10 August 2019, Writing - part x946, Writing a Novel, Construction
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.
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
16. Weapons and warfare
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 touched on construction a little, but this is a huge part of communications. In the beginning, proto-writing was all about lists of stuff. Lists of stuff was what was important. And then came writing, but still it was all about lists.
The king or pharaoh got a great idea—what about recording the lists and stuff from his rule. And so it was, the Egyptians began recording the history of the pharaoh, but that didn’t interest the priests. They began to write down their myths and revelations. Then there were the Hebrews.
The Hebrews went to Egypt and got stuck there for a while. While in Egypt, they learned some pretty useful things—one was writing. The Egyptians had three types of writing, hieroglyphics, hieratic, and demotic. Hieratic and demotic are types of script while hieroglyphics are the classic stone carvings we are used to.
Hieratic and demotic are used on surfaces and are brushed or written instead of carved. The Hebrews obviously learned script and then applied it somehow to their new lands, based on cuneiform but applied to papyrus or velum. However they got there, the Hebrews after Egypt began writing down their history and revelations of God to them. To be very specific, the rabbis believe and teach that Moses brought the entire Torah down from Mount Sinai and not just the Ten Words. This was possible because, as we know, all ancient writing is mnemonics. Just how large the tablets were and the size of the writing font we don’t know. In any case, the construction form of the Egyptians was kind of amorphous, they just didn’t have that much writing, and never really developed a highly established form. The reason is because their main written form was the Book of the Dead.
The Book of the Dead is a book of spells to be used when a person has died and is dead. The form of the spells is a list of things to do and how to do them. The Hebrews had a better idea.
The Hebrews developed a construction based on synopsis and body. A classic Hebrew document has a synopsis of the document followed by a body that goes into greater detail. This is the little detail that leads some less studied scholars to misunderstand ancient Hebrew texts. For example, in the beginning of the Torah, there is a synopsis of the creation followed by a more detailed account. This leads some to assume there are two separate creation accounts. There is one account, but the form of Hebrew writing is synopsis body. You see a similar form in the Noah histories. In fact, if you know what you are looking for, you will see this form through all the Torah and the Tanakh. Then there was Greek.
The Greeks about 500 BC invented the legal-historical method and began writing historical documents. Their writing construction was significantly different than Hebrew and our writing form. The Greeks construction is a logos to an unstated telos. A logos is an argument and a telos is kind of a conclusion. A telos is much more complex an idea than that. However, we can see the Greek form in their philosophical dialogs. You can see it in Aesop’s Fables. In the fables, Aesop never listed a moral or a conclusion—the Romans added the morals to Aesop’s Fables. The Greeks expected the reader to figure out the telos by the logos—the Romans didn’t trust the reader to figure it out themselves.
This is huge stuff. This is why many people are confused by the New Testament documents of the Bible because they are written as a logos to an unstated telos. In fact, a telos isn’t exactly a conclusion. In Greek, a telos is the vanishing point on the horizon. A logos can have many conclusions or telos, or it can have a single telos (a parable), or infinite telos (a hyperbole), or no telos (a diabolo). There are more types and alignments of Greek arguments to telos, but I think you can get just how complex this is.
The Romans had an entirely different idea, and we followed suit.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
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