Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 695, more Punctuation, Style Q and A

30 May 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 695, more Punctuation, Style Q and A

Announcement:  Ancient Light is delayed due to the economy.  You can read more about it at http://www.ancientlight.com.  Ancient Light includes the second edition of Aegypt plus Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness.  I’ll keep you updated.

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 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.
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 26th novel, working title, Shape, proposed title, Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si, is this: Mrs. Lyons captures a shape-shifting girl in her pantry and rehabilitates her.

I just started writing my 27th novel, working title, Claire, potential title Sorcha: Enchantment and the Trainee. This might need some tweaking. The theme statement is something like this: Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, the dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.

Here is the cover proposal for Essie: Enchantment and the Aos SiEssie is my 26th novel.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action.  I’m editing many of my novels using comments from my primary reader. I finished editing Children of Light and Darkness and am now writing on my 27th novel, working title Claire.

I’m an advocate of using the/a scene input/output method to drive the rising action–in fact, to write any novel.

Scene development:

  1. Scene input (easy)
  2. Scene output (a little harder)
  3. Scene setting (basic stuff)
  4. Creativity (creative elements of the scene)
  5. Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)
  6. Release (climax of creative elements)

One of my blog readers posed these questions.  I’ll use the next few weeks to answer them.

  1. Conflict/tension between characters
  2. Character presentation (appearance, speech, behavior, gestures, actions)
  3. Change, complexity of relationship, and relation to issues/theme
  4. Evolving vs static character
  5. Language and style
  6. Verbal, gesture, action
  7. Words employed
  8. Sentence length
  9. Complexity
  10. Type of grammar
  11. Diction
  12. Field of reference or allusion
  13. Tone – how tone is created through diction, rhythm, sentence construction, sound effects, images created by similes, syntax/re-arrangement of words in sentence, the inflections of the silent or spoken voice, etc.
  14. Mannerism suggested by speech
  15. Style
  16. Distinct manner of writing or speaking you employ, and why (like Pinter’s style includes gaps, silences, non-sequitors, and fragments while Chekhov’s includes ‘apparent’ inconclusiveness).

Moving on to 15. 15.  Style

Woah—style is huge. I just spent more than six months defining style from almost every angle I could imagine. Here are the elements I found for an author’s style.

1.  Novel based style

a.  Writing focus
b.  Conversations
c.  Scene development
d.  Word use
e.  Foreshadowing
f.  Analogies
g.  Use of figures of speech
h.  Subthemes
i.  Character revelation
j.  Historicity
k.  Real world ties
l.  Punctuation
m.  Character interaction

2.  Scene based style

a  Time
b.  Setting
c.  Tension and release development
d.  Revelation
e.  Theme development
f.  POV

Quick digression: Back in the USA for the holidays.

And here we are, the use of the ellipsis and the double dash becomes a question of style. Why not just break the independent clauses into separate sentences or use a conjugation? Many times you might want to do just that, but when you have two independent clauses that are related, you might not want to. In this case, you would usually use a semicolon. Instead, in fiction writing use a double dash. It is also called technically an em-dash. You don’t have an em-dash key on your computer—the double dash (2 x en-dashes) automatically turns into an em-dash. The em-dash is called em because it is as long as an m (theoretically) in typeface. The en-dash is half the length of an em-dash and is named for the length of the n (theoretically) in typeface. A hyphen is also shorter than the en-dash by about half. These are all in typeface and your computer word processor likely puts the correct dash in place for you.

What do you do with an em-dash. As I mentioned above. In narrative, you use it to separate two independent clauses. It acts like a semicolon. The difference is that in fiction, what matters is the timing of the pauses in the clauses. An em-dash produces a longer natural break than a semicolon. This produces the correct breath break that the semicolon really doesn’t—it’s too small and hard to catch in the writing. This isn’t really a question of style—except for using it instead of a conjugation.

Where the em-dash becomes very worthwhile is in conversation. The author of fiction has two pieces of punctuation she can use in conversation to denote a break. One is the ellipsis and the other is the em-dash. An ellipsis is not really acceptable in narrative, but it is very effective in conversation. Specifically, the ellipsis is supposed to be used when the actual words are not continued. It also marks an interruptive break. It can be used as a general break. I’ll leave it to you to determine which is a longer break, but the ellipsis is usually considered a longer pause than an em-dash. The whole point here is to provide the proper pause for phrase of conversation. In this case, it’s like a punchline or used to set words or phrases apart. The question of style is the use of these pauses in the writing.

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 Daemon | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 694, Punctuation, Style Q and A

29 May 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 694, Punctuation, Style Q and A

Announcement:  Ancient Light is delayed due to the economy.  You can read more about it at http://www.ancientlight.com.  Ancient Light includes the second edition of Aegypt plus Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness.  I’ll keep you updated.

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 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.
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 26th novel, working title, Shape, proposed title, Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si, is this: Mrs. Lyons captures a shape-shifting girl in her pantry and rehabilitates her.

I just started writing my 27th novel, working title, Claire, potential title Sorcha: Enchantment and the Trainee. This might need some tweaking. The theme statement is something like this: Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, the dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.

