Writing – part xx228 Writing a Novel, Protagonists Plots and Theme Khione

11 August 2020, Writing – part xx228 Writing a Novel, Protagonists Plots and Theme Khione

Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but my primary publisher has gone out of business—they couldn’t succeed in the past business and publishing environment.  I’ll keep you informed, but I need a new publisher.  More information can be found atwww.ancientlight.com.  Check out my novels–I think you’ll really enjoy them.

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

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

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

The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:

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

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

  1. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

These are the steps I use to write a novel including the five discrete parts of a novel:

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

I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential title Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.  The theme statement is: Lady Azure Rose Wishart, the Chancellor of the Fae, supernatural detective, and all around dangerous girl, finds love, solves cases, breaks heads, and plays golf.

Here is the cover proposal for Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I am continuing to write on my 30th novel, working title Red Sonja.  I finished my 29th novel, working title Detective.  I’m planning to start on number 31, working title Shifter.

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

For novel 30:  Red Sonja, a Soviet spy, infiltrates the X-plane programs at Edwards AFB as a test pilot’s administrative clerk, learns about freedom, and is redeemed.

For novel 31:  Deirdre and Sorcha are redirected to French finishing school where they discover difficult mysteries, people, and events.

Here is the scene development outline:

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

Today:  Why don’t we go back to the basics and just writing a novel?  I can tell you what I do, and show you how I go about putting a novel together.  We can start with developing an idea then move into the details of the writing.

To start a novel, I picture an initial scene.  I may start from a protagonist or just launch into mental development of an initial scene.  I get the idea for an initial scene from all kinds of sources.  To help get the creative juices flowing, let’s look at the initial scene.

  1. Meeting between the protagonist and the antagonist or the protagonist’s helper
  2. Action point in the plot
  3. Buildup to an exciting scene
  4. Indirect introduction of the protagonist

Ideas.  We need ideas.  Ideas allow us to figure out the protagonist and the telic flaw.  Ideas don’t come fully armed from the mind of Zeus.  We need to cultivate ideas.

  1. Read novels.
  2. Fill your mind with good stuff—basically the stuff you want to write about.
  3. Figure out what will build ideas in your mind and what will kill ideas in your mind.
  4. Study.
  5. Teach.
  6. Make the catharsis.
  7. Write.

The development of ideas is based on study and research, but it is also based on creativity.  Creativity is the extrapolation of older ideas to form new ones or to present old ideas in a new form.  It is a reflection of something new created with ties to the history, science, and logic (the intellect).  Creativity requires consuming, thinking, and producing.

If we have filled our mind with all kinds of information and ideas, we are ready to become creative.  Creativity means the extrapolation of older ideas to form new ones or to present old ideas in a new form.  Literally, we are seeing the world in a new way, or actually, we are seeing some part of the world in a new way.

So, modern characters must look like the reader’s impression of the protagonist.  This is an interesting problem as culture and society change as does the impression of the readers. 

Here is the list of characteristics for great protagonists (this is based on the concept of a Romantic protagonist):

  1. Hero, independent, and individualistic – characters who truly risk their lives for others.
  2. From the common ilk – as opposed to the nobility and wealth.
  3. Educated – both seeking education and study and loving to read and learn.
  4. Focus on the inner world of the protagonist – the mind and motivation of the protagonist.
  5. Celebration of nature, beauty, and imagination – the expression of the mind of the protagonist.
  6. Rejection of industrialization and social convention – from urban to rural.
  7. Idealization of woman, children, and rural life.
  8. Inclusion of supernatural or mythological elements.
  9. Inclusion of historical elements.
  10. Frequent use of personification.
  11. Emphasis on individual experience of the sublime.
  12. Discovery and skills—the protagonist finds his or her special skills and abilities and uses them to resolve the telic flaw.
  13. The readers agree with the mind (thoughts and decisions) of the protagonist

I added the last statement, but really this last statement is a direct reflection of 4, 11, and 12.

My ultimate point is that first I develop a great protagonist and the plot and theme of the novel I want to write comes directly out of that protagonist.  Every great protagonist comes with his or her own telic flaw.

