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Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Writing - part xx097 Writing a Novel, Extrapolate to Creativity

8 January 2020, Writing - part xx097 Writing a Novel, Extrapolate to Creativity

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

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 write 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. 

Sixth—fill up your mind, then make the catharsis. 

The development of ideas is based on study and research, but it is also based on creativity.  Creativity is the extrapolation of older ideas to form new ones or to present old ideas in a new form.  It is a reflection of something new created with ties to the history, science, and logic (the intellect).  Creativity requires consuming, thinking, and producing.

To enable our creativity, let’s apply the six concepts I explained above.  Let’s fill up our minds with not just all kinds but focused knowledge.  Therefore, if I am writing a novel about the Victorian Era, for example, I will want to listen to Victorian Era music.  I’ll read Victorian Era novels.  I’ll try Victorian Era foods.  I’ll read books about the Victorian Era.  I’ll study the history of the Victorian Era.  I’ll study the tools, equipment, and mechanical devices of the Victorian Era.  I’ll immerse myself into the Victorian Era, then I’ll think about it.

That’s the trick—fill your mind with the Victorian Era and then think about it.  If this doesn’t bring about creative ideas, nothing will—except, you need a little focus on the thinking part.  The filling part is pretty clear cut.  You select the target, and you study the target.  Obviously, the study I mean is intensive and in depth.  I didn’t say this process was easy.  In fact, the creative process may be the most difficult process you experience.  I can assure you, the more you do it, the easier it is.  Once you have been studying and thinking this way for about forty years, it will become second nature.  Like I wrote, this isn’t easy.  If it was everyone would be writing Oliver Twist.

The first part is to study the area in question.  It doesn’t have to be a time period or an era—it could be a subject like aviation.  I’ll tell you aviation is a bit too large.  How about aviation during the Iraq War or specifically military aviation during the Iraq War.  This is likely too large as well.  Better would be, F-15 Strike Eagle military fighter aviation during the first Iraq War.  This is an incredibly difficult topic unless you are or were in the military during the first Iraq War.  In fact, I would recommend not touching this subject unless you were a military person involved directly or indirectly with this topic.  Do you see where I went with this?

This is the Anne of Green Gables recommendation—write what you know.  I told you before, this doesn’t exactly work well for science fiction and fantasy—that becomes a question of created or reflected worldview.  In other words, you shouldn’t write about topics you don’t comprehend, but that’s where study and living comes in.  If you want to write about a fifty year old grandmother and you are a fifty year old grandmother, you might have some basis for creating in that worldview.  I would say, you are pretty safe writing about anything within your personal event horizon.  Other stuff is a stretch, without extensive study.  There is some much more to this. 

I need to get to the point of extrapolating creativity, and also finish the thought about event horizon and worldview.   

The beginning of creativity is study and effort.  We can use this to extrapolate to creativity.  In addition, we need to look at recording ideas and working with ideas.     
    
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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