15 January 2019, Writing – part x654, Developing Skills, How to Suspend Disbelief, with the Use of Figures of Speech
: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but my primary publisher has gone out of business—they couldn’t succeed in the past business and publishing environment. I’ll keep you informed, but I need a new publisher. More information can be found atwww.ancientlight.com. Check out my novels–I think you’ll really enjoy them.
Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning withhttp://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.
I’m using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I’ll keep you informed along the way.
The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:
- Don’t confuse your readers.
- Entertain your readers.
- Ground your readers in the writing.
- Don’t show (or tell) everything.
4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.
- Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.
These are the steps I use to write a novel including the five discrete parts of a novel:
- Design the initial scene
- Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
- Research as required
- Develop the initial setting
- Develop the characters
- Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
- Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
- Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
- Write the climax scene
- Write the falling action scene(s)
- Write the dénouement scene
I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential titleBlue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective. The theme statement is: Lady Azure Rose Wishart, the Chancellor of the Fae, supernatural detective, and all around dangerous girl, finds love, solves cases, breaks heads, and plays golf.
Here is the cover proposal for Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I am continuing to write on my 30thnovel, working title Red Sonja. I finished my 29th novel, working titleDetective. I’m planning to start on number 31, working title Shifter.
How to begin a novel. Number one thought, we need an entertaining idea. I usually encapsulate such an idea with a theme statement. Since I’m writing a new novel, we need a new theme statement. Here is an initial cut.
For novel 30: Red Sonja, a Soviet spy, infiltrates the X-plane programs at Edwards AFB as a test pilot’s administrative clerk, learns about freedom, and is redeemed.
For novel 31: TBD
Here is the scene development outline:
- Scene input (comes from the previous scene output or is an initial scene)
- Write the scene setting (place, time, stuff, and characters)
- Imagine the output, creative elements, plot, telic flaw resolution (climax) and develop the tension and release.
- Write the scene using the output and creative elements to build the tension.
- Write the release
- Write the kicker
Today: Suspension of disbelief is the characteristic of writing that pulls the reader into the world of the novel in such a way that the reader would rather face the world of the novel rather than the real world—at least while reading. If this occurs while not reading, it is potentially a mental problem. To achieve the suspension of disbelief your writing has to meet some basic criteria and contain some strong inspiration. If you want to call the inspiration creativity, that works too. Here is a list of the basic criteria to hope to achieve some degree of suspension of disbelief.
- Reasonably written in standard English
- No glaring logical fallacies
- Reasoned worldview
- Creative and interesting topic
- A Plot
Everything is about entertainment. The purpose for all published novels is entertainment. Other than this is the only point of fiction literature, one of the main reasons is that entertainment can fill a lot of holes as well as result in the suspension of disbelief.
The factors that do lend themselves to entertaining are these:
- Use of figures of speech (vocabulary and language).
On my way to Scotland for golf, castles, and scotch, of course. Perhaps I can throw in some United Kingdom observations.
Characters are the focus of entertainment and the plot, but other parts of a novel can help drive entertainment. As we are discussing, the suspension of disbelief is about entertaining. If you can hold your readers in a state of entertainment, you can usually hold them in a suspension of disbelief. The point is to hold your readers in a suspension of disbelief.
To entertain and to suspend disbelief, the author must engage the imagination of the reader. This has been the point of each of these subjects and entertainment. Each of these topics allow the author to engage the imagination of the reader, however, figures of speech are the absolute and specific means the author has to actually speak to the imagination of the reader. This goes back to the points of the last two days—turning ideas into words that become those same or similar ideas in the mind of the reader.
I can’t express this more strongly—the skill of the writer at the suspension of disbelief is the ability to communicate using figures of speech. You can’t express experiences and concepts outside of physical description without figures of speech. I used the example of love before. Think about it. I can describe a cow or a house. I can describe running or swimming. I can’t describe love. I can only tell you about love or show you love. Remember, if you want to be a novelist, you must show and don’t tell. So, how do I show love?
The real question is how do I show any non-physical concept? I showed you a sunset yesterday. I can describe a sunset. I can’t describe the human impressions and beauty of a sunset—that requires either dialog or figures of speech.
Figures of speech propel the reader into the sphere of imagination—this is the power and point of figures of speech. The writer must engage the imagination of the reader. The easiest and best way to do this is through language. Thus if we look at the topics above and apply the filter of figures of speech, we see that each of the topics don’t require figures of speech, but that figures of speech enhance each topic. Figures of speech transport each topic into the realm of the imagination, and some of these topics immediately throw the reader into the realm of the imagination. For example, magicians, vampires, witches, and warlocks. Just think about it. Each of these is a figure of speech on their own. A vampire is an imaginary being (as is all the others). That imaginary being represents a figure of speech. It is an analogy for a human deficiency and evil. The others also represent an allegory or analogy—and these are figures of speech.
In any case, as you write, throw your reader into the sphere of imagination. The topics and the way we have approached them will help with imagination and with entertainment. I think imagination equals entertainment and thus the suspension of disbelief. We’ll conclude this section with that.
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