Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 961, Publishing, Protagonists, Examples: Twilight Lamb

21 February 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 961, Publishing, Protagonists, Examples: Twilight Lamb

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 started writing my 28th novel, working title Red Sonja.

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)

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.

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.

These are the steps I use to write a novel:

  1. Design the initial scene
  2. Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
    1. Research as required
    2. Develop the initial setting
    3. Develop the characters
    4. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  3. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  4. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  5. Write the climax scene
  6. Write the falling action scene(s)
  7. Write the dénouement scene

Would you like to write a novel that a publisher will consider? Would you like to write a novel that is published? How about one that sells?

Readers like Romantic characters because they want to be like them. They like pathetic characters because they want to love and comfort them. I do use Romantic and somewhat pathos building protagonists in my science fiction. The second Ghost Ship Chronicles novel is Twilight Lamb. Den Protania is the protagonist of this novel as well. As I noted, he is a Romantic character because he is a psionic warrior and leader in the body of a failure. The psionic warrior and leader are the points that make him Romantic. The failure makes him pathetic. We find that Den Protania can now achieve journeyman in three disciplines where before he couldn’t achieve one. This is another indicator of a Romantic character. Here is an example from the novel:

The family trading vessel Twilight Lamb hung heavy and brilliant like an irregular planetoid in a matched orbit with the massive dry dock in high orbit around the planet Neuterra. At over ten kilometers in length and 100 million metric tons, she was large for a family trading ship. In the surface, pocked by the thousands of kilometers of wiring, ductwork, and structure, everything unnecessary to place within the pressure vessel, could be seen a reflection of Neuterra’s day and night. The Twilight Lamb had plied space for over 300 years and was one of the most successful of the family trading cartel in Human Space. The ship was home to over a 500 people.

The business of managing command and astrogation repairs for the Twilight Lamb in dry dock orbit around Neuterra took most of Den and Natana Protania’s time for the next couple of weeks.    Even so, Den watched expectantly for Natana and his rotation for surface leave on the ship’s schedule. He saw their planetside leave time come up again then unexpectedly, their slots were removed from the schedule.

Den burst into the cabin he shared with Natana, “Nata!”

“Den. I’m right here.” Natana Protania was beautiful in her own way—slight and small. Her skin was dark like most spacers but translucent. Her hair short and lightly brown—it framed her delicate features and constantly threatened to fall into her face. She habitually pushed her hair back behind her ears. She was young, but looked younger than her 18 terra normal years—both an asset and a liability to the youngest Master Astrogator in a Family Trading Ship.

“Sorry. Do you know why they took us off the planet roster?” Den Protania eased into a seat he pulled out of the wall. He was broad shouldered and tall for a spacer. His face appeared young—as young as his 21 terra normal years, but his eyes seemed older, ancient. His grey-eyed gaze promoted trust and leadership. On the breast of his ship’s suit, the multiple badges of Master Command, Master Astrogator, and Journeyman Shuttle announced his proven skills.

“No idea, but I can guess. But do you really want to go back down there?”

“Yes, we have to return to Neukoln.”

“Why?”

“The information we recovered from Dr. Fleisher’s records is incomplete. He obviously kept his personal records separate from those in his lab. If we hope to ascertain what his organization is up to, we need his personal records. We also need to determine where he found the advanced psy equipment.”

Nata took him in her arms, “I have no intention of losing you now that I have you safe with me.”

Den pushed the hair away from her face, “They can’t surprise us now. We know what to look for. We were unprepared before.”

“I won’t let you go alone,” Natana shook her head.

“I don’t want you to be away from me. We’re a team, Nata, and I may need the extra capability your psy and the chip give. We need to know if the chip inside your brain causes side-effects. The ancients who developed that microchip will likely have experimented with it for a long time. They had many symbiotic chips that were well tested and safe. This may be one that was fully tested then later modified by the doctor or someone else.”

“How do we find out which kind of symbiotic chip this is?”

“The version number is available through a physical and a thought sequence. The physical sequence is a simple set of actions that are not common during normal human interaction. The thought sequence can be anything close to the actual programmed command. The chips use an intelligent matrix to resolve ambiguities. The physical sequence is enough to activate the chip information recall. In most of these chips, for the physical sequence, you focus your left eye on your right pinky finger and then think the command sequence.”

Natana gazed intently at her right pinky with her left eye and said, “Chip version number.” She gasped, “Amazing, it says EX1704-6514t003, I’ve got it.”

“Try this,” said Den, “Same physical input and ask for the command list.”

Natana gasped again, “This is fantastic. The chip is running through a full list of its capabilities. There is just too much here to grasp all at once.” Her voice raised in volume a little, “How do I stop it?”

“Physical sequence, then think stop.”

“Whew, that did it. How do you know so much about these devices?”

“I had one. Most people in my time had at least one biological symbiot. I had a basic calculator and a time chip. Nothing as complex as the microchip you have. You can test the chip functions with the physical sequence followed by test.”

Natana started the chip test. After a couple of minutes, she asked “How long will it run?”

“Depends on the chip. Mine finished after about a minute. Depending on the complexity, this one could take hours. Order it to run in background and report when finished.”

“Okay.”

Den sat back at the computer terminal. He tapped his fingers on the thin desk, “Now, how are we going to get back on the planet leave roster?” Den answered his own question, “I guess the first step is to ask.” He tapped his teeth, “The council may disagree on principal—why don’t we make use of an ancient custom? In my time and on most planets, after they are married, couples take a trip called a honeymoon. Do you think the council will buy that?”

“They might—the ship’s families have a similar custom, but usually there’s no planet to honeymoon on. My mother definitely won’t like it. She’s fuming now.”

“Then we’re lucky your mother’s not on the council.” Den typed out a computer note to the council making the request.

Natana put her hands on his shoulders, “So assuming the council will let us back down on the planet, how will we get the information you want, and what do you plan?”

“That’s something we must plan together. How much of what we need, can we get from the ship down to the planet?”

“What will we need?”

“Weapons, night vision equipment, distorters, combat environment suits, lock cipher tools, some other basic infiltration equipment—fake id cards and such.”

“We can’t take weapons down to the planet. The rest of the equipment is available or it may be available onboard. We can check the stores,” Natana pushed him out of the seat, “Here I’ll put the list in the computer…”

We note that Den has achieved ratings in three areas of Family Trader expertise. Additionally, we see Natana, who is a Romantic type character in her own right (and the protagonist’s helper) has additional skills that are secret to others. She has a symbiotic chip in her brain. These characters lost a portion of their pathos development at the end of the first novel. They retrieved some of it later. Here is an example:

At the very bottom of the ruins, they found a sealed door.

‘They didn’t open this door. Why not?’ Den tugged unsuccessfully at the portal.

Nata plugged in her computer, but no system power was available to the door. “It’s dead,” she said. I can get into the door’s system to open the cipher, but I can’t connect to any power to pull the locks and power open the door. Where do you think it goes?”

“Somewhere important. Our friends either didn’t have the equipment or the time to break through here.”

“You seen everything you want?”

“I’m done.”

They retraced their steps to the exterior blockhouse. When they stepped out of the stairwell puff of ammonia and a ragged hiss greeted them. A lizard struck at Den and grasped his gloved hand. Its fangs penetrated the ballistic cloth and Den gasped and tried to rake the thing off against the wall. It held firm and wouldn’t let go.

Finally, Natana crushed it with her stick and pried it off Den’s hand.

Den cursed and flexed his fingers. His blood and the thick ammonia scented saliva mixed on the outside of the glove. Nata looked worriedly at him.

They met no more of the creatures as they left the blockhouse and headed with less caution directly to the aircar. Den stumbled as they reached the edge of the trees. “Den!” Natana gasped.

‘I’m alright,’ his mental communication was slurred and he grasped a tree to keep from falling.

Nata grabbed his arm and placed it around her neck. She held him up the last few meters to the vehicle. Inside, Nata took the driver’s seat. She strapped Den in and snapped the gravvehicle up through the trees. Nata set the autopilot for the Pleasant Tours Rustic Hotel then she ripped off Den’s glove and started working on his hand. Den was conscious but unresponsive. He breathed steadily, and his pulse was strong and regular. She cleaned the wounds and she put every protective salve and analgesic in the first aid kit on them. Then she bandaged his hand.

They had over an hour to the lodge. She pulled off her CES then without his help pulled off his. She packed all the special equipment into their backpacks and put on their normal clothing. As they neared the lodge, she tried to wake Den. She started gently and ended up slapping his face. Finally, with a start, he turned his head and recognition came back to his eyes.

Breathlessly Nata said, “We are only a few minutes from the lodge. I can’t carry you. We need to get to the room, and then I can call for a doctor.”

Den nodded resignedly.

They set down and Nata grabbed their gear out of the aircar. She heaved Den out on the other side and supported him. The car checked itself in automatically. She and Den staggered up the slight rise to their cottage. Nata out of breath put her palm on the door and keyed it open. The door opened, and a familiar voice called out from the room.

