17 October 2019, Writing - part xx014 Writing a Novel, more Telic Flaw Notes
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
Perhaps I should go back and look again at the initial scene—maybe, I’ll cover that again as part of looking at the rising action. The reason is that I’m writing a rising action in a novel right now.
That gets us back to the protagonist—complexity makes the protagonist and the telic flaw one and the same.
I wrote that I don’t use outlines, and I told you I would tell you what I use instead of an outline, but I forgot to tell you. So let’s look at that today. This is all related to the protagonist and the telic flaw.
If you remember, a novel is always the revelation of the protagonist, and the telic flaw is the problem that must be resolved by the protagonist in the novel. We can therefore plan our novel in two ways. There appears to be two means, but there is really only one. We’ll see.
When I write you develop your protagonist, you write notes about:
15. Telic flaw
Now that we have tied the telic flaw to the protagonist—to whatever degree you have designed it, the point is to write, plan, or outline a plan for the revelation of the telic flaw resolution.
Now we are literally talking about outlining the plot of the novel. The plan for the revelation of the telic flaw resolution is the outline of the plot of the novel. This is also the plan for the revelation of the protagonist. This is why I wrote, there appears to be two means of writing a plan, but there is really only one. If you don’t get this, it will be impossible to write a publishable novel.
The critical point about writing a great novel is to take the telic flaw resolution develop it as an impossibility and then resolve it in such a way that it is obvious and unexpected in the context of the plot. You can try to outline this all you want—I find outlining to be a hindrance rather than a help. What I do is write from scene to scene.
This goes back to the idea of a scene. The scene has a natural output that becomes the input to the next scene. This means your scenes are sequential to a degree, but that just helps you write your novel and helps your readers not be confused. The first rule of writing for me is, “Don’t confuse your readers.” It’s right above in the list.
Even if you write sequential scenes based on input and output, you can still have flashbacks, you can more the point of view to another character (as long as you are in third person), and you can interject other scenes as necessary. What I’ve discovered from writing thirty novels is that time keeping and timing in novels is critical. I suspect you have read more than one published novel where the timing seems off. It seems off because it likely is. Even the most proficient of authors sometimes have little issues in their time. Writing sequential scenes can help with this.
Additionally, I note the days and sometimes the hours in my writing. Sometimes I strip this out of the final and sometimes I don’t. In one of my once contracted novels, my publisher’s editor recommended I put the year and place at the top of the chapters when they changed. This was because most of my novels are historical and placed in time. The publisher wanted me to promote this historicity in the writing with these types of notations. I thought that was such a great idea, I’ve incorporated it into all my historical novels.
Noting time and place at the beginning of a chapter provides a wonderful way to keep track. In some novels, I’ve placed the day of the week set off in the text to help me keep track. This is in addition to the required scene setting and transitions.
What I’m telling you is this. Writing a novel is never about just sitting down and writing. Much thought and planning goes into the writing. My method is to use the scene development with notes about where the scenes and the revelation of the protagonist is going. Thus, I place my protagonist, character, descriptions, places, words, and study in a note file. I label this note file as “the short nickname of the novel and N.doc.” So, for my current novel the note file is “ShifterN.docx.”
I keep this file open and add to it every time I add a character a place, a description, or a study. For example, if you name and create a character in chapter one and then bring them back in chapter four, how do you keep the character’s name and description straight? You do it either by rereading chapter one every time you write about that character, or you put them in your notes.
These are notes about the characters, study, places, and descriptions. The notes for the scenes and plot development are different.
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