Here is the cover proposal for Essie: Enchantment and the Aos SiEssie is my 26th novel.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action.  I’m editing many of my novels using comments from my primary reader. I finished editing Children of Light and Darkness and am now writing on my 27th novel, working title Claire.

I’m an advocate of using the/a scene input/output method to drive the rising action–in fact, to write any novel.

Scene development:

  1. Scene input (easy)
  2. Scene output (a little harder)
  3. Scene setting (basic stuff)
  4. Creativity (creative elements of the scene)
  5. Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)
  6. Release (climax of creative elements)

One of my blog readers posed these questions.  I’ll use the next few weeks to answer them.

  1. Conflict/tension between characters
  2. Character presentation (appearance, speech, behavior, gestures, actions)
  3. Change, complexity of relationship, and relation to issues/theme
  4. Evolving vs static character
  5. Language and style
  6. Verbal, gesture, action
  7. Words employed
  8. Sentence length
  9. Complexity
  10. Type of grammar
  11. Diction
  12. Field of reference or allusion
  13. Tone – how tone is created through diction, rhythm, sentence construction, sound effects, images created by similes, syntax/re-arrangement of words in sentence, the inflections of the silent or spoken voice, etc.
  14. Mannerism suggested by speech
  15. Style
  16. Distinct manner of writing or speaking you employ, and why (like Pinter’s style includes gaps, silences, non-sequitors, and fragments while Chekhov’s includes ‘apparent’ inconclusiveness).

Moving on to 15. 15.  Style

Woah—style is huge. I just spent more than six months defining style from almost every angle I could imagine. Here are the elements I found for an author’s style.

1.  Novel based style

a.  Writing focus
b.  Conversations
c.  Scene development
d.  Word use
e.  Foreshadowing
f.  Analogies
g.  Use of figures of speech
h.  Subthemes
i.  Character revelation
j.  Historicity
k.  Real world ties
l.  Punctuation
m.  Character interaction

2.  Scene based style

a  Time
b.  Setting
c.  Tension and release development
d.  Revelation
e.  Theme development
f.  POV

Quick digression: Back in the USA for the holidays.

The way your English teacher put it, you’d think that punctuation was cut and dried, but a look at any complex piece of fiction indicates the opposite. The guide for punctuation in English is a style guide, in America, either the Chicago Manual of Style or the Associated Press Stylebook. The Elements of Style is a general guide to style in English. In these guides, you will find the basic rules for putting together documents for publication. You will also find their rules for punctuation. You will also find stupid fads in punctuation. For example, the very foolish: element, element and element, instead of the correct element, element, and element. This little punctuation problem launched an entire book: Eats, Shoots, and Leaves.

Punctuation is not as cut and dried as your teachers explained it. This is especially true in conversation and when using semicolons, ellipsis, and the double dash. Commas also have their own issues, but generally for commas and punctuation in general, the lessor the better. That’s not to say, when you need a comma don’t place a comma. It means that if there is no need for a comma, leave it out. Commas are used for all kinds of functions in English. They are the small break and used to set off elements. In general, commas set off individual elements and dependent clauses. The purpose of the semicolon is to set off independent clauses.

Half the English world, or worse, can’t find an independent or dependent clause with both hands. This doesn’t mean you dump the semicolon, but as an author, it sure helps if you understand English, right? In fiction, the semicolon is just not used much. You can still use it, but the ellipsis and the double dash have come to replace the semicolon in most fiction writing, and especially in conversation. In general, the double dash replaces the semicolon in narrative and the double dash and the ellipsis replaces the semicolon in conversation. The question is when.

And here we are, the use of the ellipsis and the double dash becomes a question of style. Why not just break the independent clauses into separate sentences or use a conjugation?

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 Daemon | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 693, more Real World Ties, Style Q and A

28 May 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 693, more Real World Ties, Style Q and A

Announcement:  Ancient Light is delayed due to the economy.  You can read more about it at http://www.ancientlight.com.  Ancient Light includes the second edition of Aegypt plus Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness.  I’ll keep you updated.

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 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.
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 26th novel, working title, Shape, proposed title, Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si, is this: Mrs. Lyons captures a shape-shifting girl in her pantry and rehabilitates her.

I just started writing my 27th novel, working title, Claire, potential title Sorcha: Enchantment and the Trainee. This might need some tweaking. The theme statement is something like this: Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, the dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.

Here is the cover proposal for Essie: Enchantment and the Aos SiEssie is my 26th novel.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action.  I’m editing many of my novels using comments from my primary reader. I finished editing Children of Light and Darkness and am now writing on my 27th novel, working title Claire.

I’m an advocate of using the/a scene input/output method to drive the rising action–in fact, to write any novel.

Scene development:

  1. Scene input (easy)
  2. Scene output (a little harder)
  3. Scene setting (basic stuff)
  4. Creativity (creative elements of the scene)
  5. Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)
  6. Release (climax of creative elements)

One of my blog readers posed these questions.  I’ll use the next few weeks to answer them.