Injury and separation are a couple of methods of developing pathos. In the novel, there are other methods I use to continue the projection of pathos onto Den Protania. This is a very adventurous and exciting novel that moves through exploration, piracy, and military operations.

Placing a protagonist in a position where he or she must show action and leadership especially in ways that lead others to achieve incredible results, is a means of expressing a Romantic character and lends itself to producing pathos. The potential for failure while achieving extraordinary results in the face of great adversity produces a fantastic plot.

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 960, Publishing, Protagonists, Examples: Athelstan Cying

20 February 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 960, Publishing, Protagonists, Examples: Athelstan Cying

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 started writing my 28th novel, working title Red Sonja.

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)

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.

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.

These are the steps I use to write a novel:

  1. Design the initial scene
  2. Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
    1. Research as required
    2. Develop the initial setting
    3. Develop the characters
    4. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  3. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  4. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  5. Write the climax scene
  6. Write the falling action scene(s)
  7. Write the dénouement scene

Would you like to write a novel that a publisher will consider? Would you like to write a novel that is published? How about one that sells?

Readers like Romantic characters because they want to be like them. They like pathetic characters because they want to love and comfort them. I do use Romantic and somewhat pathos building protagonists in my science fiction. The first Ghost Ship Chronicles novel is Athelstan Cying. As I wrote yesterday, Den Protania, is a failure in the Family Traders. He failed in command and astrogation, and is failing in shuttle. He disobeys his orders and investigates a derelict ship, the Athelstan Cying. There he loses his life, but another’s soul is trapped in Den’s body and fights to keep it alive. Den Protania is a failure. The soul inside of Den Protania’s body is a past pysonic warrior and a great leader. You can already see, the soul within Den is a Romantic character. However, this character is faced with a failure and somehow making himself successful in the Family Traders. In this way, the soul in Den Protania is both a Romantic character and a pathetic character. Here is an example from the novel:

The presence watched the men as they approached and boarded his ship. He saved them once and learned a skill of immense value. He saw them come to innocently desecrate his “tomb of millennia” and paid them little attention until one stood purposely before the sealed cabin doors. That’s when the presence first tried to warn the man.

The man opened the doors to the first and second cabins.

He realized the direction of the man’s search and attempted to turn him from his intentions. The man now stood before the door to the breached cabin.

“Stop!” the being shouted soundlessly into the stillness. “Stop!” he pleaded without effect. “Fool!” he screamed as the door opened and the white suited body swept into the cabin. The man tore through the remains of a friend, and was impaled on a dagger of plasteel that rimmed the breach in the hull; one gaping wound produced another.

The being moved instantly to the wounded man. He felt the man’s life as it slipped out of the body, and he struggled to call it back. He tried to hold on to the man’s soul. He tried to restart the dying body and recapture that breath of God’s devising. Unbidden, his consciousness merged with the dying man’s, and he felt the pain and then more than pain as Den’s soul slipped from his hold. He could do nothing to stop it. Den would no longer fight for his life or his body. His soul was gone and the only thing that was left was the castaway husk.

Then, with dread, the presence realized he was caught in the vacuum of the discarded body—a body that still desired life, but whose original master was gone. He became a person he never wished to be, a being he was not born to be. He was captured, a soul encased in a body that would not let him go. Resolved and as unrelenting to death as he had been for millennia, he struggled least he slip the way of this body’s previous tenant. With a will as powerful as the plasteel that pierced him, he recovered the body’s breath and then the heartbeat.

The contest was more than any, the man, Den, could have made himself. Slowly, the body responded, stabilized, fell from shock to unconsciousness, helpless but sustained and alive! He was safe for the moment—that is, if anyone would come help him. Resolutely, the powerful mind and soul kept guard over its new and fleshly prison.

Steven reached the breach in the ship just as Den’s vacsuit clad body rushed uncontrolled out of it and was impaled. The limbs trashed for a moment, then became still.

Steven yelled over the suit radio, “Johan, Den’s hurt!”

“How bad?” Johan snapped back.

“Really bad,” Steven tried to keep the horror out of his voice as he picked his way through the shattered plasteel toward Den. Steven choked back nausea as he hurriedly scanned the biomonitors on the suit. The suit sealed along the edges of the plasteel, but the indicators showed no respiration, no heartbeat, and the composite monitor gave a report of severe shock. Den’s faceplate was entirely fogged over.

Suit’s malfunctioning, Steven whispered, “If the suit’s sealed, the faceplate shouldn’t be fogged—ever—unless…,” but he wouldn’t think of that possibility. Den would have to be… Then, for a moment, the fog cleared, and he caught sight of Den’s eyes through the ceriplast; at first, the eyes remained dull and wide open, but then, as if a fire were kindled behind them, they suddenly lit up. Den’s face took on an appearance like none Steven had seen there before, an aspect of maturity unsuited to the visage of his youth. Then the eyes closed and the mask fogged over again. When Steven looked back at the suit monitors, the body functions had become incredibly normal.

Steven shook his head, and counting all he’d seen to fear-heightened imagination. He gazed all around the impaled body trying to determine how he could move it. After a moment, he noticed Johan enter the shadows of the cabin behind Den.

“How is he, Steven?”

“Hard to tell. The suit’s systems showed him dead for one instant and alive the next. That must have been a malfunction. They read normal now, but I think the suit’s fouled with blood, and I don’t believe he can survive a careful rescue.”

Johan propelled himself across the open cabin. As he checked Den over, Johan called over the radio, “Lokki, dispatch with Scott for emergency medical. We’ll meet them halfway…” Then finally, he noted the size of the piece of the ship that pierced Den’s suit, he continued, “Hold it… Dear Lord! Look at his suit. Lokki, tell medical we need them here, major medical. There’s no way we’re going to get that out of his suit without a vactent.”

“I don’t think he can last much longer, Johan,” cut in Steven quietly. “Look at the suit monitor. Look at the fogging and fluid level in the suit. One chance, I think.” Steven stared directly at Johan, “He’s bleeding to death.”

Johan hung silent for a second.

“He’s bleeding to death,” repeated Steven.

“You up to it?” whispered Johan.

“Damned if we do; damned if we don’t. Let’s do it now!”

“Okay,” Johan stated resolutely, “We’re bringing him out. Scott, get that sled here, now! Steven, here!” Johan pointed, “Grab him on the side—there’s plenty of room to bring him fully through. You got a good grip? I’ll push him toward you. You push him free of the metal. Ready, set, now!”

They could plainly hear a horrible gurgle in their headsets as the plasteel slipped out of Den’s body and then out of the sealed suit.

The new mind was becoming locked more and more strongly into the body of Den Protania. When Johan and Steven pulled Den’s body from the plasteel lance, it almost lost its battle with death, but with another shock of adrenaline and intense mental control, the spirit stabilized the body again.

A burble of blood gushed out of the suit. Steven quickly stanched the flood with his hands. He pressed the edges of the fabric together and helped the quickseal reseal the tear. He hoped the pressure in the suit would hold Den’s insides together. In a rush, he and Johan bore the limp body between them to the gravsled. Johan was immediately glad he’d not sent the sled away. They loaded Den in his nearly flaccid suit on the sled. They didn’t take the time to strap in properly, and Scott accelerated at a full two Gs into and out of turn around. Scott played it close but he was one of their best master pilots.

We see Den Protania merge with the being from the Athelstan Cying. The novel is a discovery novel. The main character discovers himself and about Den Protania. Helping him is Natana Kern. Here is some of their initial interaction:

Natana ran pell-mell from the Protania’s cabin. Her mind was in turmoil. When the door closed, the corridor wall rushed quickly up to meet her, and she collapsed against it. That wasn’t far enough away from the object of her terror. Through the solid wall, she could still feel the strength of the man’s mind—Den Protania’s? Oh, God, she didn’t know. Who was… what was the power behind those thoughts? No, she wasn’t far enough away. In a panic filled scramble, Natana regained her feet and rushed at breakneck speed down the corridor. She sobbed for breath, and her chest heaved with emotion. She ran and ran. She was lucky not to meet anyone else during her terrified retreat. She didn’t stop until she reached the door to her quarters. With fumbling fingers, she activated the lock and fell through the portal to the floor. The door shut and locked mercifully behind her, and she lay huddled and trembling on the cold plasteel.

Oh God, she thought. What if he had not deflected his mental attack? Natana shuddered as she thought of the woman in his memories—she died, and died horribly. But Den, Den stopped his attack before it harmed her.

Natana raised herself on one elbow. That wasn’t the mind of Den Protania. She knew Den Protania. She read him enough times in passing—without even trying—shallow and arrogant, an ambition without motivation. Who or what had taken over Den’s mind? How had it occurred? The terror of the unbelievable engulfed her. She lay flat against the deck again. She sensed the sweat as it trickled along her body. She could barely breathe. What if he attacked her again mentally? His mind was the strongest she had ever known. She felt like an animal caught in a frenzy of terror. Natana curled up on the floor, and realized she sobbed uncontrollably. She began to whimper then amazed at the hysteria in her own voice, silenced herself.

