13 January 2020, Writing - part xx102 Writing a Novel, Documenting 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.
Seventh – Write.
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.
If creativity, especially in writing, is caused by writing—then we better get writing. Write-on. Yes, so what does this writing for creativity look like?
Do you write every day? If you don’t already, you need to begin. Many call this journaling. I don’t. I get my writing in by writing on blogs, writing fiction, writing papers, and by notes. Okay, the notes might be called journaling. Just what is journaling?
I don’t like the idea that it is different to everyone. Journaling is the discipline of writing for the purpose of recording ideas and thoughts. Hopefully the idea and thoughts are the same. I’m being silly, but the point is that the author should keep track of ideas, especially those connected to writing. For example, I write down ideas I get about new writing. I record quotes that others say—pithy sayings I might be able to use in my writing. I write note on incidents in the world or things that happen to me. I use these ideas to write fiction and papers.
You might call thoughts like the quotes I record, only they are my quotes. For example, if I get a thought I want to record for future writing or just to keep track of, that’s what I do. The point is that if you don’t record your ideas and thoughts, you will likely never produce anything that is creative. I’m not kidding about this. I’ve had ideas all the time that I record—if I don’t record them on paper or electronically, I never can remember them again when I want to use them. Most of the time, they just disappear. In fact, I might never remember I had any idea or thought at all if I don’t write them down.
So write down your ideas and then review them, and expand them. Review and expansion are necessary. You might just continue your notes on a certain subject or idea, or you might just write a paper or a piece of fiction. Are you writing daily?
If you want to be a successful writer, you must exercise your skills at writing. This is not an option—this is necessary. The point of creativity is that you need something to write. I assert that the what doesn’t matter as much as the doing. That is, you should just write. If you can’t think of anything, just make a random list of words and begin writing a paragraph concerning those words. I find this worthless, but if you aren’t writing, it’s better than nothing. I use my ideas and thoughts.
That is, I use the ideas and thoughts I have made notes about along with my blogs to write. A blog is a great means to write. If you have a blog, you will feel compelled to write. In addition, a blog forces you to write on some subject.
Let’s say you want to blog about cats. The subject and the subjects related to cats make an extensive corpus of material for your blog and writing. Take one of these subjects and write about it. I don’t mean just cats but whatever your blog happens to be about.
My blogs are all about writing. I blog about writing. This helps my readers, me, and my creativity.
The most important step in creativity may be to just write. This begins another chapter in this discussion of creativity—notes, records, and documenting.
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