  1. Conflict/tension between characters
  2. Character presentation (appearance, speech, behavior, gestures, actions)
  3. Change, complexity of relationship, and relation to issues/theme
  4. Evolving vs static character
  5. Language and style
  6. Verbal, gesture, action
  7. Words employed
  8. Sentence length
  9. Complexity
  10. Type of grammar
  11. Diction
  12. Field of reference or allusion
  13. Tone – how tone is created through diction, rhythm, sentence construction, sound effects, images created by similes, syntax/re-arrangement of words in sentence, the inflections of the silent or spoken voice, etc.
  14. Mannerism suggested by speech
  15. Style
  16. Distinct manner of writing or speaking you employ, and why (like Pinter’s style includes gaps, silences, non-sequitors, and fragments while Chekhov’s includes ‘apparent’ inconclusiveness).

Moving on to 15. 15.  Style

Woah—style is huge. I just spent more than six months defining style from almost every angle I could imagine. Here are the elements I found for an author’s style.

1.  Novel based style

a.  Writing focus
b.  Conversations
c.  Scene development
d.  Word use
e.  Foreshadowing
f.  Analogies
g.  Use of figures of speech
h.  Subthemes
i.  Character revelation
j.  Historicity
k.  Real world ties
l.  Punctuation
m.  Character interaction

2.  Scene based style

a  Time
b.  Setting
c.  Tension and release development
d.  Revelation
e.  Theme development
f.  POV

Quick digression: Back in the USA for the holidays.

The ties of a novel into the real world are a matter of style. I like real world ties. I want the places in a novel to be real, so I use the real world. Not to mention, the real world provides immediate and wonderful descriptions. If you use an actual restaurant, you have a name, a place, a description, a menu. Your characters can just go for a meal. The degree of descriptions can be great or small. I like the Arlo Guthrie Jr. method of description. At least do that.  Even better, you can vary the degree and the reality based on your novel. Here is an example from the newest novel I’m writing. This is a first cut, but it shows how to use a real place in a novel.

Major Easom drove back down the path and to Church Street. It turned into the less auspicious B6034. They continued down it until they crossed Friend Lane and Boy Lane.

Shiggy clucked her tongue, “What peculiar names for a road: boy and friend. Perhaps the intersection should be boyfriend.”

Sorcha glared, “You’re not helping things, Shiggy.”

The Major turned left into the parking lot of a large old fashioned building that looked very much like an inn. The sign read: The Dukeries Lodge, Edwinstowe.

Shiggy put in, “It is an inn. A lodge.”

Captain Cross sounded hopeful, “You can get a room for the night. If you need one.”

Sorcha glowered, “It’s Christmas Eve. I’m certain they’re all booked up.”

Shiggy put up her hand, “Surely not all.” And Sorcha punched her arm.

Major Easom stopped at the front door. An attendant immediately opened Sorcha’s door. She moved to Shiggy’s just as the Captain opened Shiggy’s door. He stood staring at Shiggy much too long. Finally, Shiggy swung her feet around to exit and accidentally, intentionally kicked him. Captain Cross backed with an apology.

Sorcha nodded, “Very good, Shiggy. That’s just the way to handle things.”

Shiggy smiled and whispered, “I’d rather not hurt him.”

Sorcha tilted her head toward Shiggy, “Just show him who’s boss.”

Shiggy exited the automobile and put out her arm, “William.”

The Captain moved like a puppy to her side. She grasped his arm a little tighter than necessary, “Take me inside. It’s cold tonight.”

Major Easom handed the keys to the valet and moved around the back of the car to escort Sorcha. Sorcha took his arm. She was just in time to see Shiggy push William a little further from her and say, “You’re a bit too close, Mr. Cross.”

William apologized, “I’m sorry, Shiggy.”

Shiggy continued as they stepped up to the brightly lit round top oak framed door, “If you can’t behave yourself, I will insist that you address me as Ms. Tash.”

“Yes, Shiggy.”

Sorcha stifled a laugh. Her little monster was learning a new trick.

They entered the lodge and Major Easom went to the restaurant front desk, “Good evening. You should have a private room for Mr. Easom and party.”

The matre de seemed a bit put out, but he nodded sagely, “Yes, sir. You are right on time.” The restaurant was bustling, and every table looked full. The matre de spoke to a young woman.

She stepped forward, “If you will please follow me.”

They followed the woman to a set of wide double doors. She opened them and led them inside. A round table sat next to a large radiator and an enormous white framed window. The view wasn’t that great, but Christmas lights and decorations outside lent a cheerful grace to the room and the exterior. The table was set for four and Champaign cooled in two gold buckets at either side. Crystal Champaign flutes and wine glasses sparkled on the table. A couple of waiters immediately came into the room.

Major Easom seated Sorcha next to the wall.

Captain Cross seemed like he wasn’t about to let go of Shiggy so she pinched him, “William, seat me this instant.”

The Captain rushed to seat her across from Sorcha. A waiter seated the Major to the right of Sorcha and another seated Captain Cross to Shiggy’s right. Captain Cross immediately shifted his seat closer to Shiggy. Shiggy poked his arm, “You have ruined the symmetry of the table, William. Move back to center a bit.”

