Writing – part xx064 Writing a Novel, Characters and Pathos, Secrets as Chekov’s Guns

29 February 2020, Writing – part xx064 Writing a Novel, Characters and Pathos, Secrets as Chekov’s Guns

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 atwww.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 withhttp://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 website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select “production schedule,” you will be sent to 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.

  1. 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)
  3. Research as required
  4. Develop the initial setting
  5. Develop the characters
  6. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  7. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  8. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  9. Write the climax scene
  10. Write the falling action scene(s)
  11. Write the dénouement scene

I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential titleBlue 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.

Cover Proposal

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

Perhaps I should go back and look again at the initial scene—maybe, I’ll cover that again as part of looking at the rising action.  The reason is that I’m writing a rising action in a novel right now.

That gets us back to the protagonist—complexity makes the protagonist and the telic flaw one and the same.

The novel is a revelation of the protagonist.  The telic flaw is connected directly to the protagonist.  The plot is the revelation of the telic flaw.  This connects the protagonist to the plot and the telic flaw.  The point is that to plan a novel, I simply need to plan the revelation of the protagonist.  To accomplish this, you need to develop a protagonist.

When I write you develop your protagonist, you write notes about:

  1. Name
  2. Background
  3. Education
  4. Appearance
  5. Work
  6. Wealth
  7. Skills
  8. Mind
  9. Likes
  10. Dislikes
  11. Opinions
  12. Honor
  13. Life
  14. Thoughts
  15. Telic flaw

I design a protagonist around the initial scene.  This is the way I write a novel.  This isn’t the only way to write a novel, but it is the way I have discovered to write well-conceived and powerful novels.  This goes back to the initial scene.

Above, I gave you four options for developing the initial scene.  Yesterday, I told you to take two off.  Authors have used three and four, but they don’t produce the kinds of exciting initial scenes we want.  Here’s the list again.

  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

Let’s plan to put one and two together.  Let’s also focus on the other characteristics of the initial scene.  Notice that first, the initial scene must include the protagonist.  This should be obvious, but let’s go down the list.  I’m looking at pathos and secrets.

Secrets are the building blocks of novels.  This is true of all novels.  First, all novels are a revelation of the protagonist.  This is the basic feature of all novels.  A revelation presumes there is a secret to be revealed, and this is so.  The protagonist is an unknown until revealed in the novel.  Thus all novels are a revelation of the secrets of the protagonist.  This is also true of the plot.

How do you develop secrets which you plan to reveal in a novel?  In the first place, you really need to think about revelation, secrets, and when you intend to reveal them in the novel.  The revelation of secrets is to readers, individuals, groups, or universal.

In novels all the elements of the novel start as setting elements.  Secrets are the same.  Just as I introduce any other setting element such as a pistol, the setting element takes on a role in the novel.

As Chekov would say—the only reason an author introduces a secret is to use it.  Just as Chekov expressed—if the author introduces a pistol in the first act (of a play), someone needs to fire it in the second.

Secrets may start as setting elements, but we know they must be creative elements, plot elements, and Chekov’s Guns.  What is the difference and what does it mean?

A creative element is simply something that a character uses.  A pistol in a setting is a setting elements until a character picks it up.  The reason for picking up the pistol can be multivariate.  It could be to shoot another character or himself.  It could be to clean it, check it, touch it, look at it, practice with it, and all.  The reasons and the usage are as varied as the novel and the author.  For all we know, the character could pick it up to use the grip as a hammer and shoot himself in the process.

Creative elements should be used to create tension in a scene.  A pistol gives you this tension automatically.  For example, if I place a pistol in the setting, the readers automatically might be alarmed.  They are thinking why is that pistol there?  What might someone do with it?  What could happen?  When a character picks up the pistol, their tension might be relieved or increase.  That depends on the character and the situation.  If it an argument and one of the arguers picks up the pistol, that builds tension.  On the other hand if a mature person places the pistol in their pocket that might relieve the tension.  Creative elements develop tension in a scene, but what about for the novel?

If the creative element has something to do with the telic flaw or the telic flaw resolution of the novel, it is a plot element.  Now, I will write, if a creative element has nothing to do with the resolution of the plot, don’t even introduce it as a setting element, but I’m a purest.  In my books, literally, every creative element I introduce has something to do with the resolution of the telic flaw.  The connection might be tenuous, but it exists.

