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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Writing - part x949, Writing a Novel, Printing

13 August 2019, Writing - part x949, Writing a Novel, Printing

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.

Scrolls and codex are expensive.  A scroll or manuscript book cost the same as a 40 acre farm in the ancient world.  Today, a Torah scroll costs up to $55,000 with an average cost of about $30,000 or more—that’s a new Torah scroll.  A scroll or codex before about 600 AD or so, cost an additional $10,000 to $20,000 because of the cost of the scroll slave.  The average library in the ancient world had seven scrolls or codex, and there were no public libraries.  Scrolls and codex were just too expensive to allow to everyone to borrow.  These costs continued until the invention of the printing press in 1440 AD.

The costs of books decreased by about 350 times with the advent of the printing press.  This still meant that books were expensive from $60 to around $160 for a Bible sized document, but that is significantly less than the cost of any manuscript scroll or codex.  The costs of books decreased slowly with time.  More importantly, the cost of books decreased significantly in comparison with the increase of the average wage.  The upshot was that people could afford to buy books.

Suddenly, people could purchase books and the middle class and the wealthy could build their own libraries.  In the USA, the public library became a fixture.  In the past, private lending libraries were more common.  The costs of books kept decreasing steadily until the 1800s.  I’ve written about this before.

The invention and near universal use of cotton underwear in the Eighteenth Century led to a surplus of cotton fiber in the Nineteenth Century.  Cotton fiber was the primary ingredient in paper at that time.  In the 1800s, large decreases in the cost of paper led directly to the reduction of the cost of books.  The average person including the poor could now own books.  This path was more interesting than ever.

The first books were expensive, but printing of pamphlets led the way for the average person, plus, in the day, they were entertaining and newsworthy.  For example, the first large scale publication of pamphlets was Martin Luther’s writings.  In the era of the Reformation, Martin Luther’s ideas were both entertaining and projected new ideas and information to the public.  In fact, religious writings were the primary publications of the early press and this was true for a long time.  Eventually and rather quickly, other books were printed, but just like proto-writing was most interested in religious lists and stuff and then moved to religious ideas, printing started with religious ideas and books then moved to stuff.

The Bible and religious pamphlets were the most popular printing for a long time, but other Greek and Latin documents, lists of laws, and lists of people paved the way.  You can see all kinds of interesting parallels in early printing.  Of course, it took a while, but also by the end of the Eighteenth Century and the beginning of the Nineteenth Century, the cost of books had decreased to the point that they no longer needed to be just about ideas of fundamental importance.  The cost came down to the point where books were suddenly all about entertainment.

Daniel Defoe wrote Robinson Caruso which is considered the first novel in the English language.  There were other earlier novels for example Don Quixote in Spain and Genshi in Japan.  The problem was Don Quixote and the society of Spain were not ready for universal literacy and entertainment for the average person.  Likewise, the Japanese in 1000 AD didn’t have the printing press or an audience.  Daniel Defoe wrote a novel just as the cost of book production reduced significantly.

After every British citizen from poor to wealthy and young to old had access to a copy of the Bible, the Common Book of Prayer, and Fox’s Book of Martyrs, they started looking for other reading entertainment—and suddenly, there was the novel.  Better, suddenly, there was the penny novel.   

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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