10 January 2020, Writing - part xx099 Writing a Novel, Elements of 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.
Creativity is a conscious act of the mind. It is not an accident or fate. People develop ideas because they have put sometimes years of thought, sweat, and tears into their subject.
I was thinking specifically about this because of my experience with writing. I did not suddenly want to become a writer and therefore wrote a novel. I started learning to write when I learned to read. I tried writing fiction as a child at my mother’s typewriter. I spent literally years writing my first novels. I wish I knew what I know now. Back then it took me years to complete a novel. Now I can write one every two months if I have the time and the idea. That’s what we are writing about—ideas. In any case, writing, editing, and publishing a novel is the work of years, and the investment of years of time. The conception, writing, and editing alone are enormous time sinks. The work of finding a publisher is even more so.
My point, don’t expect ideas to crop up everywhere. They literally are everywhere, but you must develop your mind and intellect to see them and then use them. I know of all kinds of ideas that I can’t use or that I don’t know how to use. Still, back to developing ideas.
Fill your mind with everything related to your subject and field, time and history pour in a little extra. Then while your pump more and more inside, think about your subject and make notes about it. I’ve actually developed some of my most recent ideas while working on this blog. Let me give you an example.
Not that long ago, I was describing and explaining the development of the telic flaw for a novel. I used the example of a detective story. To help illustrate this point, I actually developed a telic flaw and the protagonist to resolve it. This led me directly to write my novel, Azure Ruse: Enchantment and the Detective. I was immersed in the development of a detective themed novel and a detective protagonist. The result was an outstanding and entertaining novel. If you can’t see and understand the power in this, I’m not sure I can explain it any better.
The bottom line is that creativity, like every human endeavor is one of work and dedication. Creative people are only creative because they work harder than everyone else at creativity. No person who doesn’t work very hard at it will ever be creative. They may not fully comprehend the hard work that goes into their creativity, but most very hard working people don’t fully understand the time they put into their effort.
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