The connection from a creative element to the plot resolution doesn’t have to be enormous.  For example, a lady takes out her handkerchief to daub the tears on her cheeks.  The handkerchief might appear to have no direct connection to the telic flaw resolution, but from an author’s standpoint, the use of the handkerchief points to the fact the lady is upset to the point of tears or fake tears.  The reason she is upset is somehow related to the telic flaw of the novel.  You don’t just put in an emotional response for no reason.  If you didn’t know this or forgot this, let me remind you—everything in a novel should point to the telic flaw, either the resolution or the flaw itself.  Further, everything I introduce as a setting element and I turn into a creative element becomes a plot element and a Chekov’s Gun.

In fact, the fact an item is a creative element (used in some way by a character) makes it a Chekov’s Gun.  The issue from an author’s standpoint is the use of the item and perhaps the realization of the item.  There is more.

Let’s continue to look at the secret as a plot element, creative element, and Chekov’s Gun.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:

http://www.ancientlight.com/

http://www.aegyptnovel.com/

http://www.centurionnovel.com

http://www.thesecondmission.com/

http://www.theendofhonor.com/

http://www.thefoxshonor.com

http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic

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Writing – part xx063 Writing a Novel, Characters and Pathos, Secrets and Elements

28 February 2020, Writing – part xx063 Writing a Novel, Characters and Pathos, Secrets and Elements

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 atwww.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 withhttp://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 website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select “production schedule,” you will be sent to 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.

  1. 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)
  3. Research as required
  4. Develop the initial setting
  5. Develop the characters
  6. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  7. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  8. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  9. Write the climax scene
  10. Write the falling action scene(s)
  11. Write the dénouement scene

I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential titleBlue 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.

Cover Proposal

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

Perhaps I should go back and look again at the initial scene—maybe, I’ll cover that again as part of looking at the rising action.  The reason is that I’m writing a rising action in a novel right now.

That gets us back to the protagonist—complexity makes the protagonist and the telic flaw one and the same.

The novel is a revelation of the protagonist.  The telic flaw is connected directly to the protagonist.  The plot is the revelation of the telic flaw.  This connects the protagonist to the plot and the telic flaw.  The point is that to plan a novel, I simply need to plan the revelation of the protagonist.  To accomplish this, you need to develop a protagonist.

When I write you develop your protagonist, you write notes about:

  1. Name
  2. Background
  3. Education
  4. Appearance
  5. Work
  6. Wealth
  7. Skills
  8. Mind
  9. Likes
  10. Dislikes
  11. Opinions
  12. Honor
  13. Life
  14. Thoughts
  15. Telic flaw

I design a protagonist around the initial scene.  This is the way I write a novel.  This isn’t the only way to write a novel, but it is the way I have discovered to write well-conceived and powerful novels.  This goes back to the initial scene.

Above, I gave you four options for developing the initial scene.  Yesterday, I told you to take two off.  Authors have used three and four, but they don’t produce the kinds of exciting initial scenes we want.  Here’s the list again.

  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

Let’s plan to put one and two together.  Let’s also focus on the other characteristics of the initial scene.  Notice that first, the initial scene must include the protagonist.  This should be obvious, but let’s go down the list.  I’m looking at pathos and secrets.

Secrets are the building blocks of novels.  This is true of all novels.  First, all novels are a revelation of the protagonist.  This is the basic feature of all novels.  A revelation presumes there is a secret to be revealed, and this is so.  The protagonist is an unknown until revealed in the novel.  Thus all novels are a revelation of the secrets of the protagonist.  This is also true of the plot.

How do you develop secrets which you plan to reveal in a novel?  In the first place, you really need to think about revelation, secrets, and when you intend to reveal them in the novel.  The revelation of secrets is to readers, individuals, groups, or universal.

In novels all the elements of the novel start as setting elements.  Secrets are the same.  Just as I introduce any other setting element such as a pistol, the secret setting element takes on a role in the novel.

Let’s say I introduce a pistol as a setting element, Chekov would say it immediately becomes at least a creative element, it is a Chekov’s Gun.  A Chekov’s Gun is any item I introduce as a setting element and especially a setting element that is out of the ordinary.  Chekov was mainly referring to a play when he expressed his idea, “If a playwright introduces a pistol in the first act, someone must shoot it in the second.”

Modern books are much like plays in this sense.  We imagine the stage of the novel like the stage of the play.  Like the play, all kinds of items are evident on the stage of the novel.  In a play, the author places items on the stage or introduces items from on and off stage—for example, a character opens a drawer and pulls out a pistol.  In a novel, this is turning a setting element into a creative element.  In a play, the pistol placed prominently on the stage at some place makes it a setting element.  Chekov would say, if you place it on a stage, it is not only a setting element, it must be a creative element.  The expectation is that the characters will touch and use the pistol or any other setting item.  Chekov goes one step further.  Chekov would say, the expectation is that the item must become a plot element or there was no purpose in introducing it in the first place.

