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Saturday, September 14, 2019

Writing - part x981 Writing a Novel, Beginnings of Fiction

14 September 2019, Writing - part x981 Writing a Novel, Beginnings of Fiction

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
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

It’s really not fair to assume that epic poetry, myths, and other early verbal records are simply fiction.  They arise from the culture of nonliteracy and animism in particular.  The question is: is there any truth in them?  It depends. 

Beowulf and the other Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Germanic epics about human actions are most likely based in some fact.  The myths maybe not so much.  The cultural importance of these early records is undeniable—they tell us about how these early people and all early people thought about the world.  Not fiction, but rather the earliest records of how the culture saw the world.

Historically, the world had very little fiction for a long time.  Even though we see some evidence of what we might call fiction and stories, the people who wrote it didn’t really consider it fiction in the sense we would. 

For example, Aesop saw his fables as teaching logos to unstated telos.  They were simple arguments to what he imagined in Greek culture were obvious unstated conclusions.  The Romans didn’t fully comprehend the arguments and didn’t get the obvious Greek conclusions, so they added the morals (the conclusions).  Fiction?  Not really.  Aesop’s Fables were short logical arguments meant to teach the youth and train in the Greek literate culture.

What about many of the apocryphal documents from the Septuagint—they appear to be more like short stories than actual history.  Many appear to be intentionally disconnected from reality with intentional misdirections in terms of place and time.  Again, I point to their cultural purpose.  In some cases, if not all, they may represent actual historical events and people, but they are very similar to the Aesop’s fables, except from a different culture. 

The Hellenized Hebrews who wrote the apocryphal documents were in the business of cultural teaching and understanding.  They produced teaching documents in a classical Greek style that led to their desired cultural conclusions.  In some cases, we see the evidence of the Greek logos to unstated telos style.  In some cases, we see the more ancient Hebrew synopsis body style.  In no cases do we see the Roman intro, body, and conclusion style. 

All of these ancient Greek and Hellenized Hebrew documents need to be read and understood in their cultural sense and as Greek teaching documents.  Do they document history?  Aesop, not likely, the Hebrew ones, maybe—they reflect cultural and historical truths from the times that were so valuable they were worth writing down—and there is the rub, so to speak.

The importance of any document we have from antiquity is that we actually have the documents.  The ideas in them were so important to the authors that they used immense expense to write them down.  That in itself is a huge indicator of the value of the ideas.  Second, the ideas were so important that others in the chain of history and time saw the need to use great expense to copy and keep the documents in question.  The value of the writing is witnesses just be the massive human cost and energy applied to save them from time.

The documents in antiquity fit this model, but then we moved into the Middle Ages and Renaissance.  In a slightly more modern era, the writers wanted to capture the ideas and stories of the past.  This was a new idea that led to some new types of literature.     

More tomorrow.

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

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