Writing – part x747, Writing a Novel, The Theme Statement

18 April 2019, Writing – part x747, Writing a Novel, The Theme Statement

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.

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.

     4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.

  1. 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:

  1. Design the initial scene
  2. Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
  3. Research as required
  4. Develop the initial setting
  5. Develop the characters
  6. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  7. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  8. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  9. Write the climax scene
  10. Write the falling action scene(s)
  11. 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.

Cover Proposal

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:

  1. Scene input (comes from the previous scene output or is an initial scene)
  2. Write the scene setting (place, time, stuff, and characters)
  3. Imagine the output, creative elements, plot, telic flaw resolution (climax) and develop the tension and release.
  4. Write the scene using the output and creative elements to build the tension.
  5. Write the release
  6. 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.

The purpose of the theme statement is not really to begin a novel.  The purpose of a theme statement is to begin the process of novel development, the novel idea, and the marketing materials.  We are both looking at the immediate—writing the novel, and the future—marketing the novel.

I write a theme statement for every novel.  It’s usually not my first step, but it is a step that assures me of the vector of the novel.

In the beginning, I used a question for my theme statement.  You can see examples of these “theme questions” on my website for my early novels—look in the secrets pages.  A question is one way to try to encapsulate the theme of a novel, but I found this to be both too limiting and too broad.  At that time, I wrote my novels from the plot up.  In other words, I developed the entire plot in my mind and wrote to the plot.  I found that this is too limiting a way to write for me.

If you look at my early and published novels, Centurion, Aegypt, The Second Mission, and The Chronicles of the dragon and the Fox, you will see they all have distinct questions as theme statements.  I also wrote them, at least I planned to write them, as a whole plot that I wrote to.  This ended up causing me continual problems.  Mostly it caused what many call writer’s block.  Since I couldn’t move forward without the next piece of the plot, and my plots, although complete in my mind, were not complete in the sense of a fully developed novel—I knew where I wanted to go, I just didn’t know how to get there, and not even a “theme question” could help me out.

About my eighth novel, I discovered a better way to write novels—at least better for me.  It might not work for everyone.  I write novels focused on the initial scene and writing to a telic flaw.  What this means is that I develop a protagonist.  The protagonist must have a telic flaw.  The telic flaw is not a flaw in the protagonist.  The telic flaw is a flaw in the world of the protagonist.  To be very precise, the telic flaw is the problem the protagonist must resolve to resolve the novel.  At this point, there is no plot, but there is a known problem that must be resolved.  In classical terms, we call this problem the telic flaw of the novel—it is also the telic flaw of the protagonist.

I want to reiterate, the telic flaw is not necessarily a flaw in the protagonist.  This is just the term the Greeks and specifically Aristotle gave to the problem resolved by the plot.  Aristotle realized that the problem of the novel is directly the problem of the protagonist.  This ties the protagonist directly to the plot and the novel.  In other words, this protagonist and this protagonist alone is the only protagonist in the world who has this problem and can solve it.  This may seem odd to you depending on how you understand novels, but I assure you this is true for all adult works.  I’ll go further.  All novels are a revelation of the protagonist.  Novels are not a revelation of a plot—the plot just happens to be about the revelation of the protagonist and the telic flaw is the problem of the protagonist that must be resolved by the plot.  The theme statement encapsulates all of this in a tidy and broad form.  We’ll look at that 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 – part x746, Writing a Novel, Theme Statements

17 April 2019, Writing – part x746, Writing a Novel, Theme Statements

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.

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.

     4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.

  1. 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:

  1. Design the initial scene
  2. Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
  3. Research as required
  4. Develop the initial setting
  5. Develop the characters
  6. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  7. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  8. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  9. Write the climax scene
  10. Write the falling action scene(s)
  11. 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.

Cover Proposal

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:

  1. Scene input (comes from the previous scene output or is an initial scene)
  2. Write the scene setting (place, time, stuff, and characters)
  3. Imagine the output, creative elements, plot, telic flaw resolution (climax) and develop the tension and release.
  4. Write the scene using the output and creative elements to build the tension.
  5. Write the release
  6. 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.

My latest focus has been the setting of the novel.  I was writing about circumstances available to the author but not commonly used by authors—that is the use of time and especially holidays in a novel.  Settings are a very important part of any novel, but for the moment, let’s go a little further back to the theme statement.

