7 February 2020, Writing - part xx127 Writing a Novel, Novel Creativity Writing
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 desire to write is an enormous part of writing and creativity. I have met many people who hate to write. Writing isn’t their thing. They would rather fight rats in the sewer than write. More power to them. That’s their life and world.
I’ve met many people who say they want to write, but they never will. They don’t have the time, real desire, or mind for it. I’ve met many people who have tried to write and gave it up. I’ve met a few people who write and write professionally. What’s the difference? In most cases, creativity isn’t the problem. I’ve known some very creative people who couldn’t do anything with their creativity. Usually, this isn’t true. People who are creative are creative because their minds are filled with ideas. Those ideas come from the seven means of ideas development I listed above.
My point is that people generate creativity because they are working toward creativity. People whose minds are disconnected from study and the means to create ideas are not going to be creative. Usually, these type of people discover means to enact their creativity. That is, creative people are artists, writers, thinkers of some kind, designers, makers, doers, even social butterflies. Creative people create, so if you are creative, then get to the creating.
What I’ve tried to do is give you a means to create as a writer. The desire to create and to write is a large part of this creativity. I think most people live or experience sufficient life to write something meaningful. If you don’t, I suggest you do. Find some way of expanding your life and experiences. Anne of Green Gables found a way to express herself. “Write what you know.” I say, “Write what you understand.”
To understand, you better start working. Understanding is an entirely different kettle of tea than knowing. I can write what I know and never leave my neighborhood—I’ll likely never write science fiction or fantasy, but I can write something.
Understanding allows the non-astronaut to write about space. It allows the non-magical (everyone) to write about magic. The question is study and learning rather than living and experience. No one would write historical fiction without understanding. Understanding bridges gulfs of time, space, and direct knowledge. In addition, those who know need to write. This isn’t so much creativity as it is recording experience. There is the other side of creativity. I’ve mentioned this before.
Creativity is using the imagination to develop new ideas. Creativity is also using the mind to write well. These really are different things. One is the skill of imagining new ideas, and the other is the actual skill of writing.
I’d like to see everyone using the seven means to develop ideas turning them into creativity and writing great stuff. I pretty much outlined means to do this, but the most important is just to write. Just writing will help immensely to bring out ideas, knowledge, and understanding. Which we know is the beginning of creative writing.
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