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Monday, October 7, 2019

Writing - part xx004 Writing a Novel, Universal Education

7 October 2019, Writing - part xx004 Writing a Novel, Universal Education

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

Education is everything in terms of writing and especially writing novels.  If you remember, really before universal literacy, the novel didn’t have a chance.  Just like every great innovation or invention, the development of an entertainment market caused the novel to be created and to make its mark on human history.

What need is there for universal education if there is universal literacy?  Mainly, governments saw a need to control what people knew.  The wealthy and the noble wanted to limit the poor and newly rich’s access to political offices, schools, and institutions.  Governments for a similar reason saw a danger of highly educated populations.  This wasn’t true in the USA, but the idea of universal education became a fad that educators and politicians supported. 

Thus you saw a huge push at the end of the Enlightenment for compulsory government controlled education.  This push paralleled the advent of socialism, communism, and democratic reforms in government.  Marx and other socialists saw government control of education a wonderful way of gaining control of the masses—it’s the tenth plank of the Communist Manifesto.  Other reformers like Horace Greely and Dewey saw government controlled schooling a means of preventing the common man from achieving high levels of political power or wealth.  Many politicians especially in the democrat controlled states in the USA saw government controlled education as a means to prevent and control Catholicism, Jewish, and other immigrant schools.  Government controlled education also allowed the democrat controlled South to segregate black children from white children.

What is important to note about universal education is that it actually reduced education and literacy.  In 1833 when Boston inaugurated the first government controlled schools, the literacy rate was at a peak.  It decreased from that date.  This is true of any place where universal education or more accurately government controlled education becomes compulsory.  The fact is that the purpose of government controlled education isn’t education—it is to control the people and prevent the poor from achieving high levels of political office.

You can see this in the number of graduates of Ivy League schools who are in the government and politics.  Compare this with the number of government controlled school graduates who are in the Ivy League schools, and you can answer the question of success yourself.  This is why the wealthy, politicians, and government controlled school teachers proportionally do not send their children to government controlled schools.  In fact, the wealthy and politicians rarely put their children in government controlled schools because they know their purpose and they know such a poor education will not prepare their children for success or especially for high level government jobs or political positions.

Of course the average person doesn’t seem to understand this.  They imagine their schools are good, or at least not worse than other schools.  The example can be seem with the success of graduates from parochial and private schools and those from government controlled schools.  This should be a main indicator to the average person.  If that isn’t enough, look where your congressman, senator, or president sends their children.  If that isn’t enough look at where the federal politicians and those in government received their education. 

Education is a great leveler, but only if you get a good education.  Today, the average child can barely read, write, or figure.  The average child in parochial or private education is not only literate, but achieving well above their government controlled school peers.  If you want the most effective group—homeschooled children test on the average above the 80th percentile on all tests.

Universal education isn’t what it seems—its purpose isn’t education at all.  Education is the best means to achieve the American Dream and to escape poverty, but it has to be a real education.  We would be better moving back to universal literacy.           

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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