My mentor Roz Young suggested that the author should write a theme statement for any novel they are writing.  This was somewhat of a puzzle to me for a long time.  She never gave me any direction on how to write a theme statement.  Perhaps in the past people were trained in writing or just wrote theme statements.  I’m not so sure.  Let’s think about this for a little.

If I asked you to describe a novel, you would likely write a statement of the plot or some of the main plot points.  I’m not sure anyone considers the theme of a novel much beyond, a love theme, an adventure theme, a political theme, a conflict theme, an appearance switching theme.  This kind of identification is insufficient to describe a novel in any way.  It might be the theme, but it is meaningless.  Then what is a sufficient theme statement.

First of all, we need something we can use.  We don’t need the plot, in fact, the plot, at this moment might be completely amorphous.  I don’t usually have a complete idea of my plot when I begin to write a novel.  I always start with the initial scene and the protagonist.  This is how my novels begin, so to speak.

So, when I start a novel, I don’t have a complete plot.  I have an idea for the telic flaw of the novel or at least the initial conflict, which is about the same.  I have an idea of the protagonist, the antagonist, and the protagonist helper.  I usually have an idea of the initial setting.  Let’s be more specific.  When I begin to write a novel, I start with a protagonist and an initial conflict.  I develop the protagonist and the initial setting, and I develop an initial scene.  The initial scene propels the novel.

Therefore, when I start a novel, I can express the protagonist, the antagonist, the initial setting, and the initial scene.  Some have called this an initial plot statement, but it doesn’t express the plot at all.  I call it the theme statement because it reflects the theme, required characters, the initial setting, and an abbreviation of the telic flaw—this is all you need to begin a novel.  I’ll get  to the details 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 – part x745, Writing a Novel, Power of Settings, Conclusions

16 April 2019, Writing – part x745, Writing a Novel, Power of Settings, Conclusions

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.

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.

     4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.

  1. 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:

  1. Design the initial scene
  2. Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
  3. Research as required
  4. Develop the initial setting
  5. Develop the characters
  6. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  7. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  8. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  9. Write the climax scene
  10. Write the falling action scene(s)
  11. 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.

Cover Proposal

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:

  1. Scene input (comes from the previous scene output or is an initial scene)
  2. Write the scene setting (place, time, stuff, and characters)
  3. Imagine the output, creative elements, plot, telic flaw resolution (climax) and develop the tension and release.
  4. Write the scene using the output and creative elements to build the tension.
  5. Write the release
  6. 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.

You must have a protagonist and an antagonist. You may have a protagonist’s helper.  Then there are other characters.  Let’s talk about characters in general and then specifically.

I’ve been writing about choosing and developing protagonists who are interesting and entertaining to your readers.  Readers like characters who they can intellectually identify with.  These are the characters who appeal to them.  If there is no intellectual connection, there is usually no connection.  We saw this by the many characters whom readers can’t share any or many characteristics, but the characters still appeal.

For Christmas, I gave you scenes from my writing that were set during Christmas.  I hope this was enlightening and entertaining to you.  I just wanted to entertain you for the Christmas season.  I also wanted to show you how important real events and settings are to novels.

There are three ways to create a setting or a world: real, reflected, and created.

A real worldview comes directly from the real world.  A reflected worldview comes from a historical and real basis but from a fictional or mythic basis.  A created worldview is developed from a real base, but is either fantasy or futuristic.

In novels, authors always seek ways to bring together the elements of the plot in a cohesive and imaginative way.  The wise author always wants to prevent deus ex machina (god machines) which dilute the writing and lead to bathos (improper response to emotion).  I should mention that deus ex machina are all over most movies.  You see them in books too, but at a much reduced rate.  I think well-written novels should never have more than one deus ex.  Usually, a deus ex will set the novel rolling and that’s it.  To clarify, a deus ex can be a chance meeting or a chance event.  A singular chance event makes sense to make the occurrences of a novel begin, but a bunch of them make the novel not just trite but unbelievable.

In consequence, authors are always looking for ways to bring disparate characters together.  Further, wise authors are always looking for the material of scene and creative elements for scenes that depict the most interesting aspects of their protagonists and reveal them in the context of the plot—not to mention to move the plot forward.

