6 September 2019, Writing - part x973 Writing a Novel, External Test
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
Gnosticism is the major religion of the modern secular world. The way modern people think is based almost exclusively in Gnosticism. This isn’t a good thing. Gnosticism is the idea that knowledge is the greatest power in the world, and that through knowledge that humans can become like God or gods.
We are living in the Gnostic world. With the invention of the three means to know truth, the first and most important question that the educated asked was, “Can we prove God.” Philosophy and science (logic and the scientific method) have proven God must exist.
You might ask, what about the historical-legal method and God. The answer to this is very simple, but it requires more explanation than a paragraph. Perhaps the most important idea to understand at this point is that the history of human thought is and was driven by deeply held religious ideas. This is as true in the age of Gnosticism as it was in the other evolutions of religion.
For works in antiquity, the measure of transmission is the number of copies and the distance, in time, between the copy and the original. In addition, we look at the internal and the external test. This can tell us about history and God.
We looked at the bibliographical and the internal tests and discovered that the New Testament documents are a magnitude better than anything in antiquity. Now is the time to apply the external tests.
The external tests compare documents of similar witness, location, time, and other evidence like archeology. The primary means of comparison is primacy of witness. Thus, the New Testament documents are all primary source documents if you take an expansive view and they are primary with a few secondary if you take a less expansive view.
When we compare works in antiquity, we look at the witness and first conclude that all primary source documents are considered higher in primacy than any secondary or tertiary documents. The only time you might move a document is if the source has been found to be less accurate than a source of higher primacy and better bibliographical standing. This means there are no documents during the first century that are considered better historical sources than the New Testament documents.
No external sources or archeology is not in perfect agreement with the New Testament documents and none of them is as good a source historically. Again, the question of miracles always comes up. As I noted before, all documents in antiquity include miracles. The people of this period were animists, pantheonic pagans, and mysterium believers—they all saw the world in terms of miracles. Everything was a miracles in their worldview. If you understand this, you can begin to see why miracles were in nearly every work in antiquity. There is more.
If you saw a miracle and recorded it as an eyewitness, who is to refute what you saw? There is no other source that can in terms of the New Testament documents. As I noted, the modern world trusts in Gnosticism, and Gnosticism is a religion unto itself. If a Gnostic sees a miracle, he or she can only say—it must be something I don’t understand in nature. A Gnostic trusts science the way other people might trust a God or gods. A Gnostic is a Gnostic because of the religious belief in science. What does this mean?
This means that although the Big Bang proves God must exist, the Gnostic person can’t understand that it does. Likewise, the Gnostic can’t comprehend how philosophy can prove the not-God cannot exist, therefore there must be God. Further, the New Testament documents are more accurate as historical documents than any other documents in antiquity. The Gnostic can trust that Caesar existed, but has an emotional and reasoning problem in accepting that Jesus as a historical figure existed. Also, the Gnostic sees Caesar’s miracles (the ones Caesar claimed he saw) and can’t comprehend. The same Gnostic reads of the miracles Jesus was observed accomplishing by multiple sources including non-New Testament ones, and thinks they are false, deranged, or mistaken.
Worldview and an understanding of the truth in the world is a very difficult problem for the Gnostic. Further, you can see that the Gnostic is as mistaken as the animist, pantheonic pagan, and mysterium believer.
What we know is that using the three means to know truth, one can prove the existence of God, and through the historical-legal method you can prove Jesus the Christ and the events around His life, death, resurrection, and ascension. You can’t do the same with other gods or religions.
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