The other day, I gave you an example of Azure Rose from my novel, Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.  I showed how she was a Romantic protagonist and how she herself resulted in a plot and theme for the novel.  In other words, I didn’t develop a plot or a theme first, I developed a great protagonist and found the telic flaw, plot, and theme from her revelation.  Azure Rose came with a plot and a theme.  I’ve done this before and at the risk of repeating myself, I’ll do this a couple of more times or more.  Here is a list of my completed novels and protagonists:

A Season of Honor (Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox III), published, Shawn du Locke

The Fox’s Honor (Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox II), published, Devon Rathenberg

The End of Honor (Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox I), published, John-Mark

Antebellum, not published, Heather Sybil Roberts

Aegypt, published, Paul Bolong

Centurion, published, Centurion Abenadar

Athelstan Cying, not published, Den Protania

Twilight Lamb, not published, Den Protania

Regia Anglorum, not published, Nikita Protania

The Second Mission, published, Alan Fisher

Sister of Light, not published, Leora Bolang

Hestia: Enchantment of the Hearth, not published, Angela Matheson

Sister of Darkness, not published, Leora Bolang

Shadow of Darkness, not published, Lumière Bolang

Shadow of Light, not published, Lumière Bolang

Children of Light and Darkness, not published, Kathrin McClellan

Warrior of Light, not published, David Long

Shadowed Vale, not published, Nikita Protania

Warrior of Darkness, not published, Klava Calloway

Dana-ana: Enchantment and the Maiden, not published, Byron Macintyre

Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon, not published, Aksinya

Khione: Enchantment and the Fox, not published, Khione

Valeska: Enchantment and the Vampire, not published, George Mardling

Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer, not published, Lilly

Escape from Freedom, not published, Scott Phillips

Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si, not published, Essie

Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse, not published, Shiggy

Deirdre: Enchantment and the School, not published, Deirdre Calloway

Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective, not published, Azure Rose

Khione: Enchantment and the Fox, is currently not published.  The protagonist is Khione.  In this novel, the protagonist, Khione and the protagonist’s helper, Pearce Wimund are connected by the hip.  This novel is similar is some ways to Lilly.  Khione is another excellent example of how a protagonist defines the telic flaw, plot, and theme.

Khione is a demi-goddess.  She left Greece and Athens specifically in reaction to the events in another of my novels, Hestia: Enchantment of the Hearth.  Hestia was my first enchantment novel.  In this novel, the demi-gods and demi-goddesses were given back their earth stuff which metaphorically and literally contains their soul.  Khione and another demi-goddess left Greece for Boston in the USA following the events of Hestia.

Khione is a pathos developing character.  She was the child of a rape in the ancient world.  Her mother was Khione, the goddess of snow and her father was the uncatchable fox whom Zeus made to torment Thebes.  Khione is a human looking demi-god who looks and lives in some ways like a fox.  She comes to the attention of a couple of graduate students.  One who is studying her, and Pearce Wimund who wants to help her.

When Pearce and his friend find Khione, they accidentally cause her to be hit by a bus.  Pearce takes her back to his apartment.  There, she becomes the feral being she is, and it is up to Pearce to help her learn to become more human.  She also poses a problem to him in terms of life and her experience of life.

Let’s look at Khione as a protagonist.  First, she is not a hero.  She is very independent and individualistic.  She is like a fox.  She constantly reminds Pearce and others that she is not a pack animal, like a dog.  Part of the development and revelation of Khione is her becoming more like a good human being.  Khione is not really from the common ilk—she is a demi-god after all.  She has no wealth or nobility.  She is the opposite.  She is completely uneducated in a modern sense.  She can read in Greek and write in Greek, but she doesn’t think much of it.  The novel is set at Boston University and a focus is on Khione’s education by Pearce.

The inner world of the protagonist is the entire main part of the novel.  The change and revelation of Khione is the entire novel.  Khione is, at the beginning, like an animal.  Pearce’s job is to convince her to change from an animal to being like a human being.

The celebration of nature, beauty, and imagination should be obvious in Khione—she is a demi-goddess of nature and a product of imagination.  The concept of urban to rural is a basic characteristic of Khione.  In addition, the idealization of women, children, and nature (rural life) is embedded in Khione.  She represents all three of these as an abused demi-goddess from nature.

Having a demi-goddess should indicate exactly the supernatural and the mythological.  There are also historical elements in the use of Boston University as a setting.   Discovery of skills is inherent in the novel—this is a discovery and development novel about Khione.  Finally, the individual experience of the sublime is exactly what Khione is about.

The novel, Khione, should really be called the redemption of Khione.  Khione needs to discover what it means to be human.  Her problem should be obvious—she imagines that she is like an animal when she is a thinking being and no animal at all.  The telic flaw is this problem.  Khione is a human who thinks she is worth nothing.  She was abused, the child of rape, a sex slave, and a feral being.  Pearce teaches her that she has worth, and that’s the plot.  The theme is also based on this—that is the what makes someone human.