“Natana,” she said aloud, “Get a grip, Natana.” She concentrated on her training. “Training, training, training.” Remember mother’s words. Remember the gestalt. She slowly sat up. She put her arms around her legs and buried her face in her knees. The fear, the terror of what she experienced. No! Shut it out. She quieted her racing mind. He hadn’t touched her. He protected her—though she invaded his mind. If she looked at it that way, she became the aggressor. She provoked his unconscious attack. Natana instinctively knew her metal probe had caused the flashback that lead to his reaction.

But who was he? Den Protania, the failure, the Captain’s embarrassment—the mind in the body of Den Protania was not the same Den she knew. But who could he be? Who was in the mind of Den Protania?

She thought back to the dialogue in the flashback—something about an Imperial Prince. But the galaxy had not seen an Imperial Prince for nearly two thousand years. Nothing was that old. Nothing sentient! She started to tremble again—nothing, nothing except…that ship.

The thought cleared her mind. That ancient ship they salvaged, the Cying or Athelstan or something. The ship was built during the late Imperial era. It was nearly two thousand years old, and Den had been injured on it. He nearly lost his life in the exploration of it. What if? No, the thought was impossible. How could something take over the mind of a human being? How could something two thousand years old do anything? True, when they found the ship, it was active, but by itself, a ship wouldn’t be able to reprogram a mind or insert new memories in it—could it? The Empire never had technology like that. That was well beyond the technological capability of mankind now. At least, the Empire never advertised the capability, and she was an expert in the realm of psyonics. Yet there was much today experts didn’t know about the Empire’s capabilities in psyonics.

Had something been on that ship? Something alive? She felt the terror well up in her thoughts again. No, No, not alive. How could anything be alive after so long? She sighed, nearly a sob. It had to be a machine. A machine had taken hold of Den’s mind, but how could she prove it. Who investigated the salvage now? What had they already discovered?

She didn’t need to go to the derelict ship firsthand. She could call up that information from the Twilight Lamb’s data files. In moments, she sat before her computer terminal and searched frantically through the data on the ancient ship now locked in their holds. After a few minutes, she was forced to conclude: there was nothing unusual about the Imperial ship, Athelstan Cying. There was nothing unusual about it at all. She could trace and understand all the components of the ship’s systems. The small Imperial ship’s technology was ancient compared to the Twilight Lamb’s. But that still left her with a question: what affected Den, what was in his mind, and what could she do about it?

Should she immediately call Captain Protania, her father, or Doc Greaves? Would they believe her? Who could she tell? Perhaps, her mother and father, but they were not nearly as sensitive psyonically as she. She had to conclude no one might believe her. She barely believed it herself. What if this thing—animal, human, machine or whatever were loose on the ship and capable of taking over people? She clenched her teeth and gripped the sides of her seat tightly to stop shaking. “Stop it,” she yelled at herself, “Stop it. Focus on the problem.”

What could she remember about the salvage they took in? What about the ship? What about Den? She placed her trembling fingers on the keyboard again.   Her screen displayed the Athelstan Cying’s central system layout, and showed the Cying’s computer interconnection with the ancient ship’s other systems. A note at the bottom of the screen caught her eye. It read the electronic log showed something manually switched off the ship’s offensive systems just prior to when their party boarded it. The engineer completed a trace on the log to see if the defensive or offensive systems somehow malfunctioned, but he could find nothing wrong with them. He was at a loss to explain how the systems could be turned off when no one was onboard, the switches were still in the ‘on’ position, and covered with dust. The engineer’s conclusion was that the offensive systems switches somehow failed, though ‘how’ was an impossibility he couldn’t explain. He guaranteed the system fully operational.

But, the offensive systems weren’t turned off! Natana replayed her portion of the Twilight Lamb’s log. There, stored as a permanent record was her initial scan that showed the Athelstan Cying armed and the systems on autodefense. Her confused note that the defensive and offensive systems had suddenly gone dead immediately followed in the record. Morbidly, she played the rest of the log and saw Den injured and rescued again.

She bowed her head. Something was on that ship. Den Protania nearly died. He appeared dead to Steven, and after the accident, Johan could not believe Den was alive. In spite of an injury that would kill any normal man, Den made an incredible recovery—almost twice as fast as Doctor Greaves expected. Between the time Den was injured and he returned to the Lamb, something happened to him. Or maybe when some creature attacked his mind, Den tried to kill himself. Natana could imagine such things. But again, what could and should she do about it? She couldn’t leave a monster free-reign of the ship, yet she despaired that anyone would believe her.

Natana jumped at a rap on her cabin door. A creeping sensation grew between her shoulder blades. She keyed the intercom, “Yes?” There was no answer. Then there came a second knock. Hastily, she glanced around for a weapon. All she could find was a small laser solder gun and her personal tablet computer. As she turned on the monitor trained on the corridor outside her cabin, she heard her own heartbeat in her ears. She nearly jumped out of her seat. Den lay motionless at her door. No one else was in the corridor, but what should she do? What did he want?

She was certain Captain Protania would never believe her story. He might laugh at it. Except her parents, perhaps, everyone would laugh at her. She thought fast. The only thing she could do was to find out from Den himself who or what he was and what happened to him. Her stomach hurt at the thought. She was more terrified than she ever felt before, but if there were anything to her fanciful speculations, then she must have the courage to discover them. She recorded a quick note on the computer that described her thoughts and locked it with her father’s password. Then Natana steeled herself and prepared to open the door. She gave the corridor one last look to reassure herself Den had not moved and took a position in front of the door. With one hand she pushed the open button and with the other she brought the hand computer down on Den’s head as hard as she could. He didn’t move, and as the tablet cracked against his skull, he only gave a groan. Natana was almost sick. The sound was horrible and she thought if she were wrong, she might have killed him without any reason. At once, she recalled the flashback—the certain reality of it drove any thought of mistake from her mind. This was not Den Protania.

Before anyone noticed Den in the corridor, Natana dragged him into her small cabin, and with her belt and a shirt, she quickly bound his arms and legs. When he was secured, she rolled him over. Den weighted over thirty kilos more than she did, but after a valiant struggle, she finally tied him and stretched him out on the floor. She was afraid to touch him again, but after he was secure, she knelt to check his respiration and pulse. Blood trickled from his nose but he seemed all right otherwise.

So, we have the continuing discovery of Den Protania, the soul inside him, and Natana Kern. I’ll let this out—Natana was once in love with Den, until he broke her heart. What happens when Natana finds the mind of the man of her dreams in the body of the one she once loved? Okay, this is a discovery novel. Lots of discovering going on here. My point is this, the plot and theme of this novel, produces a Romantic character who also engenders pathos. This is a very powerful combination in a science fiction novel, and it is almost the only way forward for this type of novel. Imagine a character that takes over Den Protania who is evil or not pathetic—that’s a horror story. Imagine a non-Romantic character as the soul in Den Protania—that’s just boring. Pathos and Romantic work together to produce the power of the novel.

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 959, Publishing, Protagonists, Examples: Ghost Ship Chronicles

19 February 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 959, Publishing, Protagonists, Examples: Ghost Ship Chronicles

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 started writing my 28th novel, working title Red Sonja.

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)

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.

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.

These are the steps I use to write a novel:

  1. Design the initial scene
  2. Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
    1. Research as required
    2. Develop the initial setting
    3. Develop the characters
    4. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  3. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  4. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  5. Write the climax scene
  6. Write the falling action scene(s)
  7. Write the dénouement scene

Would you like to write a novel that a publisher will consider? Would you like to write a novel that is published? How about one that sells?

Readers like Romantic characters because they want to be like them. They like pathetic characters because they want to love and comfort them. I do use Romantic and somewhat pathos building protagonists in my science fiction. The Ghost Ship Chronicles is a set of five novels with a common theme. They are based in the universe of The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox, but much further in the future. They revolve around the Family Traders. These are trading ships that are so large they have been granted voting authority equal to planets in the Galactic Republic. The protagonist of the first two novels is a warrior who is accidentally pulled into the body of a Family Trader never-do-well named Den Protania. Den has caused many problems during his young life. His nemesis, Natana Kern is a very proficient astrogator and psychic medical officer.

The focus of the novel is on psyonics and human interaction in the Family Traders and the Galactic Republic. The psyonics are treated as a skill that was developed in the far past and only partially relearned and transmitted. The main protagonist, Den Protania is now a master of psyonics. Natana Kern wants to improve her psionic skills. In the past, the psy was used as a weapon. In this more modern era, it is mostly used to help mental illness and issues. The theme is that clandestine groups are developing and planning to use ancient weaponized psy to affect the Galactic Republic and specifically the Family Traders.

Each of the novels in the Ghost Ship Chronicles is named after a spaceship. The first novel in the series is Athelstan Cying. I’ll look at the protagonist development next.

