-sleeved coat.  There are other examples.  None of them are critical or radically change the meaning of the text, but the rediscovery of the Hebrew language resulted in enormous improvements on knowledge about the ancient world and history.

It didn’t end with pointlets or vowels.        

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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