Writing – part x255, Novel Form, Revelation and Tension

12 December 2017, Writing – part x255, Novel Form, Revelation and Tension

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.

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)
    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

I finished writing my 28th novel, working title, School, potential title Deirdre: Enchantment and the School. The theme statement is: Sorcha, the abandoned child of an Unseelie and a human, secretly attends Wycombe Abbey girls’ school where she meets the problem child Deirdre and is redeemed.

Here is the cover proposal for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I continued writing my 29th novel, working title Red Sonja. I finished my 28th novel, working title School. If you noticed, I started on number 28, but finished number 29 (in the starting sequence—it’s actually higher than that). I adjusted the numbering. I do keep everything clear in my records. I’ll be providing information on the marketing materials and editing.

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 29: 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.

This is the classical form for writing a successful 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 (protagonist, antagonist, and optionally the protagonist’s helper)
    4. Identify the telic flaw of the protagonist (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

The protagonist and the telic flaw are tied permanently together. The novel plot is completely dependent on the protagonist and the protagonist’s telic flaw. They are inseparable. This is likely the most critical concept about any normal (classical) form novel.

Here are the parts of a normal (classical) novel:

  1. The Initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  2. The Rising action scenes
  3. The Climax scene
  4. The Falling action scene(s)
  5. The Dénouement scene

So, how do you write a rich and powerful initial scene? Let’s start from a theme statement. Here is an example from my latest novel:

The theme statement for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School is: Sorcha, the abandoned child of an Unseelie and a human, secretly attends Wycombe Abbey girls’ school where she meets the problem child Deirdre and is redeemed.

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

If you have the characters (protagonist, protagonist’s helper, and antagonist), the initial setting, the telic flaw (from the protagonist), a plot idea, the theme action, then you are ready to write the initial scene.  I would state that since you have a protagonist, the telic flaw, a plot idea, and the theme action, you have about everything—what you might be lacking is the tension and release cycle in your scenes.

Here is an example of developing or building tension and release in a scene.  This example is from Shadow of Darkness an Ancient Light novel. The telic flaw of this novel is essentially: who is Sveta?  This is an identity theme and plot.  The readers don’t know who she is.  She doesn’t know who she is.  The Soviets know something is up, but her paperwork is flawless.  I gave you some of this foreshadowing before and the build-up.  We are still building up to the answer.  As of yet, Sveta has no real idea of who she is.

If you remember, Sveta’s duties entail keeping tabs and friendly relations with the embassies.  She was especial friends with the Harrimans.  This is the setup because Marie Bolang is Sveta’s sister.

Here is the scene:        

In early 1947, Marie Bolang received a letter from Mrs. Marie Harriman.

Marie Norton Whitney Harriman

Washington D.C., USA

23 January 1947

Dear Marie Bolang

I remember with great fondness our conversation during the party last year in London.  I was reminded of it when Averell, our children, and I finally were settled again in our house here inWashington, and I was able to open our boxes from our stay in theSoviet Union.  There I found a picture of us with Svetlana Evgenyevna Kopylova.  The lady in question’s last name was Kopylova.  I included a picture in this package.  She is the young woman standing beside me.  You can see her unmistakable beauty, and the similarity of her features to you.  I wish you could hear her voice.

 

I am not sure why this person is of such interest to you, but I hope this letter finds you and your family well.  The best to you in everything, and if you visit America, please come stay with us.

Your Friend,

Marie Harriman

Marie scanned the letter and yanked the picture out of the envelope.  She stared at the photograph and slowly brought her hand up to her face.  Looking at the woman in the picture was like looking in a mirror.  The girl’s face was thinner than Marie remembered her.  The smile was less bright, but she knew she looked at her sister, Lumière.  Marie gave a great sob.  She stood and stumbled out of her room—down the stairs like a zombie.  She held the picture and letter in front of her until she arrived at Tilly’s door and knocked.

“Come.”

Marie turned the handle almost reflexively and pushed open the door.

Matilda Anne Robina Acland Hastings Lyons turned around from her desk in her sitting room.  She was a thin and athletic woman with a round face and gentle eyes.  She could not keep from moving all the time.  Tilly stared, “Marie, you’re trembling.  What’s the matter?”

 

“Oh Aunt Tilly,” Marie cried, “I think I’ve found Lumière.”  She held the picture out before her.

 

“Lumière?  Alive?  Come here and show me, Marie.”

 

Marie walked over to Tilly and handed her the picture and the letter.  Tilly pointed at the chair beside her desk, and Marie sat down.  Tilly scanned the letter and glanced at the picture.  Then she stared at the picture for a long time.  She looked between Marie and the picture, “Marie, I think this is a picture of Lumière.”

 

“I know it is.  Mrs. Harriman told me the girl was injured in Berlin and brought to the Soviet Union.  She speaks multiple languages perfectly.  Mrs. Harriman thought she was fifteen years old.  Lumière could pass for fifteen then—she is only nineteen now.”

 

“Marie, Svetlana means light in Russian just as Lumière is light in French.” Tilly put her arms around Marie and held her until she could speak again, “What will you do, Marie?”

 

“I don’t know.  Should I tell mama and papa?  Should I tell my brothers, Robert and Jacques?  What could they do?”  She wiped her eyes, “What could anyone do?”

 

“Marie, the way things are in the Soviet Union right now any attempted contact with this woman could bring suspicion on her.  If the Russians believed she was not Russian, the results might be disastrous for her.”

 

“It isn’t any woman, Tilly.  She is my sister Lumière.  How can I not do something to help her?”

 

Tilly pulled Marie closer, “I have no idea what we can do.  I’ll talk to Bruce tonight.  Of anyone in the world, Bruce will know what to do.  For now, don’t worry your mother, father, or your brothers.  There is no reason to get your mother worked up over this.  It is a terrible wound on her heart.  We don’t need to prick it open.”

 

“I know Tilly.  I know, but I can’t just leave Lumière—I love her so much Tilly.”

 

Tilly patted Marie’s back, “Let’s wait for Bruce.  Bruce will know what to do.”

 

At the end of World War II, Lumière was thought to have died in Berlin. Her parents thought they saw her death and gave her up for lost.  As we know from this novel, Lumière survived but was injured and brought back to the Soviet Union.  Sveta (Lumière) doesn’t know much of this.  She has skills but no idea how she came about them.  Her knowledge of life begins in Berlin and her injury.