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 958, Publishing, Protagonists, Examples: Escape from Freedom

18 February 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 958, Publishing, Protagonists, Examples: Escape from Freedom

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 started writing my 28th novel, working title Red Sonja.

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)

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.

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.

These are the steps I use to write a novel:

  1. Design the initial scene
  2. Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
    1. Research as required
    2. Develop the initial setting
    3. Develop the characters
    4. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  3. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  4. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  5. Write the climax scene
  6. Write the falling action scene(s)
  7. Write the dénouement scene

Would you like to write a novel that a publisher will consider? Would you like to write a novel that is published? How about one that sells?

Readers like Romantic characters because they want to be like them. They like pathetic characters because they want to love and comfort them. I do use Romantic and somewhat pathos building protagonists in my science fiction. Escape from Freedom is at the moment a one-off. I’d like to write another novel using the same characters and setting, but I haven’t yet. I’ve been thinking about it.

Freedom is a horrible place. It’s an accurate view of a socialist worker’s paradise like Venezuela, Cuba, the USSR, or China. There are three types of people: the citizens, the armed citizens, and the party members. The citizens are provided food, a place to sleep, drugs, and sex. They produce until their value drops below a certain point, and then they go to the hospital. No one returns alive.

Scott Phillips is a pilot who accidentally lands on the island nation of Freedom. He is befriended by a girl there whose name is Rebecka. Rebecka, Reb is a very special citizen. She has won awards and is a great hero of the people. Reb wants to do nothing except escape from Freedom. She doesn’t know anything better, but she desires something better, and true freedom. Reb is the protagonist. You can tell right away, she is a Romantic character. She is specially skilled, and she is in direct opposition to her culture and society. Here is her description:

A girl or young woman of indeterminate age stood in front of Scott. Her brown hair was pulled up into a severe bun. Her features looked regular but unusual. Her eyes seemed very large in her face. They appeared a pale green. And her nose stuck out a little longer and straighter than he would have expected for a normal person. Her nose moved as though it possessed muscles of its own, and she sniffed the air constantly. She wasn’t ugly, but she wasn’t very pretty either by Scott’s standards. Her dress was a neutral dark green and reached primly from a stiff collar to the tops of her work boots. It wasn’t very becoming, and it appeared like some kind of uniform. Wet spots and mud stained the front of her dress. He guessed she had to dive to the ground when he landed. Scott unlatched his helmet at the neck and pulled it off, “Hi there. Are you all right?”

Rebecka could understand his words although the accent sounded strange to her ears. She asked breathless, “Did you come to get me?”

Scott stood straight. The question caught him completely off guard, “To get you?” He took a moment to regain his train of thought, “No my engine failed. I’m afraid I’m stuck until they rescue me…” The last sounded slightly desperate in his own ears. “Do you think I could get some help here?”

Rebecka shook her head slowly, “This is Freedom. I’ve never heard of anyone coming here from anywhere else before.”

“Freedom? That’s an odd name for this place. Can you help me?”

Rebecka stood in silent contemplation for a long time.

Finally, Scott asked again, “I asked, can you help me?”

“Do you really think someone will come for you?”

“Eventually…,” But that didn’t sound very reassuring either.

“If you will take me with you when you leave here—I’ll help you…”

“Take you with me?”

“Listen to me. You don’t stand a chance here without help. If you will take me with you, I will do everything in my power to help you.”

“I’m not too sure about that.”

Rebecka stuck her hands on her hips, “Do we have an agreement or not? If you wait too long, the Armed Citizens will come here and take you away. If that happens, you will be judged and categorized. In that case, I don’t think you will ever leave here.”

“Judged and categorized…what’s that?”

“Listen to me very carefully. I can see you know nothing about this place…”

“You’re right about that.”

“You don’t stand a chance here without my help. I will help you, but you must promise to take me with you.”

Scott thought for a moment. A sudden noise from the west startled them both.

Rebecka stamped her foot, “We don’t have very long. Make up your mind…”

Scott sighed, “If you will help me, I’ll do anything you wish…”

“Is that a promise? Do you swear?”

“I swear.”

“As a Citizen…”

“I’m not a Citizen.”

Rebecka appeared taken aback, “You do swear by all you hold in trust?”

“I swear.”

Rebecka stepped up to him and grasped his gloved hand, “Then come with me.”

“I need to get my survival gear.”

She let go of his hand, “Get it then and hurry.”

Scott ran to the side of the shuttle and climbed back up a couple of steps. He opened a compartment on the side above the wing. A survival kit and a raft popped out. The raft filled and flopped onto the ground. Scott put his arms through the straps of the kit and ran back to her, “I’d really like to get rid of this pressure suit.”

This doesn’t show Rebecka at her best as a Romantic character, but it begins the process of making her a pathetic character. Do you see the note of desperation—you get the message: I will do anything to escape…anything. Desire is the emotion that drives Rebecka to a pathetic character. Indeed, Scott begins to love her, even though he is not certain he loves her. This is another aspect of the pathos—she will do anything, and actually does, but there is an undercurrent that everything she does and has done is not enough…never enough. This is a feeling though the novel and not a single moment of realization. This passage touches on her pathos:

He lifted her onto his back and headed back to her room. The night was dark and in solitary circles, only the very dim lights on the outside of the buildings illuminated the place.

He carefully watched for anyone moving around and saw absolutely no one. At her door, Scott held Reb’s wrist under the coder and opened the door. He entered and the dim lights blinked on. Scott stared uncomprehending for a moment.

A woman sat on Reb’s foot locker. She looked slightly older than Reb, and her face appeared more lined. Her eyes seemed smaller—more normal-looking, but her straight nose appeared slightly longer. It moved somehow similarly to Reb’s. She wasn’t ugly, but her features appeared plainer than Reb’s. The woman stood, “There’s our wayward child. I knew it…come in Citizen and don’t close the door. The woman called in a slightly louder voice, “Robin, Racheal, she’s back.” The woman glared at him, “Don’t just stand there, bring her inside.”

Scott slowly walked into the room. He kept the woman in sight and eased Reb down on her cot.

The woman looked from Scott to Reb, “What did you do to her?”

“I…I, she’s sick. She vomited and passed out.”

The woman came to Reb and touched her face, “She’s burning up.” She stared at Scott, “I’ll ask you again—what did you do to her?”

At that moment, two other women came through the door. One looked very similar to the woman in the room. The other possessed large eyes like Reb, but not the straight odd nose. The large eyed woman closed the door behind her. They both stood between Scott and any escape.

The first woman made an aggressive motion with her hand, “You, Citizen, don’t move an inch. I can call the Armed Citizens at any time, and they’ll take you to the hospital for this.”

Scott was sweating.

The woman came up to him and grabbed his arm. She pushed up his sleeve and stared at the life mark there. She announced, “He’s CN 20537 Scott. I knew it. Reb’s in an illicit relationship.” She dropped his arm and seemed like she wanted to hit him. She snarled, “Construction…construction. A construction Citizen could never have a special like Reb. You defiled her. I can smell her scent on you.”

Scott lamely stuttered, “The neutralizer…”

“No neutralizer could hide that stench.” Her nose moved like Reb’s, “I would know her scent and that scent no matter what you did to hide it. And you’ve hurt her.”

“I didn’t do anything to her—not to hurt her. She’s ill.”

“She’s never been ill before.”

The wide-eyed woman stepped forward, “Ruth, we all know Reb hasn’t been taking the greens or the browns for a while.”

Ruth spat, “Because of him.”

The wide-eyed woman came and sat beside Reb. She held her hand and examined her, “I think she’s sick from not taking them.”

“Robin, she’s having a reproductive relationship with a citizen who shouldn’t have her.”

“That may be so, but what else could she do?”

Ruth stepped back, “What do you mean?”

“You know how she’s been all her life. We’ve been with her, raised her as a special. If she wanted him and couldn’t have him, what else could she do?”

“She should have told us.”

“She couldn’t tell us—you know why. The question is what do we do now?”

Ruth turned to Scott again, “Because of you, they took her pen. She’s kept it since she began training.”

Robin laughed, “You helped her steal it—I remember.”

Ruth snarled, “Rachael, this isn’t the time to reminisce about the past…”

“It’s time to think about her future and what we will do.”

Ruth crossed her arms, “We can’t turn her in—they’d…they’d…”

Robin stroked Reb’s face, “Her value is very high—it’s unlikely they’d send her to the hospital for that.”

“Punishment then…”

“Perhaps.” Robin felt Reb’s forehead, “She has a fever.”

“He did it to her.”

“I’m sure he’s done a lot to her, but I doubt he gave her an illness.” Robin asked, “What do you think Rachael?”

Rachael stood in front of the door. Her head remained down. She pointed with her thumb, “It depends on him.”

Reb began moaning. Scott moved toward her. Ruth spoke in a hoarse whisper, “You…don’t get any closer to her.” Scott stood still.