I hope you can see that the entire plot, telic flaw, and theme came out of the development of this character.  This is exactly what I mean when I write that the plot, theme, and telic flaw comes directly out of the protagonist.

Ultimately, the point is that we need to keep our readers content and pleased with our characters while presenting the revelation of the protagonist and the plot.

The beginning of creativity is study and effort.  We can use this to extrapolate to creativity.  In addition, we need to look at recording ideas and working with ideas.

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 xx227 Writing a Novel, Protagonists Plots and Theme George Mardling

10 August 2020, Writing – part xx227 Writing a Novel, Protagonists Plots and Theme George Mardling

Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but my primary publisher has gone out of business—they couldn’t succeed in the past business and publishing environment.  I’ll keep you informed, but I need a new publisher.  More information can be found atwww.ancientlight.com.  Check out my novels–I think you’ll really enjoy them.

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

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

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

The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:

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

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

  1. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

These are the steps I use to write a novel including the five discrete parts of a novel:

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

I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential title Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.  The theme statement is: Lady Azure Rose Wishart, the Chancellor of the Fae, supernatural detective, and all around dangerous girl, finds love, solves cases, breaks heads, and plays golf.

Here is the cover proposal for Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I am continuing to write on my 30th novel, working title Red Sonja.  I finished my 29th novel, working title Detective.  I’m planning to start on number 31, working title Shifter.

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

For novel 30:  Red Sonja, a Soviet spy, infiltrates the X-plane programs at Edwards AFB as a test pilot’s administrative clerk, learns about freedom, and is redeemed.

For novel 31:  Deirdre and Sorcha are redirected to French finishing school where they discover difficult mysteries, people, and events.

Here is the scene development outline:

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

Today:  Why don’t we go back to the basics and just writing a novel?  I can tell you what I do, and show you how I go about putting a novel together.  We can start with developing an idea then move into the details of the writing.

To start a novel, I picture an initial scene.  I may start from a protagonist or just launch into mental development of an initial scene.  I get the idea for an initial scene from all kinds of sources.  To help get the creative juices flowing, let’s look at the initial scene.

  1. Meeting between the protagonist and the antagonist or the protagonist’s helper
  2. Action point in the plot
  3. Buildup to an exciting scene
  4. Indirect introduction of the protagonist

Ideas.  We need ideas.  Ideas allow us to figure out the protagonist and the telic flaw.  Ideas don’t come fully armed from the mind of Zeus.  We need to cultivate ideas.

  1. Read novels.
  2. Fill your mind with good stuff—basically the stuff you want to write about.
  3. Figure out what will build ideas in your mind and what will kill ideas in your mind.
  4. Study.
  5. Teach.
  6. Make the catharsis.
  7. Write.

The development of ideas is based on study and research, but it is also based on creativity.  Creativity is the extrapolation of older ideas to form new ones or to present old ideas in a new form.  It is a reflection of something new created with ties to the history, science, and logic (the intellect).  Creativity requires consuming, thinking, and producing.

If we have filled our mind with all kinds of information and ideas, we are ready to become creative.  Creativity means the extrapolation of older ideas to form new ones or to present old ideas in a new form.  Literally, we are seeing the world in a new way, or actually, we are seeing some part of the world in a new way.

So, modern characters must look like the reader’s impression of the protagonist.  This is an interesting problem as culture and society change as does the impression of the readers. 

Here is the list of characteristics for great protagonists (this is based on the concept of a Romantic protagonist):

  1. Hero, independent, and individualistic – characters who truly risk their lives for others.
  2. From the common ilk – as opposed to the nobility and wealth.
  3. Educated – both seeking education and study and loving to read and learn.
  4. Focus on the inner world of the protagonist – the mind and motivation of the protagonist.
  5. Celebration of nature, beauty, and imagination – the expression of the mind of the protagonist.
  6. Rejection of industrialization and social convention – from urban to rural.
  7. Idealization of woman, children, and rural life.
  8. Inclusion of supernatural or mythological elements.
  9. Inclusion of historical elements.
  10. Frequent use of personification.
  11. Emphasis on individual experience of the sublime.
  12. Discovery and skills—the protagonist finds his or her special skills and abilities and uses them to resolve the telic flaw.
  13. The readers agree with the mind (thoughts and decisions) of the protagonist

I added the last statement, but really this last statement is a direct reflection of 4, 11, and 12.

My ultimate point is that first I develop a great protagonist and the plot and theme of the novel I want to write comes directly out of that protagonist.  Every great protagonist comes with his or her own telic flaw.