I find that holidays, and especially Christmas and New Years provides unique and expected opportunities to bring characters together.  I showed you examples in my twelve days of Christmas scenes.  I also think there is great scope in the use of other holidays to do the same, or rather, holidays can be used to bring characters together in amazing ways.

Although this is a conclusion, I’ll mention another example of a holiday I’ve used before.  If you remember, the British love to celebrate horse racing.  One of their most revered aristocratic events is The Grand National.  This is the event that women wear their wonderful hats to and Gentlemen dress to the nines.  What better way to get together a plethora of interesting and aristocratic people and beings.  There is likely few other places where these people and potentially others might be in attendance—or at least where they might meet each other in passing.  Providing a reasonable place where people might come together is a means of moving a plot without addition of deus ex to a manuscript.

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 – part x744, Writing a Novel, Power of Settings, The Fourth

15 April 2019, Writing – part x744, Writing a Novel, Power of Settings, The Fourth

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.

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.

     4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.

  1. 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:

  1. Design the initial scene
  2. Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
  3. Research as required
  4. Develop the initial setting
  5. Develop the characters
  6. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  7. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  8. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  9. Write the climax scene
  10. Write the falling action scene(s)
  11. 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.

Cover Proposal

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:

  1. Scene input (comes from the previous scene output or is an initial scene)
  2. Write the scene setting (place, time, stuff, and characters)
  3. Imagine the output, creative elements, plot, telic flaw resolution (climax) and develop the tension and release.
  4. Write the scene using the output and creative elements to build the tension.
  5. Write the release
  6. 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.

You must have a protagonist and an antagonist. You may have a protagonist’s helper.  Then there are other characters.  Let’s talk about characters in general and then specifically.

I’ve been writing about choosing and developing protagonists who are interesting and entertaining to your readers.  Readers like characters who they can intellectually identify with.  These are the characters who appeal to them.  If there is no intellectual connection, there is usually no connection.  We saw this by the many characters whom readers can’t share any or many characteristics, but the characters still appeal.

For Christmas, I gave you scenes from my writing that were set during Christmas.  I hope this was enlightening and entertaining to you.  I just wanted to entertain you for the Christmas season.  I also wanted to show you how important real events and settings are to novels.

There are three ways to create a setting or a world: real, reflected, and created.

A real worldview comes directly from the real world.  A reflected worldview comes from a historical and real basis but from a fictional or mythic basis.  A created worldview is developed from a real base, but is either fantasy or futuristic.

The Fourth is a very special holiday in the USA.  I’m not sure there is anything quite the same in other nations.  I’ve read British literature than refers to the Fourth in the USA, but rarely about other patriotic holidays in other nations.

The Fourth is a secular and semi-religious holiday in the USA.  It is an intimate family and a very open group celebratory holiday.  The Fourth is only a single day, but by time it might be the most prepared and filled holiday of them all.

Unlike Thanksgiving, the Fourth isn’t just about food, but lunch and dinner are family events with many family favorites.  Unlike Christmas, the Fourth isn’t just about the evening and evening events.  There usually isn’t presents, but there are fireworks—extensive fireworks.  During New Years, you might see fireworks.  The Fourth is all about fireworks.

So, in a single day, you have meals, gatherings, parties, evening events and especially fireworks.  Any novel set in the USA during summer should have a Fourth as part of the setting.  There is so much you can do with this holiday, and there is a lot you can place in this holiday.

Whatever you do, use holidays, we’ll conclude tomorrow.

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 – part x743, Writing a Novel, Power of Settings, New Years

14 April 2019, Writing – part x743, Writing a Novel, Power of Settings, New Years

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.

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.

     4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.

  1. 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:

  1. Design the initial scene
  2. Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
  3. Research as required
  4. Develop the initial setting
  5. Develop the characters
  6. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  7. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  8. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  9. Write the climax scene
  10. Write the falling action scene(s)
  11. 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.

Cover Proposal

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:

  1. Scene input (comes from the previous scene output or is an initial scene)
  2. Write the scene setting (place, time, stuff, and characters)
  3. Imagine the output, creative elements, plot, telic flaw resolution (climax) and develop the tension and release.
  4. Write the scene using the output and creative elements to build the tension.
  5. Write the release
  6. 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.