The reality is more than I’ve shown you in these examples.  I left off the flashback scenes where Sveta is slowly learning about her time of captivity in Berlin.  Thus, we have Sveta learning through dreams (flashbacks) and Oba about her past, and Marie finding out about Sveta’s identity.  There are two climaxes in this novel.  Perhaps I will show them as examples.

What I want to express to you in this example is the way to create tension using a scene without the protagonist—this information scene provides a parallel development to the rest of the plot.  The tension rises for the reader and for Marie.  This doesn’t affect the protagonist directly.  The point is the parallel development of the revelation.  In both tension and release, we see the effects most readily in the characters in a scene, but the reality is the expression of tension and release is what we want our readers to reflect. Although Marie and Tilly experience increasing tension in the scene, the real target is the reader more than Marie and Tilly.  The reader does capture the flavor of the tension from these characters, but ultimately, the reader is who we want to feel the burn of the tension and the relief of the release.

I’ll give you more examples.

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

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing – part x254, Novel Form, the Rest of the Story and Tension

11 December 2017, Writing – part x254, Novel Form, the Rest of the Story and Tension

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.

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)
    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

I finished writing my 28th novel, working title, School, potential title Deirdre: Enchantment and the School. The theme statement is: Sorcha, the abandoned child of an Unseelie and a human, secretly attends Wycombe Abbey girls’ school where she meets the problem child Deirdre and is redeemed.

Here is the cover proposal for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I continued writing my 29th novel, working title Red Sonja. I finished my 28th novel, working title School. If you noticed, I started on number 28, but finished number 29 (in the starting sequence—it’s actually higher than that). I adjusted the numbering. I do keep everything clear in my records. I’ll be providing information on the marketing materials and editing.

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 29: 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.

This is the classical form for writing a successful 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 (protagonist, antagonist, and optionally the protagonist’s helper)
    4. Identify the telic flaw of the protagonist (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

The protagonist and the telic flaw are tied permanently together. The novel plot is completely dependent on the protagonist and the protagonist’s telic flaw. They are inseparable. This is likely the most critical concept about any normal (classical) form novel.

Here are the parts of a normal (classical) novel:

  1. The Initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  2. The Rising action scenes
  3. The Climax scene
  4. The Falling action scene(s)
  5. The Dénouement scene

So, how do you write a rich and powerful initial scene? Let’s start from a theme statement. Here is an example from my latest novel:

The theme statement for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School is: Sorcha, the abandoned child of an Unseelie and a human, secretly attends Wycombe Abbey girls’ school where she meets the problem child Deirdre and is redeemed.

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

If you have the characters (protagonist, protagonist’s helper, and antagonist), the initial setting, the telic flaw (from the protagonist), a plot idea, the theme action, then you are ready to write the initial scene.  I would state that since you have a protagonist, the telic flaw, a plot idea, and the theme action, you have about everything—what you might be lacking is the tension and release cycle in your scenes.

Here is an example of developing or building tension and release in a scene.  This example is from Shadow of Darkness an Ancient Light novel. Much of history is lost especially small but important details.  In this scene I take a true historical thing (The Black Book), a true historical person (Vasily Grossman), and a true historical incident (bringing the Black Book to the West) and weave it into my novel.  I thought you would like to see the rest of this bit of history.

We are not certain how the Black Book got into the hands of publishers in the West.  In this scene, I propose that Sveta as part of a Soviet Directorate gave the Black Book  to the American Embassy in Moscow and that’s how it got to the West.

Here is the scene:        

A copy of the manuscript came to Mother Anna, and Marya carried it to Sveta’s offices.  In the afternoon Sveta made a visit to the American Embassy. She came alone and asked to speak to Walter Smith.  Unlike Mr. Harriman, Mr. Smith made her wait for a while before he would see her.  Sveta was perturbed.  She had much to do, and waiting for the ambassador was the least of her desires.  Finally, the ambassador received her.  She entered his office and he motioned for her to sit down.  Walter Bedell Smith was an officious looking American with thinning hair and a straight military posture.  He appeared uncomfortable in his suit, “Good afternoon, Miss Kopylova.”

 

Sveta smiled, only the Americans called her that, “Good afternoon, General Smith.”

 

“Would you like refreshments?”

 

“Tea please—with milk and sugar.”  The Harriman’s always knew what she wanted.  They had always served Sveta her favorite Russian tea.

 

The general called his secretary and ordered tea and coffee.  He turned to Sveta, “Cigarette?  They are American.”

 

“You know I don’t smoke, general.”

 

“Sorry, forgot.”

 

The tea and coffee came quickly.  Sveta took a sip.  The tea was weak and not as fine of quality as the Harriman’s served, but such were the trials of her work.

 

General Smith sat on the corner of his desk, “Miss Kopylova, I assume this is not a social visit.”

 

“Are any visits by Soviet Party members social, General?”

 

He appeared surprised.

 

“I assure you they are not.  You know my office and my business.”

 

“Miss, you are one sharp actor.”

 

“Actress actually.  I do try to facilitate understanding between the Soviet state and your embassy.”

 

“While spying on us whenever you can.”

 

“Good, we do understand each other.”

 

He bowed.

 

“I have something for you.”  She pulled the manuscript out of her briefcase.  “I am delivering this for a friend.”

 

He took the heavy package from her hands, “Is it anti-Soviet material?”

 

“Not yet.”

 

“What is it?”

 

“It is the Black Book. It describes the witness of Fascist atrocities against the Jews in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.  I do not wish my name used in any way in relation with this book.”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Such attribution would prevent me from helping others.”

 

“Who do you work for Miss Kopylova?”

 

“If your intelligence can’t tell you that, then I won’t help you.  Not a word, yes?”

 

“Not a word.  I do have one question.”

 

Sveta raised her chin.

 

“Where did you learn to speak such perfect American English?”

 

“I really don’t know, General.  If your intelligence ever determines the answer to that question, please tell me—that is, before you tell the SovietState.”  Sveta stood, “Did you have anything for me today, general?”

 

“No, not today Miss Kopylova.”