Reb awoke with a start. Robin held her hand. Reb glanced around. She saw Scott and screwed up her face. She spotted Ruth and then Rachael. Her features smoothed, but her lip trembled when she spoke. Her voice let out barely a whisper, “Why is he here?”

Ruth response sounded stronger than she intended, “We know all about it Reb.”

Tears began to track down the sides of Reb’s face, “Don’t tell…whatever you do…don’t tell about him.”

Robin shook her hands, “Don’t tell about him? What about you?”

Reb shook her head, “I don’t care what you do to me, just not him…”

Ruth’s hands shook, “He’s a construction for gosh sakes. What are you thinking?”

Reb curled into a ball, “I want him. He gives me joy.”

Robin shook her head, “Many men could give you joy…why him?”

“I want him. Don’t take him from me.”

Ruth pointed at Scott, “He isn’t the one we’re worried about. You’re off the greens and browns.” She looked Scott up and down, “I’ll bet he’s off them too. Unless…you don’t already have a reproducing partner, do you?”

Reb cried, “He doesn’t have another partner, only me.”

Robin squeezed Reb’s hand, “He’s got to be off them…right?”

Reb wailed, “He’s off. He’s off them.”

Ruth gave a grimace, “Both of you need to be on the blue.”

Robin shook her head, “Ruth, how are they going to get the blue? They’re any illicit couple.”

Ruth shut her mouth.

Robin pressed Reb’s hands together, “Reb, you have to stop.”

Reb moaned, “I can’t stop right now.”

Robin continued, “If you don’t stop. The blood will come. He’ll make you pregnant. They’ll take you to the hospital for the child. If that happens, you won’t be able to protect him. He’s only construction. He’ll go to the hospital and not return.”

Reb wept, “I understand all that. Just give me some time with him…”

“How much time?”

Reb raised her head, “Will you really?”

“How much time?” Robin repeated.

Reb mumbled something.

“I didn’t get that.”

Reb said a little louder, “Until the blood comes. Give me until then. Let him stay with me.”

Ruth stepped toward the cot, “Wait a moment, no one said anything about him staying with you.”

Reb closed her eyes, “Then let me stay with him.”

Ruth shook her head, “Not that either.”

Reb cried, “Then what can I do. No one else knows.”

Ruth held her head in her hands, “Geeze, I’m so pissed right now. This isn’t a negotiation.”

Robin sighed, “Rachael, what do you think?”

Rachael nodded, “I think… give her until the blood comes. They have to stop immediately when that happens. Until then, we don’t turn him in. If they keep it up after that, we turn him in and say he raped her. If she tells them otherwise, we say he coerced her. That way it will be clean and only he goes to the hospital.”

Robin pressed Reb’s hands, “I agree. Ruth?”

Ruth growled a little. She tipped her head back, “Oh…I guess I agree, but if he hurts her.”

Reb breathed heavily, “He never hurt me. He makes me feel good.”

Ruth grumbled, “I’ll bet he does.”

Robin asked, “The next question is, what are we going to do about you now?”

Reb moaned, “About what?”

“You’re ill. I think it’s the chemicals, but you might be sick. I can give you a work leave until you feel better.”

Reb moaned again, “No evaluation?”

“No evaluation. It’s just a virus, or the chemicals. You shouldn’t have gone off them.”

Reb mumbled something.

Robin still held onto Reb, “The third question is this, should we leave Reb alone with this male?”

Ruth curled her lip, “I vote no.”

Robin bent her head, “Rachael, what do you think?”

“He brought her here. He took care of her. He washed and cleaned her. He has sex with her. I’d say that’s safe. We can hear them from our rooms. I only heard happy sounds before.”

Robin squeezed Reb’s hands and let them go, “I think we should leave them. This male is just a construction Citizen, but he’s been treating our workmate well. She wants time with him.”

Ruth stood straight, “I’ll give in, but no sex in the room. You’re both too loud. It’s like listening to animals in the field.”

Scott colored.

Reb blushed, “I didn’t think you could hear us.”

Rachael smirked, “Trust me, you really don’t want to know.”

The three went to the door. Scott put out his hands, “Thanks.”

Robin turned slightly, “Don’t thank us—thank her. We’re not doing this for you—only for her.”

Ruth cast over her shoulder, “By the way—nothing funny while she can’t defend herself.”

The greens and browns are drugs. This exchange demonstrates how Reb has become a pathos based character. She has fallen in love with Scott—or that’s the impression. She has fallen in love with Scott, but she will do anything to escape from freedom. Her friends warn her. Scott tries to dissuade her. Ultimately, she seeks only one thing, and she will give up everything for it—freedom. The pathos development is what she does for freedom, this is also what drives her character. Reb is a Romantic character who has become pathos developing. I’ll look at the Ghost Ship Chronicles next.

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 957, Publishing, Protagonists, Examples: A Season of Honor

17 February 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 957, Publishing, Protagonists, Examples: A Season of Honor

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 started writing my 28th novel, working title Red Sonja.

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)

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.

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.

These are the steps I use to write a novel:

  1. Design the initial scene
  2. Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
    1. Research as required
    2. Develop the initial setting
    3. Develop the characters
    4. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  3. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  4. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  5. Write the climax scene
  6. Write the falling action scene(s)
  7. Write the dénouement scene

Would you like to write a novel that a publisher will consider? Would you like to write a novel that is published? How about one that sells?

Readers like Romantic characters because they want to be like them. They like pathetic characters because they want to love and comfort them. I do use Romantic and somewhat pathos building protagonists in my science fiction. I have three published science fiction novels as a series, called the Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox. The novels are individually named: The End of Honor, The Fox’s Honor, and A season of Honor. The theme of the novels is focused around–honor. What are the protagonists like? Let’s look at A Season of Honor.

In A Season of Honor, the Prince John-Mark is back, but he is a changed man. He was banished for ten years and lost his rank. At the moment, he is the Baron Shawn du Locke. Count Ian Acier asks Shawn to take his daughter Elina to the Imperial Capital to wed a Duke’s son. The problem with this is that Shawn is still haunted by his past and his inability to save his love Lyral Neuterra, and Elina Acier, Lyral’s cousin looks like her. The similarity in appearance also has a lot to do with the breeding and genetic programs of the Human Galactic Empire.

Here, we have Shawn, haunted by his past, but still a character of Romantic stature. He is still lauded by the nobility and the common people alike. He still has all the leadership skills that made him the Dragon in the minds of the people. He is still a Romantic character, but the touch of pathos is built through his unquenchable love for Lyral that now turns to Elina. Here is a description of Shawn from the novel:

“Shawn!” Count Ian Acier exclaimed.

Shawn grimaced, then tendered Ian with a crooked smile. “Yes, the adjunct of the Emperor.” Ian watched the younger man’s eyes. They were cold, gray, hard as steel, and he smiled. They embraced.

Count Ian Acier was dressed in his usual military garb. He was attired in desert tan, the casual uniform of his troops. His long large body fit the uniform well. His hard-bitten features were set off in their most handsome frame by the color and cut of the clothing.

“My friend, my brother,” said Ian holding Shawn closely, “I feared for your life. The Emperor himself would not be safe had he harmed you,” as they parted, Ian clasped Shawn’s shoulders.

Shawn let out a hard laugh, “Yes, thank God you and many others feel the same way. Still, by the Imperial Concession, I am made…” he searched for a word, “…ineffectual.”

“There, you are wrong. Even after your ten years of exile, the Imperial Huscarl’s are still loyal to you, and do not forget that during the Imperial Concessions at Neuterra, you represented fully a third of the Landsritters. Those Houses will not long forget the treachery of Emperor Perodus or your actions…”

“My actions resulted in my exile and our current problems.”

“Would you act any differently today?”

“No! But, I was a fool. Before he could act, I should have seen the evidence of the Emperor’s desires. I would have snuffed out his ambitions as I would kill a snake, but enough—for ten years, I have thought too much on that,” anger filled his features then his face calmed, eased. Shawn sat down and with a sigh let his whole face fall into a smile. “Now I am finally free to do what I want. I am free of the Emperor’s exile, long free of the duties of crown prince—my cousin Devon Rathenberg owned that title long before the Concessions. The Imperial Huscarls may still honor me, but I have not been their leader for ten years. By my accounting, I have no responsibilities.”

“I thought so. You’re an officer, a warrior. For hire?” Ian walked behind his large desk.

“Yes,” Shawn laughed almost easily, “I am opening a professional trade.”

“Would you like some coffee?”

“Only if it’s imported. The best I’ve tasted on this ball of sand is reconstituted simumeals.”

A guarded look came over Ian’s face. As he sat down behind the desk, he pressed the call button, “Coffee for two, Sergeant,” then blandly he asked, “How long have you been on Acier?”

“Before I got your message, I was thinking of joining your forces.”

“I don’t use mercenaries.”

“Yes, so I was told. Almost–almost, I would be tempted to swear fealty to you.”

“No!” the Count’s eyes blazed, he nearly leapt out of his chair. “When the time comes, it is I who shall swear fealty to you, My Lord.”