An author doesn’t need to be so direct or obvious in a novel.  Plays are intentionally sparse.  No item in a play, especially a play of the type Chekov wrote, is not intended to become a part of the plot.  Novels are just a little different, authors introduce all kinds of setting elements that are not intended necessarily to become creative or plot elements.  The point for the novelist is they can, and when I introduce a fully active and functioning setting element secret, like the protagonist is homeless, I introduce not only a setting element, but a creative element, a plot element, and a Chekov’s Gun all in one.

Let me write about creative elements a little.  When I write a setting, I describe many different setting elements, a chair here, a sofa there, a table here, some books, a pistol on the side table, a lamp, a bookshelf, and all.  These are setting elements.  They provide the background of the narrative setting, and detail the stage of the novel.  There are other setting elements, like the time, date, characters, character clothing, and all.  All the setting elements that describe the stage of the novel are parts of the setting.  The moment they move or are used by the characters, they become creative elements.

I can describe a chair—that’s a setting element.  The moment one of my characters sits in it, it becomes a creative element.  It is an item the author can use to develop tension and release.  Tension is what all good scene writing is about.  Tension produces entertainment and excitement.  As we have learned tension also produces pity and fear—pathos.

There are many automatic creative elements, for example, characters.  Characters, unless they are dead bodies are always creative elements because they move and create tension in the scenes.  A dead body would almost always be a creative element as well.  The author should use them as creative elements, plot elements, and Chekov’s Guns, otherwise why describe them in a setting?

I guess I might describe the setting of the aftermath of a battle as a field covered with sprawled dead soldiers, the dead soldiers are setting elements and might not become creative elements, but the moment I describe one of those soldiers out of them all, I have created a creative element.  What’s the point?

The author promotes creative elements from setting elements for the purpose of developing tension in a scene.  We already know tension in a scene also can produce pathos.  Secrets are setting elements.  They need to be creative elements, plot elements, and Chekov’s Guns.  I suppose I need to write about plot elements to strike the point home.

Let’s continue to look at the secret as a plot element, creative element, and Chekov’s Gun.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:

http://www.ancientlight.com/

http://www.aegyptnovel.com/

http://www.centurionnovel.com

http://www.thesecondmission.com/

http://www.theendofhonor.com/

http://www.thefoxshonor.com

http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing – part xx062 Writing a Novel, Characters and Pathos, Secrets and Secondary Effects

27 February 2020, Writing – part xx062 Writing a Novel, Characters and Pathos, Secrets and Secondary Effects

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 atwww.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 withhttp://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 website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select “production schedule,” you will be sent to 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.

  1. 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)
  3. Research as required
  4. Develop the initial setting
  5. Develop the characters
  6. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  7. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  8. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  9. Write the climax scene
  10. Write the falling action scene(s)
  11. Write the dénouement scene

I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential titleBlue 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.

Cover Proposal

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

Perhaps I should go back and look again at the initial scene—maybe, I’ll cover that again as part of looking at the rising action.  The reason is that I’m writing a rising action in a novel right now.

That gets us back to the protagonist—complexity makes the protagonist and the telic flaw one and the same.

The novel is a revelation of the protagonist.  The telic flaw is connected directly to the protagonist.  The plot is the revelation of the telic flaw.  This connects the protagonist to the plot and the telic flaw.  The point is that to plan a novel, I simply need to plan the revelation of the protagonist.  To accomplish this, you need to develop a protagonist.

When I write you develop your protagonist, you write notes about:

  1. Name
  2. Background
  3. Education
  4. Appearance
  5. Work
  6. Wealth
  7. Skills
  8. Mind
  9. Likes
  10. Dislikes
  11. Opinions
  12. Honor
  13. Life
  14. Thoughts
  15. Telic flaw

I design a protagonist around the initial scene.  This is the way I write a novel.  This isn’t the only way to write a novel, but it is the way I have discovered to write well-conceived and powerful novels.  This goes back to the initial scene.

Above, I gave you four options for developing the initial scene.  Yesterday, I told you to take two off.  Authors have used three and four, but they don’t produce the kinds of exciting initial scenes we want.  Here’s the list again.

  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

Let’s plan to put one and two together.  Let’s also focus on the other characteristics of the initial scene.  Notice that first, the initial scene must include the protagonist.  This should be obvious, but let’s go down the list.  I’m looking at pathos and secrets.