The other day, I gave you an example of Azure Rose from my novel, Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.  I showed how she was a Romantic protagonist and how she herself resulted in a plot and theme for the novel.  In other words, I didn’t develop a plot or a theme first, I developed a great protagonist and found the telic flaw, plot, and theme from her revelation.  Azure Rose came with a plot and a theme.  I’ve done this before and at the risk of repeating myself, I’ll do this a couple of more times or more.  Here is a list of my completed novels and protagonists:

A Season of Honor (Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox III), published, Shawn du Locke

The Fox’s Honor (Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox II), published, Devon Rathenberg

The End of Honor (Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox I), published, John-Mark

Antebellum, not published, Heather Sybil Roberts

Aegypt, published, Paul Bolong

Centurion, published, Centurion Abenadar

Athelstan Cying, not published, Den Protania

Twilight Lamb, not published, Den Protania

Regia Anglorum, not published, Nikita Protania

The Second Mission, published, Alan Fisher

Sister of Light, not published, Leora Bolang

Hestia: Enchantment of the Hearth, not published, Angela Matheson

Sister of Darkness, not published, Leora Bolang

Shadow of Darkness, not published, Lumière Bolang

Shadow of Light, not published, Lumière Bolang

Children of Light and Darkness, not published, Kathrin McClellan

Warrior of Light, not published, David Long

Shadowed Vale, not published, Nikita Protania

Warrior of Darkness, not published, Klava Calloway

Dana-ana: Enchantment and the Maiden, not published, Byron Macintyre

Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon, not published, Aksinya

Khione: Enchantment and the Fox, not published, Pearce Wimund

Valeska: Enchantment and the Vampire, not published, George Mardling

Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer, not published, Lilly

Escape from Freedom, not published, Scott Phillips

Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si, not published, Essie

Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse, not published, Shiggy

Deirdre: Enchantment and the School, not published, Deirdre Calloway

Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective, not published, Azure Rose

Valeska: Enchantment and the Vampire, is currently not published.  The protagonist is George Mardling.  I told you, “don’t write about vampires,” but I wrote about a vampire.  The reason was that it fit the novel and became my protagonist’s helper.  Valeska is the vampire.  George is another excellent example of how a protagonist defines the telic flaw, plot, and theme.

George Mardling and Valeska are a pair.  They really can’t be separated in the development of the telic flaw, plot, and theme.  Let’s look at George Mardling first.  George is a spy.  He is actually a share with MI6 from the Organization.  The Organization is MI19 which was shut down after WWII and, in my novels, reopened the next day as the Organization.  It does the exact same work as when it was MI19, but in a more politically correct manner.  MI19 provides covert language shares to British intelligence organizations and agencies.  For example MI6, MI5, and the Foreign Service.  George Mardling works for MI6 as a Foreign Service agent.  His job is ambassador protection and language surveillance.  The setting is Gdansk, Poland.

George Mardling accidentally meets Valeska while she is hunting blood and he is hunting a connection from the past Eastern Block.  George Mardling is shot and offers Valeska his blood.  She accepts and become bound to him.  The important connection that affects both George Mardling and Valeska is the Organization.

In my novels, the Organization has a special Stela Branch that handles the supernatural.  The moment George Mardling gets involved with Valeska, he suddenly becomes the center of their attention, for good reasons.  Then George Mardling and his partner become involved in a communist Chinese problem in Gdansk and George must remove back to England.  That’s the beginning—let’s look at the character of George Mardling.

George Mardling is a hero’s hero.  He is a truly spy-like individual and like all good spies, he is independent and individualistic.  I should mention that Valeska is a quiet hero.  She is powerful and capable of great things, but choses to be quiet, gentle, and cautious.

George Mardling is definitely from the common.  Valeska is a child of privilege from another time and place entirely.  She is literally a destitute vampire until she meets George.  Education is a major focus of the novel.  George is specially educated, while Valeska is a reader’s reader.  The first thing George buys Valeska is an iPad so she can read—she loves to read.

Valeska is a novel all about the inner world of Valeska and of George Mardling.  Their lives and the interaction of others in their lives are critical to the novel.  In addition, who Valeska is, is a great secret in the novel.  Secrets make for great inner world developments.  There is not so much a celebration of nature, beauty, but of imagination especially in the expression of the protagonist.  George Mardling is trying to achieve the redemption of himself and Valeska.  Also, there isn’t so much a rejection of industrialization as a celebration of the mystical and supernatural in the focus of the regular world.  There is an idealization of women and children, but not so much rural life.  The supernatural and mythological propel the entire novel, and at the same time, there is a total connection to history.