The silence hung between them.

Shawn’s eyes glazed slightly and he lowered his head. His words were quiet and distinct, “My dearest friend, I would gladly have you fight at my side again, and if I again had a House and a title, my proudest moment would be your acceptance of it’s burden of responsibility. If I had anything to offer, I would offer you that today. I am not even allowed a Sigil.” He closed his eyes and looked away from Ian. He clenched his fists. “But, since I have nothing to offer,” Shawn looked directly at the Count, “please, you must simply treat me in the estate the Emperor left me.” At this he smiled.

We see Shawn still as a Romantic character. The pathos is already being developed because I am asking the reader to see Shawn as a besieged man. He was unjustly exiled and demoted. He is still the hero of the people and the nobility. This is a theme built up in the novel. The real kicker in terms of pathos is his love interest in the Lady Elina Acier. Here are his musings:

From the surface of Acier to orbital docking with House Nior’s consulate ship, Dark Mane was a flight of only 30 minutes. Those minutes seemed like a lifetime to Shawn du Locke. He was deeply aware of his position as, protector, escort, representative, and of his own vulnerability. Already, he was in the hands of his erstwhile enemies, and although they probably did not realize him, he faced the constant possibility of recognition. The simple fact that he had no part in the planning of this secret movement of the Lady Elina acted upon the self-conscious doubts that plagued him since the long ago affair on Neuterra. He was not sure he could adequately complete the mission he so glibly accepted from House Acier.

Shawn was a hunted as well as a haunted man. His enemies, though placated by the harsh censure of the Emperor, desired no less than his death. To them, he was a random and dangerous leader as effective today as he was before the Concessions banished him. Ten years ago he defeated the Emperor Perodus, but at what a loss.

Further, Shawn was achingly aware of the woman beside him. In the darkness, the soft sound of her breath produced haunted images before his eyes. His thoughts brooded on the macabre of ten years past, and fixed in his thoughts was a horrible awareness of guilt. He imagined Elina’s features covered with blood, and in the darkness, silently stifled a shudder. He drew his hand over his eyes. This woman was not Lyral–she was Elina. She was not a ghost, long dead but a woman alive and living. Shawn was a powerful man physically, emotionally, mentally. The shock of confronting a living ghost from beyond death unnerved and depressed him. Awakened, unbidden came the thousand thoughts of what might have been if he had taken Lyral with him, if he had guarded her himself, if he had only… Shawn sat up straight and forced those numbing thoughts out of his mind. He had been over them too many times before. At this point, his only thought must be the protection of Elina Acier. Like before, ever like ten years before, he would place his own life before any danger to this young woman. Unlike the past, this time he would succeed. Shawn promised himself, he would put his own life ahead of any obstacle to the success of House Acier.

Shawn remembered: on a warm night, on the fertile moon called Neuterra, he made almost the same oath to a man he loved almost as deeply as his father. To Ian’s Uncle, Duke Paris Neuterra, Shawn promised a marriage, an alliance, and his personal protection for the Lady Lyral. The Lady Lyral Neuterra, his fiance, was dead, long dead. She was dead as if by his own hand—yet, suddenly, Lyral was reborn. In this woman Elina Acier, Lyral was suddenly alive as she had not been since the Emperor presented her head before the Landsritters.

Without any warning, the light from Acier’s harsh companion star topped the planet’s horizon and illuminated the face of the Lady Elina beside Shawn. The pallid light outlined only her face, and to him, he saw again Lyral’s sweet visage bruised and bloodless. Her eyes miraculously closed, and had he been alone, Shawn would have cried. As it was, he steeled himself and under his breath called to his warrior soul to take these visions from him.

In this way, I enlist the reader to pull them into the pathos development of Shawn du Locke. He is a powerful and skilled man driven suddenly by love as well as honor. This is the point of the novel. In this novel, love drives the honor from this standpoint. The novel is about escaping the forces of the Emperor, but at the same time the slow falling of Shawn for Elina and Elina for Shawn. The problem is their honor. They must both oppose the forces of their allies and their enemies to unite in love. The pathos here is formed by love—or the potential love lost because of honor. I’ll look at Escape from Freedom next.

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 956, Publishing, Protagonists, Examples: The Fox’s Honor

16 February 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 956, Publishing, Protagonists, Examples: The Fox’s Honor

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 started writing my 28th novel, working title Red Sonja.

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)

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.

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.

These are the steps I use to write a novel:

  1. Design the initial scene
  2. Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
    1. Research as required
    2. Develop the initial setting
    3. Develop the characters
    4. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  3. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  4. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  5. Write the climax scene
  6. Write the falling action scene(s)
  7. Write the dénouement scene

Would you like to write a novel that a publisher will consider? Would you like to write a novel that is published? How about one that sells?

Readers like Romantic characters because they want to be like them. They like pathetic characters because they want to love and comfort them. I do use Romantic and somewhat pathos building protagonists in my science fiction. I have three published science fiction novels as a series, called the Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox. The novels are individually named: The End of Honor, The Fox’s Honor, and A season of Honor. The theme of the novels is focused around–honor. What are the protagonists like? Let’s look at The Fox’s Honor.

The Emperor’s Fox is Prince Devon Rathenberg. He is the Emperor’s chief of intelligence. The people call him the Fox because he is known for his derring-do and leadership. He is also sneaky in an intelligence kind of way. You can tell already that Devon Rathenberg is a Romanitc character. He has skills beyond the norm that set him apart, and he doesn’t necessarily play by the rules.

A little about Devon Rathenberg. He designs a plan to flush out the enemies of the Human Galactic Empire. Unfortunately, to make this plan work, he must die. At the same time, Devon wants to woo the Lady Tamar Falkeep. He doesn’t tell her he plans to die, but his suit is moot anyway. He is too high a rank to wed the Lady Tamar Falkeep. You can see the touches of pathos already threading their way through this plot.

Let’s look at a description of Devon Rathenberg:

All the young maids and old as well, discreetly watched the young men announced to the ballroom. The same was true of Duke Falkeep’s three daughters. The two oldest, though already wedded, spent a delightful evening weighing the rank, title, and characteristics of each of the noblemen who entered the ballroom. They justified their occupation as in the interest of their youngest and unwedded sister, Tamar. Tamar did not necessarily agree with their assessments.

Of particular interest, to their disdain, were the less choice of the young gentlemen. Those men who through valor and accomplishment attained noble standing, yet whose manner pointed irrevocably to their previous unpolished beginnings. One such gentleman aroused even the looks of the Duke, and a quaint unsettled quiver of his eyebrows left no doubt of his thoughts.

This young man was arrayed in colloquial finery. An officer’s uniform, yes, but the style and the natural materials left little doubt that it and its owner obviously came from a culturally deprived planet. The gentleman’s boots were real leather; they creaked. His pants bloused over his boot tops, and as he walked they swaggered like a Cossack dance.

The seneschal announced the young officer, “Sir Devon de Tieg, Knight of the Red Cross.” A small number of the Duke’s less cautious guests let loose a traveling titter that lost its momentum in a few muffled guffaws.

The knight said nothing. Those who recognized the order of Knight of the Red Cross instantly sobered, and the Duke made a second appraisal of the man.

The knight’s eye glinted with his bold smile, and he strode across the broad floor of the ballroom. His ceremonial dagger clinked against his left leg, balanced by an oddly shaped cylinder on his right, and his knight’s spurs jingled with each step. He stopped with a flourish and a low bow before the Duke, “My lord Falkeep, will you grant me the privilege of a dance with your daughter, the Lady Tamar?”

Strange knights did not dance with a duke’s daughter; it just wasn’t done.

The Duke raised his eyebrow, and a smile tripped across his lips, “You may, young knight. That is, if she will dance with you.”

“My lord,” Sir Devon bowed again and turned toward the ladies. In a few solid steps, he stood directly before the Lady Tamar.

Tamar Falkeep was a beautiful young woman. Her face was formed in the most classic shape of an Imperial Princess. Her eyes, shaded by long dark lashes were large, a smoky gray that could display fire or ice. Her nose was slight, curved gracefully from her eyebrows, and matched the gentle oval of her face. Her heart shaped lips were full and seemingly touched by a permanent knowing smile. Her dark hair fell full and silky. It billowed over her bare shoulders and shined like satin as she tilted her head.

Tamar’s figure reflected the perfection of her features: a dancer’s frame, graceful and yet full. In her stance, however, was the firm hauteur of a true princess. Not the simple pose of pride or icy frigidity, but a glance of power and purity that stopped most men cold. Her femininity beckoned; the princess spurned. It was unfortunate she was only a lesser duke’s daughter and not a true princess.

“My lady, would you give me the honor of this dance?” Sir Devon’s eyes glimmered with humor.

Although Devon is in disguise, you can see the strength of his Romantic character. How do we turn such a character pathetic? Let us see the results of the duel:

After the last man left the clearing, Tamar waited only a moment before she ran to the prone body of Devon Rathenberg. With strength induced by her fear, she rolled him over. Only minutes elapsed since the blast threw him to the ground. The explosion burned his shirtfront away to the skin. His face was lacerated by bits of plasteel yet not bleeding. And, he was not breathing!

