2 September 2014, Writing Ideas – Vampire Novel, part 60, more Pathos and Tension, Developing Characters Rising Action
Announcement: My new novels are supposed to be released 1 September, so we are heading toward home plate. The title of the series is Ancient Light and is based on my novel Aegypt. The next two novels will be Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness. They will be published individually and as a 3 in 1 book. The initial cover is already developed, and you can see it at http://www.ancientlight.com. I’ll keep you updated.
Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel, and on 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–start with http://ldalford.wordpress.com/2010/12/12/daemon-installment-1-the-incantation/.
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. At this moment, I’m showing you the creative process I used to put together the novel.
Here are my four rules (plus one) of 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.
5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.
All novels have five discrete parts:
1. The initial scene (the beginning)
2. The rising action
3. The climax
4. The falling action
5. The dénouement
The theme statement of my new novel, Valeska, is: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed.
I’m writing about Aristotle’s pathos and tension in character development. Pathos in literature is the quality of creating emotion in your readers. A pathetic character is one who evokes emotion. I generally try to develop a protagonist and/or a protagonist’s helper character who strongly evokes an emotional response in my readers. I would like to present and evolve every scene such that the scene and the interaction of the characters creates strong emotion. The point of this kind of writing is to get your readers to be enveloped by the writing.
To achieve this, the first step is to build a pathetic character. If you start with a character people want to love and feel sorry for, you will have a much easier job putting your character in scenes that evoke emotion in your readers. If I start a scene with a bedraggled, hungry, dirty, girl vampire and I tell you her hunt was just ruined, you can’t help feeling for her. In spite of the potential horror you might feel about a vampire or anything else undead, if I can make you see such a person in your mind’s eye through my writing, I have won half the battle in sucking you into the writing and holding you there.
If I take an agent who is suddenly wounded and dying, a person who appeals to you–if I can make you see such a person and understand their regret and suffering, I can hold you in the world of the writing. This is the power of pathos. Imagine a hunting girl vampire and a wounded agent who accidentally ruined her hunt–we begin to move from pathos to wonder and mystery… and tension.
I’ll repeat my published novel websites so you can see more examples: http://www.ldalford.com/, and the individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel.com/, http://www.centurionnovel.com/, http://www.thesecondmission.com/, http://www.theendofhonor.com/, http://www.thefoxshonor.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.