10 February 2020, Writing - part xx130 Writing a Novel, 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.
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?
If you’ve been following along, I think I’ve made very clear that creativity is a function of hard work. If you look at the means to cultivate ideas, they are all actions that require you to exert effort. In fact, my conclusion about creativity was that for writing, it requires writing. Writing is hard work. While we are here, let’s see what doesn’t result in creativity and what will harm creativity.
It should be obvious that if you just sit around, you will not be creative. Creativity requires activity. Lack of activity is a creativity killer. Further, I think the boob tube and creativity can’t exist. I’m not certain I’ve seen anything creative on the boob tube, but I don’t watch the boob tube for any reason. I think television sucks out your brains and leaves you nothing in return. I further think television can’t be made creative or include creativity because its purpose is to sell product and advertising. The purpose of broadcast television is not entertainment but product sales.
So, I would suggest that you don’t watch television. In fact, what can you learn from television? Perhaps if television picked up one of my novels to make into a series, I’d feel differently, but I haven’t watched the boob tube for over forty years. It hasn’t hurt me, and it can’t hurt you. In fact, if you spent the time most people do watching the tube, you could be writing and reading millions of words, just say’n.
Creativity is hard work. You have to be willing to work to achieve it. Then there is the creativity bug, gene, or magic. If there is such a thing, then where is it? There is no reason to write about it because it either exists or it doesn’t exist. If it exists, it exists and if you have it, you have it. If you don’t, you don’t. What good is talking about something you might or might not have. Let me tell you a secret—there is no creative bug, gene, or magic. You can’t activate your creativity with drugs or alcohol. In fact, how can getting high or using depressants help creativity? All they do is make your brain less capable and powerful.
If creativity is hard work, then do the work. If you mess us your brain, it isn’t going to improve your creativity—it is going to hurt your creativity. Let’s think about it like this. Children really aren’t very creative. They are pretty incapable of thinking creatively. The reason is their brains and minds aren’t very well developed. You start to see the beginnings of creativity in young people when they have improved their education to a reasonable level. Very creative people continue their creativity and become more and more creative as they age. Look at Leonardo da Vinci or Shakespeare. Usually creativity starts with fits in adulthood and grows as people mature. As they reach advanced age most creativity decreases, but most of the time, the creativity continues, but the ability to express that creativity decreases. You can see this in authors whose writing slowing builds and then decreases as they age.
The big point is the work of creativity. It is work and it takes effort. Put in the effort and the creativity will come.
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