 

Sveta exited the office.  The chances were that General Smith’s office was bugged.  In the case the MVD became aware of Sveta’s activities, she had already outlined in a report her clandestine work at influencing the Americans with Jewish propaganda.  The report would be in her files and waiting for the moment she might need it.

How did the Black Book actually get out of the Soviet Union?  That story is likely full of secrets, excitement, and entertainment.  It is also mostly lost to us.  It could have been as simple as being smuggled out through one of the Soviet proxies.  That is the most likely source.  That story could be make entertaining and exciting, but in the long run, it’s just smuggling.  Lots of stuff was smuggled into and out of the Soviet Union.

The picture I give is simply to tie my characters into history.  I don’t think I did too much damage to the history of the Black Book.  Most likely I excited some readers to pick it up and read it.  Vasily Grossman’s life and stories are also interesting reading.  He is real as are most every other figure who could be identified in history.

Part of my goal as a writer of historical fiction is to show the historical in a way that makes the history more real than real history.  I don’t intend to replace or fake history, but rather to interest and expose history.  In the future, I would hope that my writing would be read and used to look into the world of the times and the places in the novel.

I’ll give you more examples.

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 Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing – part x253, Novel Form, History and more Tension

10 December 2017, Writing – part x253, Novel Form, History and more Tension

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.

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)
    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

I finished writing my 28th novel, working title, School, potential title Deirdre: Enchantment and the School. The theme statement is: Sorcha, the abandoned child of an Unseelie and a human, secretly attends Wycombe Abbey girls’ school where she meets the problem child Deirdre and is redeemed.

Here is the cover proposal for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I continued writing my 29th novel, working title Red Sonja. I finished my 28th novel, working title School. If you noticed, I started on number 28, but finished number 29 (in the starting sequence—it’s actually higher than that). I adjusted the numbering. I do keep everything clear in my records. I’ll be providing information on the marketing materials and editing.

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 29: 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.

This is the classical form for writing a successful 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 (protagonist, antagonist, and optionally the protagonist’s helper)
    4. Identify the telic flaw of the protagonist (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

The protagonist and the telic flaw are tied permanently together. The novel plot is completely dependent on the protagonist and the protagonist’s telic flaw. They are inseparable. This is likely the most critical concept about any normal (classical) form novel.

Here are the parts of a normal (classical) novel:

  1. The Initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  2. The Rising action scenes
  3. The Climax scene
  4. The Falling action scene(s)
  5. The Dénouement scene

So, how do you write a rich and powerful initial scene? Let’s start from a theme statement. Here is an example from my latest novel:

The theme statement for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School is: Sorcha, the abandoned child of an Unseelie and a human, secretly attends Wycombe Abbey girls’ school where she meets the problem child Deirdre and is redeemed.

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

If you have the characters (protagonist, protagonist’s helper, and antagonist), the initial setting, the telic flaw (from the protagonist), a plot idea, the theme action, then you are ready to write the initial scene.  I would state that since you have a protagonist, the telic flaw, a plot idea, and the theme action, you have about everything—what you might be lacking is the tension and release cycle in your scenes.

Here is an example of developing or building tension and release in a scene.  This example is from Shadow of Darkness an Ancient Light novel. Much of history is lost especially small but important details.  In this scene I take a true historical thing (The Black Book), a true historical person (Vasily Grossman), and a true historical incident (bringing the Black Book to the West) and weave it into my novel.

We are not certain how the Black Book got into the hands of publishers in the West.  At the time, even recounting the people and means might have led to the deaths of hundreds.  Stalin, Beria, Kruglov, and Abaumov all wanted to retain a specific story about persecution by the Nazis.  That story didn’t include the Holocaust.

Here is the scene:        

In October, Abakumov began an official persecution of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee because of the Black Book.  The Black Book documented the Holocaust and was at odds with the official Soviet policy that presented Fascist actions as against all Soviet citizens and not just Jews.  This was especially important to Sveta because Vasily Grossman was involved with and a significant contributor to the Black Book.

 

At every party Sveta attended, she surreptitiously sought Grossman.  She knew she could not meet him in any other setting.  She finally did have an opportunity to speak to him.  They met, by chance, at an official Cultural Union party at the Moscow Museum.  He spotted her first and stepped up to her.  He spoke to her in French, “Good evening, Svetlana Evgenyevna.”

 

Sveta grabbed his arm, “There you are, Vasily Grossman.  I have been looking for you for a long time.  I need to speak to you.”

 

“I hope not in the service of the MVD or the MGB.”

 

Sveta scowled, “You know I would not.”

 

“Everyone else does.”

 

Sveta bowed her head, “You know, Vasily Grossman, I would not.”

 

“Come Svetlana Evgenyevna, what do you need to tell me?”  He discretely put his fingers to his lips, “Not here.”  Vasily led her through the crowd to the room that contained her portrait, “When I saw this, I wondered.”

 

Tears filled Sveta’s eyes, “Why would you wonder, Vasily?  There are things I have little control over.”

 

“It is a beautiful portrait.”

 

“I don’t care about such things.”  She lowered her voice, “What I care about are those I can save.  I want to warn you about the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee.  There will be actions against it because of the Black Book.”

 

“I know.  Some have already started.”

 

“I have tried to help moderate some of the actions, but they are outside my directorate.”

 

“Your directorate?”

 

Sveta flushed, “I control a special directorate.”

 

“Stalin’s Little Ptitsa.”

 

“Don’t be bitter or make me bitter.  I do what I can.  I help where I can.  I would do anything to help you, Vasily Grossman.”

 

“I’m sorry Sveta.  I understand that.  I am bitter.  We are trying to get out the message of what happened to the Jewish people.”

 

“I know.  It is all true—everything you wrote in the Black Book.  I know it is true…  I just wanted to warn you, and to set up means to give you warnings in the future.  Zhdanov and Abakumov are moving against Beria.  They will continue their attacks on all the organizations Beria set up that are peripheral to the MVD.”

 

Vasily’s eyes widened in shock, “That is more than state knowledge.”

 

“Be warned.”

 

“I see, and I apologize, Sveta.  What about you?”

 

“I am safe, for now.  Stalin oversees my directorate and prevents their interference.”  Her tone softened, “I could help Katya or Fedya if they are interested in language studies.”