Captain Cross complied instantly.

Shiggy smiled at Sorcha, and Sorcha gave her a hidden thumbs up.

The waiters right away popped open the Champaign and poured it. Their performance was a little eye-catching.

When they all held a flute of Champaign, Major Easom raised his glass, “To Christmas Eve and to these most gorgeous women who accepted our invitation this evening.”

Sorcha laughed, “You know we can’t drink to ourselves. Perhaps we should leave it at the evening and to our friendship.”

Major Easom turned toward her, “I’ll agree to that, but for both William and me, we must insist that we add growing and potentially broadening friendship.”

Sorcha raised her glass. They all touched their ringing glasses together, “Cheers.”

Major Easom continued, “We chose from the lodge’s special menu tonight. I hope you enjoy our selections.”

The first course came around. They started with salmon with dill and citrus. Then moved to wild mushroom soup.

Sorcha had to add, “I hope they didn’t pick the mushrooms in the dark.” She grinned at Shiggy.

Shiggy wiped her lips, “They don’t taste anything like morels.”

They both laughed.

The Major and Sorcha conversed very pleasantly. Captain Cross had barely said a word to Shiggy. When the fish course came around, cod Louis with leeks and cream sauce, she turned to the Captain, “William, you haven’t entertained me a wit this evening. Cat got your tongue?”

He sat a little straighter, “I’m sorry, Shiggy. I don’t know what’s got into me.”

“Am I so beautiful, you can’t take your eyes off me?”

“Well, what you said is absolutely true. I can’t seem to take my eyes off you. Tonight, you look ravishing.”

“I’m wearing he earrings you gave me. They are beautiful, and they match the rest of me.”

“Everywhere?”

“William. Look at my face. The other parts are certainly off limits.”

He looked into her eyes.

Perhaps that was the wrong approach altogether. Shiggy took a bite of cod, “Your selections are excellent. I’ve also enjoyed the novels you recommended to me. I never read much science fiction before.”

His demeanor changed almost immediately.

Shiggy knew she hit on the correct approach.

He leaned toward her slightly, but didn’t neglect his meal, “Have you had much time to read?”

“Not as much as I would like, but I find Jack Vance interesting. And I’ve been reading some of the Asimov and Clarke. I think I’d like to read more Vance.”

“I could share my library with you.”

“Isn’t that a bit risky. You don’t know me that well.”

Captain Cross got an odd look on his face. His voice became a little more earnest, “I would very much like to get to know you better. I think I’m in love with you.”

Sorcha dropped her silver.

Shiggy choked on her cod.

Major Easom sat up, “Perhaps William such confessions could wait for a more private exchange.”

The Captain colored, “I’m sorry. I do apologize to the table. I didn’t intend to make such a candid statement. Not at the moment.”

A waiter ran from the side and replaced Sorcha’s silver. Shiggy took a clearing sip of Champaign. She waved her glass and said a little sadly, “I will ignore your statement at the moment, and I will not hold you to it at all.”

Sorcha glared at the Captain, “Keep those thoughts to yourself, William. I’ll not have such sentiments gumming up our evening no matter their source.”

“Yes, Sorcha.”

The meat course was a slow braised steak. Major Easom ordered a red wine severed with it. The bottle came around and everyone pronounced it a perfect match with the meat. Major Easom added, “This is a specialty of the lodge. I couldn’t pass it up.”

Sorcha complemented him, “You did choose well. Exactly what I like. You seem to know my tastes well.”

“I’ve been observing them for a long time.”

Sorcha didn’t frown, “Yes, well I don’t want to hear any confessions quite yet either.”

Captain Cross tried again, “Shiggy, I did mean what I said about sharing my library. At the next opportunity, I’ll give you my address and password.”

Shiggy liked this kind of talk, “I’d like to see more of your recommendations, but books can’t be your only love.”

“I also enjoy hunting and shooting.”

“What type of shooting?”

“Pistols, rifles, and shotguns. We have a range for practice. Would you be interested?”

“Very much. I like to cycle to keep in shape, but I haven’t had much need or opportunity lately.”

Sorcha interjected, “It’s a bit cold for leisurely cycling, but perhaps we could add that to our schedule later.”

Major Easom took a sip of wine, “In the spring, perhaps we could take a cycling tour and picnic.”

Shiggy became exuberant, “I’d like that very much.”

Captain Cross smiled, “When you have some time, I’ll take you to our shooting range. Are you familiar with pistols and rifles?”

“Actually.”

Sorcha tapped her glass with her fork and raised her eyebrows at Shiggy.

“Actually, I’m not very familiar at all, but it sounds exciting.”

The waiters cleared their plates and brought coffee and dessert. The dessert was Christmas pudding and a mince pie to finish.

When the meal was done, Major Easom leaned back with his cup of coffee, “I found that very good. Should I order another round of Champaign?”

Shiggy bounced, “Oh yes. Please.”

Sorcha chuckled, “I should check Shiggy’s blood-alcohol levels first.”

Shiggy slouched, “I’m not too woozy.”

Captain Cross asked, “Are you fit enough to dance?”

