30 August 2014, Writing Ideas – Vampire Novel, part 57, yet more Redemptive Theme, 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.
There is a third type of classical redemptive theme. This is when a person or a being is redeemed in a religious or Christian sense. The reason this is a classical theme is that in all Western literature, even if the theme is from evil to good, there is an assumption of Christian redemption. I point this out for historical accuracy and to make a very important point. In any classical redemptive theme, there must be some spiritual element. The spiritual element from the classics is one of Christian redemption, and there is no reason why this theme should be simply relegated to inspirational or Christian literature today. The big point is, as anyone should note (C.S. Lewis’ argument), the incorporation of a spiritual creature (like a vampire, zombie, or any other undead) presumes God. You can’t enter the spiritual regime without addressing God in some way. The expression doesn’t need to be a stereotypical conversion or a presumptive theological construct, but without God, there is no spiritual.
Therefore, by bringing a vampire into a novel, the author is making a presumption of some type of Christian or at least a spiritual worldview. It is possible to have other gods or other worldviews (Asian, Eastern, Western, African, etc.), but they must include some spiritual god element or they become quickly illogical. If you are not convinced, read an unexpurgated (unabridged) copy of Dracula. Bram Stoker was a strong Catholic and presented a powerful Christian and redemptive worldview in a novel that has been more and more secularized. I prefer the original. The message of Bram Stoker was one of hope and redemption. The message of a secular Dracula is powerful, but not hopeful or pleasant in the least. Although we have lost Aristotle’s treatise on comedy, we know the message of good comedy is that of a human overcoming a telic flaw. In a classical redemptive theme, the telic flaw can only be overcome through spiritual means.
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/.