8 February 2020, Writing - part xx128 Writing a Novel, Novel Creativity Event Horizon
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?
I guess for now we are done with the exercises. You can continue them and should continue them until you are writing daily and producing novels and short stories. I’ll get back to writing skills at some point. Right now, I’d like to move over to event horizon and how this affects creativity.
You might think that there is little correlation between creativity and event horizon, but I can assure you it is huge. Let me remind you just what the event horizon is.
An event horizon is the life experience of a person based on their times, culture, society, and experience. This goes to the point of writing what you understand (know). Authors always write what they understand. The problem is not that they don’t but that they might imagine they could write more broadly than they do understand. An author’s writing is always limited by what they understand. This is a great negative, and why I write that you should write only what you understand. Don’t fool yourself, you can’t write what you don’t comprehend.
I’ll also tell you, you can expand your understanding through study. That’s why study is one of the major ideas that lead to creativity. This concept of understanding is where we get to event horizon. The greater your event horizon, the broader your creativity. The reason is easy—the more you have experienced, studied, and lived, the greater your understanding and the broader your event horizon. The two are supposed to go together. Now, if you find this isn’t true, you wasted your life, but that’s another problem entirely.
The greater your event horizon, the greater your creativity. Ever wondered why so many people as they get older either want to or begin to write about their lives, experiences, and fiction? Increasing event horizon leads to increased creativity. This is a good sign. However, there are other features of the event horizon.
The first is that as people live their lives, they get better at skills they use. People who write become better and better writers. This leads to the desire to write and to more and more creativity in writing. When people are young, unless they have great desire and dedication, they rarely increase their skills. Age has a way of increasing skills—if they are used.
Second, dependent on the event horizon some people are either crippled or accentuated in their writing skills. I’ll use an exaggeration to demonstrate this. In the Victorian Era, the nobles and nobility believed they were the peak of their culture and society. Only the nobles and nobility (including the wealthy) could achieve and therefore only these people were encouraged to write. The poor and middle class were told that they were the class of the unable—they were taught, but not taught to necessarily write well nor expected to write well. Of course, we know what happened, most of those nobles didn’t write and couldn’t write that well, and the middle class and poor took over the writing and invented the modern novel.
In the Romantic Era (the modern era after the Victorian Era), the assumption was that everyone and anyone could write if they worked hard and learned well. Thus, especially at the rise of the Romantic Era, most writers did indeed come out of the middle class and the poor. They were encouraged and the great lesson of the Romantic Era was that hard work resulted in great results.
If you were from the Victorian Era and poor or middle class, your chances of being well trained and published as a writer were pretty poor. On the other hand, at the rise of the Romantic Era, you would have a strong chance of success.
Today, you see the same issue. A child encouraged to creativity and trained well, has a great opportunity to become a wonderful writer. Dependent on your event horizon, your chances change radically. If you were taught to read using see-speak methods instead of phonics, or if you learned creative spelling, grammar, or writing, you likely will not have the education or writing skills from your early education to write well. Further, many modern methods of education don’t follow the ideas for creativity above.
Look at the seven steps for developing creativity. If you were taught to fill your mind this way, you likely have a good training in creativity. If you weren’t, you are crippled by your event horizon. You need to fix this problem and quickly.
The answer is this—you need to get deeply into the seven steps I list above and do it now. In addition, you need to ensure you understand how to write well.
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