Secrets are the building blocks of novels.  This is true of all novels.  First, all novels are a revelation of the protagonist.  This is the basic feature of all novels.  A revelation presumes there is a secret to be revealed, and this is so.  The protagonist is an unknown until revealed in the novel.  Thus all novels are a revelation of the secrets of the protagonist.  This is also true of the plot.

How do you develop secrets which you plan to reveal in a novel?  In the first place, you really need to think about revelation, secrets, and when you intend to reveal them in the novel.  The revelation of secrets is to readers, individuals, groups, or universal.

The revelation of secrets causes primary and secondary effects.  All of these effects can continue to produce tension and release, and they can continue to produce pity and fear.  The primary effects aren’t as obvious as you might think.  The revelation of the secret obviously results in the secret being known by certain individuals and groups.  As I noted before, if the revelation of the secret means nothing, then it wasn’t a worthwhile secret at all.

The revelation of the secret must result in real effects for the protagonist.  As I noted, the results of revealing that Lilly is homeless are significant.  She potentially will lose everything important to her in her life.  This is what I mean by significant.  The primary effects of the fact that Lilly is homeless will ruin her life.  You can see where this will go if she can’t find a place to live—and she does.

Lilly goes to live with Dane.  The results of this are a secondary effect.  In fact, the resolution itself is a secondary effect.  If this weren’t the resolution, there would be other secondary effects.  For example, the dean of the school discovers Lilly is homeless and reports her to the Children’s Protective Agency.  They would then find she doesn’t have a guardian.  Her mother is in prison, so the Children’s Protective Agency would assign her a guardian or take her into a foster home.  The secondary results of this would be horrible for Lilly, and for my novel.  My novel isn’t one about homeless children.  My novel is a novel about a very unique person who cajoles her way through life.  Lilly can’t and won’t allow her life to be turned around by this little incident.  She fixes the problem.

Lilly forces her way into living with Dane.  Dane isn’t so keen, but his parents support Lilly.  Further, another secondary effect is that Dane’s sister is angry and stalks Lilly and Dane (she has brother issues).  There are other secondary effects.

Now, Dane is living with a seventeen year old.  The presumption is they are having sex.  This is a real problem for Dane, Lilly doesn’t care.  There are other problems from the school to their friends.  The point is this, secrets keep on giving if the author is aware of all the results and keeps them alive.  I’m sure you can overdo it, but just a reasonable use and follow-through should get all the potential life from the secrets.

The question the author should ask is: when the secret is revealed, what will happen?  The answer to what will happen in the context of the plot is what the author should do with the secret or the revelation of the secret.  Tap it out all the way.

Let’s continue to look at the secret as a plot element, creative element, and Chekov’s Gun.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:

http://www.ancientlight.com/

http://www.aegyptnovel.com/

http://www.centurionnovel.com

http://www.thesecondmission.com/

http://www.theendofhonor.com/

http://www.thefoxshonor.com

http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic

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Writing – part xx061 Writing a Novel, Characters and Pathos, Secrets and Results

26 February 2020, Writing – part xx061 Writing a Novel, Characters and Pathos, Secrets and Results

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 atwww.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 withhttp://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 website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select “production schedule,” you will be sent to 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.

  1. 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)
  3. Research as required
  4. Develop the initial setting
  5. Develop the characters
  6. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  7. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  8. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  9. Write the climax scene
  10. Write the falling action scene(s)
  11. Write the dénouement scene

I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential titleBlue 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.

Cover Proposal

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

Perhaps I should go back and look again at the initial scene—maybe, I’ll cover that again as part of looking at the rising action.  The reason is that I’m writing a rising action in a novel right now.

That gets us back to the protagonist—complexity makes the protagonist and the telic flaw one and the same.

The novel is a revelation of the protagonist.  The telic flaw is connected directly to the protagonist.  The plot is the revelation of the telic flaw.  This connects the protagonist to the plot and the telic flaw.  The point is that to plan a novel, I simply need to plan the revelation of the protagonist.  To accomplish this, you need to develop a protagonist.

When I write you develop your protagonist, you write notes about:

  1. Name
  2. Background
  3. Education
  4. Appearance
  5. Work
  6. Wealth
  7. Skills
  8. Mind
  9. Likes
  10. Dislikes
  11. Opinions
  12. Honor
  13. Life
  14. Thoughts
  15. Telic flaw

I design a protagonist around the initial scene.  This is the way I write a novel.  This isn’t the only way to write a novel, but it is the way I have discovered to write well-conceived and powerful novels.  This goes back to the initial scene.

Above, I gave you four options for developing the initial scene.  Yesterday, I told you to take two off.  Authors have used three and four, but they don’t produce the kinds of exciting initial scenes we want.  Here’s the list again.

