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Saturday, December 14, 2019

Writing - part xx072 Writing a Novel, Protagonist and Wealth

14 December 2019, Writing - part xx072 Writing a Novel, Protagonist and Wealth

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

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. 

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:

1.     Name
2.     Background
3.     Education
4.     Appearance
5.     Work
6.     Wealth
7.     Skills
8.     Mind
9.     Likes
10.  Dislikes
11.  Opinions
12.  Honor
13.  Life
14.  Thoughts
15.  Telic flaw

I design a protagonist around the initial scene.  This is the way I write a novel.  This isn’t the only way to write a novel, but it is the way I have discovered to write well-conceived and powerful novels.  This goes back to the initial scene. 

Above, I gave you four options for developing the initial scene.  Yesterday, I told you to take two off.  Authors have used three and four, but they don’t produce the kinds of exciting initial scenes we want.  Here’s the list again.

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

Let’s plan to put one and two together.  Let’s also focus on the other characteristics of the initial scene.  Notice that first, the initial scene must include the protagonist.  This should be obvious, but let’s go down the list. 

Wealth is definitely an important attribute, but it is also a pathos building attribute.  Not so much the wealthy but poverty.  Poverty is an automatically pathos building characteristic.  Actually, to be specific, undeserved poverty is pathos building.

Wealth is a very different attribute than you might imagine.  For example, those who aren’t familiar with wealth might imagine that the wealthy have more time for play.  Perhaps the nobility or wealthy children, but they reason adults are wealthy is usually because they work incredibly hard.  Their time is valuable because they apply themselves usefully.  This means that unless the character is a member of the privileged indolent class, they are likely busier than the normal working person or student. 

In any case, wealth does define a character.  A member of the indolent class might have all the time, money, and leisure they need.  A classical Victorian of the upper, noble, or upper middle class would fill their time with study, investigation, and experimentation.  This is why you find many self-taught experts during the Victorian Era who pushed the limits of science, history, and literature.  People involved in this era were educated in modern science, but also Latin, Greek, and multiple modern languages.  These wealthy people produced enormous amounts of technical papers, knowledge, and literature on all these subjects.  This is one degree of the potential wealthy,

The average modern wealthy aren’t as interesting.  You might find or define a modern renascence person who has wealth just like those from the Victorian Era.  These characters can generate pathos because of their study and work.  On the other hand, most modern wealth producers are wealthy because their every moment is filled with their work.  Unfortunately, the overworked wealthy don’t generate much pathos.  The overworked middle class don’t either.  The indolent poor or deserving poor aren’t very pathos building either.  Only the undeserving poor really can build pathos.

Wealth defines the work, play, time, and value of the protagonist.  As I noted, if you want pathos, you need to go for poverty.  If you want time, you need people who are independently wealthy, normal workers, students, or teachers.  Not to say teachers don’t work as hard as others, but generally they have time to study along with their work.  This is the positive about students and time.

Back to wealth generally.  Wealth does define what a character does in many ways not just work.  For example, friends, associates, property, travel, vacations, connections, and all.  The point is that if you need this type of character, they need wealth.  Poverty usually means an entirely different set of friends, associates, property, travel, vacations, connections, and all.  Undeserved poverty also results in pathos.  Then there is the contrast of nobility or expected wealth and poverty.

I like to use that contrast in my novels.  For example, in Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective, Azure is poorer than a church mouse, but she is of noble birth and has a noble title and a noble position.  The presumption of everyone is that she is wealthy when she has nothing.  The effect is pathos.  Wealth is of an important affect in the protagonist, but of greater importance especially for Romantic characters is skills.      

Skills are a very important aspect of the protagonist.       

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

Friday, December 13, 2019

Writing - part xx071 Writing a Novel, Protagonist and more Work

13 December 2019, Writing - part xx071 Writing a Novel, Protagonist and more Work

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

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. 

