31 October 2019, Writing - part xx028 Writing a Novel, Background
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.
The novel is a revelation of the protagonist. The telic flaw is connected directly to the protagonist. The plot is the revelation of the telic flaw. This connects the protagonist to the plot and the telic flaw. The point is that to plan a novel, I simply need to plan the revelation of the protagonist. To accomplish this, you need to develop a protagonist.
When I write you develop your protagonist, you write notes about:
15. Telic flaw
I think you can already see just how important the background of a character and especially the protagonist is. Even before you think of a name, the background is the critical factor for any character.
As you can see from the Aksinya example I gave yesterday, the genealogy of the character should be not just important but a critical attribute. For Aksinya it is everything. In fact, I didn’t give you half of all the development of Aksinya.
She was born at Tsarskoye Selo near Saint Petersburg March 15th 1900. This is important because it is the birthplace of almost every legitimate prince and princess of the Romanov and Russian Imperial line. She had no formal education until she attended the Catholic girl’s school Sacré Coeur in Austria, but she was educated by her governess and nurses—just as most wealthy and noble children were educated in the time. She knew Latin, Greek, German, French, and Russian, and she was especially proficient in Latin.
Latin was her expertise because Aksinya accomplished her sorcery in Latin and imprecise language and actions in sorcery spell danger, injury, and death. The reason for Aksinya’s interest in sorcery came out her belief that she was not beautiful—and this is a recurring theme in the novel.
Much of the motivation for Aksinya’s actions is that she doesn’t see any beauty in herself. She desires to surround herself with beautiful things and people because she sees the lack in herself. This is one of the things the Daemon Asmodeus uses to tempt her. It is the sin of luxuria (similar to lust and called lust in modern English) that drives Aksinya’s desires and motivations.
A pretty simple background? Not at all—as you can see, this is a very complex background and rooted in history. Every piece of Aksinya and her life can be traced back to historical reality. Only she herself is a fictional person and princess although a person and princess who might possibly have lived in her time. That’s entirely the point.
Aksinya was developed to fulfill a role—the role designed in the novel for her and only for her. As I noted above and I’ve written many times before. I designed Aksinya, the protagonist of my novel of the same name based on the initial scene.
This is truly a subject that encompasses everything about the protagonist—we’ll address this next.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
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