Shiggy sat up quickly, “Where is the dancing. I’d love to, and it’s been part of my training.”

“Shiggy,” Sorcha warned.

Shiggy sucked her lips, “That is to say, I’ve been taking instruction in dance.”

Captain Cross stood, “I’d very much like you to dance with me, Shiggy.”

Sorcha leaned forward and wrinkled her brow, “I’m sure you would.”

The Captain turned toward her, “Ma’am?”

“Go ahead and dance. Come Dustin. I want to dance too, and I need to keep an eye on Shiggy.”

What I didn’t tell you is that Shiggy has been affected by fairy glamour. The poor Captain can’t keep his eyes off her for that reason. They all go to a real restaurant in a real place. The actual time is 2025, so the restaurant may or may not really be there at the time. In any case, the menu is real although I fixed it a little. I took their Christmas Eve set menu and made it a little more expansive. The reason is that the characters are wealthy and sophisticated, Major Easom can fix up a dinner as he and I would do it for a very special set of ladies. Which Sorcha and Shiggy are in the novel. The Major and the Captain are wooing the ladies, if you couldn’t tell. This method of tying a novel into the real world is what I recommend, but it is a matter of style.

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 Ideas – New Novel, part 692, Real World Ties, Style Q and A

27 May 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 692, Real World Ties, Style Q and A

Announcement:  Ancient Light is delayed due to the economy.  You can read more about it at http://www.ancientlight.com.  Ancient Light includes the second edition of Aegypt plus Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness.  I’ll keep you updated.

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 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.
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 26th novel, working title, Shape, proposed title, Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si, is this: Mrs. Lyons captures a shape-shifting girl in her pantry and rehabilitates her.

I just started writing my 27th novel, working title, Claire, potential title Sorcha: Enchantment and the Trainee. This might need some tweaking. The theme statement is something like this: Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, the dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.

Here is the cover proposal for Essie: Enchantment and the Aos SiEssie is my 26th novel.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action.  I’m editing many of my novels using comments from my primary reader. I finished editing Children of Light and Darkness and am now writing on my 27th novel, working title Claire.

I’m an advocate of using the/a scene input/output method to drive the rising action–in fact, to write any novel.

Scene development:

  1. Scene input (easy)
  2. Scene output (a little harder)
  3. Scene setting (basic stuff)
  4. Creativity (creative elements of the scene)
  5. Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)
  6. Release (climax of creative elements)

One of my blog readers posed these questions.  I’ll use the next few weeks to answer them.

  1. Conflict/tension between characters
  2. Character presentation (appearance, speech, behavior, gestures, actions)
  3. Change, complexity of relationship, and relation to issues/theme
  4. Evolving vs static character
  5. Language and style
  6. Verbal, gesture, action
  7. Words employed
  8. Sentence length
  9. Complexity
  10. Type of grammar
  11. Diction
  12. Field of reference or allusion
  13. Tone – how tone is created through diction, rhythm, sentence construction, sound effects, images created by similes, syntax/re-arrangement of words in sentence, the inflections of the silent or spoken voice, etc.
  14. Mannerism suggested by speech
  15. Style
  16. Distinct manner of writing or speaking you employ, and why (like Pinter’s style includes gaps, silences, non-sequitors, and fragments while Chekhov’s includes ‘apparent’ inconclusiveness).

Moving on to 15. 15.  Style

Woah—style is huge. I just spent more than six months defining style from almost every angle I could imagine. Here are the elements I found for an author’s style.

1.  Novel based style

a.  Writing focus
b.  Conversations
c.  Scene development
d.  Word use
e.  Foreshadowing
f.  Analogies
g.  Use of figures of speech
h.  Subthemes
i.  Character revelation
j.  Historicity
k.  Real world ties
l.  Punctuation
m.  Character interaction

2.  Scene based style

a  Time
b.  Setting
c.  Tension and release development
d.  Revelation
e.  Theme development
f.  POV

Quick digression: Back in the USA for the holidays.

The ties of a novel into the real world are a matter of style. Like historicity, I wish this weren’t so. Look, you can have a novel that is similar to science fiction with completely made up places and times. Or you can write a novel completely tied into the world.

Let’s look at a modern novel—those are the easiest. To tie a modern novel into the real world, the place the character lives, works, and/or goes to school should be real. I wrote two novels using different colleges I attended as the background. My novel Khione: Enchantment and the Fox is placed at Boston University one of my graduate schools. My novel Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer is set at my undergraduate college, Pacific Lutheran University. For both novels, I needed a university. Each of my colleges fit the bill. I used my knowledge of the campus as well as newer photos to set the stage of the novels.

For the character’s living accommodations, I used my knowledge plus a little obscuration and googlemaps to put them where I wanted them. When my characters went out to eat, I used real restaurants and described real menus. They ate and drank what the restaurants offered and what I knew people in the area liked. They visited real places in the areas of the schools. When they visited the parents of the protagonist, they went to a real neighborhood. Again, in Seattle (north of Pacific Lutheran University which is in South Tacoma and Spanaway) and in Boston (Boston University), the characters went to real places with real descriptions and the real events in those areas.

