17 February 2021, Writing - part xx503 Writing a Novel, Examples of Big Talk
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 we have filled our mind with all kinds of information and ideas, we are ready to become creative. Creativity means the extrapolation of older ideas to form new ones or to present old ideas in a new form. Literally, we are seeing the world in a new way, or actually, we are seeing some part of the world in a new way.
I’ve worked through creativity and the protagonist. The ultimate point is that if you properly develop your protagonist, you have created your novel. This moves us on to plots and initial scenes. As I noted, if you have a protagonist, you have a novel. The reason is that a protagonist comes with a telic flaw, and a telic flaw provides a plot and theme. If you have a protagonist, that gives you a telic flaw, a plot, and a theme. I will also argue this gives you an initial scene as well.
So, we worked extensively on the protagonist. I gave you many examples great, bad, and average. Most of these were from classics, but I also used my own novels and protagonists as examples. Here’s my plan.
1. The protagonist comes with a telic flaw – the telic flaw isn’t necessarily a flaw in the protagonist, but rather a flaw in the world of the protagonist that only the Romantic protagonist can resolve.
2. The telic flaw determines the plot.
3. The telic flaw determines the theme.
4. The telic flaw and the protagonist determines the initial scene.
5. The protagonist and the telic flaw determines the initial setting.
6. Plot examples from great classic plots.
7. Plot examples from mediocre classic plots.
8. Plot examples from my novels.
9. Creativity and the telic flaw and plots.
10. Writer’s block as a problem of continuing the plot.
Every great or good protagonist comes with their own telic flaw. I showed how this worked with my own writing and novels. Let’s go over it in terms of the plot.
This is all about the telic flaw. Every protagonist and every novel must come with a telic flaw. They are the same telic flaw. That telic flaw can be external, internal or both.
We found that a self-discovery telic flaw or a personal success telic flaw can potentially take a generic plot. We should be able to get an idea for the plot purely from the protagonist, telic flaw and setting. All of these are interlaced and bring us our plot.
For a great plot, the resolution of the telic flaw has to be a surprise to the protagonist and to the reader. This is both the measure and the goal. As I noted before, for a great plot, the author needs to make the telic flaw resolution appear to be impossible, but then it happens. There is much more to this. Here’s the list of plots I’ve looked at already:
Here is the list of classics that everyone should read. What I want to do is evaluate this list for the plots.
1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Dandelion Wine – Ray Bradbury – Best modern novel in English.
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible – Most important book to understand Western culture.
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 We The Living – Ayn Rand
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Dune – Frank Herbert
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare – better to see as plays
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 The Cadwal Chronicles – Jack Vance
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Green Pearl Novels – Jack Vance
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With the Wind - Margaret Mitchel
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 Starship Troopers – Robert Heinlein
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma -Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand
37 The Tale of Genji - Murasaki Shikibu
38 The House of Seven Gables - Nathaniel Hawthorne
39 The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 Dracula – Bram Stoker
43 Till We Have Faces – C.S. Lewis
44 Le Morte D'Arthur - Thomas Malory
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 Ivanhoe – Sir Walter Scott
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand
51 What Katy Did - Sarah Chauncey Woolsey under her pen name Susan Coolidge
52 A Little Princess - Frances Hodgson Burnett
53 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling
56 Kim - Rudyard Kipling
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 Beowulf – Unknown
60 The Odyssey – Homer
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Moonstone - Wilkie Collins
64 The Maltese Falcon - Dashiell Hammett
65 The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 As I Lay Dying - William Faulkner
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Robinson Caruso – Daniel Defoe
69 The Red Badge of Courage - Stephen Crane
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Don Quixote - Miguel De Cervantes
73 Heidi – Johanna Spyri
74 Hans Brinker - Mary Mapes Dodge
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno – Dante
77 The Big Sky – Arlo Guthrie
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 The Black Arrow - Robert Louis Stevenson
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson
83 The Gulag Archipelago - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
84 The Miser – George Eliot
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 For Whom the Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemmingway
87 Tarzan – Edger Rice Burroughs
88 The Death of Socrates – Plato
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 I, Robot - Isaac Asimov
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 Huckleberry Fin – Mark Twain
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 Gulliver’s Travels - Jonathan Swift
96 Matilda – Roald Dahl
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 The Canterbury Tales - Geoffrey Chaucer
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
101 The Once and Future King – T.H. White
102 The Deerslayer – James Fenimore Cooper
103 The Black Book of Communism – Various
104 Ben Hur – Lew Wallace
105 The Robe – Lloyd C. Douglas
106 The Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan
107 The Histories – Herodotus
108 Lives – Plutarch
109 The Call of the Wild – Jack London
110 Stand on Zanzibar – John Brunner
111 The Shockwave Rider – John Brunner
112 The Aeneid – Virgil
This is what I did. I looked at each novel and pulled out the plot types, the telic flaw, plotline, and the theme of the novel. I didn’t make a list of the themes, but we identified the telic flaw as internal and external and by plot type. This generally gives the plotline.