You must have a protagonist and an antagonist. You may have a protagonist’s helper.  Then there are other characters.  Let’s talk about characters in general and then specifically.

I’ve been writing about choosing and developing protagonists who are interesting and entertaining to your readers.  Readers like characters who they can intellectually identify with.  These are the characters who appeal to them.  If there is no intellectual connection, there is usually no connection.  We saw this by the many characters whom readers can’t share any or many characteristics, but the characters still appeal.

For Christmas, I gave you scenes from my writing that were set during Christmas.  I hope this was enlightening and entertaining to you.  I just wanted to entertain you for the Christmas season.  I also wanted to show you how important real events and settings are to novels.

There are three ways to create a setting or a world: real, reflected, and created.

A real worldview comes directly from the real world.  A reflected worldview comes from a historical and real basis but from a fictional or mythic basis.  A created worldview is developed from a real base, but is either fantasy or futuristic.

I should have covered New Years with Christmas.  New Years is really a full on secular holiday where all kinds of people get together.  This is the party day for the USA and most Western cultures.  There are other cultures that celebrate it well, but not quite as a party day.  For example, in Asian cultures, New Years is a time of family celebration and religious execution.  Many if not most Japanese go to a temple for the first visit of the year, and there are numerous traditions centered around that visit and the day.

In the West, there are region based celebrations and food, but New Years isn’t a religious holiday in the West.  The power of New Years for the author is that it is a continuation of Christmas—that’s what I use it for.

I flip my characters from the religious Christmas to the secular New Years as a continuation of time just like it is in the real world.  By this I mean that I usually have a party or celebration coming up to Christmas, the actual Christmas Eve and day, and then a party at New Years.  That’s for the full gamut.  I haven’t done the whole thing in every book, but a few.

The point for the author is to realize the opportunities that exist base on the holidays.  If I based my novels on my own life, there would be one or two parties every week of December until Christmas and then Christmas Eve and Day followed by a party at New Years Eve.  If this is the focus of your novels, and you need that many get-togethers, go for it.  I’ve just never needed that many—the point is you could, and it wouldn’t be unusual.

I’ll look finally at the Fourth.  More on this weekends, weeks, months, and why Christmas is an expression of the real world.

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 – part x742, Writing a Novel, Power of Settings, Halloween

13 April 2019, Writing – part x742, Writing a Novel, Power of Settings, Halloween

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.

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.

     4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.

  1. 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:

  1. Design the initial scene
  2. Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
  3. Research as required
  4. Develop the initial setting
  5. Develop the characters
  6. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  7. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  8. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  9. Write the climax scene
  10. Write the falling action scene(s)
  11. 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.

Cover Proposal

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:

  1. Scene input (comes from the previous scene output or is an initial scene)
  2. Write the scene setting (place, time, stuff, and characters)
  3. Imagine the output, creative elements, plot, telic flaw resolution (climax) and develop the tension and release.
  4. Write the scene using the output and creative elements to build the tension.
  5. Write the release
  6. 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.

You must have a protagonist and an antagonist. You may have a protagonist’s helper.  Then there are other characters.  Let’s talk about characters in general and then specifically.

I’ve been writing about choosing and developing protagonists who are interesting and entertaining to your readers.  Readers like characters who they can intellectually identify with.  These are the characters who appeal to them.  If there is no intellectual connection, there is usually no connection.  We saw this by the many characters whom readers can’t share any or many characteristics, but the characters still appeal.

For Christmas, I gave you scenes from my writing that were set during Christmas.  I hope this was enlightening and entertaining to you.  I just wanted to entertain you for the Christmas season.  I also wanted to show you how important real events and settings are to novels.

There are three ways to create a setting or a world: real, reflected, and created.

A real worldview comes directly from the real world.  A reflected worldview comes from a historical and real basis but from a fictional or mythic basis.  A created worldview is developed from a real base, but is either fantasy or futuristic.

Halloween is perhaps one of the most used holidays when holidays are used as settings.  The reason is that Halloween is seen as a black magic, secular, and anti-Christian holiday.  It really isn’t.  All hallows eve (Halloween) is the day before all saint’s day in the Christian calendar.  It has pagan antecedents and that’s what makes it a luscious holiday—it has touches of the religious, the pagan, and the secular.

