Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x88, Creative Elements in Scenes, Plot Devices, Rival

28 June 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x88, Creative Elements in Scenes, Plot Devices, Rival

Announcement:  Ancient Light is delayed due to the economy.  You can read more about it at http://www.ancientlight.com.  Ancient Light includes the second edition of Aegypt plus Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness.  I’ll keep you updated.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.

I’m using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I’ll keep you informed along the way.

Today’s Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select “production schedule,” you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:

  1. Don’t confuse your readers.
  2. Entertain your readers.
  3. Ground your readers in the writing.
  4. Don’t show (or tell) everything.
  5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

All novels have five discrete parts:

1.  The initial scene (the beginning)

2.  The rising action

3.  The climax

4.  The falling action

5.  The dénouement

I finished writing my 27th novel, working title, Claire, potential title Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse. This might need some tweaking. The theme statement is: Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, a dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.

Here is the cover proposal for Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse.

 sorcha-cover
Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I started writing my 28th novel, working title Red Sonja. I’m also working on my 29th novel, working title School.

I’m an advocate of using the/a scene input/output method to drive the rising action–in fact, to write any novel.

Scene development:

  1. Scene input (easy)
  2. Scene output (a little harder)
  3. Scene setting (basic stuff)
  4. Creativity (creative elements of the scene: transition from input to output focused on the telic flaw resolution)
  5. Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)
  6. Release (climax of creative elements)

How to begin a novel. Number one thought, we need an entertaining idea. I usually encapsulate such an idea with a theme statement. Since I’m writing a new novel, we need a new theme statement. Here is an initial cut.

For novel 28: 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 29: 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.

These are the steps I use to write a novel:

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

Here is the beginning of the scene development method from the 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

Below is a list of plot devices. I’m less interested in a plot device than I am in a creative element that drives a plot device. In fact, some of these plot devices are not good for anyone’s writing. If we remember, the purpose of fiction writing is entertainment, we will perhaps begin to see how we can use these plot devices to entertain. If we focus on creative elements that drive plot devices, we can begin to see how to make our writing truly entertaining. I’ll leave up the list and we’ll contemplate creative elements to produce these plot devices.

Backstory

Cliffhanger

Deus ex machina (a machination, or act of god; lit. “god out of the machine”)

Eucatastrophe

Flashback (or analeptic reference)

Flashforward

Foreshadowing

Frame story, or a story within a story

Framing device

MacGuffin

In medias res

Narrative hook

Ochi

Plot twist

Poetic justice

Predestination paradox

Quibble

Red herring

Self-fulfilling prophecy

Story within a story (Hypodiegesis)

Ticking clock scenario

Chekhov’s gun

Unreliable narrator

Third attempt

Secrets

Judicial Setting

Legal argument

Prophecy

Two way love

Three way love (love rival)

Rival – Current discussion.

Celebrity (Rise to fame)

Rise to riches

Military (Device or Organization manipulation)

School (Training) (Skill Development)

Supernatural

Comeback

Retrieval

Taboo

Impossible Crime

Human god

Revolution

Games

Silent witness

Secret king

Messiah

Hidden skills

Fantasy Land (Time Travel, Space Travel)

End of the — (World, Culture, Society)

Resistance (Nonresistance)

Utopia (anti-utopia)

Fashion

Augmented Human (Robot) (Society)

Mind Switching (Soul Switching)

Unreliable character

Incarceration (imprisonment)

Rival: here is my definition – rival is the use of competition of any type to further a plot.

You can have a love rival that is usually two or three way love. You can have a rival in any type of competition. For example, The Hunger Games was filled with rivalries of all types. It included a three-way love that was a love rivalry plus competitive rivalries, political rivalries, social rivalries, even familial rivalries. Rivalries are a powerful plot device. I recommend their use especially in competitive situations. Competition comes in many varieties. For example, you can have academic, sports, capitalistic, magic (Hogwarts), sorcery, flying, military, leadership, and all competition. Don’t sell this plot device short. In any competitive setting all you need to do is provide a rival to your protagonist and you immediately have a rival plot device in action. The use of this plot device can bring very powerful entertainment value to your novel. Just think of the Harry Potty novels. The author uses rivalry almost too much as a plot device. Everyone is a rival for everyone else. Snape is even a rival for Harry’s dead dad in academics, magic, and love. Too bad he gets it.

In any case, use rivalry, the rival plot device in your novels when appropriate. I’m not sure I have a good example from my writing. I’ll just leave up the example from yesterday—that’s a love rival, oh well.

From Khione: Enchantment and the Fox:

A little later, Jason, Jennifer, and Yumi brought their trays over to where Pearce and Khione sat. They took their normal places around the low table. After a while, Jennifer asked, “Hey Pearce, I’ve got a couple of tickets to a movie on Saturday. Would you like to go with me?”

Pearce glanced up from his notes. He tapped his pencil on his lips and thought a moment, “Next weekend’s a three-day, I have to visit my parents.”

Jennifer looked unhappy.

“Could I get a rain check?”

Jennifer licked her lips, “Sure, I guess.”

“I’m sorry. I can’t leave to visit them during Thanksgiving, and I promised I come see them. There aren’t any classes on Monday or Friday.”

Khione piped up, “Is that a date? Did Jennifer ask for a date?”

Jason laughed, “That is a date. Hey, Jen, you aren’t asking Khione to come too, are you?”

Jennifer scowled at him, “Of course not.”

Jason continued, “Are you taking Khione to visit your parents? That sounds serious.”

Pearce thought a moment more, “I really hadn’t thought about it. I guess I’ll take Khione.”

Jennifer shook her head.

Khione smiled, “I’d like to go.”

Jennifer scowled again, “I’m sure you would.”

Yumi touched her arm, “I’m certain Khione doesn’t know what that means.”

Jennifer wasn’t mollified, “Yeah, sure.”

Jason wasn’t about to be put off, “Do you know what it means to meet the parents, Khione?”

Khione gave a puzzled look.

Pearce scowled this time, “I don’t mean anything by it. It would be good for Khione to see how normal people live.”

“Yeah,” Jennifer looked down.

“Yeah,” Jason smiled.

In Khione, I use three way love, a love rivalry that includes Khione, Jennifer, and Pearce. Pearce is the love interest. Khione falls in love with Pearce slowly as she gets to know him. Jennifer has been pursuing Pearce for almost a year in college. Pearce is unobservant of Jennifer especially. Through the entire novel, the reader slowly gets the message. The scene portion I gave you was more to the point than most. Jennifer wants to ask Pearce to a movie, but Pearce has plans to take Khione to visit his parents. Like all love rivalry, there is confusion, attempts at communication (mostly that don’t work), miscommunication, and all. I advise using a love rival to spice up any novel where you have an obtuse character—no that’s not right. Some plots and themes accommodate this type of plot device better than others. I wouldn’t have used it in Sorcha, it would have been a detractor. In Khione, it is a powerful part of the plot development. As I wrote, competitive theme novels work better for the rival plot device.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:

http://www.ancientlight.com/

http://www.aegyptnovel.com/

http://www.centurionnovel.com

http://www.thesecondmission.com/

http://www.theendofhonor.com/

http://www.thefoxshonor.com

http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic

Posted in Daemon | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x87, Creative Elements in Scenes, Plot Devices, Three Way Love

27 June 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x87, Creative Elements in Scenes, Plot Devices, Three Way Love

Announcement:  Ancient Light is delayed due to the economy.  You can read more about it at http://www.ancientlight.com.  Ancient Light includes the second edition of Aegypt plus Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness.  I’ll keep you updated.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.