 

Vasily took a deep breath, “You would do that for me, for them?”

 

“Anything.  I have control of many things now.  I will help you through them.”

 

“Can you get the Black Book to where it can be published, outside of the Soviet Union?”

 

“I have contacts with all the embassies.  I can put you in contact with them as you desire.”

 

“I do desire.”

 

“Walter Smith does not listen to me as much as Mr. Harriman did, but I think there is a possibility.”

 

“Can I trust you with this?”

 

“Give me a copy of the document, and I will get it into the American Embassy.  From there…,” she raised her hands.

 

Vasily grabbed her fingers, “I don’t care what happens to me, Sveta, but I do care that the Black Book gets out of Russia.”

 

“I care very much what happens to you, Vasily Grossman.  Give the book to Father Nikolay.  He will ensure it comes to me.”

 

“Thank you, Sveta.  I will.  You need to find your way back to the party. They will be looking for you.”

 

Reluctantly, Sveta pulled her hands out of Vasily’s and walked back to the main exhibit.  She did not see him again that evening.

 

This scene presents one potential way the Black Book could have left the Soviet Union.  Possible but not probable.  What makes this scene entertaining and historically interesting is the interaction of the characters. Vasily Grossman is a real person.  Sveta is not.  But I weave their relationship and the history of the times into this scene to ground it in the times and in the people of the times.

The place is real.  Most of the people are real.  I want the reader to experience the world of the Soviet in this time and place.  I want the reader to know what life and the times were like.  This is what I’ve accomplished in my other historically based novels.  The real is all around the reader while the fiction is peripheral to everything.

About the tension and release, I chose my characters from the very beginning because of this interaction.  I chose Grossman because of his real history and interaction in the world and the Soviet Union.  I built the novel with the realization that he would touch it in all kinds of places.  This grounds the writing in the history of the times but provides tension and release to drive the scenes.  That is entirely the point.

I’ll give you more examples.

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 Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing – part x252, Novel Form, Revelation and more Tension

9 December 2017, Writing – part x252, Novel Form, Revelation and more Tension

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.

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)
    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

I finished writing my 28th novel, working title, School, potential title Deirdre: Enchantment and the School. The theme statement is: Sorcha, the abandoned child of an Unseelie and a human, secretly attends Wycombe Abbey girls’ school where she meets the problem child Deirdre and is redeemed.

Here is the cover proposal for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I continued writing my 29th novel, working title Red Sonja. I finished my 28th novel, working title School. If you noticed, I started on number 28, but finished number 29 (in the starting sequence—it’s actually higher than that). I adjusted the numbering. I do keep everything clear in my records. I’ll be providing information on the marketing materials and editing.

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 29: 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.

This is the classical form for writing a successful 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 (protagonist, antagonist, and optionally the protagonist’s helper)
    4. Identify the telic flaw of the protagonist (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

The protagonist and the telic flaw are tied permanently together. The novel plot is completely dependent on the protagonist and the protagonist’s telic flaw. They are inseparable. This is likely the most critical concept about any normal (classical) form novel.

Here are the parts of a normal (classical) novel:

  1. The Initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  2. The Rising action scenes
  3. The Climax scene
  4. The Falling action scene(s)
  5. The Dénouement scene

So, how do you write a rich and powerful initial scene? Let’s start from a theme statement. Here is an example from my latest novel:

The theme statement for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School is: Sorcha, the abandoned child of an Unseelie and a human, secretly attends Wycombe Abbey girls’ school where she meets the problem child Deirdre and is redeemed.

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

If you have the characters (protagonist, protagonist’s helper, and antagonist), the initial setting, the telic flaw (from the protagonist), a plot idea, the theme action, then you are ready to write the initial scene.  I would state that since you have a protagonist, the telic flaw, a plot idea, and the theme action, you have about everything—what you might be lacking is the tension and release cycle in your scenes.

Here is an example of developing or building tension and release in a scene.  This example is from Shadow of Darkness an Ancient Light novel. The Harrimans were posted from Moscow to Britain—I told you this was a foreshadowing.  I’m using actual historical events to drive this novel.  This is the way I write all my historical novels.  I use detailed historical information to move my plots and the tension and release in each scene.

In this scene we see the introduction and conversation between Ambassador Harriman and Mrs. Harriman with Marie Bolang.  Marie Bolang is Sveta’s sister.

Here is the scene:        

In May 1946, W. Averell Harriman, as the American ambassador toBritain, attended a party given by King George the Sixth.  He and his wife, Marie Whitney-Harriman, were introduced to a young woman Marie Bolang. Her fiancé was a nephew of Lord Hastings and the expected heir to the Lordship and estate.  Marie spoke delightful American and British English.  She was a slight woman, petite and exquisitely beautiful.  Her skin was the color of cappuccino, and her hair was black, long, and silky.  Marie’s eyes, more appropriate on an Egyptian tomb painting were large and brown and exotic. The Harriman’s were immediately taken with her—Mrs. Whitney-Harrimanespecially.  After a long conversation about the weather and fashions, Mrs. Harriman mentioned, “I am astounded by your fluency, Marie.  Are you American?”

 

“No, Mrs. Harriman, I am actually French.”

 

“French?  You speak with a perfect American accent.”

 

“I lived and was born in America.”

 

“I have only met one other person who could use language like you.”

 

“Really, Mrs. Harriman.  Who is that?”

 

“In Russia… I really should say, the Soviet Union, shouldn’t I?  The Soviets had a young woman who spoke English, American English, precisely like you do.  She even looked like you.”

 

Marie’s features changed abruptly, “Where did you meet this person?”

 

“She is a translator for the Soviet State.  They call her the Little Ptitsa, the little bird.  She has your coloring and your eyes—although, her eyes were green.  I shopped often with her, and I always tried to match them with her clothing.  She speaks all types of languages—perfectly.”

 

Marie trembled, “What was her name?”

 

“Svetlana Evgenyevna.  It’s a beautiful name.  Svetlana means ‘light’ in Russian.  Averell, do you remember Svetlana Evgenyevna’s last name?”

 

Mr. Harriman leaned toward the ladies, “I’m sure it is in our records, but not off hand.”

 

Mrs. Harriman put out her hand, “Are you all right, Miss Bolang?”