  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

Let’s plan to put one and two together.  Let’s also focus on the other characteristics of the initial scene.  Notice that first, the initial scene must include the protagonist.  This should be obvious, but let’s go down the list.  I’m looking at pathos and secrets.

Secrets are the building blocks of novels.  This is true of all novels.  First, all novels are a revelation of the protagonist.  This is the basic feature of all novels.  A revelation presumes there is a secret to be revealed, and this is so.  The protagonist is an unknown until revealed in the novel.  Thus all novels are a revelation of the secrets of the protagonist.  This is also true of the plot.

How do you develop secrets which you plan to reveal in a novel?  In the first place, you really need to think about revelation, secrets, and when you intend to reveal them in the novel.  The revelation of secrets is to readers, individuals, groups, or universal.

What is the repercussions and results of the revelation of secrets?  This is ultimately the driving power of secrets.  We want to produce pity and fear—pathos.  Tension is the result of pity and the reaction to fear.  The fear of the revelation of secrets is a powerful pathos driver, but in the end, once the secret is out, now the protagonist and the other characters must deal with the revelation, the repercussions.

Repercussions are more far reaching than you might imagine.  In fact, let me step out on a limb.  Secrets without real repercussions are almost meaningless.  For example, you will see these types of secrets in children’s or young adult’s novels.  If the revelation of a secret is meaningless, the secret is meaningless.  Here’s what I mean.

Take my example of the homeless protagonist.  Why is this a great secret?  I actually took this example from a novel I wrote, Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer.  Lilly is the protagonist and she is living in a cardboard box on the top of one of the student dorms.  The reason for this is that although she has a scholarship to the university, her scholarship doesn’t include room and board.  There are reasons for this and reasons why she is doing what she is doing.

As we learn that Lilly is homeless, we also discover that if the fact she is found to be homeless comes to light, she will likely be found out by Children’s Protective Services.  She is only sixteen and she’s supposed to have a guardian.  She doesn’t currently have a guardian.  This is either an oversight or she intentionally did it herself, and Lilly isn’t telling.

The point is that without a guardian, an address, and a place to live, she puts herself at risk in many ways.  To be short, she will lose her scholarships, be placed back under her abusive mother, will lose her friends, and have to leave the university.  This is a crises for her.  When this secret comes to the protagonist’s helper, Dane, he points out the repercussions to Lilly.  This alarms Lilly so much, she allows Dane to tell his parents who are both lawyers.  Lilly is besotted with Dane, she thinks the solution to her problems will be to live with him.  Dane’s parents are pretty modern and loosey goosey.  Dane is more of a gentleman and ethical.  You can see where this is going.  The repercussion or result of the secret of Lilly’s homelessness being revealed is real and ends up with her living with Dane.  I should also mention that Dane’s sister, Ophelia is highly opposed to Lilly and Lilly living with Dane.  She has brother issues.

What I’m telling you is this.  This secret of Lilly’s has terrible repercussions for her and for those around her.  Each person who discovers the secret produces tension with pity and fear.  The results are significant, but the eventual solution, although it irritates Dane, resolves some of the issue.  The secret still has legs because not all of the issues dredged up by the problem are resolved when Lilly goes to live with Dane.  These are secondary effect.  The secrets keep giving and giving.  The job of the author is to get as much traction as possible from each of them.

Let’s continues to look at the secret as a plot element, creative element, and Chekov’s Gun—and secondary effects.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:

http://www.ancientlight.com/

http://www.aegyptnovel.com/

http://www.centurionnovel.com

http://www.thesecondmission.com/

http://www.theendofhonor.com/

http://www.thefoxshonor.com

http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing – part xx060 Writing a Novel, Characters and Pathos, Secrets and Tension

25 February 2020, Writing – part xx060 Writing a Novel, Characters and Pathos, Secrets and Tension

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 atwww.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 withhttp://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 website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select “production schedule,” you will be sent to 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.

  1. 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)
  3. Research as required
  4. Develop the initial setting
  5. Develop the characters
  6. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  7. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  8. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  9. Write the climax scene
  10. Write the falling action scene(s)
  11. Write the dénouement scene

I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential titleBlue 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.

Cover Proposal

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

Perhaps I should go back and look again at the initial scene—maybe, I’ll cover that again as part of looking at the rising action.  The reason is that I’m writing a rising action in a novel right now.

That gets us back to the protagonist—complexity makes the protagonist and the telic flaw one and the same.

The novel is a revelation of the protagonist.  The telic flaw is connected directly to the protagonist.  The plot is the revelation of the telic flaw.  This connects the protagonist to the plot and the telic flaw.  The point is that to plan a novel, I simply need to plan the revelation of the protagonist.  To accomplish this, you need to develop a protagonist.

