6 February 2020, Writing - part xx126 Writing a Novel, Novel Creativity Telic Flaw
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.
1. Read novels.
2. Fill your mind with good stuff—basically the stuff you want to write about.
3. Figure out what will build ideas in your mind and what will kill ideas in your mind.
6. 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.
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?
Developing creativity is all about writing. Well, there are the other six actions you should accomplish. Then write. Many ask, what should I write about? I understand this. If you don’t know what to write about, then what do you write about? Random stuff? Nah.
Let’s write about stuff that will help us both write better and that will build up our writing portfolio.
I’ll repeat. We started with paragraphs. I recommended settings. So the exercise was setting paragraphs for places and people. Next, we put the people into motion in action scenes in our settings, and then we brought two characters together for dialog. We have been writing vignettes. They are almost scenes, but not quite. What we need to make them a scene is to give them a tension and release. Tension and release might turn our vignettes into short stories as well as scenes. Here is a trick of writing—a scene can make a short story. The question is how do we place tension and release into a vignette?
Pick a theme. Develop a tension and release and write your scene. Then we should perhaps look at creativity at a higher level. How about the novel?
Novels are the revelation of the protagonist. The creativity, obviously, for the novel comes from the development of the protagonist and the protagonist’s telic flaw. How do you get one of these ideas?
Part of answering this question is in practicing to design and develop creativity. I started with study and research. We are at writing and exercises. The advanced part is the design of the protagonist and the telic flaw.
The design of the protagonist and the development of a telic flaw requires some type of creative idea. How do we develop this idea? Most writers will tell you, just go for it. If you can’t invent a creative idea for your protagonist and telic flaw, you just aren’t cut out to be a writer. I think creativity is more about study and thought than just luck. I think some people are more creative than others, but how to develop creativity is what I’ve been writing about for a while in this series.
Start with a character, expand their background, and develop the character just a bit. Next, provide some kind of action that only they can do or accomplish. This is the beginning of a telic flaw. What can your character do that only your character can do?
The concept of creativity in developing the telic flaw for a novel from the protagonist suddenly comes back to study and you. The you part is really the most powerful part of telic flaw development.
Remember the silly aphorism that Anne of Green Gables said—write what you know. This doesn’t work at all if you write fantasy or science fiction, or does it? I take a much more expansive view of “write what you know” than Anne could ever imagine. Writing what you know is directly akin to the idea of telic flaw development. I used the example of a banker and an investment based telic flaw. I would never recommend this as a telic flaw to anyone who didn’t fully comprehend banking and investing. There is also the idea of interest.
For example, I know a lot about investing, but am I interested enough in investing to make it a telic flaw in one of my novels? Only time will tell. I can see using an investing motif as a subplot in a novel. I haven’t written for a while about subplots. I like expressing cohesive subplots, but I’m not sure I have the investment excitement or acumen to write an entire novel that could entertain my readers. Then we are back to the idea of entertainment.
What ideas or concepts you are capable of turning into an entertaining idea through your creativity depends on your familiarity and your experiences. I can assure you, if you don’t have the knowledge or the experience, you will not be able to develop a creative idea. Here is really where “writing what you know” comes into play. It really isn’t what you know so much as it is what you understand. They aren’t really the same thing. Here’s what I mean.
I am involved in the aviation world. I was a pilot for the military for twenty-four years and a pilot for forty years. When in the military, I didn’t write about modern pilot military stuff because it would belong to the military. So I wrote about non-modern military stuff. It was something I knew a lot about and studied intently. At the same time, I was generating great ideas through my adventures in foreign countries and in military operations. When I left the military, I started writing these stories down. Many are published on www.wingsoverkansas.com. My point in writing this is that I know many aviators with whom I’ve shared my aviation and military stories who say, “but I don’t have any exciting aviation adventures.”
Now, I will say, I have had a very exciting and entertaining life with all kinds of adventures and experiences, but I’ve lived a similar life like those aviators who say “nothing exciting happened to them.” What gives? Perception and the expression of creativity is the power of writing. People who see excitement and adventure in their own lives are best able to turn that creative energy into a telic flaw for a novel. Here’s another example.
I know a few people who are wonderful storytellers. They tell them with animation, emotion, excitement, and entertainment—they don’t write. What’s with that? Here we have the perfect culmination of imagination, adventure perception, and literally turning the mundane into entertainment. They just aren’t into writing. Much of this is their perception that their “stories” aren’t writing worthy. I’m not so sure. The other part is the inability or lack of writing skills. Otherwise, it is just a function of desire. If you have the desire to create in writing, that is a huge step forward.
So, desire to write is one of the major factors in being able to create. Perhaps we should look at this in the direct context of developing 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:
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