 

“Yes, quite all right.  What else do you remember about Svetlana Evgenyevna?”

 

“Her voice was always quiet and breathy—raspy.”

 

Mr. Harriman added a point, “She was injured during the war.  In Berlin, I believe.  She walked with a limp.”

 

Marie’s hand reached toward her chest, “Injured in Berlin?”

 

Mr. Harriman spoke, “Yes, but she is Russian.  She spoke the language perfectly and came from Moscow—I think.”

 

Mrs. Harriman rolled her eyes, “When he says, I think or I believe, that means that is what our intelligence told him.”

 

“Come, come, Marie.”  He glanced over at Marie Bolang, “I mean my wife, not you Miss Bolang.”

 

Mrs. Harriman continued, “I would say she was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen.  Astonishingly beautiful.  Her injuries didn’t seem to reduce her beauty, and when she spoke, it was as though her words were the most important, for that moment in the world.”

 

“Pardon me, Mrs. and Mr. Harriman.  I must sit down.  I’m sorry.”

 

“You are all right—aren’t you dear?”

 

“Very well thank you.  I have had a bit too much to drink.”  Marie turned back toward the couple, “Just one more question.  How old was Svetlana Evgenyevna?”

 

Mr. Harriman spoke quietly, “That is what is so amazing.  She was about fifteen.  Isn’t that right Marie, I mean my wife, of course.”

 

“Yes, she was fifteen.  I was amazed the Soviets would put so much responsibility in the hands of a girl that young, but there you go.”

 

Marie appeared crestfallen.  She racked her thoughts, “Do you have any pictures of her?”

 

“I… I don’t know.  What do you think Averell?”

 

“We might.  We have pictures of all kinds of people and things—part of intelligence gathering.  I’d have to look through our records.”

 

Mrs. Harriman reached for Marie, “Are you well, dear?”

 

“I must get some air.  Thank you.”  Marie covered her face and moved off into the crowd.

 

You can tell that Marie recognizes her sister in the report of the Harrimans—only the age is wrong.  The Russians mistook Sveta as younger because of her lack of development.  She was caged in Berlin for years.  This scene is a revelation to the reader and Marie.  As of yet, no one else knows.  This is the great secret of Sveta—who is her family and where did she come from?  The novel is over half finished before we get to this revelation, and it is only half formed.  We have only part of the revelation.  The rest is yet to come.

By the way, I’m not giving you every scene in the novel—only the ones I think give examples of strong tension and release in the context of writing about tension and release. Every scene in the novel has a powerful tension and release, but I’m giving you scenes in order to entertain and educate. That means if the novel is ever published, you will want to read it to get the full effect of the story.

I’ll give you more examples.

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 Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing – part x251, Novel Form, Release and more Tension

8 December 2017, Writing – part x251, Novel Form, Release and more Tension

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.

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)
    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

I finished writing my 28th novel, working title, School, potential title Deirdre: Enchantment and the School. The theme statement is: Sorcha, the abandoned child of an Unseelie and a human, secretly attends Wycombe Abbey girls’ school where she meets the problem child Deirdre and is redeemed.

Here is the cover proposal for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I continued writing my 29th novel, working title Red Sonja. I finished my 28th novel, working title School. If you noticed, I started on number 28, but finished number 29 (in the starting sequence—it’s actually higher than that). I adjusted the numbering. I do keep everything clear in my records. I’ll be providing information on the marketing materials and editing.

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 29: 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.

This is the classical form for writing a successful 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 (protagonist, antagonist, and optionally the protagonist’s helper)
    4. Identify the telic flaw of the protagonist (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

The protagonist and the telic flaw are tied permanently together. The novel plot is completely dependent on the protagonist and the protagonist’s telic flaw. They are inseparable. This is likely the most critical concept about any normal (classical) form novel.

Here are the parts of a normal (classical) novel:

  1. The Initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  2. The Rising action scenes
  3. The Climax scene
  4. The Falling action scene(s)
  5. The Dénouement scene

So, how do you write a rich and powerful initial scene? Let’s start from a theme statement. Here is an example from my latest novel:

The theme statement for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School is: Sorcha, the abandoned child of an Unseelie and a human, secretly attends Wycombe Abbey girls’ school where she meets the problem child Deirdre and is redeemed.

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

If you have the characters (protagonist, protagonist’s helper, and antagonist), the initial setting, the telic flaw (from the protagonist), a plot idea, the theme action, then you are ready to write the initial scene.  I would state that since you have a protagonist, the telic flaw, a plot idea, and the theme action, you have about everything—what you might be lacking is the tension and release cycle in your scenes.

Here is an example of developing or building tension and release in a scene.  This example is from Shadow of Darkness an Ancient Light novel. Eventually, Sveta comes to the attention of Stalin.

I showed you Sveta’s initial meeting(s) with Stalin.  She had seen him at many parties and events.  He makes her acquaintance at Beria’s ascension party.  We see the results here.

This is why the creative element of the mistaken translation.  Indeed, historically, the Soviets had problems with their translators.  Because they had a closed society, they had initial problems with their translators and translations.  What I don’t tell you in the novel is how they really solved their problem.  In the novel, I give you an approach to solving their problem that is fanciful, but not too far from the truth.  However, the truth is a little worse than the fiction.

I’ll pass it to you here.  The Soviets realized they needed a strong language program for two reasons.  First, for translators, and second, for spies.  This is one of my favorite spy topics and the basis for many of my spy novels. The systems of language training in the west is pretty much out in the open, except for clandestine spy ops.  The training in the Soviet was much more radical.  Since they were a closed society that did not want to expose their people to the West (too much chance of defection or acceptance), they developed their own training communities where they placed skilled children to learn languages in a immersive environment.  I touch on these training programs in the novel I’m currently writing about the Russian spy at Edwards AFB.

In these immersive communities, they forcibly trained children to speak, read, and write perfectly in the selected language.  Those who were skilled in writing became journalist spies in the West and actually worked in major periodicals and for news outlets.  Many rose to very high positions.  Those who were very skilled at reading became the translators and interpreters of the West’s information.  Those who spoke perfectly were used as spies, infiltrators, and for clandestine operations.  The low end became translators for the Soviet.  The reason was to hide the Soviet language programs.

