17 June 2019, Writing – part x807, Writing a Novel, Changing World and more Literacy
Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but my primary publisher has gone out of business—they couldn’t succeed in the past business and publishing environment. I’ll keep you informed, but I need a new publisher. More information can be found atwww.ancientlight.com. Check out my novels–I think you’ll really enjoy them.
Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning withhttp://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.
I’m using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I’ll keep you informed along the way.
The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:
- Don’t confuse your readers.
- Entertain your readers.
- Ground your readers in the writing.
- Don’t show (or tell) everything.
4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.
- Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.
These are the steps I use to write a novel including the five discrete parts of a novel:
- Design the initial scene
- Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
- Research as required
- Develop the initial setting
- Develop the characters
- Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
- Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
- Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
- Write the climax scene
- Write the falling action scene(s)
- Write the dénouement scene
I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential titleBlue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective. The theme statement is: Lady Azure Rose Wishart, the Chancellor of the Fae, supernatural detective, and all around dangerous girl, finds love, solves cases, breaks heads, and plays golf.
Here is the cover proposal for Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I am continuing to write on my 30thnovel, working title Red Sonja. I finished my 29th novel, working titleDetective. I’m planning to start on number 31, working title Shifter.
How to begin a novel. Number one thought, we need an entertaining idea. I usually encapsulate such an idea with a theme statement. Since I’m writing a new novel, we need a new theme statement. Here is an initial cut.
For novel 30: Red Sonja, a Soviet spy, infiltrates the X-plane programs at Edwards AFB as a test pilot’s administrative clerk, learns about freedom, and is redeemed.
For novel 31: Deirdre and Sorcha are redirected to French finishing school where they discover difficult mysteries, people, and events.
Here is the scene development outline:
- Scene input (comes from the previous scene output or is an initial scene)
- Write the scene setting (place, time, stuff, and characters)
- Imagine the output, creative elements, plot, telic flaw resolution (climax) and develop the tension and release.
- Write the scene using the output and creative elements to build the tension.
- Write the release
- Write the kicker
Today: Why don’t we go back to the basics and just writing a novel? I can tell you what I do, and show you how I go about putting a novel together. We can start with developing an idea then move into the details of the writing.
To start a novel, I picture an initial scene. I may start from a protagonist or just launch into mental development of an initial scene. I get the idea for an initial scene from all kinds of sources. To help get the creative juices flowing, let’s look at the initial scene.
- Meeting between the protagonist and the antagonist or the protagonist’s helper
- Action point in the plot
- Buildup to an exciting scene
- Indirect introduction of the protagonist
The protagonist is the novel and the initial scene. If you look at the four basic types of initial scenes, you see the reflection of the protagonist in each one. If you noticed my examples yesterday, I expressed the scene idea, but none were completely independent of the protagonist. Indeed, in most cases, I get an idea with a protagonist. The protagonist is incomplete, but a sketch to begin with. You can start with a protagonist, but in my opinion, as we see above, the protagonist is never completely independent from the initial scene. As the ideas above imply, we can start with the characters, specifically the protagonist, antagonist or protagonist’s helper, and develop an initial scene.
Let’s look at a subject that is really ignored in the modern era. I’m not certain how much this can help your current writing. I would argue that theoretically, this subject can really help those who write historical and futuristic fiction. It depends on how your write your historical and futuristic fiction. There are two ways to write historical fiction—let’s look at this.
The first and most common way to write historical fiction is to write a novel that projects modern ideas and history as historical ideas and history. In other words to present modern ideas and historical ideas as the same. I think this is perhaps the most egregious and perverse means of presenting a false view of history. The author is either completely ignorant of the past, is intentionally attempting to education people in a false view of history, or both. The real historical world is very different both culturally and socially from our current world. The true author attempts to convey this in historical writing.
The second and less common means of historical writing is to actually incorporate the past into a novel to convey the actual way people thought and acted in the past. This approach actually goes back into time to give a complete view of the way the people thought and acted. To this end, let’s look at how the world changed and how people thought in the past. This is more of a historical look at the world for the purpose of understanding how the world worked in the past and how people thought and acted. We’ll use historical information to see what concerned affected their lives. Here is a list of potential issues. We’ll look at them in detail:
- Social construction
- Common knowledge
- Common sense
- Reflected culture
- Reflected history
- Reflected society
Perhaps the greatest change in cultures comes with literacy. Before literacy a people can’t understand forms or complex ideas. Studies have been accomplished on preliterate cultures and their concept of the world are very interesting. It might be easier to look back from a literate point of view.
As I began, literacy is a critical change in a culture and society. With literacy people are able to put ideas on paper, but that’s not how it all started. We know from proto writing that the first proto writing was for records. Most all the records we have of proto writing are communications between a king or leader and priests. We suspect that the invention of writing began to solve the problem of sending sacrifices from the king (leader, pharaoh, etc.) to the local or not so local temple. Before proto writing, the king would send the lambs, pigs, or cattle and if they were pilfered, the priests would send back a message: hey we only got four pigs instead of five. The king started sending a message with the sacrifices or another messenger: here’s your five pigs, sign for them. The record keeping quickly moved out into the consumer and areas of commerce—they thought this was a great way to keep track of stuff.
Record keeping quickly moved from just lists of stuff to descriptions of stuff and actions. All words needed some way of expression on paper (stone, mud, papyrus, and etc.), and so they did. The Egyptians and the people of the Levant were likely the first two groups who invented writing in the Western world. They used word sounds to express the words on paper, mud or, stone. The Egyptians also used rebus as well as pictures in their hieroglyphics. A rebus is a set of pictures representing a statement for example: “eye picture” + “heart picture” + U. One of the meanings is, “I love you.” This is how much of Egyptian writing works, but not all Egyptian writing. It gets a lot more complex than this, but this is the beginning of writing in the West.
In the East, words were represented wholly as pictures, and in most cultures until the Koreans, did not turn into representations of letters and sounds. The Koreans and then the Japanese borrowing from them created sounds for their letters. Back to the West.
Literacy still had a longs way to go from the beginnings. At first, almost all writing was record keeping. The record keeping moved toward recording important aspects of ideas that should not be forgotten. To the Egyptians this meant writing down the spells necessary for use in the afterlife. They were considered so critical that they were recorded. Still, at this time, human history or human ideas weren’t recorded.
The next thing that was written down was information or revelations from the gods. In the case of the Hebrews, who happened to get their literacy from the Egyptians, they wrote the revelation of the God and that resulted in the Tanakh (Old Testament). The Greeks wrote down their poetry and myths—their revelation from their gods. The Egyptians were a little slower to catch on, but they eventually did. Then, the Greeks had this very neat idea—what if we wrote down what happened to our peoples? The Spartans and the Athenians wanted to record their exploits especially in war. The first historical documents came out of this idea. This was also the invention of the historical-legal method. A method for proving non-repeatable events. This was a very important invention and perhaps the most important invention after literacy.
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