When I write you develop your protagonist, you write notes about:

  1. Name
  2. Background
  3. Education
  4. Appearance
  5. Work
  6. Wealth
  7. Skills
  8. Mind
  9. Likes
  10. Dislikes
  11. Opinions
  12. Honor
  13. Life
  14. Thoughts
  15. Telic flaw

I design a protagonist around the initial scene.  This is the way I write a novel.  This isn’t the only way to write a novel, but it is the way I have discovered to write well-conceived and powerful novels.  This goes back to the initial scene.

Above, I gave you four options for developing the initial scene.  Yesterday, I told you to take two off.  Authors have used three and four, but they don’t produce the kinds of exciting initial scenes we want.  Here’s the list again.

  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

Let’s plan to put one and two together.  Let’s also focus on the other characteristics of the initial scene.  Notice that first, the initial scene must include the protagonist.  This should be obvious, but let’s go down the list.  I’m looking at pathos and secrets.

Secrets are the building blocks of novels.  This is true of all novels.  First, all novels are a revelation of the protagonist.  This is the basic feature of all novels.  A revelation presumes there is a secret to be revealed, and this is so.  The protagonist is an unknown until revealed in the novel.  Thus all novels are a revelation of the secrets of the protagonist.  This is also true of the plot.

How do you develop secrets which you plan to reveal in a novel?  In the first place, you really need to think about revelation, secrets, and when you intend to reveal them in the novel.  The revelation of secrets is to readers, individuals, groups, or universal.

Secrets are powerful.  Secrets can drive a novel in amazing ways.  The trick is to find the secrets and use them in ways that produce entertainment and tension.

I’m using the revelation that the protagonist is homeless as an example of a secret in a novel.  What I looked at first is the revelation of this secret to the reader.  I additionally, used the example of the revelation of this secret to another character as the means of revealing to the reader.  The point is that in modern writing, we show and don’t tell.  The author can show the fact that the protagonist is homeless.  For example with a scene where we see the protagonist on the street.  The writer can also tell use the protagonist is homeless—don’t do this.  This is telling and not acceptable in modern writing.  This is a narrative technique.  The means I mentioned was for the author to have the protagonist’s helper observe the fact the protagonist is homeless.  This reveals the secret to the reader and the protagonist’s helper.  As I noted before, you have revelation to the reader, individuals, groups, or universal.  With the secret revealed to the reader and to another character, now we have an automatic tension development.

Tension development is exactly what we are writing about.  Secrets produce tension.  If is secret is unknown, there is no tension.  Once the secret is reveled to one person (or the reader), tension development has begun.  As I wrote, until the secret is revealed to someone, there is no tension development at all—no one knows the secret.  Once the secret is out, the author now manages the secret revelation.  Management of the revelation of the secrets is really what secrets and tension is all about.  The point is who to revel the secret to next.  Close and closer is best and builds pathos.

Close and closer builds tension.  For example, if we just universally bring out “the protagonist is homeless,” that might give a shot of tension, but then everyone knows and the tension is dead.  This isn’t entirely true.  “The protagonist is homeless to the university” doesn’t mean it is in general knowledge.  “Published in the papers” doesn’t necessarily mean everyone knows.  Close and closer is a good plan.  For example, the protagonist’s helper reveals this secret to his parents.  This causes tension in a scene.  The parents accidentally reveal the secret to the protagonist’s helper’s sister—this causes tension.  The sister confronts the protagonist’s helper with the knowledge and finds that the protagonist is living with her brother—more tension.  Each transaction of the secret builds tension.  Each revelation builds tension.  Each revelation has its own repercussions.  This is the next important point—repercussions.

Let’s continues to look at the secret as a plot element, creative element, and Chekov’s Gun—and repercussions.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:

http://www.ancientlight.com/

http://www.aegyptnovel.com/

http://www.centurionnovel.com

http://www.thesecondmission.com/

http://www.theendofhonor.com/

http://www.thefoxshonor.com

http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing – part xx059 Writing a Novel, Characters and Pathos, Secrets and Revelation

24 February 2020, Writing – part xx059 Writing a Novel, Characters and Pathos, Secrets and Revelation

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 atwww.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 withhttp://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 website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select “production schedule,” you will be sent to 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.

  1. 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)
  3. Research as required
  4. Develop the initial setting
  5. Develop the characters
  6. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  7. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  8. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  9. Write the climax scene
  10. Write the falling action scene(s)
  11. Write the dénouement scene

I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential titleBlue 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.

