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Sunday, September 1, 2019

Writing - part x968 Writing a Novel, Gnosticism and Writing

1 September 2019, Writing - part x968 Writing a Novel, Gnosticism and Writing

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

Pretty interesting that human thought was so greatly affected by religion—it gets worse, or better depending on your point of view.  Now we have reached Gnosticism.  Gnosticism is the idea that you can reach salvation through knowledge.  It was caused by Christianity, but it is the fourth step of the evolution of religion.  Let’s review a little.

Animism by itself has no view of salvation.  In animism, the practitioner is wholly attempting to appease the spirits of the world to protect their life, health, and peace in the world.  That isn’t to say that human ideas did not exist or evolve in animism, however, if you look at early Hebrew views and modern Orthodox Jewish views—there is no heaven and no hell.  There is no life after death.  This is a type of animism but with a singular spirit defined as God.

Pantheonoic paganism comes with a developed view of death and the afterlife.  This is because all pantheonic paganism comes with a death god and a land of the death god.  For example, Hades in Hades.  Pantheonic paganism is characterized by a god and place of the dead.  In most cases and in the beginning, the dead go to the place of the dead and that’s it.  As the religion progresses, usually as a reflection and association with mysteriums, the place of the dead becomes a place of punishment and reward.

The mysteriums were all about the afterlife and punishment and reward.  The Pharisee synagogue tradition had already made this jump in Jewish thought, and Christianity conferred and strengthened this idea.  This is just one of the reasons that Christianity looked like a mysterium and why it had such strong appeal to animists, pantheonic pagans, the mysteriums, and Judaism.  Christianity taught about a place for those who were persuaded and those who weren’t.  It claimed that all were imperfect, but that all could be perfected by accepting a certain worldview.  Those who accepted would go to the heavens to be with God.  The Christians had a God and messiah who had done just that, returned from the dead, and then went back to His place in the heavens.  This appealed to all the evolutions of religion and to many people.

Then came science and the Gnostics.  Science permanently disconnected fate and spirits from the actions of nature.  God or gods were not required to directly operate the world.  The world had been created with its own rules and science.  There are huge concepts in human thought in this revelation.  The first is one that had been perking up from the time of pantheonic paganism.  This is the fact that God created.  Animism and early pantheonic paganism had almost no concept of creation.  The idea was eternal universe.  The invention of science in creation meant there must be a creator.  That is, if there was a creation, there must be a creator. 

Christianity and Judaism both had answers for this—the God created.  Animism, pantheolic paganism, and mysterium didn’t have an answer.  Gnosticism did.  Gnosticism said that God or god was knowledge and that knowledge would end up with salvation and with God.  As I noted, Christianity was the impetus for this movement.  This is why some early Christians were Gnostics.  Much early Christian literature is also Gnostic.  Gnosticism is the major religion of the modern secular world.      

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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