I’m using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I’ll keep you informed along the way.

Today’s Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select “production schedule,” you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:

  1. Don’t confuse your readers.
  2. Entertain your readers.
  3. Ground your readers in the writing.
  4. Don’t show (or tell) everything.
  5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

All novels have five discrete parts:

1.  The initial scene (the beginning)

2.  The rising action

3.  The climax

4.  The falling action

5.  The dénouement

I finished writing my 27th novel, working title, Claire, potential title Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse. This might need some tweaking. The theme statement is: Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, a dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.

Here is the cover proposal for Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse.

 sorcha-cover
Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I started writing my 28th novel, working title Red Sonja. I’m also working on my 29th novel, working title School.

I’m an advocate of using the/a scene input/output method to drive the rising action–in fact, to write any novel.

Scene development:

  1. Scene input (easy)
  2. Scene output (a little harder)
  3. Scene setting (basic stuff)
  4. Creativity (creative elements of the scene: transition from input to output focused on the telic flaw resolution)
  5. Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)
  6. Release (climax of creative elements)

How to begin a novel. Number one thought, we need an entertaining idea. I usually encapsulate such an idea with a theme statement. Since I’m writing a new novel, we need a new theme statement. Here is an initial cut.

For novel 28: 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 29: 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.

These are the steps I use to write a novel:

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

Here is the beginning of the scene development method from the 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

Below is a list of plot devices. I’m less interested in a plot device than I am in a creative element that drives a plot device. In fact, some of these plot devices are not good for anyone’s writing. If we remember, the purpose of fiction writing is entertainment, we will perhaps begin to see how we can use these plot devices to entertain. If we focus on creative elements that drive plot devices, we can begin to see how to make our writing truly entertaining. I’ll leave up the list and we’ll contemplate creative elements to produce these plot devices.

Backstory

Cliffhanger

Deus ex machina (a machination, or act of god; lit. “god out of the machine”)

Eucatastrophe

Flashback (or analeptic reference)

Flashforward

Foreshadowing

Frame story, or a story within a story

Framing device

MacGuffin

In medias res

Narrative hook

Ochi

Plot twist

Poetic justice

Predestination paradox

Quibble

Red herring

Self-fulfilling prophecy

Story within a story (Hypodiegesis)

Ticking clock scenario

Chekhov’s gun

Unreliable narrator

Third attempt

Secrets

Judicial Setting

Legal argument

Prophecy

Two way love

Three way love (love rival) – Current discussion.

Rival

Celebrity (Rise to fame)

Rise to riches

Military (Device or Organization manipulation)

School (Training) (Skill Development)

Supernatural

Comeback

Retrieval

Taboo

Impossible Crime

Human god

Revolution

Games

Silent witness

Secret king

Messiah

Hidden skills

Fantasy Land (Time Travel, Space Travel)

End of the — (World, Culture, Society)

Resistance (Nonresistance)

Utopia (anti-utopia)

Fashion

Augmented Human (Robot) (Society)

Mind Switching (Soul Switching)

Unreliable character

Incarceration (imprisonment)

Three way love: here is my definition – three way love is the use of competition for love in a romantic relationship between three or more people to further a plot.

If you take a two way (normal) love relationship and interject a love rival, you have an entirely new plot device. The love rival plot device is another name for three way love. You can have more than three competing in love, but that becomes purely capris and perversion. Although it makes a great gameshow for the vulgar and perverse, the idea of more than two with the possibility of winning just seems odd. It doesn’t fit with the concept of human love. We aren’t talking about sex or sexual gratification here. In the long term concept of love, we are taking about classical view of love for eternity. We are at least writing about love for a couple of semesters. It’s love as a many splendored thing. Take that kind of love and apply a love rivalry.

The level of rivalry doesn’t matter. I’ve always felt uncomfortable about writing novels with a strong love rivalry—that is one where the love interest, is ambivalent or indeterminate about more than one person. I see this more as a character failing than a strong concept to base a relationship. I have used this plot device in a few of my novels. I’ll give you an example below.

From Khione: Enchantment and the Fox:

A little later, Jason, Jennifer, and Yumi brought their trays over to where Pearce and Khione sat. They took their normal places around the low table. After a while, Jennifer asked, “Hey Pearce, I’ve got a couple of tickets to a movie on Saturday. Would you like to go with me?”

Pearce glanced up from his notes. He tapped his pencil on his lips and thought a moment, “Next weekend’s a three-day, I have to visit my parents.”

Jennifer looked unhappy.

“Could I get a rain check?”

Jennifer licked her lips, “Sure, I guess.”

“I’m sorry. I can’t leave to visit them during Thanksgiving, and I promised I come see them. There aren’t any classes on Monday or Friday.”

Khione piped up, “Is that a date? Did Jennifer ask for a date?”

Jason laughed, “That is a date. Hey, Jen, you aren’t asking Khione to come too, are you?”

Jennifer scowled at him, “Of course not.”

Jason continued, “Are you taking Khione to visit your parents? That sounds serious.”

Pearce thought a moment more, “I really hadn’t thought about it. I guess I’ll take Khione.”

Jennifer shook her head.

Khione smiled, “I’d like to go.”

Jennifer scowled again, “I’m sure you would.”

Yumi touched her arm, “I’m certain Khione doesn’t know what that means.”

Jennifer wasn’t mollified, “Yeah, sure.”

Jason wasn’t about to be put off, “Do you know what it means to meet the parents, Khione?”

Khione gave a puzzled look.

Pearce scowled this time, “I don’t mean anything by it. It would be good for Khione to see how normal people live.”

“Yeah,” Jennifer looked down.

“Yeah,” Jason smiled.

In Khione, I use three way love, a love triangle that includes Khione, Jennifer, and Pearce. Pearce is the love interest. Khione falls in love with Pearce slowly as she gets to know him. Jennifer has been pursuing Pearce for almost a year in college. Pearce is unobservant of Jennifer’s interest especially. Through the entire novel, the reader slowly gets the message. The scene portion I gave you was more to the point than most. Jennifer wants to ask Pearce to a movie, but Pearce has plans to take Khione to visit his parents. Like all love triangles, there is confusion, attempts at communication (mostly that don’t work), miscommunication, and all. I advise using a love triangle to spice up any novel where you have an obtuse character—no that’s not right. Some plots and themes accommodate this type of plot device better than others. I wouldn’t have used it in Sorcha, it would have been a detractor. In Khione, it is a powerful part of the plot development. As I wrote, certain novels work better for the love rival plot device.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:

http://www.ancientlight.com/

http://www.aegyptnovel.com/

http://www.centurionnovel.com

http://www.thesecondmission.com/

http://www.theendofhonor.com/

http://www.thefoxshonor.com

http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic

Posted in Daemon | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x86, Creative Elements in Scenes, Plot Devices, Two Way Love

26 June 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x86, Creative Elements in Scenes, Plot Devices, Two Way Love

Announcement:  Ancient Light is delayed due to the economy.  You can read more about it at http://www.ancientlight.com.  Ancient Light includes the second edition of Aegypt plus Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness.  I’ll keep you updated.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.

I’m using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I’ll keep you informed along the way.

Today’s Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select “production schedule,” you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:

  1. Don’t confuse your readers.
  2. Entertain your readers.
  3. Ground your readers in the writing.
  4. Don’t show (or tell) everything.
  5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

All novels have five discrete parts:

1.  The initial scene (the beginning)

2.  The rising action

3.  The climax

4.  The falling action

5.  The dénouement

I finished writing my 27th novel, working title, Claire, potential title Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse. This might need some tweaking. The theme statement is: Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, a dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.