Cover Proposal

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

Perhaps I should go back and look again at the initial scene—maybe, I’ll cover that again as part of looking at the rising action.  The reason is that I’m writing a rising action in a novel right now.

That gets us back to the protagonist—complexity makes the protagonist and the telic flaw one and the same.

The novel is a revelation of the protagonist.  The telic flaw is connected directly to the protagonist.  The plot is the revelation of the telic flaw.  This connects the protagonist to the plot and the telic flaw.  The point is that to plan a novel, I simply need to plan the revelation of the protagonist.  To accomplish this, you need to develop a protagonist.

When I write you develop your protagonist, you write notes about:

  1. Name
  2. Background
  3. Education
  4. Appearance
  5. Work
  6. Wealth
  7. Skills
  8. Mind
  9. Likes
  10. Dislikes
  11. Opinions
  12. Honor
  13. Life
  14. Thoughts
  15. Telic flaw

I design a protagonist around the initial scene.  This is the way I write a novel.  This isn’t the only way to write a novel, but it is the way I have discovered to write well-conceived and powerful novels.  This goes back to the initial scene.

Above, I gave you four options for developing the initial scene.  Yesterday, I told you to take two off.  Authors have used three and four, but they don’t produce the kinds of exciting initial scenes we want.  Here’s the list again.

  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

Let’s plan to put one and two together.  Let’s also focus on the other characteristics of the initial scene.  Notice that first, the initial scene must include the protagonist.  This should be obvious, but let’s go down the list.  I’m looking at pathos and secrets.

Secrets are the building blocks of novels.  This is true of all novels.  First, all novels are a revelation of the protagonist.  This is the basic feature of all novels.  A revelation presumes there is a secret to be revealed, and this is so.  The protagonist is an unknown until revealed in the novel.  Thus all novels are a revelation of the secrets of the protagonist.  This is also true of the plot.

How do you develop secrets which you plan to reveal in a novel?  In the first place, you really need to think about revelation, secrets, and when you intend to reveal them in the novel.  The revelation of secrets is to readers, individuals, groups, or universal.

I am using the example of the secret that the protagonist is homeless as a secret and a revelation.  I discussed the revelation to the reader.  This is one of the most powerful ways to use a secret—show the reader, and let the tension play out.  There is always tension in any secret.  The point is to draw out and develop the tension.  If you just throw out the secret (reveal it to the world), you have really wasted a great opportunity.  This is why I like to reveal the secret first to the readers.

Revelation to readers is powerful in itself.  Usually, the revelation to the readers in a modern novel means someone else finds out.  For example, in a narrative style novel, the writer might just write, the protagonist is homeless.  What a loss of opportunity.  In a modern dialog style novel, a character or characters might note the protagonist doesn’t seem to have a normal address—or perhaps the address changes often.  Perhaps when a character escorts the protagonist home, they don’t go in through the front door.  Slowly, the reader and that characters begin to realize something isn’t right with the protagonist.

The writer would like the reader to come to the conclusion that the protagonist is homeless before any character.  If the writer lays down enough breadcrumbs, the reader should be able to get it.  This produces amazing tension.  If the reader has any feeling of pathos for the protagonist, he or she will immediately feel this tension.

I have used just this type of idea in one of my novels, Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer to be precise.  In the novel, Lilly is living homeless to save money.  I give the protagonist’s helper and the reader all kinds of clues about Lilly’s problems.  I know the readers eventually get it. The Protagonist’s helper eventually gets it and invites Lilly to live in his apartment.  As the novel progresses, the information that first Lilly is living homeless, and second that she is living with the protagonist’s helper produces amazing entertainment and tension value.  The revelation to other characters extends and expands the tension.  This makes this simple setting element become at least a creative element.  It becomes a plot element because of its tie to the protagonist’s helper and to the rescue of Lilly from the streets.  It is also a Chekov’s gun because it causes the protagonist’s helper’s parents to get involved and to do things they wouldn’t otherwise do.

Secrets are powerful.  Secrets can drive a novel in amazing ways.  The trick is to find the secrets and use them in ways that produce entertainment and tension.

Let’s continues to look at the secret as a plot element, creative element, and Chekov’s Gun.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:

http://www.ancientlight.com/

http://www.aegyptnovel.com/

http://www.centurionnovel.com

http://www.thesecondmission.com/

http://www.theendofhonor.com/

http://www.thefoxshonor.com

http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic

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Writing – part xx058 Writing a Novel, Characters and Pathos, Secrets as Revelation

23 February 2020, Writing – part xx058 Writing a Novel, Characters and Pathos, Secrets as Revelation

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 atwww.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 withhttp://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 website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select “production schedule,” you will be sent to 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.

