9 January 2020, Writing - part xx098 Writing a Novel, Extrapolation 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.
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.
Let’s start with the six concepts above. Get your study on, and pull out your thinking caps. If you noticed, yesterday, I recommended writing or rather, sticking with what you know. If you don’t know anything, the writing world will be difficult for you. I recommend getting out into the world and becoming an expert at something. Mostly anything will do, but it needs to be a subject you wish to write about. With this basis, we can create.
Creativity is like accomplishing research for development or invention. A Ph.D. student doesn’t just think something up to research. Your Ph.D. student makes a study of all the literature and previous studies in his or her field. Picking the field is very important to reduce the amount of research and the subject. In any case, the student performs a literature search. This search takes at least a year. In this search, the student reviews all the known literature on the subject and begins to extrapolate from the current level of understanding to a new or higher level of understanding. In other words, the student looks to find where the research ends and his or her research can begin. Usually, there are many options, but the point is to research something new. This is exactly our current problem. We want to create new ideas and new creativity in the world of literature.
Notice, you must know where literature is to extrapolate creativity. You don’t need to read everything, but you need a solid foundation of understanding to create. With a basic understanding of modern writing and past writing, I can begin to focus my understanding. I must have knowledge to begin with. Let’s say I want to write a spy thriller. I happen to write spy thrillers. It helps to be a spy. I wasn’t a spy, but I accomplished covert and overt missions in the military. I understand the military intelligence structure and operations. I’ve done them. This is what I meant about living. If you want to write spy thrillers, you need to either be an expert in the field or have been in the field. Either one is necessary. I recommend being one. For example, you would never expect a person who wasn’t in the military to write a military based piece of fiction. It’s almost unfathomable. Write what you know and understand.
If I want to write a spy thriller, I either take what I have experienced or especially, I expand and express what I have experienced. Here’s where the extrapolation comes in. Most intelligence work is pretty unexciting. What I need to do for creativity is to take from my experiences and turn them into exciting and entertaining events and circumstances. This isn’t hard. The mission that didn’t go quite right. The bigger than life events that could have happened. The unexpected meeting or the unpredicted compromise. This is extrapolating an idea to create something new.
For example, in my novel Shadow of Light, the protagonist is a woman who was injured during the Battle for Berlin. She was a captive of the Germans during World War Two. She is picked up by the Soviets and brought to Moscow. She learns to survive and since she knows other languages, she makes her way into the intelligence structure of the MKVD (KGB). This character isn’t based on any real person, but her experience is based on many real humans. Her experience is very similar to others in the Soviet system during the Cold War. The extrapolation is not necessarily anything new—it’s placing everything into a single package for the purpose of displaying the secrets behind the wall of the Iron Curtain. The entertaining and exciting parts are all based on real history and real events—the difference from reality is that my character experiences and views them. This is extrapolation of creativity.
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.
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