With that, the telic flaw, plot, and theme may not be that obvious.  The telic flaw for George Mardling is Valeska.  He has made a relationship with a vampire and that creates a crisis in his work, his nation, and his profession.  This drives the plot and the theme.  The plot is about George’s solution to take care of the problem of Valeska.  The theme is about the potential for redemption of a Vampire.  Notice, as I wrote, George Mardling and Valeska are intertwined as characters and within the plot.  This is why I wrote the novel.  This vampire is a very unusual vampire.  The plot makes it very different from other vampire novels.

I hope you can see that the entire plot, telic flaw, and theme came out of the development of this character.  This is exactly what I mean when I write that the plot, theme, and telic flaw comes directly out of the protagonist.

Ultimately, the point is that we need to keep our readers content and pleased with our characters while presenting the revelation of the protagonist and the plot.

The beginning of creativity is study and effort.  We can use this to extrapolate to creativity.  In addition, we need to look at recording ideas and working with ideas.

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 xx226 Writing a Novel, Protagonists Plots and Theme Lilly

9 August 2020, Writing – part xx226 Writing a Novel, Protagonists Plots and Theme Lilly

Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but my primary publisher has gone out of business—they couldn’t succeed in the past business and publishing environment.  I’ll keep you informed, but I need a new publisher.  More information can be found atwww.ancientlight.com.  Check out my novels–I think you’ll really enjoy them.

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

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

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

The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:

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

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

  1. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

These are the steps I use to write a novel including the five discrete parts of a novel:

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

I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential title Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.  The theme statement is: Lady Azure Rose Wishart, the Chancellor of the Fae, supernatural detective, and all around dangerous girl, finds love, solves cases, breaks heads, and plays golf.

Here is the cover proposal for Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I am continuing to write on my 30th novel, working title Red Sonja.  I finished my 29th novel, working title Detective.  I’m planning to start on number 31, working title Shifter.

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

For novel 30:  Red Sonja, a Soviet spy, infiltrates the X-plane programs at Edwards AFB as a test pilot’s administrative clerk, learns about freedom, and is redeemed.

For novel 31:  Deirdre and Sorcha are redirected to French finishing school where they discover difficult mysteries, people, and events.

Here is the scene development outline:

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

Today:  Why don’t we go back to the basics and just writing a novel?  I can tell you what I do, and show you how I go about putting a novel together.  We can start with developing an idea then move into the details of the writing.

To start a novel, I picture an initial scene.  I may start from a protagonist or just launch into mental development of an initial scene.  I get the idea for an initial scene from all kinds of sources.  To help get the creative juices flowing, let’s look at the initial scene.

  1. Meeting between the protagonist and the antagonist or the protagonist’s helper
  2. Action point in the plot
  3. Buildup to an exciting scene
  4. Indirect introduction of the protagonist

Ideas.  We need ideas.  Ideas allow us to figure out the protagonist and the telic flaw.  Ideas don’t come fully armed from the mind of Zeus.  We need to cultivate ideas.

  1. Read novels.
  2. Fill your mind with good stuff—basically the stuff you want to write about.
  3. Figure out what will build ideas in your mind and what will kill ideas in your mind.
  4. Study.
  5. Teach.
  6. Make the catharsis.
  7. Write.

The development of ideas is based on study and research, but it is also based on creativity.  Creativity is the extrapolation of older ideas to form new ones or to present old ideas in a new form.  It is a reflection of something new created with ties to the history, science, and logic (the intellect).  Creativity requires consuming, thinking, and producing.

If we have filled our mind with all kinds of information and ideas, we are ready to become creative.  Creativity means the extrapolation of older ideas to form new ones or to present old ideas in a new form.  Literally, we are seeing the world in a new way, or actually, we are seeing some part of the world in a new way.

So, modern characters must look like the reader’s impression of the protagonist.  This is an interesting problem as culture and society change as does the impression of the readers. 

Here is the list of characteristics for great protagonists (this is based on the concept of a Romantic protagonist):

  1. Hero, independent, and individualistic – characters who truly risk their lives for others.
  2. From the common ilk – as opposed to the nobility and wealth.
  3. Educated – both seeking education and study and loving to read and learn.
  4. Focus on the inner world of the protagonist – the mind and motivation of the protagonist.
  5. Celebration of nature, beauty, and imagination – the expression of the mind of the protagonist.
  6. Rejection of industrialization and social convention – from urban to rural.
  7. Idealization of woman, children, and rural life.
  8. Inclusion of supernatural or mythological elements.
  9. Inclusion of historical elements.
  10. Frequent use of personification.
  11. Emphasis on individual experience of the sublime.
  12. Discovery and skills—the protagonist finds his or her special skills and abilities and uses them to resolve the telic flaw.
  13. The readers agree with the mind (thoughts and decisions) of the protagonist

I added the last statement, but really this last statement is a direct reflection of 4, 11, and 12.