Places tie a novel into reality, but so does time. I know most people don’t care if the day in a novel is Friday the 13th or Wednesday the 13th, if the moon is full, or Christmas is on a Sunday or a Monday. I care. In every novel, if the day of the week is set, it is the actual day for that year. I like to look at the actual weather and the events of the day. This is setting the novel into reality. Perhaps your readers won’t care, but with the internet and the resources available to the writer, this isn’t that difficult. It is a question of style because some writers are lazy. Hey, you can have a great novel even if the reality of a place is completely screwed up, but the people from that location won’t be fooled.

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 Ideas – New Novel, part 691, Historicity, Style Q and A

26 May 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 691, Historicity, Style Q and A

Announcement:  Ancient Light is delayed due to the economy.  You can read more about it at http://www.ancientlight.com.  Ancient Light includes the second edition of Aegypt plus Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness.  I’ll keep you updated.

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 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.
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 26th novel, working title, Shape, proposed title, Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si, is this: Mrs. Lyons captures a shape-shifting girl in her pantry and rehabilitates her.

I just started writing my 27th novel, working title, Claire, potential title Sorcha: Enchantment and the Trainee. This might need some tweaking. The theme statement is something like this: Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, the dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.

Here is the cover proposal for Essie: Enchantment and the Aos SiEssie is my 26th novel.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action.  I’m editing many of my novels using comments from my primary reader. I finished editing Children of Light and Darkness and am now writing on my 27th novel, working title Claire.

I’m an advocate of using the/a scene input/output method to drive the rising action–in fact, to write any novel.

Scene development:

  1. Scene input (easy)
  2. Scene output (a little harder)
  3. Scene setting (basic stuff)
  4. Creativity (creative elements of the scene)
  5. Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)
  6. Release (climax of creative elements)

I can immediately discern three ways to invoke creativity:

  1. Historical extrapolation
  2. Technological extrapolation
  3. Intellectual extrapolation

Creativity is like an extrapolation of what has been.  It is a reflection of something new created with ties to the history, science, and logic (the intellect).  Creativity requires consuming, thinking, and producing.

One of my blog readers posed these questions.  I’ll use the next few weeks to answer them.

  1. Conflict/tension between characters
  2. Character presentation (appearance, speech, behavior, gestures, actions)
  3. Change, complexity of relationship, and relation to issues/theme
  4. Evolving vs static character
  5. Language and style
  6. Verbal, gesture, action
  7. Words employed
  8. Sentence length
  9. Complexity
  10. Type of grammar
  11. Diction
  12. Field of reference or allusion
  13. Tone – how tone is created through diction, rhythm, sentence construction, sound effects, images created by similes, syntax/re-arrangement of words in sentence, the inflections of the silent or spoken voice, etc.
  14. Mannerism suggested by speech
  15. Style
  16. Distinct manner of writing or speaking you employ, and why (like Pinter’s style includes gaps, silences, non-sequitors, and fragments while Chekhov’s includes ‘apparent’ inconclusiveness).

Moving on to 15. 15.  Style

Woah—style is huge. I just spent more than six months defining style from almost every angle I could imagine. Here are the elements I found for an author’s style.

1.  Novel based style

a.  Writing focus
b.  Conversations
c.  Scene development
d.  Word use
e.  Foreshadowing
f.  Analogies
g.  Use of figures of speech
h.  Subthemes
i.  Character revelation
j.  Historicity
k.  Real world ties
l.  Punctuation
m.  Character interaction

2.  Scene based style

a  Time
b.  Setting
c.  Tension and release development
d.  Revelation
e.  Theme development
f.  POV

Quick digression: Back in the USA for the holidays.

I’d like to put historicity in a different pot entirely, but you can’t. I want the historicity of my novels to be perfect, spot on, accurate down to the date, time, event, and person. Many, if not most authors are not that way. Most historical fiction is like historical movies. You watch a sixties based historical movie and the characters have amazing electronics that weren’t even conceived in the 1960s. You see a 19th Century movie and hear people talking about ideas that weren’t imagined by anyone at the time. Reality isn’t much like the movies or popular writing imagines it. That’s cool for entertainment purposes, but rotten for reality. I want reality in my fiction—especially my historical fiction.

It’s the same idea in science fiction. This is why I don’t like any of Star Trek or Star Wars from a science fiction standpoint. Sure they’re both okay science fantasy, but not science fiction—there is more science in a sixth grader’s science fair project than in all of the Star Wars or Star Trek movies. Plus there’s more imagination in a four year olds refrigerator painting than in most of the Star stuff. The problem with both of these is the writers—they aren’t scientists and they don’t understand science, but I’m writing about historicity at the moment.

Science is to science fiction as historicity is to historical fiction. Some authors in science fiction ignore the science, but still put together great novels. Likewise, some, if not many historical fiction authors ignore the history to write great novels. I don’t want to call either “great” but hey, who let a little science or history get in the way of a good story.

The point is historicity is a point of style. You can write a historical fiction novel and be all messed up historically—if you are obscure enough, no one may notice. On the other hand, you can write a historical fiction novel that is as real as the times it includes. Such a work is a true piece of art. Such a novel gives your readers accurate information while entertaining them. This is a function of style in a historical fiction novel. I really wish it weren’t.