Here is the cover proposal for Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse.

 sorcha-cover
Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I started writing my 28th novel, working title Red Sonja. I’m also working on my 29th novel, working title School.

I’m an advocate of using the/a scene input/output method to drive the rising action–in fact, to write any novel.

Scene development:

  1. Scene input (easy)
  2. Scene output (a little harder)
  3. Scene setting (basic stuff)
  4. Creativity (creative elements of the scene: transition from input to output focused on the telic flaw resolution)
  5. Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)
  6. Release (climax of creative elements)

How to begin a novel. Number one thought, we need an entertaining idea. I usually encapsulate such an idea with a theme statement. Since I’m writing a new novel, we need a new theme statement. Here is an initial cut.

For novel 28: 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 29: 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.

These are the steps I use to write a novel:

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

Here is the beginning of the scene development method from the 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

Below is a list of plot devices. I’m less interested in a plot device than I am in a creative element that drives a plot device. In fact, some of these plot devices are not good for anyone’s writing. If we remember, the purpose of fiction writing is entertainment, we will perhaps begin to see how we can use these plot devices to entertain. If we focus on creative elements that drive plot devices, we can begin to see how to make our writing truly entertaining. I’ll leave up the list and we’ll contemplate creative elements to produce these plot devices.

Backstory

Cliffhanger

Deus ex machina (a machination, or act of god; lit. “god out of the machine”)

Eucatastrophe

Flashback (or analeptic reference)

Flashforward

Foreshadowing

Frame story, or a story within a story

Framing device

MacGuffin

In medias res

Narrative hook

Ochi

Plot twist

Poetic justice

Predestination paradox

Quibble

Red herring

Self-fulfilling prophecy

Story within a story (Hypodiegesis)

Ticking clock scenario

Chekhov’s gun

Unreliable narrator

Third attempt

Secrets

Judicial Setting

Legal argument

Prophecy

Two way love – Current discussion.

Three way love (love rival)

Rival

Celebrity (Rise to fame)

Rise to riches

Military (Device or Organization manipulation)

School (Training) (Skill Development)

Supernatural

Comeback

Retrieval

Taboo

Impossible Crime

Human god

Revolution

Games

Silent witness

Secret king

Messiah

Hidden skills

Fantasy Land (Time Travel, Space Travel)

End of the — (World, Culture, Society)

Resistance (Nonresistance)

Utopia (anti-utopia)

Fashion

Augmented Human (Robot) (Society)

Mind Switching (Soul Switching)

Unreliable character

Incarceration (imprisonment)

Two way love: here is my definition – two way love is the use of the romantic relationship between two people to further a plot.

Two way love is a plot device that focuses on the relationship between two people. This focus can be from puppy love to marriage and beyond. The main point is two people who are dedicated and centered on each other. Usually, the relationship moves from meeting, to friends, to love, to some kind of stronger relationship. Everything is reasonable in developing the love in a two way love. The only point that isn’t reasonable is interjecting another person into the mix—this interjection is three way love. Two way love is indeed a plot device. I’ll give you an example below.

From Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse:

Captain Cross pulled Shiggy out of the door and to the side. Shiggy could see the black SUV at the street. The Captain searched in his pockets for a moment and brought out a small giftwrapped box, “I would be pleased, Shiggy, if you would accept this Christmas present from me.” He handed it to her.

Shiggy took the gift in both hands and stared at it, “This is for me?”

“Of course it’s for you.”

“May I open it, now?”

“If you wish.”

Shiggy tore off the wrapping and opened the box, “It’s beautiful. Earrings. They’re blue and silver.”

“Blue like your eyes. I noticed your ears were pierced, but you haven’t worn anything in them when I’ve been with you.”

“Sorcha hasn’t got to jewelry yet. Thank you. Thank you very much. I’m sorry. I don’t have a present for you.”

“You don’t need one for me.”

“But now I feel obliged.”

“If that’s so, then I’d like you to promise to get to know me better.”

Shiggy smiled, “I’d like that too.”

Captain Cross leaned forward, “May I kiss you, Shiggy?”

That got Angel’s attention. She grabbed Shiggy’s hair, “That’s obviously bad judgement. If you let him kiss you, I’ll poison him.”

Shiggy’s eyes filled, “Please, let me kiss him.”

“Not now. Perhaps never.”

Shiggy’s tears began to fall, “I really want to kiss him.”

“Stop it Shiggy.” Angel spit on her hand and held it menacingly near Captain Cross’ face.

Shiggy blubbered, “William, I would very much like you to kiss me, but at the moment, I must decline.” She pushed him away.

Angel cheered, “That away, Shiggy.”

Captain Cross gave her a puzzled look, “I understand. I think.”

Shiggy burst into tears, “I don’t.” She ran to the front door, and into Lyons’ House.

Sorcha found her there bawling in the foyer.

Sveta heard her and came running, “Now, what’s the matter?”

Sorcha hauled Shiggy up on one side and Sveta took the other. Shiggy tightly held the box Captain Cross had given her. Sorcha picked up Shiggy’s clutch, “Whatever is the matter with you, Shiggy?”

Shiggy sobbed, “William gave me such a nice pair of earrings, and he asked to kiss me.” Shiggy roared, “But this stupid fairy threatened to poison him. I’m so mad, I could poison her.”

Sorcha held her, “Calm down, Shiggy. Relax. I’m sure William understands. A kiss on the first date is a bit quick.”

Shiggy glared, “By whose standards?”

Sorcha grimaced, “Well not by Mrs. Calloway’s.”

Sveta shook her head, “Perhaps not by Mrs. Calloway’s standards, but certainly by mine and by our families’. It was very nice of William to give you a gift. Let’s wait a little for the kissing part.”

Sorcha commiserated, “Plus my team is going to hell right now. I have a pilot who’s chasing me. Muscle who’s chasing my assistant. How can we operate together like this?”

The focus of this novel is not the romance, but romance is a beautiful part of the novel. The novel is about Shiggy, but a wonderful touch in the novel is the romance between Shiggy and Mr. Cross and Sorcha and her beau. This plot device brings great entertainment to the novel and builds power in the novel through relationship.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:

http://www.ancientlight.com/

http://www.aegyptnovel.com/

http://www.centurionnovel.com

http://www.thesecondmission.com/

http://www.theendofhonor.com/

http://www.thefoxshonor.com

http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic

Posted in Daemon | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x85, Creative Elements in Scenes, Plot Devices, Prophecy

25 June 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x85, Creative Elements in Scenes, Plot Devices, Prophecy

Announcement:  Ancient Light is delayed due to the economy.  You can read more about it at http://www.ancientlight.com.  Ancient Light includes the second edition of Aegypt plus Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness.  I’ll keep you updated.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.

I’m using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I’ll keep you informed along the way.

Today’s Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select “production schedule,” you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:

  1. Don’t confuse your readers.
  2. Entertain your readers.
  3. Ground your readers in the writing.
  4. Don’t show (or tell) everything.
  5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

All novels have five discrete parts:

1.  The initial scene (the beginning)

2.  The rising action

3.  The climax

4.  The falling action

5.  The dénouement

I finished writing my 27th novel, working title, Claire, potential title Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse. This might need some tweaking. The theme statement is: Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, a dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.

Here is the cover proposal for Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse.

 sorcha-cover
Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I started writing my 28th novel, working title Red Sonja. I’m also working on my 29th novel, working title School.

I’m an advocate of using the/a scene input/output method to drive the rising action–in fact, to write any novel.

