15 November 2018, Writing – part x593, Developing Skills, How to Suspend Disbelief, Writing Reasonable Worldview
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.
The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:
- Don’t confuse your readers.
- Entertain your readers.
- Ground your readers in the writing.
- Don’t show (or tell) everything.
4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.
- 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:
- Design the initial scene
- Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
- Research as required
- Develop the initial setting
- Develop the characters
- Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
- Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
- Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
- Write the climax scene
- Write the falling action scene(s)
- 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.
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 30thnovel, working title Red Sonja. I finished my 29th novel, working titleDetective. 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: TBD
Here is the scene development outline:
- Scene input (comes from the previous scene output or is an initial scene)
- Write the scene setting (place, time, stuff, and characters)
- Imagine the output, creative elements, plot, telic flaw resolution (climax) and develop the tension and release.
- Write the scene using the output and creative elements to build the tension.
- Write the release
- Write the kicker
Today: Suspension of disbelief is the characteristic of writing that pulls the reader into the world of the novel in such a way that the reader would rather face the world of the novel rather than the real world—at least while reading. If this occurs while not reading, it is potentially a mental problem. To achieve the suspension of disbelief your writing has to meet some basic criteria and contain some strong inspiration. If you want to call the inspiration creativity, that works too. Here is a list of the basic criteria to hope to achieve some degree of suspension of disbelief.
- Reasonably written in standard English
- No glaring logical fallacies
- Reasoned worldview
- Creative and interesting topic
- A Plot
Worldview is the most important feature of any fantasy, science fiction, or magical realism novel. In fact, I could argue that worldview is the most important feature of every novel.
Novels that attempt to show the world of the time are a reflected worldview. Novels that attempt to show the ideas of the time are a reproduced worldview. Novels that build their own worldview are a created worldview.
How do we ensure the worldview doesn’t cast the reader out of the suspension of disbelief? The problem becomes when the writer does not properly reflect or reproduce the worldview.
If you are reading this closely, you should note that the problem with either reproduced or reflected worldview is when the writer doesn’t get them straight—basically creating an aborted created worldview. This usually occurs when the writer focuses or states questionable facts or makes unsupportable assertions without providing some basis for them.
For example, if I wrote a novel about vampires and stated that they had sparkly diamond-like skin, a vampire connoisseur would be knocked immediately out of the suspension of disbelief. This is exactly what happened to me in the sparkly vampire novels. I can’t read or watch the movies because the novel does not reflect or reproduce a consistent model of any classic or not so classic vampire. To me the motivations, descriptions, and settings are silly, but we are talking about a young adult novel. Young adults are less educated and probably don’t have a clue about classical vampires—Dracula was a novel assigned to them that they couldn’t and wouldn’t read. But there’s more.
Any time an author does not properly reflect or reproduce the common worldview, this can be a problem. To counter this, if the writer dos introduce a potentially controversial or questionable description or idea, they should prep the reader with some kind of reasoned and logical proof text. Now, that doesn’t mean you need to write a technical paper, it means you need to write some type of explanation in the plot. I can’t defend sparkly vampires. I can introduce a reader to a lesser known mythological character or creature. In general, when you reproduce a worldview, you need to research and know your worldview.
For example, I incorporated a dragon into one of my novels. I studied classical mythology and ancient stories about dragons. I used the descriptions directly out of the sources. I stated some of my sources. When I incorporated the demon Asmodeus in my novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Deamon, I used The Book of Tobit, The Book of Solomon’s Wisdom, plus a host of medieval documents on Asmodeus and demons. The novel is a reproduction of human knowledge about demons and sorcery as well as a reflection of the times 1917 to 1919.
As you write reflective or reproduced worldviews ensure your writing is truly reflective and reproductive of human knowledge and the world. This is a critical aspect of these types of worldview. Then there is a created worldview.
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