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 Ideas – New Novel, part 690, Style and Character Revelation, Style Q and A

25 May 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 690, Style and Character Revelation, Style Q and A

Announcement:  Ancient Light is delayed due to the economy.  You can read more about it at http://www.ancientlight.com.  Ancient Light includes the second edition of Aegypt plus Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness.  I’ll keep you updated.

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 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.
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 26th novel, working title, Shape, proposed title, Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si, is this: Mrs. Lyons captures a shape-shifting girl in her pantry and rehabilitates her.

I just started writing my 27th novel, working title, Claire, potential title Sorcha: Enchantment and the Trainee. This might need some tweaking. The theme statement is something like this: Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, the dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.

Here is the cover proposal for Essie: Enchantment and the Aos SiEssie is my 26th novel.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action.  I’m editing many of my novels using comments from my primary reader. I finished editing Children of Light and Darkness and am now writing on my 27th novel, working title Claire.

I’m an advocate of using the/a scene input/output method to drive the rising action–in fact, to write any novel.

Scene development:

  1. Scene input (easy)
  2. Scene output (a little harder)
  3. Scene setting (basic stuff)
  4. Creativity (creative elements of the scene)
  5. Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)
  6. Release (climax of creative elements)

I can immediately discern three ways to invoke creativity:

  1. Historical extrapolation
  2. Technological extrapolation
  3. Intellectual extrapolation

Creativity is like an extrapolation of what has been.  It is a reflection of something new created with ties to the history, science, and logic (the intellect).  Creativity requires consuming, thinking, and producing.

One of my blog readers posed these questions.  I’ll use the next few weeks to answer them.

  1. Conflict/tension between characters
  2. Character presentation (appearance, speech, behavior, gestures, actions)
  3. Change, complexity of relationship, and relation to issues/theme
  4. Evolving vs static character
  5. Language and style
  6. Verbal, gesture, action
  7. Words employed
  8. Sentence length
  9. Complexity
  10. Type of grammar
  11. Diction
  12. Field of reference or allusion
  13. Tone – how tone is created through diction, rhythm, sentence construction, sound effects, images created by similes, syntax/re-arrangement of words in sentence, the inflections of the silent or spoken voice, etc.
  14. Mannerism suggested by speech
  15. Style
  16. Distinct manner of writing or speaking you employ, and why (like Pinter’s style includes gaps, silences, non-sequitors, and fragments while Chekhov’s includes ‘apparent’ inconclusiveness).

Moving on to 15. 15.  Style

Woah—style is huge. I just spent more than six months defining style from almost every angle I could imagine. Here are the elements I found for an author’s style.

1.  Novel based style

a.  Writing focus
b.  Conversations
c.  Scene development
d.  Word use
e.  Foreshadowing
f.  Analogies
g.  Use of figures of speech
h.  Subthemes
i.  Character revelation
j.  Historicity
k.  Real world ties
l.  Punctuation
m.  Character interaction

2.  Scene based style

a  Time
b.  Setting
c.  Tension and release development
d.  Revelation
e.  Theme development
f.  POV

Quick digression: Back in the USA for the holidays.

Character revelation comes directly out of the theme. The theme and subthemes are pure elements of the writer’s style. This makes the theme and the subthemes very important, however, since the character revelation comes out of the theme, the author must pay very careful attention to this element of the novel.

To reveal a character or characters, obviously, the writer must know the characters. First and foremost, who is the protagonist? Likewise, who is the protagonist’s helper and who is the antagonist? What is the protagonist’s telic flaw? What do these characters look like? What do they think like? What are their names? Who are they? Where were they born? This is just basic information the author must develop outside the novel about the main characters (and perhaps about some other major characters). The development doesn’t happen in the novel. The development of a character is what the author does to build a character from nothing to whoever that characters happens to be. The development of a character is only a function of style if the fundamental part of the character is a function of the writer’s theme or subtheme style. For example, I write about the supernatural hidden in the modern world. My major characters tend to have some claim or touch or association with the supernatural. An author who writes about Wall Street might create characters who are bankers or stockbrokers and who are acutely aware and knowledgeable about money.

The author develops a complete character then reveals the character(s) in the novel.  The development of a character may fit within the theme or subtheme style of an author, but the telic flaw of the protagonist always is directly related to the theme. If you remember, I wrote, the author’s style is directly related to the subthemes and somewhat related to the theme. The tie of the theme to the style is important. The theme is directly tied to the telic flaw of the protagonist. The climax of the theme must resolve the telic flaw. By this reasoning, the theme style of the author and the revelation of the protagonist go hand in hand. I wrote on a somewhat simplistic note before, an action based writer will have an action based resolution and a less action based author might have a more intellection resolution.