Scene development:

  1. Scene input (easy)
  2. Scene output (a little harder)
  3. Scene setting (basic stuff)
  4. Creativity (creative elements of the scene: transition from input to output focused on the telic flaw resolution)
  5. Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)
  6. Release (climax of creative elements)

How to begin a novel. Number one thought, we need an entertaining idea. I usually encapsulate such an idea with a theme statement. Since I’m writing a new novel, we need a new theme statement. Here is an initial cut.

For novel 28: 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 29: 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.

These are the steps I use to write a novel:

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

Here is the beginning of the scene development method from the 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

Below is a list of plot devices. I’m less interested in a plot device than I am in a creative element that drives a plot device. In fact, some of these plot devices are not good for anyone’s writing. If we remember, the purpose of fiction writing is entertainment, we will perhaps begin to see how we can use these plot devices to entertain. If we focus on creative elements that drive plot devices, we can begin to see how to make our writing truly entertaining. I’ll leave up the list and we’ll contemplate creative elements to produce these plot devices.

Backstory

Cliffhanger

Deus ex machina (a machination, or act of god; lit. “god out of the machine”)

Eucatastrophe

Flashback (or analeptic reference)

Flashforward

Foreshadowing

Frame story, or a story within a story

Framing device

MacGuffin

In medias res

Narrative hook

Ochi

Plot twist

Poetic justice

Predestination paradox

Quibble

Red herring

Self-fulfilling prophecy

Story within a story (Hypodiegesis)

Ticking clock scenario

Chekhov’s gun

Unreliable narrator

Third attempt

Secrets

Judicial Setting

Legal argument

Prophecy – Current discussion.

Two way love

Three way love (love rival)

Rival

Celebrity (Rise to fame)

Rise to riches

Military (Device or Organization manipulation)

School (Training) (Skill Development)

Supernatural

Comeback

Retrieval

Taboo

Impossible Crime

Human god

Revolution

Games

Silent witness

Secret king

Messiah

Hidden skills

Fantasy Land (Time Travel, Space Travel)

End of the — (World, Culture, Society)

Resistance (Nonresistance)

Utopia (anti-utopia)

Fashion

Augmented Human (Robot) (Society)

Mind Switching (Soul Switching)

Unreliable character

Incarceration (imprisonment)

Prophecy: here is my definition – prophecy is the use of an overt or a subtle prediction that either comes true in some measure or does not, but in any case furthers a plot.

Prophecy is a type of foreshadowing, but it is not the normal use of foreshadowing. I mentioned about foreshadowing that I’m not sure it is really a plot device. Since every plot must include some degree of foreshadowing, foreshadowing is simply a normal literary tool. On the other hand, I recognize that foreshadowing can and does further the plot, the climax, and the theme. The main reason I call foreshadowing a literary tool is that it is used in nearly every plot (or it should be).

Prophecy, as a plot device, is a cat of an entirely different color. The prophecy plot device can be used to turn a plot, but it is not ubiquitous and it is not used often. Prophecy, however, is much more useful and variable than you might think. Here is a comparison of foreshadowing and prophecy. If I show my protagonist picking a lock for fun or practice and note that she is highly skilled at it, then had her use that skill later in the novel to solve a problem to resolve the plot toward the climax, that is a foreshadowing. On the other hand, if a gypsy lady pronounces that my protagonist will use her skills at lock picking to open an important lock in the future, that is prophecy. This example is a direct and overt appeal to prophecy. A much more subtle prophecy is for a father to say to his child, “My child, I expect great things of you. Your training as a lock pick at your father’s knee will serve you well.” Subtle, indirect, but a prophecy none-the-less.

You can have a character force himself to fulfill a prophecy—that is a self-fulfilling prophecy and already discussed. From another side, you can also have an unfulfilled prophecy or a partially fulfilled prophecy. These can come in any form: direct, indirect, overt, subtle, and etc. The point is the use of prophecy as a creative element in your novel and your scenes.  .

I have on a few occasions used prophecy in my novels. I’ll give you an example from one.

From Ancient Light: Children of Light and Darkness:

In this man’s wake, trailed a woman dressed in a simple white dress that seemed to shimmer with red like a flame. Her hair was fiery red, and her face seemed oddly young. She ignored James and the others and stepped directly to Kathrin. The others seemed to not see her. Father Malloy was not sure why he could. Sveta and Klava, who lounged like they were bored near Kathrin abruptly perked up. That seemed strange too. Sveta and Klava had ignored many of the other very important guests.

Father Malloy could hear the conversation clearly. The woman put out her hand and curtsied deeply to Kathrin, “Hello Ceridwen.”

Kathrin frowned, “Do not use that name.” She whispered, “I have not told them.”

The lady’s voice sparkled like a dancing flame, “Don’t worry, Ceridwen. They detect my presence, but they cannot hear me. I will not reveal your secret, Great Lady.” She curtsied low again, “I desired to see your change from maiden to mother. It was truly spectacular. The world of The Dagda rejoices with us all.”

“I did not you invite you, Brigita.”

Brigita raised her hands and motioned to the right and left, “You did not invite the others either. They all wished to come. My sovereign, Britania, sent me. No one dared anger you. We know you serve The Dagda just as we do. We wish to welcome you into your place, Your Royal Highness.”

“I am not ready.”

“So your father, Oghma Grianainech, tells us. He says you have refused to accept your responsibility, your place.”

“I have other responsibilities right now.” Kathrin gazed at Sveta and Klava then down at her own gently swelling belly.”

“So you do, Ceridwen. I have a wedding wish from all of us. It is a gift and a prophecy. We pray that you will come to us when you find this true.”

Kathrin leaned forward eagerly.

“Ceridwen, you may find the fate of the past is past, and the yoke of The Dagda is much easier than the yoke you once bore.”

Kathrin beamed, “Thank you, Brigita.”

The woman with the fiery red hair curtsied low again and was gone. Father Malloy blinked twice. She must have left quickly. That was the last guest. They all moved together to the reception in the lunch room at Saint Anne’s.

This is a direct prophecy. The speaker is Brigitta, the goddess of Ireland. The receiver is Ceredwin, the goddess of all the Gaelic people. This prophecy comes true. In the past Ceredwin was condemned to bear an evil girl and a deformed boy. Kathrin instead has a couple of beautiful boys, then two girls, then another boy. Her curse from the past has been broken. The prophecy and the fact it comes true are important points in the plot. Thus we have the use of prophecy as a plot device.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:

http://www.ancientlight.com/

http://www.aegyptnovel.com/

http://www.centurionnovel.com

http://www.thesecondmission.com/

http://www.theendofhonor.com/

http://www.thefoxshonor.com

http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic

Posted in Daemon | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x84, Creative Elements in Scenes, Plot Devices, Legal Argument

24 June 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x84, Creative Elements in Scenes, Plot Devices, Legal Argument

Announcement:  Ancient Light is delayed due to the economy.  You can read more about it at http://www.ancientlight.com.  Ancient Light includes the second edition of Aegypt plus Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness.  I’ll keep you updated.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.

I’m using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I’ll keep you informed along the way.

Today’s Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select “production schedule,” you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:

  1. Don’t confuse your readers.
  2. Entertain your readers.
  3. Ground your readers in the writing.
  4. Don’t show (or tell) everything.
  5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

All novels have five discrete parts:

1.  The initial scene (the beginning)

2.  The rising action

3.  The climax

4.  The falling action

5.  The dénouement

I finished writing my 27th novel, working title, Claire, potential title Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse. This might need some tweaking. The theme statement is: Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, a dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.