My ultimate point is that first I develop a great protagonist and the plot and theme of the novel I want to write comes directly out of that protagonist.  Every great protagonist comes with his or her own telic flaw.

Yesterday, I gave you an example of Azure Rose from my novel, Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.  I showed how she was a Romantic protagonist and how she herself resulted in a plot and theme for the novel.  In other words, I didn’t develop a plot or a theme first, I developed a great protagonist and found the telic flaw, plot, and theme from her revelation.  Azure Rose came with a plot and a theme.  I’ve done this before and at the risk of repeating myself, I’ll do this a couple of more times or more.  Here is a list of my completed novels and protagonists:

A Season of Honor (Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox III), published, Shawn du Locke

The Fox’s Honor (Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox II), published, Devon Rathenberg

The End of Honor (Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox I), published, John-Mark

Antebellum, not published, Heather Sybil Roberts

Aegypt, published, Paul Bolong

Centurion, published, Centurion Abenadar

Athelstan Cying, not published, Den Protania

Twilight Lamb, not published, Den Protania

Regia Anglorum, not published, Nikita Protania

The Second Mission, published, Alan Fisher

Sister of Light, not published, Leora Bolang

Hestia: Enchantment of the Hearth, not published, Angela Matheson

Sister of Darkness, not published, Leora Bolang

Shadow of Darkness, not published, Lumière Bolang

Shadow of Light, not published, Lumière Bolang

Children of Light and Darkness, not published, Kathrin McClellan

Warrior of Light, not published, David Long

Shadowed Vale, not published, Nikita Protania

Warrior of Darkness, not published, Klava Calloway

Dana-ana: Enchantment and the Maiden, not published, Byron Macintyre

Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon, not published, Aksinya

Khione: Enchantment and the Fox, not published, Pearce Wimund

Valeska: Enchantment and the Vampire, not published, George Mardling

Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer, not published, Lilly

Escape from Freedom, not published, Scott Phillips

Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si, not published, Essie

Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse, not published, Shiggy

Deirdre: Enchantment and the School, not published, Deirdre Calloway

Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective, not published, Azure Rose

Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer, is currently not published.  The protagonist is Lilly.  Lilly’s protagonist’s helper is Dane Vale, a graduate student.  Lilly is an excellent example of how a protagonist defines the telic flaw, plot, and theme.

I got the idea for Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer by developing an initial scene, but the initial scene required Lilly.  The novel is impossible without Lilly.  Lilly is a super genius math and computer wiz who is attending a private university on scholarship.  Her scholarship is from the state and doesn’t include enough for room and board.  Due to her past, Lilly has no problem living out on the streets and from dumpsters while she takes classes and gets an education.

Lilly’s problem is that she just doesn’t have any friends, and she intentionally self isolates.  Lilly hacks computers and passwords.  She uses hacks to take people’s credits from a convenience mart.  In the initial scene, Lilly gets caught with hacked credits from another customer and Dane Vale, a cashier, rescues her.  Dane is an engineering student and very interested in Lilly because of her math and computer skills.  With this little bit of information, we have the beginnings of a plot, but there is much more in this novel.  I’ll address some of these in describing the Romantic nature of Lilly.

Lilly isn’t any kind of hero, at first.  Dane is the hero, and willing to help Lilly.  Lilly is completely independent and individualistic.  One of the first aspects of change is that Lilly becomes attached to Dane.  Lilly is definitely from the common ilk as is Dane, to some degree.  Lilly is a girl with no father, and a drug addict, sex worker mother.  Lilly has been in and out of foster care her entire life.  Dane’s father and mother are attorneys.

Education is a focus of the novel.  Lilly’s entire purpose in living on the street is to get an education.  She would rather live in suffering for education.

Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer is about redemption, of Lilly from her past and Lilly finding friends and a friend, Dane.  The celebration of nature, beauty, and imagination comes out of the connection of Lilly to a Japanese Shinto Temple.  This also brings the supernatural and mythical into the novel.  Lilly, while living on the street, has made friends with a Japanese Kami (god) of Metal who has moved to the USA and Seattle to take advantage of new ideas and potentially new worshipers.  Lilly has been bringing gifts, sacrifices, to this Kami with no idea what he is.  With these ideas, I was able to bring in a very interesting theme into the novel.