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:

1.     Name
2.     Background
3.     Education
4.     Appearance
5.     Work
6.     Wealth
7.     Skills
8.     Mind
9.     Likes
10.  Dislikes
11.  Opinions
12.  Honor
13.  Life
14.  Thoughts
15.  Telic flaw

I design a protagonist around the initial scene.  This is the way I write a novel.  This isn’t the only way to write a novel, but it is the way I have discovered to write well-conceived and powerful novels.  This goes back to the initial scene. 

Above, I gave you four options for developing the initial scene.  Yesterday, I told you to take two off.  Authors have used three and four, but they don’t produce the kinds of exciting initial scenes we want.  Here’s the list again.

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

Let’s plan to put one and two together.  Let’s also focus on the other characteristics of the initial scene.  Notice that first, the initial scene must include the protagonist.  This should be obvious, but let’s go down the list. 

What is your protagonist doing in the world?  Perhaps you haven’t thought much about it, but I have a lot.  What is the protagonist doing?  For example, if the protagonist is a normal person who has completed their education and they have a job, then they will be working at that job.  You can expect them to get up in the morning, have breakfast, go to work, work, have lunch, work some more, go home, have supper, play or do something, then go to bed.  The days of the week move inexorably toward the weekend.  If they have children, this schedule isn’t modified that much, but it then includes children.  The novel must fit in the spaces of work, play, and free time.  The communication comes during these times but also during meals.  The weekends leave more time for events, but both depending on the novel and depending on the work and protagonist, the novel must fit in the space of the life of the protagonist.  It isn’t like the protagonist can just take off work and ignore his or her responsibilities.  If the protagonist is in school, the day changes a little, but it is more predictable.

For example, a person in an educational situation will have classes.  The classes take the place of work, but they are fixed even more than work.  The protagonist goes to school and the classes are set with more finality than any work.  That is unless the protagonist is a factory worker with a set job on an assembly line.  It also depends on the assembly line.  Aircraft assembly lines are pretty varied with many variables depending on the level and degree of the work.  An assembly line making simple or small items might be super simple and mind numbing or complex but repetitive.  I would recommend not writing about assembly lines unless you have worked on one or have studied them extensively.  They aren’t exactly what you think they are.

I’ll explain this for you.  In some assembly lines, especially in the past, it is possible the worker might be putting in a single part all day and every day.  However, human labor is best used when delicate or touch labor is required.  Assembly that just requires dropping a part in a place is best accomplished with a machine or a robot.  Humans are much better used installing delicate pieces and assembling parts and pieces that machines and robots can’t.  Many modern machines can’t be put together with machines or robots very well if at all.  Many are more economically built by people.  Many of these jobs are repetitious in the aggregate, but not in the work that is being done.  If you haven’t worked on an assembly line, this might be difficult to explain. 

For example, a person might be in charge of building up an iPhone.  Assembling an iPhone is pretty complex.  One person might install the battery, circuit board, and display.  This work is easy, but takes a little time, and requires delicate touch to get everything right including the tiny screws that hold the circuit board and the display together.  The job is repetitious because each new device requires the same work and care.

In any case, the schedule of the protagonist is usually set by their work, classes, or job.  Even if they have a less typical job, they can only be successful if they have and stick to some kind of schedule.  What this means for the author is that they already have something predictable for their protagonist to do that allows the development of scenes and events.  If you think about it, the work of the protagonist designs the plot and the schedules in the novel.  Every character affects the plot in this manner.

For example, let’s say the protagonist must escape from their usual schedule and find help and someone to protect them.  The schedule of the protector, helper, police, investigator, or detective will now govern the schedule of the protagonist.  Many might look at this as a problem.  I see it as an opportunity to produce realism and to interject the plot into the real life of the protagonist.  What I mean by this is that I see the schedule of the protagonist and other characters as defining the schedules in the novel.  Since I, as the author, have complete control over everything, there is no problem for the writing.  

Some might imagine that giving the protagonist wealth might reduce the potential problems of schedule, but actually this should increase those problems—I’ll explain when we look at the wealth of the protagonist next.       

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