Here is the scene:        

In the morning, all the offices around Embassy Relations were filled with turmoil and change.  Sveta and Marya entered into her section.  The work went on as usual.  The reports lay on her desk.  Sveta glanced at the fine portrait on her wall.  She was portrayed in her green dress speaking the people’s words to the world.  She smiled uncomfortably every time she saw it.  A copy of it was in the people’s museum of art, and she heard it was a great favorite.  With Beria’s promotion, there was no turmoil or adjustments in her office.  A copy of Pravda sat on her desk.  It announced the changes for Beria and at the NKVD, now the MVD.  It also quoted Stalin calling Sveta a people’s prodigy and the Little Ptitsa.  Later in the morning, Sveta received an order from Stalin to visit him at his offices in the Kremlin.

 

Marya and Sveta took Sveta’s motorcar to Red Square and the Kremlin. After they passed the three main checkpoints, they were ushered immediately in and up to Stalin’s offices.  They waited only a short time before they were both invited into the office of the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.  Stalin stood beside his desk, “There you are, Little Ptitsa, and I see you brought your shadow with you.  Beria told me she would come too.  Did you see your new titles in the paper this morning?”

 

Sveta smiled.

 

“Yes, I see you did.  That is very good.  I was impressed.  I heard from Beria and Abakumov about your skills, but I didn’t realize how effective they might be.  Come, sit down.  Your secretary also.”

 

Sveta and Marya sat in the chairs before his desk.

 

“I would like you to expand your office to include all our language training and translators.  Can you do that?”

 

“Not without more staff and help.”

 

“That goes without saying.  I will provide them.  I don’t want you to move out of the MVD, but I want you to become a special directorate.  I have already sent instructions to Kurglov about that.  You are also to have an office at the university.  I noted in you records, your skills have not been officially acknowledged by our educational system.  I have taken care of this also.  You may consider all the language instruction at the university under your supervision.”

 

“Comrade Stalin, I am afraid you give me more responsibility than I can appropriately handle.”

 

Stalin turned toward Sveta his eyes widening, “That is a new thing for me.”  He laughed, “I have never had anyone tell me they didn’t want the power I offer.”

 

“I worry that my plans and training will become diluted by so much responsibility.”  Sveta stared at him, “In addition, I am concerned about becoming embroiled in the politics of these organizations.”

 

“I understand the political dimensions.  I will try to give you the latitude you require and reign in the potential problems.  Will you take on this responsibility—for me and for the Soviet?”

 

“I will, but only if you will promise that you will keep my directorate out of the petty mechanizations that seem to burden many of them.”

 

“Beria and Abakumov said you speak plainly and do not play games.  I like that very much, Little Ptitsa.  I promise you, in as far as I can keep your directorate out of, how did you say it, ‘petty mechanizations.’  I will also require you to translate for me—yes.”

 

“Yes, but please don’t expect miracles.  I am only a girl.”

 

“Only a girl, but the People’s Prodigy.  You will find yourself on my official schedule.”

 

The interview was at an end.  Stalin nodded to them, and Marya and Sveta exited his office.  On the way out of the Kremlin a woman in Stalin’s outer offices stared at them both.  The woman was older and dark with a strong oriental cast.  The woman stepped up to them, “Good morning, Svetlana Evgenyevna.  I am Lida Dzhugashvili.  I arrange all of Comrade Stalin’s social calendar.  You will be receiving messages from me when he requires your help.”

 

Sveta looked into her eyes and saw the effects of Leila’s manipulation. Leila was thankfully not present and had not been present in Lida’s mind for a long time, “Thank you, Lida.  I appreciate all the help you can give me in maintaining my schedule for Comrade Stalin.”

 

Lida nodded and Sveta and Marya continued out to Sveta’s automobile.

 

Inside the motorcar, Marya puckered her lips, “There is much to do.  I don’t like this at all.”

 

“We don’t have much choice.”

 

Here is a scene based release.  Stalin met Sveta in the last scene and was enamored of her translation skills.  He immediately makes use of her skills. This is a classic Soviet approach to any problem: point and shoot.  In the West rules and regulations tend to prevent great success and great failures. That was the problem of point and shoot and the political nature of many of the Soviet promotions.  When you chose the right person, the result is fantastic.  When you chose the political person, many times the result is gross of catastrophic failure.  The Soviet moderated both by violently removing failures when they became obvious.  Kind of a balance to their system.

In this scene, the release is that Stalin proposes and literally orders Sveta to assume a new position in the Soviet hierarchy.  He gives her control of a directorate for languages.  This release immediately results in new tension.

I also provided a touchstone to the theme and another side of the plot in the novel.  Lida Dzhugashvili was and is Stalin’s long-time lover.  She was with him in Siberia, and I place her with him as his social secretary at this time. In real history, we don’t know what happened to her.  She was similar to Eva Braun in Hitler’s life—the hidden lover.  In the novel previous to this, Sveta knew that Leila, her aunt, was manipulating Hitler through Eva Braun.  In this novel, Sveta has come to realize that Leila manipulated Stalin through Lida.

I’ll give you more examples.

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 Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing – part x250, Novel Form, Historical Tension and Release

7 December 2017, Writing – part x250, Novel Form, Historical Tension and Release

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.

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)
    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

I finished writing my 28th novel, working title, School, potential title Deirdre: Enchantment and the School. The theme statement is: Sorcha, the abandoned child of an Unseelie and a human, secretly attends Wycombe Abbey girls’ school where she meets the problem child Deirdre and is redeemed.

Here is the cover proposal for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I continued writing my 29th novel, working title Red Sonja. I finished my 28th novel, working title School. If you noticed, I started on number 28, but finished number 29 (in the starting sequence—it’s actually higher than that). I adjusted the numbering. I do keep everything clear in my records. I’ll be providing information on the marketing materials and editing.

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 29: 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.

This is the classical form for writing a successful 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 (protagonist, antagonist, and optionally the protagonist’s helper)
    4. Identify the telic flaw of the protagonist (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

The protagonist and the telic flaw are tied permanently together. The novel plot is completely dependent on the protagonist and the protagonist’s telic flaw. They are inseparable. This is likely the most critical concept about any normal (classical) form novel.