  1. 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)
  3. Research as required
  4. Develop the initial setting
  5. Develop the characters
  6. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  7. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  8. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  9. Write the climax scene
  10. Write the falling action scene(s)
  11. Write the dénouement scene

I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential titleBlue 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.

Cover Proposal

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

Perhaps I should go back and look again at the initial scene—maybe, I’ll cover that again as part of looking at the rising action.  The reason is that I’m writing a rising action in a novel right now.

That gets us back to the protagonist—complexity makes the protagonist and the telic flaw one and the same.

The novel is a revelation of the protagonist.  The telic flaw is connected directly to the protagonist.  The plot is the revelation of the telic flaw.  This connects the protagonist to the plot and the telic flaw.  The point is that to plan a novel, I simply need to plan the revelation of the protagonist.  To accomplish this, you need to develop a protagonist.

When I write you develop your protagonist, you write notes about:

  1. Name
  2. Background
  3. Education
  4. Appearance
  5. Work
  6. Wealth
  7. Skills
  8. Mind
  9. Likes
  10. Dislikes
  11. Opinions
  12. Honor
  13. Life
  14. Thoughts
  15. Telic flaw

I design a protagonist around the initial scene.  This is the way I write a novel.  This isn’t the only way to write a novel, but it is the way I have discovered to write well-conceived and powerful novels.  This goes back to the initial scene.

Above, I gave you four options for developing the initial scene.  Yesterday, I told you to take two off.  Authors have used three and four, but they don’t produce the kinds of exciting initial scenes we want.  Here’s the list again.

  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

Let’s plan to put one and two together.  Let’s also focus on the other characteristics of the initial scene.  Notice that first, the initial scene must include the protagonist.  This should be obvious, but let’s go down the list.  I’m looking at pathos and secrets.

Secrets are the building blocks of novels.  This is true of all novels.  First, all novels are a revelation of the protagonist.  This is the basic feature of all novels.  A revelation presumes there is a secret to be revealed, and this is so.  The protagonist is an unknown until revealed in the novel.  Thus all novels are a revelation of the secrets of the protagonist.  This is also true of the plot.

How do you develop secrets which you plan to reveal in a novel?  In the first place, you really need to think about revelation, secrets, and when you intend to reveal them in the novel.  The revelation of secrets is to readers, individuals, groups, or universal.

I wrote before, revelation to the reader can be very powerful.  Usually, this is accomplished in the narrative, but you can also do it with dialog.  This is usually a part of the protagonist revelation.  Thus, if I describe, show, or reveal in dialog some secret of the protagonist, this is a revelation to the reader.  Usually, you want to emphasize any important secret revelation.  The point is this, revelation to readers is usually a setting element.  If you use it as a secret revelation, you have turned the setting element into a creative element or a plot element.  You might ask, what is the difference?

A setting element (characteristic of a protagonist) is simply a description of some attribute of the protagonist or other character.  A setting element becomes a creative element the moment it is used in the plot or dialog.  For example, if I write in narrative the protagonist is homeless—that is simply a setting element.  I suggest not using juicy bits of information like this.  There is a better way.

If instead of just saying in narrative, the protagonist is homeless, I show you the protagonist is homeless in some way, I have made the secret that the protagonist is homeless to be a plot element.  It is also a creative element.  This means I have turned it into a Chekov’s Gun, and at some point I must fire it.  Some might say just telling in narrative, the protagonist is homeless, makes it a Chekov’s Gun.  I’ll agree with that.

I might have put the list of revelation in the wrong order.  I should have mentioned, if I have the protagonist or another, mention in dialog, the protagonist is homeless, that is a setting element, turned into a creative element.  It is likely a plot element, and should be a Chekov’s Gun.  What does all this mean?

We are talking in the first place of a revelation to the reader.  Usually, in showing that the protagonist is homeless, the writer has already brought the homelessness of the protagonist as an element of the plot into the novel.  Additionally, usually, the writer has revealed the secret, the protagonist is homeless, to another character or characters, but that’s the next stage of this discussion.  What I want to focus on is the secret as a plot element, creative element, and Chekov’s Gun.

In each case, the expectation is that the writer will use the fact the protagonist is homeless as an important part of the plot.  The revelation of the secret is indeed a use of this information, but there is much more to this.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:

http://www.ancientlight.com/

http://www.aegyptnovel.com/

http://www.centurionnovel.com

http://www.thesecondmission.com/

http://www.theendofhonor.com/

http://www.thefoxshonor.com

http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic

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