Remember, all climax and climax resolutions are action based. You can’t really have a conversation based climax and resolution. You can, but few will like your novel. For now, just note climax means action. This should help you with your climax. The means of the resolution of the climax will vary with style. This means the approach to the climax must vary with style. Therefore, in my novel Hestia, the characters go through all kinds of intellectual study, conversation, and reasoning to discover the place where the obvious climax must occur. The characters don’t know they are going to a climax—they perceive they are resolving a mystery. They are solving a mystery. The solution brings them in conflict with the antagonist of the novel. Any reader and writer should expect this. The climax is action based—they must confront the antagonist. Action occurs, but with the resolution comes conversation and action to complete and resolve the telic flaw of the protagonist, the climax of the novel, the mystery in the novel, and etc. Thus, you can directly see my style in the character revelation, theme, and climax of the novel. You should, they are all interrelated.

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 Ideas – New Novel, part 689, more Character Revelation, Style Q and A

24 May 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 689, more Character Revelation, Style Q and A

Announcement:  Ancient Light is delayed due to the economy.  You can read more about it at http://www.ancientlight.com.  Ancient Light includes the second edition of Aegypt plus Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness.  I’ll keep you updated.

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 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.
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 26th novel, working title, Shape, proposed title, Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si, is this: Mrs. Lyons captures a shape-shifting girl in her pantry and rehabilitates her.

I just started writing my 27th novel, working title, Claire, potential title Sorcha: Enchantment and the Trainee. This might need some tweaking. The theme statement is something like this: Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, the dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.

Here is the cover proposal for Essie: Enchantment and the Aos SiEssie is my 26th novel.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action.  I’m editing many of my novels using comments from my primary reader. I finished editing Children of Light and Darkness and am now writing on my 27th novel, working title Claire.

I’m an advocate of using the/a scene input/output method to drive the rising action–in fact, to write any novel.

Scene development:

  1. Scene input (easy)
  2. Scene output (a little harder)
  3. Scene setting (basic stuff)
  4. Creativity (creative elements of the scene)
  5. Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)
  6. Release (climax of creative elements)

I can immediately discern three ways to invoke creativity:

  1. Historical extrapolation
  2. Technological extrapolation
  3. Intellectual extrapolation

Creativity is like an extrapolation of what has been.  It is a reflection of something new created with ties to the history, science, and logic (the intellect).  Creativity requires consuming, thinking, and producing.

One of my blog readers posed these questions.  I’ll use the next few weeks to answer them.

  1. Conflict/tension between characters
  2. Character presentation (appearance, speech, behavior, gestures, actions)
  3. Change, complexity of relationship, and relation to issues/theme
  4. Evolving vs static character
  5. Language and style
  6. Verbal, gesture, action
  7. Words employed
  8. Sentence length
  9. Complexity
  10. Type of grammar
  11. Diction
  12. Field of reference or allusion
  13. Tone – how tone is created through diction, rhythm, sentence construction, sound effects, images created by similes, syntax/re-arrangement of words in sentence, the inflections of the silent or spoken voice, etc.
  14. Mannerism suggested by speech
  15. Style
  16. Distinct manner of writing or speaking you employ, and why (like Pinter’s style includes gaps, silences, non-sequitors, and fragments while Chekhov’s includes ‘apparent’ inconclusiveness).

Moving on to 15. 15.  Style

Woah—style is huge. I just spent more than six months defining style from almost every angle I could imagine. Here are the elements I found for an author’s style.

1.  Novel based style

a.  Writing focus
b.  Conversations
c.  Scene development
d.  Word use
e.  Foreshadowing
f.  Analogies
g.  Use of figures of speech
h.  Subthemes
i.  Character revelation
j.  Historicity
k.  Real world ties
l.  Punctuation
m.  Character interaction

2.  Scene based style

a  Time
b.  Setting
c.  Tension and release development
d.  Revelation
e.  Theme development
f.  POV

Quick digression: Back in the USA for the holidays.

In a novel, the means of character revelation is a function of the author’s style. Although every novel is about character revelation, nothing extraneous to the plot should be revealed.

The rule, “everything should be shown and not told,” should guide and control much of the character revelation. The focus on the plot should guide the rest. The point is to not include anything that does not further the plot and any revelation that doesn’t further the plot. This doesn’t mean you can’t write in information that is directly unimportant to the plot, you just need to be careful what you include. I know this is a problem for many authors.

I know it is a problem for two reasons. The first is that many authors complain or confess that their novels decrease in length when editing. This means much of the original writing was overly verbose or too much was included in the novel that was extraneous to the plot. The second is that, I know in the editing process, many editors suggest significant edits of the writer’s materials. This, in itself, demonstrates the writer included unnecessary character revelation or worse revelation completely extraneous to the novel.

Just what should be included in the novel? I don’t find this difficult myself, but it seems to be a problem for many writers. If you look back at the outline of a novel (this is the classic outline). Every scene should drive via character revelation to the climax. The climax should be based on the telic flaw of the protagonist. The protagonist should resolve their problems through overcoming (comedy) or being overcome (tragedy) by their telic flaw. Everything else is extraneous.

Obviously, the writer must know who is the protagonist. Likewise, who is the protagonist’s helper, and who is the antagonist. The author should also generally know what is the protagonist’s telic flaw. Then how does this fit into character revelation and then style?

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

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