Here is the cover proposal for Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse.

 sorcha-cover
Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I started writing my 28th novel, working title Red Sonja. I’m also working on my 29th novel, working title School.

I’m an advocate of using the/a scene input/output method to drive the rising action–in fact, to write any novel.

Scene development:

  1. Scene input (easy)
  2. Scene output (a little harder)
  3. Scene setting (basic stuff)
  4. Creativity (creative elements of the scene: transition from input to output focused on the telic flaw resolution)
  5. Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)
  6. Release (climax of creative elements)

How to begin a novel. Number one thought, we need an entertaining idea. I usually encapsulate such an idea with a theme statement. Since I’m writing a new novel, we need a new theme statement. Here is an initial cut.

For novel 28: 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 29: 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.

These are the steps I use to write a novel:

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

Here is the beginning of the scene development method from the 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

Below is a list of plot devices. I’m less interested in a plot device than I am in a creative element that drives a plot device. In fact, some of these plot devices are not good for anyone’s writing. If we remember, the purpose of fiction writing is entertainment, we will perhaps begin to see how we can use these plot devices to entertain. If we focus on creative elements that drive plot devices, we can begin to see how to make our writing truly entertaining. I’ll leave up the list and we’ll contemplate creative elements to produce these plot devices.

Backstory

Cliffhanger

Deus ex machina (a machination, or act of god; lit. “god out of the machine”)

Eucatastrophe

Flashback (or analeptic reference)

Flashforward

Foreshadowing

Frame story, or a story within a story

Framing device

MacGuffin

In medias res

Narrative hook

Ochi

Plot twist

Poetic justice

Predestination paradox

Quibble

Red herring

Self-fulfilling prophecy

Story within a story (Hypodiegesis)

Ticking clock scenario

Chekhov’s gun

Unreliable narrator

Third attempt

Secrets

Judicial Setting

Legal argument – Current discussion.

Prophecy

Two way love

Three way love (love rival)

Rival

Celebrity (Rise to fame)

Rise to riches

Military (Device or Organization manipulation)

School (Training) (Skill Development)

Supernatural

Comeback

Retrieval

Taboo

Impossible Crime

Human god

Revolution

Games

Silent witness

Secret king

Messiah

Hidden skills

Fantasy Land (Time Travel, Space Travel)

End of the — (World, Culture, Society)

Resistance (Nonresistance)

Utopia (anti-utopia)

Fashion

Augmented Human (Robot) (Society)

Mind Switching (Soul Switching)

Unreliable character

Incarceration (imprisonment)

Legal argument: here is my definition – legal argument is the use of an argument based on law to further a plot.

A legal argument is not a Quibble. A quibble is based on a technicality in the law—a legal argument is simply based in the law. When I write, legal argument, I mean any argument based in law. Therefore, you could have a legal argument based in the laws of science. Aka, a science fiction novel whose plot rested on the concept of gravity or biological science. Most legal arguments will be based on some type of law or legal system. Many will be based in logic. Some will be based on scientific law. You might even have a legal argument based in a tribal law—a taboo for example.

I think the legal argument is a fine means of developing a plot—it is a plot device, so the theme isn’t dependent on it, but the plot might be. Here is an example of a pure legal argument.

From Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer:

Mr. Vale kept their glasses full, and after dinner, they all cleared the table and went out to the back patio. The air was crisp, but the wine warmed them. Phelia joined them this time.

Mr. Vale started, “So you’re both living in Dane’s apartment…?”

“Yes” replied Dane and Lilly together.

Lilly was bubbly, “We aren’t shacking up…yet. If that’s what you mean…”

“That’s exactly what I meant.”

Phelia didn’t look at them, “They are shacking up. I’ve seen them come out together every morning this week. Lilly couldn’t come out one morning because, because…”

Lilly grinned, “Really, Phelia, he didn’t wear me out. I like the idea, but your brother is just too much of a gentleman. He’s kissed me every morning and each night…”

Dane blushed.

Phelia yelped, “That’s just what I mean. I’ve seen them kiss and everything…”

Mrs. Vale laughed, “Ophelia, a little romance is what it’s all about, and if Dane’s has the intention to marry her, then everything is all right with me.”

Phelia balled her fists, “Is this all right with you, dad. What about your political career?”

Mr. Vale leaned back in his chair, “I suspect Ms. Grant and Dane are being careful about their relationship.”

“Dad, they are living in the same apartment, and she’s sixteen.”

“Actually, Ms. Grant is seventeen. She just turned seventeen. In Washington State she can marry with her guardian’s permission.”

Phelia mumbled, “But what about statutory rape?”

“For better or worse, sex is allowed when the woman is seventeen.”

Phelia’s shoulders drooped, “So you’re happy with this?”

Mr. Vale snorted, “I didn’t say I was happy with it—I’m just pointing out the laws. I don’t want Dane and Ms. Grant to have sex outside of marriage, and I’m not very happy with them living together…”

Mrs. Vale sat up, “I’m happy with it. Your father and I lived together for a while before we married.” She blushed, “I’m not saying that is the right thing to do, but I want Lilly and Dane to be together, and I want them to marry. I know Dane. He’s a man who has never been in a relationship with a woman before, and I’m happy he found someone who loves him.”

Phelia mumbled again, “How do you know she loves him? I think she’s after his money and position.”

Lilly perked up, “I didn’t know he had any money or position. He’s working at FastMart with me.”

Mrs. Vale wasn’t deterred, “Lilly is completely independent and capable on her own. She doesn’t need your brother at all, but she has latched on to him—that’s enough for me. I like her very much. I want her in our family—she is part of our family.”

Phelia bent her head, “Aren’t I daughter enough for you? Why do you want someone like her around?”

Mrs. Vale took Phelia’s hand and shook it, “Listen to me Ophelia. I love you. I’ve always loved you. You are my special and one and only daughter. I like what you are, and I like what you are becoming. Dane is going to marry someone, why shouldn’t that someone be Lilly?”

“Because I don’t like her…”

Mrs. Vale pleaded, “What don’t you like about her?”

Phelia glanced up at her, “I love my brother. I liked who he was before he met her. I’m afraid he’ll invest himself in her, and she’ll dump him—then where will he be. Where will our family be?”

Lilly started to laugh. She couldn’t stop. Everyone turned to look at her. Dane could hear the wild chimes in her laughter. Finally, between hiccups she snorted, “Dane is mine, and I am his. I will not leave him for any reason, and you said yourself, he hasn’t been interested before…”

Dane put up his hands, “It’s not that I wasn’t interested—I just never found anyone as special as Lilly. I…I love her.” He blushed to the roots of his hair.

Lilly stared at him with big eyes, “That’s the first time you’ve ever said you love me.”

“Really,” Phelia, Mrs. Vale, and Mr. Vale exclaimed.

Phelia pouted, “That’s too much for me, Dane Vale. You’re living with a girl, and you never said you loved her…”

Dane put up his hands, “It’s hard for me to say and harder for me to realize. I’ve never loved anyone like this before…”

Lilly looked like she was about to cry.

Mrs. Vale’s eyes turned soft and damp, “That’s exactly the way it’s supposed to be.” She glanced around the table, “I want to do everything I can to make this happen.”

Mr. Vale nodded, “In due time. You two can marry when you’re ready, and when we think you’re ready.”

Lilly pressed her lips together, “He still hasn’t asked me yet…”

Mrs. Vale grasped Lilly’s hand too, “Yes, he must ask you in the proper way, and you must have our permission. You can marry, by Washington State law, when Lilly is eighteen.”