Tamar didn’t pause an instant. She tilted his head back and placed her lips on his. She forced a breath into his lungs—then another. She placed her full body weight behind the balls of her hands and compressed his sternum. “Don’t die, damn you,” she cursed him under her breath, “…2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.” She expanded his lungs twice again. “Breath, damn you.”

Suddenly, Devon’s back arched. He gave a strained gasp and started to breath. Tamar froze. She stopped compressing his battered chest. As she watched the tortuous rise and fall of his chest, she held her breath and trembled violently. Then, as if she could breathe for him, she matched each ragged gasp. For a few seconds, Devon fought for air then his breathing smoothed. Tamar felt for his pulse; it was strong and regular. “Thank you, God,” she almost screamed, “Thank you, God.” She knelt and stared at him, afraid to touch him, terrified his breath would stop again.

Slowly, Tamar’s thoughts caught up with her, and a sudden fear overtook her. She scanned the entrances to the clearing. Surely, when her father’s guards investigated the explosion, they would discover them. The Duke of Falkeep would not take kindly to dueling in his gardens. He definitely would not approve of his daughter sneaking about in the woods in search of nobles, knights, or whatever. He also would not have a lot of good to say about a knight who challenged one of the chief holders in his sector—particularly one who lost on purpose!

Tamar grasped Devon’s arms to pull him into the brush, but his right arm bent back at an odd angle. It had a rubbery feel. Though unconscious, Devon moaned and the muscles of his arm convulsed abruptly and ineffectually. Tamar was almost sick. The arm was broken—likely shattered. She laid it across his chest and fumbling, fixed his arm by the hand under his belt.   After a fierce struggle, she dragged him by his feet into the woods.

Tamar’s precautions wouldn’t have made any difference. Duke Falkeep never heard the explosion in the pavilion. The trees of the garden blocked the sounds so efficiently that no one but Yedric’s clandestine group, Devon, and Lady Tamar knew anything about it.

By the time she hid Devon in the trees Tamar was exhausted. She plopped down beside him and rested her head in her hands. The night was chill, and in thick white wisps, her breath curled around her face and hair. After her heart slowed a little, Tamar looked at Devon. She marked his labored breaths, and his shrapnel wounds had started to bleed. In the pale, partial light of Falkeep’s moon, long streaks of black ran down his face, arms, and chest. His lips were blue and his skin as pale as the almost invisible moonlet. Tamar knew he was in shock, and she felt as though she was going into shock herself. If he was to survive, the knight needed warmth, and his wounds required treatment.

Who was this man who said he loved her? Count Yedric called him Prince Devon Rathenberg. Tamar covered her mouth with her hand. She looked down at his bruised face. Could this really be the Emperor’s Fox? Could this be the chief of Imperial Intelligence, Emperor Marcus’ wisest advisor? If this was Prince Devon Rathenberg, he was one of the most important men in human space. And… Tamar gave a choked cry, if he were Devon Rathenberg, he could not love her. She was not an Imperial Princess. She was only a minor Duke’s third daughter. Devon Rathenberg could not marry her; the Landsritters would forbid the match. Now she realized the full degree of his two-fold mission. He came to announce his illicit love and he came to die, and he didn’t care how much pain those two events caused. Tamar raised her hand to strike him. Devon lay quiet and unmoving; Tamar breathed deeply and lowered her fist. In spite of how he hurt her, he needed help.

This is how we move a man like the Fox into pathos. He is helpless, and his life lies in the hands of Tamar Falkeep. That is pathos. We make a character like Devon Rathenberg pathetic by making him helpless as a person. We find he is more helpless than this. Basically, through his actions, he has made himself a nothing. He was supposed to have died, but he didn’t and Tamar gave him back his life. For a man like Devon, this is true pathos. The power of the pathetic isn’t as great as other characters, but it is sufficient to produce the emotions we desire in our readers. We’ll look at A Season of Honor next.

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 955, Publishing, Protagonists, Examples: The End of Honor

15 February 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 955, Publishing, Protagonists, Examples: The End of Honor

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 started writing my 28th novel, working title Red Sonja.

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)

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.

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.

These are the steps I use to write a novel:

  1. Design the initial scene
  2. Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
    1. Research as required
    2. Develop the initial setting
    3. Develop the characters
    4. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  3. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  4. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  5. Write the climax scene
  6. Write the falling action scene(s)
  7. Write the dénouement scene

Would you like to write a novel that a publisher will consider? Would you like to write a novel that is published? How about one that sells?

Readers like Romantic characters because they want to be like them. They like pathetic characters because they want to love and comfort them. What about protagonists from other genres, especially science fiction. I also write science fiction. I have three published science fiction novels called the Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox. The novels are individually named: The End of Honor, The Fox’s Honor, and A season of Honor. The theme of the novels is focused around–honor. What are the protagonists like? Let’s look at The End of Honor.

First of all, let me confess, these are somewhat experimental novels. I think they are entertaining, but they are a little different in their approach, for good reasons. The End of Honor begins in the first person with a young woman who has just been executed. She is not the protagonist of the novel. The protagonist is Prince John-Mark, this woman’s lover and fiancé. The death of Lyral Neuterra results in an intragalactic war. Prince John-Mark in part was the cause of this war, and he must find a way to stop it. Science fiction engenders itself to Romantic characters. The special and unique scientist, the telepathic boy, the super smart girl, the tricky and lucky rogue, the super computer, and all.

You can tell immediately, Prince John-Mark is a Romantic character. Here is his description through the eyes of Lyral:

As I entered the garden from the house and walked into the sonic bordered expanse that held the environs of long dead Terra, I couldn’t help but notice the young man. To my amazement, he hung out of a window in my father’s study. He seemed to be trying to get a better look at the rose bushes in the beds below. The window was nearly one and a half meters above the ground, and he stretched downward for a rose just out of the reach of his fingertips. For a moment, I was shocked into stillness, but then, with a grin I asked, “May I help you?”

He was really very young, almost as young as I. In spite of his youthful looks, he was dressed in the uniform of a major in the Emperor’s Huscarls, the Emperor’s private guard. I immediately thought it odd a lowly major should be conversing with my father in his private study, but then, I noticed the drapue and gold of a nobleman. Still, my Father had few dealings with noblemen of so low a rank to be only a major in any force. I wanted to be courteous, and at the same time find out what he was doing here.

At my words, the major snatched his hand back in embarrassment. He swayed off balance in the window for a moment, then caught himself with both hands on the lip of the sill. He seemed a little taken aback by my appearance, as though I’d caught him in a forbidden act.

When he didn’t answer my initial question, I repeated myself, “I said, may I help you?”

He smiled. I remembered that smile even to my grave. I remember it now: his eyes, a washed gray lit like glowing stones. They were as clear as a spring of water. The corners of his mouth curled into a hundred expressions at once, then his upper lip raised slightly showing the tips of his teeth. He sported a mustache and goatee. These accentuated his features and telegraphed the humor in his thoughts to me. His clear eyes seemed to catch me like a camera. They at once appraised me and, like a photograph, cataloged me, frozen in mid-stride.

He looked directly in my eyes and answered, “The garden is lovely, my lady. I was only trying to sample its fragrance and finery more closely.”

His voice was strong and clear, yet he spoke softly as if he was afraid he would frighten me away, “The question, now, my lady, is are you a part of the garden? You seem lovely enough to be. Are you a wonder of nature or a miracle of the garden?”

I colored slightly at his words, but I chose to ignore the slight impertinence—at least, my Matron would have said impertinence. I answered more boldly than I intended, “You could come into the garden yourself, then you could discover whether I was a wonder or a miracle. The door is down a short flight of stairs just a few feet beyond the next room.”

“I would love to, my lady, but I await the pleasure of the Duke of Neuterra. I fear, if I kept him waiting that might bring out his worst disposition. Right now, I need his most patient spirit.” The young major said this with such a bland voice and wry look I could barely keep from laughing. My Father’s wrath and dispositions were legendary.

I smiled at him, “Yes, I think you’re right, the Duke doesn’t like to be kept waiting, but here,” I picked one of the roses he tried so vainly to reach and lifted it to him, “you can enjoy the garden though you haven’t set a single foot in it.”

My action seemed to astonish the major. He was taken aback for a moment, then in a single motion, he reached down to take my offering. He grasped the fragile blossom, and at the same time, caught my fingers and pressed them gently to his lips. “Thank you, my Lady. The garden is indeed beautiful, but you—you are more lovely. I think you must be a miracle,” he smiled more broadly as he released my hand.

I laughed a moment, but the eyes he held to mine were full of sincerity and repeated the strength of his words.

