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Saturday, January 4, 2020

Writing - part xx093 Writing a Novel, Teaching

4 January 2020, Writing - part xx093 Writing a Novel, Teaching

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  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

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
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

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.  The first point of discovering ideas is to read, read the classics, and read what you like.

Second, fill your mind with good stuff—basically the stuff you want to write about.  When I wrote good, I mean good.  From a novel standpoint that would be great novels and entertaining novels in your genre.  At the same time, I also mean good novels outside your genre. 

Third, you need to know what will build ideas in your mind and what will kill ideas in your mind. 

Forth, it is all about study. 

Fifth, teaching builds ideas.  If you study, then why not teach.  There are all kinds of opportunities from professional to charity.  I teach on the ground and in the air in my work.  I have also taught as an adjunct professor for a university.  I routinely teach about Greek as well as other topics.  I usually record all my classes, and you can find hundreds on youtube.  I find teaching to be insanely idea building.

In the first place, teaching is to study as blogging or journaling is to writing.  In blogging or journaling, you make a commitment to write a bit a day no matter what.  The commitment and in blogging the expectations of your audience force you to write even when you might not want to.  Teaching and study is the same.  If you have made a commitment to teach, you must prepare your lessons and study to teach your class.  The commitment forces you to study.  I study no matter what, but teaching makes me study even when I don’t want to.

I’m currently teaching a class on the Greek in the Book of Hebrews.  I usually do classical Greek titles and classes, but people just aren’t as interested in Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle as they are in the New Testament documents, so I teach the New Testament documents.  It takes about four hours of study for every hour of class—it has also provided a wonderful basis for writing. 

I usually retain technical writing for my work.  That’s the best way to use my energy, but teaching has given me notes and writing that has developed a book and a unique translation of Hebrews.  Although I prefer writing fiction, this foray into a new area of writing has been very positive.  I hope it will become lucrative.  When I finish my class on Hebrews, I intend to complete a new cultural translation that might be of interest to a Bible publisher.  All of this came from teaching.

There is more.  Teaching doesn’t lend itself to just the subject at hand, there are significant ideas that the author can glean from the teaching itself, and the interaction with students.  In addition, I have taught numerous classes on many subjects related directly to books, both mine and others.  In other words, when a group asks me to talk on any subject, I can either choose to teach about my writing or at least include my writing in my biography.  You can also provide books for sale.

Teaching brings many possibilities into play—you should take advantage of all of them.  Most importantly those that bring new ideas and help promote your writing.

Sixth—fill up your mind, then wait for the catharsis.

I am looking at using the kathartic method to get ideas for a protagonist and a telic flaw.
More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site, 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