Lilly cried, “Eighteen, that’s a whole year away—I’m not sure I can wait that long.”

Mrs. Vale grinned, “Remember, he hasn’t asked you yet…”

Lilly glanced at her then at Dane. She let out her breath, “He hasn’t asked me yet.”

Mrs. Vale smiled, “When he does. We can make a second appraisal.”

Phelia took a deep breath, “Well I’m against it, for now.”

Mr. Vale nodded, “For now.”

Mrs. Vale let go of Lilly and Phelia’s hands, “Lear, get another bottle of wine. You need to speak to Dane about the asking and we need to celebrate the potential. Right now, I want to talk to our client…”

There is a lot in here, but I think this is really fun. They are bantering about love, marriage, sex, and legal concepts of all of these. Dane and Lilly are living together, but not shacking up. They are in love, but not married. The Vales are lawyers. I set this up from the beginning of the novel. This little scene (part of the scene) is the fruition of half a novel. The arguments are legal, but based in different types of legal—religion, state law, moral law, and etc. A legal argument is a wonderful plot device that can provide great creative elements for a scene and a novel.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:

http://www.ancientlight.com/

http://www.aegyptnovel.com/

http://www.centurionnovel.com

http://www.thesecondmission.com/

http://www.theendofhonor.com/

http://www.thefoxshonor.com

http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic

Posted in Daemon | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x83, Creative Elements in Scenes, Plot Devices, Judicial Setting

23 June 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x83, Creative Elements in Scenes, Plot Devices, Judicial Setting

Announcement:  Ancient Light is delayed due to the economy.  You can read more about it at http://www.ancientlight.com.  Ancient Light includes the second edition of Aegypt plus Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness.  I’ll keep you updated.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.

I’m using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I’ll keep you informed along the way.

Today’s Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select “production schedule,” you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:

  1. Don’t confuse your readers.
  2. Entertain your readers.
  3. Ground your readers in the writing.
  4. Don’t show (or tell) everything.
  5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

All novels have five discrete parts:

1.  The initial scene (the beginning)

2.  The rising action

3.  The climax

4.  The falling action

5.  The dénouement

I finished writing my 27th novel, working title, Claire, potential title Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse. This might need some tweaking. The theme statement is: Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, a dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.

Here is the cover proposal for Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse.

 sorcha-cover
Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I started writing my 28th novel, working title Red Sonja. I’m also working on my 29th novel, working title School.

I’m an advocate of using the/a scene input/output method to drive the rising action–in fact, to write any novel.

Scene development:

  1. Scene input (easy)
  2. Scene output (a little harder)
  3. Scene setting (basic stuff)
  4. Creativity (creative elements of the scene: transition from input to output focused on the telic flaw resolution)
  5. Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)
  6. Release (climax of creative elements)

How to begin a novel. Number one thought, we need an entertaining idea. I usually encapsulate such an idea with a theme statement. Since I’m writing a new novel, we need a new theme statement. Here is an initial cut.

For novel 28: 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 29: 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.

These are the steps I use to write a novel:

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

Here is the beginning of the scene development method from the 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

Below is a list of plot devices. I’m less interested in a plot device than I am in a creative element that drives a plot device. In fact, some of these plot devices are not good for anyone’s writing. If we remember, the purpose of fiction writing is entertainment, we will perhaps begin to see how we can use these plot devices to entertain. If we focus on creative elements that drive plot devices, we can begin to see how to make our writing truly entertaining. I’ll leave up the list and we’ll contemplate creative elements to produce these plot devices.

Backstory

Cliffhanger

Deus ex machina (a machination, or act of god; lit. “god out of the machine”)

Eucatastrophe

Flashback (or analeptic reference)

Flashforward

Foreshadowing

Frame story, or a story within a story

Framing device

MacGuffin

In medias res

Narrative hook

Ochi

Plot twist

Poetic justice

Predestination paradox

Quibble

Red herring

Self-fulfilling prophecy

Story within a story (Hypodiegesis)

Ticking clock scenario

Chekhov’s gun

Unreliable narrator

Third attempt

Secrets

Judicial Setting – Current discussion.

Legal argument

Prophecy

Two way love

Three way love (love rival)

Rival

Celebrity (Rise to fame)

Rise to riches

Military (Device or Organization manipulation)

School (Training) (Skill Development)

Supernatural

Comeback

Retrieval

Taboo

Impossible Crime

Human god

Revolution

Games

Silent witness

Secret king

Messiah

Hidden skills

Fantasy Land (Time Travel, Space Travel)

End of the — (World, Culture, Society)

Resistance (Nonresistance)

Utopia (anti-utopia)

Fashion

Augmented Human (Robot) (Society)

Mind Switching (Soul Switching)

Unreliable character

Incarceration (imprisonment)

Judicial Setting: here is my definition – judicial setting is the use of legal practice and legal settings to further a plot.

Judicial setting is indeed a plot device. It can drive an entire plot, like Perry Mason, To Kill a Mockingbird, or the whole host of modern crime or legal shows, or it can be a simple plot device such as in my novels or in The Cain Mutiny. I’m not sure why more authors don’t use the judicial setting. It may be because they are uncomfortable with law or the legal system, or they just don’t recognize this as a plot device. Using the judicial setting does require research, but the use in movies and television shows should indicate that it is a usable and reachable plot device.

The judicial setting is driven by certain creative elements. The basic is a legal idea or score. For example, your character has broken the law or appears to have broken the law. The only reconciliation, or a useful reconciliation is the judicial setting. At the lowest level, the police become involved and your character is exonerated or charged. The next level is a trial or a dismissal. Beyond that you have a conviction or guilty of innocent. Of course you can move a step further to incarceration, but that is another plot device, and I added it to the list. As an aside, many authors skip the judicial setting and just give it a footnote to move to the incarceration stage—The Count of Monte Christo for example.

I like to use the judicial setting. It can be simplified to the legal argument, which I also just added. I won’t define that here. Again, in the judicial setting, the author uses legal concepts, ideas, and settings to forward the plot. The legal can be a trial of any kind. Just to show you the bounds of the judicial setting, I’ll give you three examples, one a judicial trial, one a courtly trial, and the other an ecclesiastical trial.

From Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer:

The King County Courthouse courtroom was not packed by any measure of the imagination. The building itself was low modern and dower with wide thin windows and a brick façade. The courtroom wasn’t much better. The interior was decked out in Twentieth Century style with cheap paneling and expensive woodwork where you couldn’t miss it. It was laid out like most American courtrooms. The judge sat at a wooden podium at the front with the jury box on the right side. The bailiff and police guards stood at the left side. A fine wooden witness stand connected to the judge’s podium. Two heavy wooden tables lay at the front of the room before the judge. A low wooden rail separated the tables from the public gallery. There, wooden bench seats like church pews trailed back to the courtroom’s main door.

The prosecuting attorney sat at the table on the right side and the defending attorney on the left side. The four defendants sat at the table with the defending attorney. Lilly, Dane, Phelia, and Jeff, along with the responding police officers were the witnesses. They sat in the gallery. The judge sat behind his high wooden desk with the court reporter in front of him and a computer transcriber.

The trial moved slowly through the preliminaries. Finally, the bailiff called Lilly as the first witness. The prosecuting attorney asked her to describe the events of the evening in question. She did. Then the defending attorney cross examined her, “Ms. Grant.”

“Yes.”

“Is there any reason my clients might want to attack you and Mr. Vale that night?”

Lilly didn’t pause, “I hacked Mr. Martin’s FastMart account.”

Jeff glanced up suddenly and whispered, “That’s the first I heard of that…”

“So you provoked Mr. Martin and his friends.”

The prosecuting attorney stood, “Objection—no simple provocation deserves assault and battery.”

The defending attorney glanced at the judge, “If Ms. Grant can be shown to be a questionable witness, her testimony should be thrown out.”

The judge rubbed his chin, “There is more evidence than just her witness, but you may continue with your questioning.”

The defending attorney turned immediately back to Lilly, “Are you a proficient hacker?”

The prosecuting attorney stood again, “Objection, Ms. Grant isn’t on trial here.”

“If Ms. Grant can be shown to be in the commission of a felony, then my clients’ actions might be perceived as legal under the law.”

The judge picked up an evidence folder, “According to the medical report, Ms. Grant and Mr. Vale received substantial injuries. How can that be justified by even any non-violent felony?”

“Self defense. I propose that Ms. Grant and Mr. Vale have been lying in their affidavits to hide their illicit activities.”

The judge’s brow rose, “Illicit activities?”

The defending attorney glanced at his notes, “I’d like to suspend Ms. Grant’s cross-examination and call another witness for the moment.”

Judge Kelsey took a deep breath, “I’m not sure where this is going, Mr. Liam, but I will allow the suspension and for you to call your witness.” He glanced at Lilly, “Ms. Grant, you may return to your seat. You are still considered under oath—for now.”

Lilly hopped out of the witness seat and sat back beside Dane in the gallery.

Lilly and Dane were assaulted by four young men. They were both injured. The trial isn’t about Lilly or Dane, but the prosecuting attorney is making it about them because Lilly did hack one of the men’s account. This comes out in the trial. This is a judicial setting that most readers are familiar with. Now to the court trail setting.

This is from Warrior of Darkness:

Klava and Niul walked side by side down the middle of the sacred grove of the Celts. Scáth had dressed them both. Klava wore the same dress she had when she came here before. It fit her a bit differently. Her belly poked the black fabric out at the front. Scáth had made it fit properly, but Klava thought it still looked odd. She thought it accentuated her belly rather than deemphasized it.   Niul wore a black shirt and pants in a similar style. He simply calked it up to Scáth’s idiosyncrasies and Klava’s preferences. Scáth stepped right behind them also in black.

The grove was a marvelous place. The sunlight reflected through the trees as though it were the middle of the day. The leaves formed a peppering of light and dark on the grass covered ground. A slight wind moved the leaves and the temperature was comfortable. Niul noted strange creatures and beings on either side. He didn’t dare turn to look at them too closely. Klava hung on his arm and when he slowed too much, she tugged on him, “Don’t stare, Niul.”

“What are they?” he whispered.

“I’ll explain it to you later…”

“There may not be any later, Lamb.”

Klava clung more tightly to him.

At the end of the grove stood an enormous oak tree. On it sat Kathrin. The tree formed the impression of a throne. Around this oak and Kathrin stood many stately beings. Right beside Kathrin was a very tall woman. On her other side was James. Aleksandr stood at James left. He held a large sword and a book. Lumière held to Aleksandr. She did not lift her face.

James and Aleksandr’s clothing was fine and modern, but many of those around the throne wore very ancient styles of clothing. Kathrin wore a gown of dazzling white with a silver belt, and a silver caldron sat at her feet.

When Klava had approached to within about two meters, she halted and curtsied. Niul bowed. Klava didn’t wait for an invitation, “Mother, Ceridwen, let’s get this over with. Just pronounce your judgment and end it all.”

The gods and goddesses around the throne murmured. Aife stepped forward to say something, but before she could, Kathrin raised her hand, “I was promised that the court would give you a new hearing. That is my right as the Great Lady. Why are you rushing this, Klava?”

Klava nodded but she didn’t remain quiet, “Mother, the last time this hearing brought shame and embarrassment to you, to your court, and to me. I do not wish you or your court to face anymore shame.”

“What about you, daughter?”

“I already told you, I am guilty. I claim guilt to every crime you accuse me. I will not oppose you.”

Britannia interjected, “Yet you did oppose the judgment of the courts. You stepped foot on the Celtic lands when you had been banished by these courts.” Aife nodded energetically.

“Then, I am guilty of that too.”

Kathrin’s eyes flashed, “Tell them why you violated your banishment.”

“Is that a command?”

“Yes, I, Ceridwen, insist that you inform the courts why you violated their pronouncement.”

Klava shrugged, “It will do no good, but my warrior had been captured by the PIRA. They threatened his life. I could not leave him. I am bound to him. I still broke the law you placed on me. I am guilty.”

“Is this your warrior?”

“Yes. This is Niul Ríoghbhardán O’Dwyer. He is my chosen warrior.”

“You still have not wedded him.”

“We are contracted in agreement to wed. I likely will not have the opportunity to wed him. I will die before then, but by ancient contract, we are wed.”

Brigitta stepped forward, “Great Lady, may I speak?”

Here, we had a judicial setting that is like those of the ancient courts. The author isn’t bound to write a judicial setting from the standpoint of lawyers and modern judges. Kings, queens, and other nobility as well as the gods and goddesses hold court—like the Greek, Roman, or other gods. For another type of judicial setting let’s look at Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon:

Frau Becker reluctantly let go of Aksinya’s hand and moved behind her.

After a few minutes, Inquisitor Esposito entered. He did not sit. He nodded toward Aksinya. Moments later, the Archinquisitor Gallo came in from the door at the side of the altar. Everyone stood. The Archinquisitor glared at Aksinya then bowed to the altar and immediately began an ascension prayer in Latin. He led the court in a general confession and absolved them. He led them in the Apostolic Creed. Then he sat down and signaled for everyone to be seated.

The Archinquisitor brought out a paper, “Alleged Countess Aksinya Andreiovna Golitsyna…”

Aksinya interrupted, “I am not an alleged Countess. I am the Countess Aksinya Andreiovna Golitsyna.”

“You are not allowed to speak until you are called upon.”

“I am not an alleged Countess. I am the Countess Aksinya Andreiovna Golitsyna.”

“Little girl, you are already prejudicing this court against you.”

“That may be so, but I insist that you address me by my proper title.”

“Your identity is one of the questions before this court, but if you fail to hold your tongue, I will have you bound and gagged.”

“That is your prerogative, but I also have the right to be addressed properly by this court.”

The Archinquisitor turned to Inquisitor Esposito, “Instruct the Fraulein in the proper decorum of the court.”

Aksinya glared at him, “This is the first issue before the court. If you can’t identify me properly then what kind of trial can this be?”

“I warned you once, little girl. I will have you bound and gagged.”

Inquisitor Esposito stammered, “If it pleases the Archinquisitor, the promotor fiscalis should first establish the identity of the accused.”

The Archinquisitor frowned at him, “Very well. This is not the usual procedure, but I will take the advice of the advocatus reorum and first prove the identity of the accused.” He faced Aksinya, “Little girl, what is your baptized name? I know it is not Aksinya Andreiovna Golitsyna.”

Aksinya nodded, “What you say is true. My baptized name is not, Aksinya Andreiovna Golitsyna.”

The courtroom let out a sound between a gasp and a groan.

The Archinquisitor smiled, “Then what is your baptized name?”

“My baptized name is Aksinya Georgovna Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov.”

The Archinquisitor glared at her, “Preposterous.”

Aksinya stared him down, “My father was Grand Duke George Alexandrovich Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov. He died of tuberculosis before I was born. My mother was Princess Nina Vladimirovna Golitsyna, nee Bockmann. She later married my adopted father Count Andrei Nikolaevich Golitsyna. I was given my adopted father’s name and all rights to the name by him.”