As if taking in the garden in a single whiff, he touched the rose reflectively to his nose. Then, I heard the study door open and shut with a bang, and I knew the Duke had entered. The major half turned, then turned back to me, but I was gone. My Father had passions; many in general, but specifically ones about being disturbed, so my mother, and I, and all the servants, holders, and common people took the greatest pains not to interrupt his business.

I wondered why the major should want to speak to my Father. Perhaps we were related, and he sought a boon. He would find none forthcoming from my Father. Perhaps he was a messenger from the Emperor. That might be good or bad. Not much later, I learned, from the servants, the major was undertaking an alliance between our House and the Emperor, or another family, or something. They didn’t have the information exactly right, but the house staff was always the first to know, that is, after my Mother.

It is really difficult to make a prince a pathetic character, but I manage this. The way to make a prince a creature of pathos is to take away his honor. His honor is his title and his power. So we see Prince John-Mark in this scene:

Devon Rathenberg entered Count Acier’s Hall on his father’s arm. Beside him walked a young man of military bearing whom John-Mark recognized as Duke Falkeep’s youngest son. The presence of the young Falkeep with Devon Rathenberg presented a further enigma.

Devon Rathenberg certainly possessed the visage of a prince. He leaned easily on his father’s arm, a slight limp obvious in his walk. Though through this disability, he stood straight and walked with pride. The pride in his steps was not due to arrogance or because of his status; it was instead a reflection of his surety. He fully understood his place and responsibility. Anyone who saw him knew he was a man to be reckoned with—a most dangerous enemy and a choice friend.

As the two Rathenbergs approached, John studied the man whom he would soon pronounce the Crown Prince of the Empire. To a certain degree gazing at Devon Rathenberg, the Emperor’s Fox, was like looking at himself in a mirror. The man had burnt blond hair cut short on the sides but long in the front. He kept it combed back in a part. His face was sharp and angular, but with a characteristic smile that softened the features and made them almost nondescript. His eyes, like most of the Nobility were gray. The Fox’s eyes, however, bore an intensity that was remembered long after his appearance was forgotten. But of all the young Rathenberg’s characteristics, his bearing could not be hidden. He moves like my father, thought John-Mark. It is the true measure of an Emperor, the absolute surety of person and action.

The three men approached John-Mark and bowed. Then John reached out his hand to Devon. They embraced and pounded each other on the back like schoolboys. John felt a lightening of spirit like nothing he had felt in the last month.

“Devon, I was convinced that you were dead,” exclaimed John, “It is so good to welcome you back—and welcome you back to our victory. Your father told you?”

“Yes,” Devon smiled, “Perodus has certainly felt the Dragon’s sting, but he also felt the Fox’s bite. Like you, death hounded me from the moment I left the court on Arienth. I was fortunate more than once to retain my life. My Prince, I also come to you in victory. I rid the Empire of one of Maricus’ betrayers and, out of Arienth, within the bowels of Perodus’ security, I secured information that may add immeasurably to your victory. I just returned from Arienth, where Sir Roger Falkeep and I acquired the Emperor’s campaign plans.”

John-Mark stared at Devon for a long moment, then he clapped him on the shoulders, “You are not called the Fox for nothing. My friend you deliver the ultimate victory to our forces.”

Devon bowed.

John immediately envisioned the perfection of his own plans, “That is exactly the key I was searching for.” Then in a whisper, he said to Devon, “Perodus must and will pay dearly.”

“Count Acier,” Devon addressed Ian, “Sir Roger carries laser disks containing not only the Emperor’s strategic plans, but our own opinions, derived from direct observations of the Emperor’s capital and forces.”

Ian gratefully took the packet Roger proffered to him, and in his broadly accented voice said, “You could not have come at a better time gentlemen; we must soon make a choice as to our future plans. While our fleet holds together, we have the capability to strike. We only need a target.”

“I think you will find one there,” said Devon.

“Come, Devon, we must introduce you to the leadership of the Houses of our rebellion,” John grasped his arm.

John led the group through a set of large double doors into Acier’s council chamber. Every man in the crowded room craned to view their entrance, and an excited buzz filled the large chamber. John’s hopes brightened immediately. Their leaders recognized the Fox. He noted the information sweep thorough the long chamber. It passed in whispers even between the different Houses. This demonstrated the greatest unity he observed in them in days.

Count Acier’s Hall was the perfect place for this meeting. Even the Hall of Accords would have represented too new and polished a setting. The fierce barbarity, the mediaeval splendor of Ian’s court was like a linchpin in these men’s minds. The place fitted in their hearts, accentuating their emotions and martial honor.

As Devon and John-Mark strode into the room, out of the corner of his eye, John observed that his companion was outfitted in military splendor. Devon was arrayed in the uniform of a Huscarl Major that normally meant little when the drapue of a prince covered a man’s shoulders. Indeed, the many campaign ribbons and medals, the emblem of a Knight of the Red Cross set the Fox apart from the most outstanding warriors here. His uniform and those badges were indications of consummate military skill, but they covered more honorable emblems; the physical scars of numerous skirmishes. Devon Rathenberg’s lithe form moved slowly, almost painfully, but with a warrior’s grace, and every man here realized battle wounds decorated the Fox once again.

The chief nobility of the Houses Neuterra, Centri, Reinland, Anas, Deneb, El Rashad, Aurora, Belgesa, and Cyan sat around Count Acier’s massive table. Behind these men, perched uncomfortably on hard, wooden chairs, the nobles of the lesser Houses under the Duchies surrounded their lords.

The men were still flush with their victory, but a deep sense of discord filled them. They were at odds with the Empire and themselves. They sought reunification with the other Houses and their Emperor, yet they would accept the Emperor’s authority again only on their own terms.

John slowly led Devon to the front of the long hall. Devon’s father, the Duke walked beside them while Count Acier trailed a pace behind.

“Devon,” John-Mark carefully watched his friend’s face as he whispered at his side, “Devon, you would not have believed the cry of anger that rose when Perodus reported your death. They love you. They respect you. I betrayed these men into the hands of the Empire. I am partly to blame for the state they find themselves.” His fingers dug into Devon’s arm. “Devon, my friend, my brother. If Perodus were to die tomorrow, I would not be a welcome man in the Iron Throne. You, on the other hand, would be. You are the Fox. These men know you not by feature but by reputation. You are even more beloved and known than I. They cried for you; wailing filled the Houses of the Landsritters the night your death was announced. And Devon, you look like a Prince. Don’t say that makes no difference, you are a Prince. You can hear their murmurs of approval as we walk to the place of honor. These men would instate you as Emperor tonight if your father said the words. When our Houses were first banned, your father, Count Acier, and I decided on this course of action. When Perodus told of your death, we though all hope was lost, but you are here. And you are the glue to hold together the cause of the banned Houses. Without you, they would have to depend only on a despot like my brother or a manipulator like me.”

Devon shook him off, “I can guess what you intend, and I don’t want this, John.”

John expected his response. He grasped Devon’s arm more intensely, “This isn’t about what you want or don’t want. This is the reality of this moment and the need of the Empire. After this night, you will be the Crown Prince of the Empire. You must face that. If you do not accept the regency, the rebellion will fail. I can fight for it until death takes me, your father can provide leadership, Count Acier can give us wealth and knowledge, but only you can bring honor and rule to this enclave. Without you, we are all traitors; we fight against the rightful rulership. With you, we can claim the honor of the House Haupenburg and House Rathenberg. You are the tie. You are the legitimacy in our defiance.”

When John reached the end of the table, he gently sat Devon into the chair at the head and again whispered, “Look like an Emperor, that is all I ask.”

Devon Rathenberg composed himself. His actions, the bite of anger in his eyes made him look nothing if more princely. The Nobles half expected this action from John-Mark. They approved of it completely.

By the time John and Devon reached the head of the table, the hall was absolutely quiet. Not the sound of a cough or the sigh of a breath could be heard. John-Mark raised his arms. “Nobles of the Landsritters,” he paused, “I present before you Devon Rathenberg, Count of Gran Stern, Knight of the Red Cross, Chief of Imperial Intelligence, and Crown Prince to the Iron Throne of the Human Empire.” He paused, then continued with a finality, his words flowing like liquid from a broken vessel, “Before you, I abdicate my rights to the Throne and place the regency into the hands of Prince Devon Rathenberg. Nobles listen to your Prince: the man of honor, the Fox now holds the honor of the Noblesse.”

A murmur of approval rose in the hall. Duke Centri spoke out, “This is Devon Rathenberg, the young Fox?”

If a prince willingly gives up his power and rank, he becomes a pathetic character. Before this, John-Mark lost his love, Lyral Neterra, his father and his family. He is indeed a pathos building character. He is not as great a pathos building character as some of the other examples I showed you, but he still builds pathos. In large measure, this is why I started the novel with Lyral’s death—I wanted to begin on a pathos strain. That strain continued through the novel. It is about the loss of honor. Thus, I am using the same types of tools in my science fiction as my historical fiction. The difference is the power of the projection of the tools. Men and princes make great Romantic characters—they are but poor pathetic characters. We’ll look at The Fox’s Honor next.

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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