Here are the parts of a normal (classical) novel:

  1. The Initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  2. The Rising action scenes
  3. The Climax scene
  4. The Falling action scene(s)
  5. The Dénouement scene

So, how do you write a rich and powerful initial scene? Let’s start from a theme statement. Here is an example from my latest novel:

The theme statement for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School is: Sorcha, the abandoned child of an Unseelie and a human, secretly attends Wycombe Abbey girls’ school where she meets the problem child Deirdre and is redeemed.

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

If you have the characters (protagonist, protagonist’s helper, and antagonist), the initial setting, the telic flaw (from the protagonist), a plot idea, the theme action, then you are ready to write the initial scene.  I would state that since you have a protagonist, the telic flaw, a plot idea, and the theme action, you have about everything—what you might be lacking is the tension and release cycle in your scenes.

Here is an example of developing or building tension and release in a scene.  This example is from Shadow of Darkness an Ancient Light novel. This novel is about Sveta in the Soviet Union.  She begins as a hapless and injured waif found in Berlin by Vassily Grossman.  She comes to Moscow and eventually enters a convent of the Orthodox Church to protect her from being sent to a people’s asylum.  Because of her language skills, she becomes the translator for His Beatitude, the head of the Orthodox church, and from there gains the attention of Beria in the NKVD and Abakumov in SMERSh.  Eventually, Sveta comes to the attention of Stalin.

The focus of this scene is history.  We have few records of this specific event, we just know generally who was there and what it was about.  The ambassadors and their wives attended.  This was an important event in the history of the Soviet Union.

Did the specific issues happen during this party?  Who knows?  My job as an author is to convey the history we know with the conjecture I can devise along with the entertainment a reader wants and needs.

My goal is first to entertain.  At the same time, I must get Sveta into the good graces of Stalin and make her stand out in a positive way.

Here is the scene:        

Beria’s advancement party was the main affair of the season.  His Beatitude would attend although Sveta had orders to keep up with Comrade Beria for the entire night.  Father Alexius had to do without or use the guest’s translators.  This evening, Marya also attended.  Sveta and Mother Anna helped find her appropriate attire the week prior.  Sveta took special pains to place her office’s special translators all around the party location.  Many were now assigned directly to the ambassadors and their staff.

 

At the height of the event, Stalin made an appearance.  He came in surrounded by his guards.  Sveta recognized many of them as SMERSh agents. Without a single word being spoken, it was immediately evident the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union had entered the gathering.  He abruptly became the center of attention.  Each person he passed made a comment and hoped for a greeting in return.  Stalin’s glance of approval was enough to reassure.  His glance of displeasure usually meant a firing or a firing squad.  He stepped up to Beria with a congenial smile on his face.  He glanced at Sveta and grinned.  His large moustache rose slightly.  His features were distinctly Georgian and his face pockmarked.  Sveta recognized his daughter’s features in him.  Stalin grabbed Beria’s hand and shook it, “Congratulations old friend.  I see your many comrades celebrate with me your new role as Deputy Prime Minister of the Soviet Union.”

 

“Thank you, Comrade Stalin.”

 

The other members of the MVD gyrated near them.  They were loosely ranked according to their positions in the MVD.  Sveta stood right next to Beria.  After a few more moments of general conversation, Stalin looked straight at Sveta, “Who is this lovely lady, Beria?  Is she the People’s Prodigy Svetlana Evgenyevna?”

 

Beria motioned for Sveta to speak for herself, “Yes, Comrade Stalin.  I am Svetlana Evgenyevna.”

 

“Abakumov calls you the MVD’s Little Ptitsa.  I see you are little and much younger than I imagined.  You put my useless daughter to good work.  For that I am grateful.”

 

“Svetlana Iosifovna is a great help to me.  She manages my English translators.”

 

“I heard that, and it pleases me.  I hear all kinds of rumors about you, and I would like to know their truth.”

 

“In that case, you must speak to Comrade Beria and Abakumov.  I myself translate for the Soviet state—it is my skill and my pleasure.”

 

“Perhaps I will speak to them about you.”  He tuned reluctantly back to the other directorate and Party leaders.

 

As the evening wore on, Stalin did not leave for a long time.  The visitors came to congratulate Beria and to address Stalin.  Sveta’s skills came into play when the ambassadors and their wives finally made their way to them.  In some cases, they still held on to their official translators and not Sveta’s.

 

The British ambassador entered into a long conversation with Stalin that his non-MVD translator had trouble keeping up with.  Beria immediately brought Sveta to the forefront.  She aided in the translation.  When Mr. and Mrs. Harriman came up to Beria, Sveta grudgingly turned her attention to them.

 

The conversation with Stalin had become somewhat animated, so Sveta kept half her ear on that.  Finally, Stalin opened his hands, “Ambassador, the Soviet only intends to bring peace and communism to these states that were once under Fascist rule.  We don’t see any need for English or American help. There is no iron curtain as your Mr. Churchill has claimed.”  Stalin chuckled.

 

The British Ambassador frowned, “Don’t you see, Comrade Stalin, that is as futile as carrying coal to Newcastle.”

 

The translator did not understand the euphemism.  He paused only a moment and interpreted the saying, “Comrade Stalin, your actions are burying the people with hot coals.”

 

Stalin and the other officials next to him abruptly silenced.  Stalin’s face was a sudden mask, that poorly concealed his anger.  Sveta immediately stepped to the side of Stalin.  She whispered in his ear, “Comrade Stalin, the ambassador did not say your actions are burying the people under hot coals. He said, not using the help the British and Americans can provide is like not using all the tools available to you.”

 

Stalin’s features changed in an instant.  The flustered British ambassador looked first to Stalin and then to Sveta, “Is there a problem?”

 

Stalin glanced at Sveta then back at the Ambassador, “Little Ptitsa, please explain to everyone what the British Ambassador said.”

 

Sveta repeated her translation out loud.  The climate eased immediately.

 

The Ambassador and Stalin continued their conversation for a few moments with Sveta’s help, and the Ambassador grudgingly continued on his way.

 

When Sveta turned back to the waiting Beria and the Americans, Stalin took her arm, “Beria, I wish to borrow your Little Ptitsa for the rest of the evening.  Beria’s brows lifted, but he nodded congenially.