We have a list of all the major plots from this list of classics in literature. The question is what can we do with it? This is the first step in evaluating our results. I took a percentage of the results based on the number of classics.
Modern writing is all about the Romantic—both Romantic protagonists and Romantic plots. This is where we are going and this is the focus of modern entertaining literature.
In the end, we can see there are just a few baseline plots that are characteristics of most classics. These are the revelation, achievement, and redemption plots. When I write these are baseline, I mean that they are overall plots that might also have a different plotline or other plots directly supporting them. Here’s what I mean exactly about each of these plots:
Redemption: the protagonist must make an internal or external change to resolve the telic flaw. This is the major style of most great modern plots.
Revelation: the novel reveals portions of the life, experiences, and ideas of the protagonist in a cohesive and serial fashion from the initial scene to the climax and telic flaw resolution.
Achievement: the novel is characterized by a goal that the protagonist must achieve to resolve the telic flaw.
I evaluated the list of plots and categorized them according to the following scale:
Overall (o) – These are the three overall plots we defined above: redemption, achievement, and revelation.
Achievement (a) – There are plots that fall under the idea of the achievement plot.
Quality (q) – These are plots based on a personal or character quality.
Setting (s) – These are plots based on a setting.
Item (i) – These are plots based on an item.
All of the plots we looked at fall into one of these five. Let’s do that:
1. Redemption (o) – 17i, 7e, 23ei, 8 – 49%
2. Revelation (o) –2e, 64, 1i – 60%
3. Achievement (o) – 16e, 19ei, 4i, 43 – 73%
1. Detective or mystery (a) – 56, 1e – 51%
2. Revenge or vengeance (a) –3ie, 3e, 45 – 46%
3. Zero to hero (a) – 29 – 26%
4. Romance (a) –1ie, 41 – 37%
5. Coming of age (a) –1ei, 25 – 23%
6. Progress of technology (a) – 6 – 5%
7. Discovery (a) – 3ie, 57 – 54%
8. Money (a) – 2e, 26 – 25%
9. Spoiled child (a) – 7 – 6%
10. Legal (a) – 5 – 4%
11. Adultery (qa) – 18 – 16%
12. Self-discovery (a) – 3i, 12 – 13%
13. Guilt or Crime (a) – 32 – 29%
14. Proselytizing (a) – 4 – 4%
15. Reason (a) – 10, 1ie – 10%
16. Escape (a) – 1ie, 23 – 21%
17. Knowledge or Skill (a) – 26 – 23%
18. Secrets (a) – 21 – 19%
1. Messiah (q) – 10 – 9%
2. Adultery (qa) – 18 – 16%
3. Rejected love (rejection) (q) – 1ei, 21 – 20%
4. Miscommunication (q) – 8 – 7%
5. Love triangle (q) – 14 – 12%
6. Betrayal (q) – 1i, 1ie, 46 – 43%
7. Blood will out or fate (q) –1i, 1e, 26 – 25%
8. Psychological (q) –1i, 45 – 41%
9. Magic (q) – 8 – 7%
10. Mistaken identity (q) – 18 – 16%
11. Illness (q) – 1e, 19 – 18%
12. Anti-hero (q) – 6 – 5%
13. Immorality (q) – 3i, 8 – 10%
14. Satire (q) – 10 – 9%
15. Camaraderie (q) – 19 – 17%
16. Curse (q) – 4 – 4%
17. Insanity (q) – 8 – 7%
18. Mentor (q) – 12 – 11%
1. End of the World (s) – 3 – 3%
2. War (s) – 20 – 18%
3. Anti-war (s) –2 – 2%
4. Travel (s) –1e, 62 – 56%
5. Totalitarian (s) – 1e, 8 – 8%
6. Horror (s) – 15 – 13%
7. Children (s) – 24 – 21%
8. Historical (s) – 19 – 17%
9. School (s) – 11 – 10%
10. Parallel (s) – 4 – 4%
11. Allegory (s) – 10 – 9%
12. Fantasy world (s) – 5 – 4%
13. Prison (s) – 2 – 2%
1. Article (i) – 1e, 46 – 42%
Starting with the protagonist makes novel writing about as easy as it is possible to make novel writing. As I wrote, if we start with the protagonist, I can’t guarantee you the next bestseller, but I can assure you it will solve four problems common to novelists:
1. What is the plot?
2. Why is my novel so short?
3. Why is my novel so simplistic and uncomplicated in terms of plot and theme?
4. Why do I get writer’s block when I want to write?
Not every writer gets writer’s block. I never get writer’s block. I get tired of writing. I sometimes want to change up my writing (write something different). I never run out of something to write. How could that be? Doesn’t everyone get writer’s block? Only in the movies, and I would say only non-professional writers.
Here’s some ideas to help you prevent writer’s block.
1. Nothing anyone writes the first time on paper (or ether) is worth reading, publishing, or anything else.
2. You gotta write to learn to write well.
3. If you don’t like it, dump it.
4. If you are in over your head, just stop and regroup.
5. These are all helpful ideas for getting your stuff together, but why don’t professionals have the problem of writer’s block?
Writing paragraphs may be the most powerful way to train up your writing skills. None of the paragraphs I wrote as a seventh grader are worth reading now, but they sure helped me learn to write. We are writing about training.
Every paragraph looks like this:
1. Topic sentence
2. Body based on the topic
3. Conclusion and transition
Every paragraph looks like this except dialog paragraphs. These are special paragraphs that are designed through the speaker rather than coherent outline.
You must include tone and body language in the dialog, or the conversation will go awry for the reader. There is more to dialog to make it sound correct to the reader.
I’m repeating in synopsis all my previous advice on writing dialog, but dialog is very important and most beginning (and some experienced) writers seem to have problems with it.
So, we saw that dialog follows normal human conversational order, lets the dialog flow, uses contractions, doesn’t use direct address, expresses tone, body language, tags, and action in the dialog. These are the most straight forward and best way to correct most dialog. Then you need to study and practice.
Here is an example of getting to big talk in a dialog. This is from my unpublished novel, Azure Rose: Enchantment and the Detective:
On the evening of the twelfth, Azure dressed in the rose dress. She thought it was slightly distasteful with a satin lacy top and see through lacy panels below, but it was popular and likely what Lady Atwell would have worn for a movie production—or on the red carpet. She sighed, the dress would have been perfect if it had been white. She pulled up her elbow length rose gloves, stepped into her rose Gucci slippers, and pinned on her rose lace hat. Whatever she did, she would not fully follow the instructions of Sveta Long no matter what the repercussions.
Lachlann drove up the lane to the front of the house. Azure spotted him from her room. She pulled on her delightfully white fur coat and zipped down the stairs. As she passed the family parlor, she called out a hasty farewell to Miss Highgate and Accilia and ran out the back door. She slowed her steps as she came around the house.
Lachlann stood waiting for her. He wore a military coat over his blue mess dress—the one with all the medals. He bowed, “Good evening, Lady Wishart.”
Azure turned up her nose. She entered the Jaguar, “Tonight you may call me Azure Rose. I will not claim a title.”
Lachlann closed the door and stepped to his side. Before he answered her, he entered, started the automobile, and headed down the lane, “Lady Wishart, for that is what your invitation read, I suspect you should be prepared to fully assume your title and to face the presence of my mother.”
Azure crossed her arms, “Take me home.”
“I shall not. I also guessed that you ladies intend a powwow based on your current case.”
She bowed her head, “I know that is true.”
“Then you should buck up a bit.”
Azure growled, “Then I shall expect you to protect me, Lachlann Calloway.”
“I shall always protect you, Lady Wishart… because I love you.”
Azure turned to stare at him. She yanked her face away and watched the darkness pass as they entered the M40.
Lachlann continued, “I didn’t have the opportunity before because you are intentionally ignoring me, but I think you look absolutely smashing. I’ve longed to see you in a dress that befits your name and beauty.”
Azure was only half listening, “Why did you say that to me?”
“Say what—that I think you look smashing?”
“No, you sot—that you love me.”
“I said that I love you because it’s true.”
Azure’s hands were trembling, “My father told me that unless a man was willing to back up such a confession of love to ignore it completely.”
“What if I said I was willing to back it up, but that I am waiting for a positive response form the lady?”
“Then you are a fool. This lady is too busy to take such things into consideration.”
“Then there is no reason for me to make any other commitment. I shall simply continue to love and pursue you.”
Azure kept her head turned. She swallowed more than once very hard, and said not a word.
Lachlann drove them to Lyons House. It was in a very old neighborhood near Kensington Place Gardens. He pulled up to the front of the house and handed his keys to the attendant. Then he retrieved Azure from the passenger side. They walked arm in arm up the walk to the large and beautiful house.
Two rather new looking stone lions sat at either side of the imposing oaken door. The house’s facing was stone and brick in the emperor style. It appeared very old.
A young looking butler opened the door to them, “Good evening. I’m Harold. May I announce you?”
Lachlann stepped forward, “Harold, it’s me, Lachlann, and I’m the guest of the beautiful and provocative, Lady Wishart.”
Harold’s brows rose, “Wing Commander Calloway, I’m certain the lady is beautiful but not necessarily provocative. Who would invite you to Mrs. and Mr. Long’s party?”
Lachlann pulled Azure forward, “The Lady Wishart, of course.”
Azure coolly held out her card and invitation, “Good evening, Harold. I’m Lady Wishart.” She said her name as if the words were forced from between her lips.
Harold brought out his silver platter for her card and invitation. He bowed deeply to her, “Lady Wishart, you are very welcome. I will announce you and your guest.”
He took their coats. The moment Lachlann saw her entire in the rose dress his face gave twitch, “I knew you would look beautiful, but I didn’t expect a princess.”
Azure blushed, “That is too much.”
Harold gave a twitch of a smile too, “The Wing Commander is correct, but I shall not be over exuberant as he is. A duchess would be my conclusion.”
Azure pursed her lips and frowned, “But a duchess is a princess.”
Harold’s eyes twinkled. He gestured and headed down the hallway off the foyer. They entered into a classical large ballroom with twin staircases at the back. Dark and ancient wood paneled the interior. The rugs were Turkish and slightly ragged.
The room was not crowded with people, but at least fifteen couples stood in the space. Buffet tables filled with food and drink were stationed under the stairs. A quartet at the left side played Christmas music intermixed with other classics. Daniel and Sveta Long stood on the right side.
Daniel Long was medium height and shorter than Lachlann. His hair was light brown and his features were fine but nondescript. He possessed a very pleasant face with a few wrinkles--most seemed to grace his eyes and lips as though he was used to smiling.
Harold stepped forward. He didn’t look at Azure’s card or invitation, “Mrs. and Mr. Long, may I present the Lady Azure Rose Wishart and her escort, Wing Commander Lachlann Calloway.”
Azure held out her hand and Daniel Long took it, “Good evening, Lady Wishart. I’d heard Lachlann was coming with you, but I had no idea he could enter into the good graces of such a spectacularly beautiful woman.” Daniel bowed over her hand.
Azure sniffed, a little put out, “Thank you for inviting me. I was happy to bring Lachlann with me.”
Daniel released Azure’s hand. Sveta grasped it and whispered, “I thought I asked you not to wear your signature clothing.”
Azure gave her a tart smile, “It’s not white.”
“Yes, well. I’ll not say you don’t have excellent taste. That’s a Dior, isn’t it?”
“The Queen bought it for me especially for your party.”
Sveta rolled her eyes. She pulled Azure to the side and put her mouth near her ear, “Mrs. Calloway may be attending tonight.”
“Do you wish me to stay out of her sight?”
Sveta sighed, “That will not be possible. Use your own discretion. I will not be able to protect you.”
“In your own house?” Azure scowled, “Lachlann shall protect me.”
“That’s to be seen.”
“As to our business, when will we meet and where?”
Sveta let out another sigh, “When the principles have gathered. I’m waiting for Klava to arrive. Enjoy yourselves. I’ll send Harold for you when we are ready, but I’d like to wait until the party is winding down.”
Azure’s slitted her eyes, “Is there anyone else I should know about who is attending your party?”
Sveta glanced around, “Why? I don’t think so. Everyone else here are members of the Organization or MI6. You’ll not mention anything about that or Stele, please.”
Azure turned her a withering glance, “Really? Of course not. Who do you think I am?”
Sveta curtsied, “I do apologize. I didn’t mean it that way.”
Azure grasped Lachlann’s hand and pulled him toward the main part of the ballroom. Lachlann snared them a couple of flutes of Champaign, and they filled their plates from the buffet tables.
They found a quiet table on which to place their food. Lachlann stated, “Daniel Long is the head of the Organization.”
Azure nodded, “I know.”
“Everyone here is a member of MI6 or the Organization.”
“So Sveta told me. I suppose, we shall have our little meeting near the end of the party. Do you think your mother will attend?”
Lachlann’s lips curled down in a frown, “She will indeed.” He pointed, “There she is now with father.”
Azure turned quickly around and away from the direction Lachlann pointed, “It will be impossible for me to remain hidden in this small room and with this small crowd.”
“She doesn’t know who you are, so don’t be alarmed.”
Azure turned him a baleful glace, “You will protect me. I insist.”
Lachlann mumbled, “I will protect you—I promised.”
Azure gave him a quavering smile, “That isn’t at all reassuring.” She picked up her flute of Champaign and took a sip.
Lachlann sucked in a deep breath, “Prepare yourself. She is coming directly toward us.”
Azure choked and Champaign dribbled from her lips. Lachlann handed her his napkin.
Mrs. Calloway came right up to them on the other side of the table. James Calloway grasped Kathrin Calloway’s hand and tried to redirect her, “Kathrin, there are some people I’d like you to meet…”
Mrs. Calloway stopped on the far side of the table. Her voice was low, but commanding, “There is a single person, whom I would very much like to meet at the moment. You may go, James. I’ll catch up with you later.”
James didn’t budge.
Azure didn’t turn around. She held the napkin against her face.
Mrs. Calloway squinted at Azure’s back, then turned her eyes to Lachlann, “Lachlann Calloway, please introduce me to your date.”
Lachlann cleared his throat, “Mother, you’ve met her before. This is Miss Azure Rose.”
“Lachlann. Preposterous. She is not Miss Azure Rose. There is no such person. I suspect this is Lady Azure Rose Wishart. I demand to know why she is here, and why you are escorting this person?”
Azure didn’t turn around. She didn’t lower her napkin.
Lachlann licked his lips, “Sveta invited Miss Rose to her Christmas party. I agreed to escort her.”
“Is this the same schoolgirl you brought to church and our house?”
“Yes, the same Miss Rose.”
“I guessed that something was up. I checked out your Miss Rose when I looked through Sveta’s invitation list. Who should I spot but the Lady Wishart. Lady Wishart, I demand to know why you were included in this party. I ordered that you should be excluded from any official associations with these groups.”
Azure spoke from behind her napkin, “This is not an official event.”
“Again, preposterous. You know very well what kind of event this is.”
Azure turned. She still held her napkin in front of her face, “This is a Christmas Party. Why should I not attend if I am invited, and why should I not be escorted by my suitor.”
Mrs. Calloway took an entire step back. She couldn’t mask her astonishment. When she recovered a little of her aplomb, she responded, “Your suitor? Have things moved as far as that? Lachlann, I demand to know your relationship with this person.”
Lachlann grimaced and put out his hands, “Mother, this is really not the place for this kind of discussion.”
“This woman is not what she seems, Lachlann. I don’t want you near her, and I don’t wish to associate with her on any basis.”
Azure’s voice trembled, “Lachlann, take me home. I will not be slighted, and I declare insult.”
“My son shall not take you anywhere. I fear for his position and morals.”
Azure’s eyes flashed, “That was uncalled for. Lachlann, you promised.”
Lachlann set his mouth, “I must agree. The Lady Wishart was invited by Mrs. and Mr. Long. I will not discontinue my relationship with her. I do intend to marry her.”
Mrs. Calloway’s eyes opened wide, “I need to sit down. This is too much for me to process all at once.”
Azure’s eyes widened as well, “To marry me?”
Lachlann took her hands in his, “What do you think it meant when I said I love you?”
Mrs. Calloway’s knees buckled. Mr. Calloway grasped her arm. She exclaimed, “Lachlann, you told her you love her? I can’t let this stand.”
Lachlann stood straight, “Mother, you are making a scene. I am in love with this fine lady. I will not be put off by you or by her.”
Azure licked her lips, “I haven’t said yes or given you any affirmation at all.”
Mrs. Calloway snarled, “That’s it then. The Lady doesn’t share your affections and that pleases me more than words can tell.”
Lachlann turned his mother a piercing glance, “Your opinion, Mother, has nothing to do with this. I love this lady, and I will not be put off by you or her.”
Sveta and Klava came running up to the table. Sveta arrived first, “Really, Mother, you are making a scene. Could we take this to a more private venue?”
Klava nodded, “Sveta’s guests are staring.”
Azure raised her chin, “I have been publically insulted.”
Sveta nodded, “I do apologize, Lady Wishart. Would you please come with me, Klava, and Mrs. Calloway so we can discuss this together?”
Azure put up her hand, “Not without Lachlann. He has promised, no, he has sworn to protect me.”
Mrs. Calloway frowned, “Sworn? In what way sworn?”
Azure grinned, “By the One and all.”
Mrs. Calloway groused, “I took that to be your meaning.”
“Then why did you ask?”
Mrs. Calloway’s mouth worked soundlessly in frustration.
Sveta wrung her hands together, “I shall swear to protect you, Lady Wishart. If you will but come with us.”
Azure glanced down her nose at Sveta, “By the One and all?”
Sveta whispered, “Yes, if necessary, by the One and all. I do swear to protect you, Lady Wishart.” A faint thunderclap sounded in the distance, and Sveta’s hair rose slightly at the back.”
Azure released Lachlann’s hands, “Then I will attend you. Lachlann, wait for me. I shall require you later.”
Lachlann bowed. Mr. Calloway bowed.
Klava led Mrs. Calloway and Sveta, followed by Azure followed.
James Calloway began speaking with Lachlann. The conversation in the room suddenly began to assume its normal character.
In this dialog, we are getting to the big talk. The big talk isn’t exactly what you might think, however, on the way to the big talk, we already got to some big talk. In this case, the big talk is about marriage and Lachlann’s mother’s unhappiness with his proposed fiancée. This example brings us pretty quickly to the big talk, and there is even more big talk. I’ll give the remainder of this example next.
In the end, we can figure out what makes a work have a great plot, and apply this to our writing.
Let’s start with the idea of an internal and external telic flaw. Then let’s provide it a wrapper. The wrapper is the plot.
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.