The theme of a Shinto Temple builds from the urban to the rural, the idealization of women, children, and rural life.  This also allows great personification.

You can also see the use of special skills—those of Lilly and those of Dane.  Although I haven’t mentioned much about Dane.

The telic flaw of the novel is Lilly is isolated and nonsocial.  She lives on the street and has no friends (well actually the Kami is her friend).  The plot is her transformation from isolated and nonsocial to contented, safe, and part of a family.  The theme is one of self-redemption.

I hope you can see that the entire plot, telic flaw, and theme came out of the development of this character.  This is exactly what I mean when I write that the plot, theme, and telic flaw comes directly out of the protagonist.

Ultimately, the point is that we need to keep our readers content and pleased with our characters while presenting the revelation of the protagonist and the plot.

The beginning of creativity is study and effort.  We can use this to extrapolate to creativity.  In addition, we need to look at recording ideas and working with ideas.

More tomorrow.

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

http://www.ancientlight.com/

http://www.aegyptnovel.com/

http://www.centurionnovel.com

http://www.thesecondmission.com/

http://www.theendofhonor.com/

http://www.thefoxshonor.com

http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

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

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Writing – part xx225 Writing a Novel, Protagonists Plots and Theme Scott Phillips

8 August 2020, Writing – part xx225 Writing a Novel, Protagonists Plots and Theme Scott Phillips

Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but my primary publisher has gone out of business—they couldn’t succeed in the past business and publishing environment.  I’ll keep you informed, but I need a new publisher.  More information can be found atwww.ancientlight.com.  Check out my novels–I think you’ll really enjoy them.

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

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

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

The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:

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

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

  1. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

These are the steps I use to write a novel including the five discrete parts of a novel:

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

I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential title Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.  The theme statement is: Lady Azure Rose Wishart, the Chancellor of the Fae, supernatural detective, and all around dangerous girl, finds love, solves cases, breaks heads, and plays golf.

Here is the cover proposal for Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I am continuing to write on my 30th novel, working title Red Sonja.  I finished my 29th novel, working title Detective.  I’m planning to start on number 31, working title Shifter.

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

For novel 30:  Red Sonja, a Soviet spy, infiltrates the X-plane programs at Edwards AFB as a test pilot’s administrative clerk, learns about freedom, and is redeemed.

For novel 31:  Deirdre and Sorcha are redirected to French finishing school where they discover difficult mysteries, people, and events.

Here is the scene development outline:

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

Today:  Why don’t we go back to the basics and just writing a novel?  I can tell you what I do, and show you how I go about putting a novel together.  We can start with developing an idea then move into the details of the writing.

To start a novel, I picture an initial scene.  I may start from a protagonist or just launch into mental development of an initial scene.  I get the idea for an initial scene from all kinds of sources.  To help get the creative juices flowing, let’s look at the initial scene.

  1. Meeting between the protagonist and the antagonist or the protagonist’s helper
  2. Action point in the plot
  3. Buildup to an exciting scene
  4. Indirect introduction of the protagonist

Ideas.  We need ideas.  Ideas allow us to figure out the protagonist and the telic flaw.  Ideas don’t come fully armed from the mind of Zeus.  We need to cultivate ideas.

  1. Read novels.
  2. Fill your mind with good stuff—basically the stuff you want to write about.
  3. Figure out what will build ideas in your mind and what will kill ideas in your mind.
  4. Study.
  5. Teach.
  6. Make the catharsis.
  7. Write.

The development of ideas is based on study and research, but it is also based on creativity.  Creativity is the extrapolation of older ideas to form new ones or to present old ideas in a new form.  It is a reflection of something new created with ties to the history, science, and logic (the intellect).  Creativity requires consuming, thinking, and producing.

If we have filled our mind with all kinds of information and ideas, we are ready to become creative.  Creativity means the extrapolation of older ideas to form new ones or to present old ideas in a new form.  Literally, we are seeing the world in a new way, or actually, we are seeing some part of the world in a new way.

So, modern characters must look like the reader’s impression of the protagonist.  This is an interesting problem as culture and society change as does the impression of the readers. 