 

Sveta then stood beside Stalin for the remainder of the event; that is until before dinner, when the leader of the Soviet state took his leave.  Stalin didn’t say anything more to Sveta directly that evening.

 

The rest of the event proceeded with few other problems.  Sveta did learn that Mr. Harriman was being recalled to take over as the United States Ambassador to Britain.  Sveta and Mrs. Harriman said a poignant farewell.

 

If you have translating and different languages going on, the most obvious means of interjecting entertainment and excitement is misunderstandings caused by mistakes.  The most common mistakes are a misinterpretation of idioms and euphemisms.  This happens all the time, but it usually doesn’t result in war.

I used a similar scenario with Abakumov.  The Soviets are on a hair trigger—most totalitarian regimes are.

In this exchange, I have the opportunity to show the reader about all kinds of historical events, people, and things.  Notice the people.  I bring up the Iron Curtain.  This is important and historically places the events and time. The kicker at the end is also of historical importance.  This was the replacement of Harriman as ambassador to the Soviet Union.  This was a very important event because other ambassadors were not as astute or connected as the Harrimans.

Also, the Harrimans connect in other ways in the novel.  This is a foreshadowing of events to come.

I’ll give you more examples.

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 Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing – part x249, Novel Form, More Reflection Tension and Release

6 December 2017, Writing – part x249, Novel Form, More Reflection Tension and Release

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.

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)
    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

I finished writing my 28th novel, working title, School, potential title Deirdre: Enchantment and the School. The theme statement is: Sorcha, the abandoned child of an Unseelie and a human, secretly attends Wycombe Abbey girls’ school where she meets the problem child Deirdre and is redeemed.

Here is the cover proposal for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I continued writing my 29th novel, working title Red Sonja. I finished my 28th novel, working title School. If you noticed, I started on number 28, but finished number 29 (in the starting sequence—it’s actually higher than that). I adjusted the numbering. I do keep everything clear in my records. I’ll be providing information on the marketing materials and editing.

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 29: 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.

This is the classical form for writing a successful 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 (protagonist, antagonist, and optionally the protagonist’s helper)
    4. Identify the telic flaw of the protagonist (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

The protagonist and the telic flaw are tied permanently together. The novel plot is completely dependent on the protagonist and the protagonist’s telic flaw. They are inseparable. This is likely the most critical concept about any normal (classical) form novel.

Here are the parts of a normal (classical) novel:

  1. The Initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  2. The Rising action scenes
  3. The Climax scene
  4. The Falling action scene(s)
  5. The Dénouement scene

So, how do you write a rich and powerful initial scene? Let’s start from a theme statement. Here is an example from my latest novel:

The theme statement for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School is: Sorcha, the abandoned child of an Unseelie and a human, secretly attends Wycombe Abbey girls’ school where she meets the problem child Deirdre and is redeemed.

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

If you have the characters (protagonist, protagonist’s helper, and antagonist), the initial setting, the telic flaw (from the protagonist), a plot idea, the theme action, then you are ready to write the initial scene.  I would state that since you have a protagonist, the telic flaw, a plot idea, and the theme action, you have about everything—what you might be lacking is the tension and release cycle in your scenes.

Here is an example of developing or building tension and release in a scene.  This example is from Shadow of Darkness an Ancient Light novel.  I thought you might like to know what the event is, so I gave it to you in a scene.

In this scene, Beria is the focus.  Sveta and Marya are both attending, and so is Kuglov.

Here is the scene:        

At the beginning of January, People’s Commissar Beria called a special staff meeting.  Sveta sat in her accustomed chair near Beria, but not at the table.  Marya sat behind her with her notepad in hand.

 

Beria stood up, “Our great leader Stalin and the Politburo has seen fit to promote me to Deputy Prime Minister of the Soviet state.”  He paused.  The men and women in the room applauded generously.  “Our great organization also has a new name, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the MVD.  I will still oversee many of the affairs of the MVD, but this direct work is now in the hands of my deputy, General of the Army and now People’s CommissarKruglov of the MVD.”  The applause continued.  He stared at Kruglov, “I don’t expect great changes in the MVD due to this event, but I have the greatest confidence in Comrade Kruglov.  There will, of course, be a party where all of you are invited.  Svetlana Evgenyevna, invite the embassies and their staff. Your people will be necessary for translation.”

 

Sveta nodded.  Marya made notes.

 

This event caught few by surprise.  Beria was a great supporter of Stalin and everything seemed to be coming together for him to eventually become Stalin’s successor.

 

Sveta and Marya were concerned about what might happen to their office under People’s Commissar Kruglov.  They needn’t have worried.  Kruglov was not about to cut off the best intelligence stream the NKVD, now MVD,ever had from the ambassadors and embassies.  The reports Sveta compiled were eye popping.  Kruglov had seen nothing as detailed or useable as they.

 

At the same time, Sveta passed detailed information on issues affecting the Church to Mother Anna.  There were few great moments of intelligence that saved church members’ or clerics’ lives, but in almost every case, the Church was able to forestall or move those most at risk.  The MVD rightlyassumed Sveta gave information to the Church—they knew she was.  They just didn’t care much about it right now.  Plus Sveta’s indiscretions where the Church was concerned were well balanced by her utility in the larger scheme.

In George Orwell’s 1984, you probably remember that the names of organizations changed at the whim of the government.  These name changes were the results of governmental attempts to cover over the failings and failures of the past.  Thus, the NKVD becomes the MVD.  It eventually was called the KGB.  It had more than one name before it was the NKVD. Names are very important to fascist states.

At the same time the NKVD becomes the MVD, Beria is promoted to the Deputy Prime Minister of the Soviet State.  The assumption of the entire world and the Soviet was that Beria would follow Stalin as the head of the Soviet State.  This didn’t happen, but for a moment in time, Beria was the second most important man in the Soviet Union.  I’ll feed you more, but what likely happened to Beria was that he lost much of his power when Kruglov took over the MVD.  That itself led to his loss of power and eventual deposition.

Then I gave you a reflective narrative statement.  I usually don’t like to do this, but this seemed to right place to provide it.  It is basically a wrap-up of the point of the entire event and many scenes before it.

I’ll give you more examples.

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 Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment