31 December 2019, Writing - part xx089 Writing a Novel, Developing Ideas
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
Ideas. We need ideas. Ideas allow us to figure out the protagonist and the telic flaw. Ideas don’t come fully armed from the mind of Zeus. We need to cultivate ideas.
First of all, if you are writing novels, you need to read novels. I am reading three novels at a time. I keep them in different locations and read them at specific times during the day.
For the writer, reading the subject or type of writing that is his or her style is critical to both learning to write and ideas. If you don’t have a stack of novels beside your bed or in your electronics, you are behind. You will never be able to write a good novel. You must read modern novels. Novels have been evolving from their invention. If you feed on a steady diet of Victorian Era novels, you will be able to write like a Victorian, but you will never sell a novel in the modern world. Modern novels are very differently written than Victorian Era novels.
Read novels. Start with the classics and then expand to the types of novels you want to write. If you don’t like to read it, no one will want to read it. In fact, if you don’t like your own writing, no one will like your writing. One of the main ways I check my own novels is if I enjoy reading them. Everyone can be an honest checker of their own work. The point is to look at your own writing just like you would any professional writing. In fact, writers find their earlier novels are less complex or less well-structured than their current novels. This is common. As a writer ages and increase his or her writing skills, his or her novels improve in quality. They become better with each novel, and the earlier novels appear worse by comparison. You find this with all writers.
You need to be reading and reading constantly—reading the types of literature you want to write.
Part of the kathartic method is to fill your mind with all kinds of information, skills, and learning—kinda like a Romantic character. The bottom line is to obviously fill your mind with stuff related to your writing, desires, and entertinament.
I’m not the kind of thinker who thinks self-punishment will improve your writing. In other words, you shouldn’t torture yourself with writing you don’t like to read or that isn’t in your style. Let’s qualify this. If you haven’t read nearly all the classics in English literature, you aren’t capable of saying what is good, bad, or even acceptable writing. If you don’t like Dickens, the problem isn’t Dickens—the problem is you. Now, if you don’t like James Joyce, you are erudite. Joyce is a terrible writer. Dickens is a skilled author.
The first point of discovering ideas is to read, read the classics, and read what you like.
I am looking at using the kathartic method to get ideas for a protagonist and a telic flaw.
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