A whisper started in the courtroom, “She claims to be a princess.”

The Archinquisitor half stood, “Quiet in the courtroom. Preposterous, I say. You claim first to be a Countess and now to be a Romanov Princess.” He slowly lowered himself back into the Bishop’s seat.

“I am a Romanov Princess and a Countess and I insist on being addressed properly.”

This is a snippet of an ecclesiastical trial. The piece I gave you also points to the idea of the legal argument. I’ll provide an idea—every judicial setting should encompass legal arguments. In other words, one of the primary creative elements and a plot device incorporated in a judicial setting is a legal argument. The author has not only the opportunity, but the obligation to include a legal argument in such a setting.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:

http://www.ancientlight.com/

http://www.aegyptnovel.com/

http://www.centurionnovel.com

http://www.thesecondmission.com/

http://www.theendofhonor.com/

http://www.thefoxshonor.com

http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic

 

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Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x82, Creative Elements in Scenes, Plot Devices, Secrets

22 June 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x82, Creative Elements in Scenes, Plot Devices, Secrets

Announcement:  Ancient Light is delayed due to the economy.  You can read more about it at http://www.ancientlight.com.  Ancient Light includes the second edition of Aegypt plus Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness.  I’ll keep you updated.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.

I’m using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I’ll keep you informed along the way.

Today’s Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select “production schedule,” you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:

  1. Don’t confuse your readers.
  2. Entertain your readers.
  3. Ground your readers in the writing.
  4. Don’t show (or tell) everything.
  5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

All novels have five discrete parts:

1.  The initial scene (the beginning)

2.  The rising action

3.  The climax

4.  The falling action

5.  The dénouement

I finished writing my 27th novel, working title, Claire, potential title Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse. This might need some tweaking. The theme statement is: Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, a dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.

Here is the cover proposal for Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse.

 sorcha-cover
Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I started writing my 28th novel, working title Red Sonja. I’m also working on my 29th novel, working title School.

I’m an advocate of using the/a scene input/output method to drive the rising action–in fact, to write any novel.

Scene development:

  1. Scene input (easy)
  2. Scene output (a little harder)
  3. Scene setting (basic stuff)
  4. Creativity (creative elements of the scene: transition from input to output focused on the telic flaw resolution)
  5. Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)
  6. Release (climax of creative elements)

How to begin a novel. Number one thought, we need an entertaining idea. I usually encapsulate such an idea with a theme statement. Since I’m writing a new novel, we need a new theme statement. Here is an initial cut.

For novel 28: 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 29: 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.

These are the steps I use to write a novel:

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

Here is the beginning of the scene development method from the 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

Below is a list of plot devices. I’m less interested in a plot device than I am in a creative element that drives a plot device. In fact, some of these plot devices are not good for anyone’s writing. If we remember, the purpose of fiction writing is entertainment, we will perhaps begin to see how we can use these plot devices to entertain. If we focus on creative elements that drive plot devices, we can begin to see how to make our writing truly entertaining. I’ll leave up the list and we’ll contemplate creative elements to produce these plot devices.

Backstory

Cliffhanger

Deus ex machina (a machination, or act of god; lit. “god out of the machine”)

Eucatastrophe

Flashback (or analeptic reference)

Flashforward

Foreshadowing

Frame story, or a story within a story

Framing device

MacGuffin

In medias res

Narrative hook

Ochi

Plot twist

Poetic justice

Predestination paradox

Quibble

Red herring

Self-fulfilling prophecy

Story within a story (Hypodiegesis)

Ticking clock scenario

Chekhov’s gun

Unreliable narrator

Third attempt

Secrets – Current discussion.

Judicial Setting

Prophecy

Two way love

Three way love (love rival)

Rival

Celebrity (Rise to fame)

Rise to riches

Military (Device or Organization manipulation)

School (Training) (Skill Development)

Supernatural

Comeback

Retrieval

Taboo

Impossible Crime

Human god

Revolution

Games

Silent witness

Secret king

Messiah

Hidden skills

Fantasy Land (Time Travel, Space Travel)

End of the — (World, Culture, Society)

Resistance (Nonresistance)

Utopia (anti-utopia)

Fashion

Augmented Human (Robot) (Society)

Mind Switching (Soul Switching)

Unreliable character

Secrets: here is my definition – secrets (mysteries) are developed, kept, and revealed in the advancement of the plot to create tension and release and drive to the plot climax.

The secrets plot device is exactly the same as the mystery plot device. Every mystery uses the mystery plot device. This plot device was invented by the author of The Moonstone in the Victorian Era, but it has antecedents well before that. The reason is that mystery and secrets are both a major plot device and a plot characteristic. You find secrets which become mysteries through simply a focus of the plot. For example, is Oliver Twist a mystery novel? The novel presents a mystery—who is Oliver? There is a mystery, but the novel isn’t really considered a mystery novel. There are secrets and there are mysteries. The novel is wrapped around these ideas. What about Pride and Prejudice? Here is a novel filled with secrets. Is it a mystery novel? It incorporates mysteries. It incorporates secrets. Still, no one would consider it a mystery novel. All novels incorporate mysteries and secrets. This is the point—they only rise to the level of mystery when the plot is centered on a mystery. You should realize that the difference between a mystery and a not mystery is simply the focus of the novel. If, for example, in Pride and Prejudice, the point of the novel were the discovery of the secret of the connections between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy—oh, it is.

The question of the focus is the theme and not the plot. Every plot is one of mysteries and secrets, but not every theme is one of mysteries and secrets. The theme of Pride and Prejudice is one of love, marriage, and courting. That is the secret of secrets and mystery—all plots include mysteries and secrets, but not all themes do. There is so much more to say about secrets and mysteries, but the most important part is that all novels are about secrets and mysteries.

From Valeska: Enchantment and the Vampire:

George awoke with a headache. He struggled out of bed—his chest ached, and he took a couple of aspirin. It was still early afternoon. He made coffee and ate a breakfast that was closer to a lunch. After a while, he checked his schedule—it was clear.

George opened an encrypted file and began to fill it with all the information he gathered about vampires as well as his observations from the last week. He had no intention of sharing this information with Stewart or anyone else. He just wanted to document everything that happened to him, and what he discovered.

He started the file under the name of the girl: Valeska. Then with a laugh, he added Heidi. He chuckled, how could anyone imagine a vampire named Heidi? He stretched—his chest still ached a little. He knew he had been shot through his chest. He believed he experienced a conversation with a filthy girl who asked to dine on his blood. He let her, and somehow he survived wounds most people would have said were not survivable. He ran his finger along his teeth—no fangs. He hadn’t turned into a vampire—not that he could tell. He leaned back in his chair. He’d like to talk to her again. He guessed that would be impossible, and he didn’t dare return to the last place he saw her. The Polish Secret Service, embarrassed, reassumed that investigation. It turned out to be a little more dangerous than anyone expected. They found “lambs”—young boys and girls kidnapped for the purpose of sex and snuff films. Pretty disgusting stuff. The mission was supposed to have been a simple informant connection. The organization sent George because he spoke the Eastern European language of the contact. George hoped the Polish government hadn’t realized who he was—that would be a breach of security. His language knowledge was classified. Still, the organization tried to keep their allies happy.

George stayed up late that evening with reports and his own notes.

The mystery indicated by the scene is the reality of the vampire and the occurrences that George experienced.  The question is how much is real and how much is not. This is always the power of a novel and the power of secrets.

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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