You find great authors using the mystique of Halloween to promote the mystical elements.  For example Ray Bradbury and the author of Harry Potty.  Not many authors have used the religious elements as powerfully as they could in this setting.  I should, but I haven’t used it much either.

In the USA and a growing number of countries, Halloween is a fun dress-up and children’s holiday.  Especially in the USA, Halloween is the beginning of the run-up to Christmas for the children.  It is the beginning of the gifting holidays that culminate in the ultimate gifting holiday, Christmas.

There should be great possibilities in Halloween.  From children to adults, parties, and make believe, the elements of Halloween support unusual and unexpected interactions among people.  There is great potential in Halloween, it is yet to be discovered and used.

I’ll cover a few more just to give you some more ideas–like New Years and the Fourth.

More on this weekends, weeks, months, and why Christmas is an expression of the real world.

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 – part x741, Writing a Novel, Power of Settings, Easter

12 April 2019, Writing – part x741, Writing a Novel, Power of Settings, Easter

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.

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.

     4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.

  1. 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:

  1. Design the initial scene
  2. Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
  3. Research as required
  4. Develop the initial setting
  5. Develop the characters
  6. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  7. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  8. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  9. Write the climax scene
  10. Write the falling action scene(s)
  11. 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.

Cover Proposal

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:

  1. Scene input (comes from the previous scene output or is an initial scene)
  2. Write the scene setting (place, time, stuff, and characters)
  3. Imagine the output, creative elements, plot, telic flaw resolution (climax) and develop the tension and release.
  4. Write the scene using the output and creative elements to build the tension.
  5. Write the release
  6. 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.

You must have a protagonist and an antagonist. You may have a protagonist’s helper.  Then there are other characters.  Let’s talk about characters in general and then specifically.

I’ve been writing about choosing and developing protagonists who are interesting and entertaining to your readers.  Readers like characters who they can intellectually identify with.  These are the characters who appeal to them.  If there is no intellectual connection, there is usually no connection.  We saw this by the many characters whom readers can’t share any or many characteristics, but the characters still appeal.

For Christmas, I gave you scenes from my writing that were set during Christmas.  I hope this was enlightening and entertaining to you.  I just wanted to entertain you for the Christmas season.  I also wanted to show you how important real events and settings are to novels.

There are three ways to create a setting or a world: real, reflected, and created.

A real worldview comes directly from the real world.  A reflected worldview comes from a historical and real basis but from a fictional or mythic basis.  A created worldview is developed from a real base, but is either fantasy or futuristic.

I’ve not used Easter as a setting yet in any of my novels.  The reason is that although Easter is acknowledged and celebrated by large numbers in the West as well as all other Christian peoples and nations, it is not very secularized, and the secularization that has been done has not made it very normative.

What I mean by that is unlike Christmas which has become a secular as well as religious celebration that almost everyone gets together for, and unlike Thanksgiving where families routinely get together, Easter is mostly private, religious, and family with little nonfamily interaction.

I’ve written before that I write secular novels with redemptive themes.  I want to be inclusive in my writing of both secular and religious people.  For that reason, I write in such a way that I don’t intentionally offend the religious or the secular.  Not that Easter would offend, but I haven’t had a need for an Easter scene.  Perhaps I will in a future novel.

The other problem which is kind of interesting, my novels tend to start or run through September.  In some cases, they begin after Easter and move through the September time frame.  This leads directly into Thanksgiving and then Christmas.  Many of my novels are set in England or France, the main holiday is Christmas in this time frame.  Most of my novels reach their climax in the season before Easter.  This is kind of an interesting observation about my writing.

Not all of my novels fill this model, but many of them.  In others, Easter and other holidays are just not part of the setting—some of my novels are set in communist nations or other places which are anti-religion.

I will take back a little—one of my published novels covers Easter very well.  Centurion, the novel about the Centurion who crucified Christ covers the first Easter very extensively.  It isn’t the celebration as much as it is a record of the accounts from the New Testament from a Roman’s point of view.

Whatever your take or time, when you put together your settings for your novel, take into consideration the holidays.  You don’t need to touch every one, but you need to see if you can use them to develop the plot and scenes.  I’ll cover a few more just to give you some more ideas–like New Years, Halloween, and the Fourth.

More on this weekends, weeks, months, and why Christmas is an expression of the real world.

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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