Here is the list of characteristics for great protagonists (this is based on the concept of a Romantic protagonist):

  1. Hero, independent, and individualistic – characters who truly risk their lives for others.
  2. From the common ilk – as opposed to the nobility and wealth.
  3. Educated – both seeking education and study and loving to read and learn.
  4. Focus on the inner world of the protagonist – the mind and motivation of the protagonist.
  5. Celebration of nature, beauty, and imagination – the expression of the mind of the protagonist.
  6. Rejection of industrialization and social convention – from urban to rural.
  7. Idealization of woman, children, and rural life.
  8. Inclusion of supernatural or mythological elements.
  9. Inclusion of historical elements.
  10. Frequent use of personification.
  11. Emphasis on individual experience of the sublime.
  12. Discovery and skills—the protagonist finds his or her special skills and abilities and uses them to resolve the telic flaw.
  13. The readers agree with the mind (thoughts and decisions) of the protagonist

I added the last statement, but really this last statement is a direct reflection of 4, 11, and 12.

My ultimate point is that first I develop a great protagonist and the plot and theme of the novel I want to write comes directly out of that protagonist.  Every great protagonist comes with his or her own telic flaw.

The other day, I gave you an example of Azure Rose from my novel, Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.  I showed how she was a Romantic protagonist and how she herself resulted in a plot and theme for the novel.  In other words, I didn’t develop a plot or a theme first, I developed a great protagonist and found the telic flaw, plot, and theme from her revelation.  Azure Rose came with a plot and a theme.  I’ve done this before and at the risk of repeating myself, I’ll do this a couple of more times or more.  Here is a list of my completed novels and protagonists:

A Season of Honor (Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox III), published, Shawn du Locke

The Fox’s Honor (Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox II), published, Devon Rathenberg

The End of Honor (Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox I), published, John-Mark

Antebellum, not published, Heather Sybil Roberts

Aegypt, published, Paul Bolong

Centurion, published, Centurion Abenadar

Athelstan Cying, not published, Den Protania

Twilight Lamb, not published, Den Protania

Regia Anglorum, not published, Nikita Protania

The Second Mission, published, Alan Fisher

Sister of Light, not published, Leora Bolang

Hestia: Enchantment of the Hearth, not published, Angela Matheson

Sister of Darkness, not published, Leora Bolang

Shadow of Darkness, not published, Lumière Bolang

Shadow of Light, not published, Lumière Bolang

Children of Light and Darkness, not published, Kathrin McClellan

Warrior of Light, not published, David Long

Shadowed Vale, not published, Nikita Protania

Warrior of Darkness, not published, Klava Calloway

Dana-ana: Enchantment and the Maiden, not published, Byron Macintyre

Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon, not published, Aksinya

Khione: Enchantment and the Fox, not published, Pearce Wimund

Valeska: Enchantment and the Vampire, not published, George Mardling

Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer, not published, Dane Vale

Escape from Freedom, not published, Scott Phillips

Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si, not published, Essie

Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse, not published, Shiggy

Deirdre: Enchantment and the School, not published, Deirdre Calloway

Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective, not published, Azure Rose

Escape from Freedom, is currently not published.  The protagonist is Scott Phillips.  The protagonist’s helper is Reb.  Let’s look at Scott and see how the development of the protagonist resulted in a telic flaw, a plot, and a theme.

I had the idea for Escape from Freedom while flying in the Mediterranean for work.  I thought about the many islands in the sea and wondered what would happen if a person, for example, crash landed on Cuba, but on a foreign version much worse than Cuba.  I came up with the island of Freedom as the setting and began to develop my characters for it.

Scott Phillips is a pilot from one of the very prosperous, capitalistic, and free nations in his world.  His world happens to be a colony of the earth.  On this colony the nations were formed on large islands.  One of the islands, named Freedom happened to decide on a completely socialist/communist government and society.  The current nation of Freedom is the result.  I won’t describe Freedom much only to say it is a horrible place like the Soviet Union, Communist China, and Cuba all rolled into one.  It’s pretty much like the world of 1984.

Scott Phillips is a cargo pilot piloting a heavy lifting cargo ship over his world.  He’s supposed to give wide berth to Freedom, but to save time, he illegally cuts across the island.  The end result is that he makes an emergency landing on the island.  There he meets, Reb.  Reb or really V10+S10537 Rebecka, has remarkable scent and visual sensitivity that makes her a technological scientist of great importance to the nation of Freedom.  She is also a person longing for freedom, not the nation, but the state.  She rescues Scott Phillips from capture by the Armed Citizens and the Party officials and hides him while he gains understanding about the nation of Freedom.

In reality, in the novel, the reflection of Scott against Reb is an important point in the novel.  Although Scott Phillips is the protagonist, Reb is the real character of interest who helps Scott understand the world of Freedom while seeking freedom herself.  I’ll look at these characters together, because they were developed together.

Scott is a real hero, but he is a flawed hero.  He doesn’t see Reb as a real human at first.  He is your typical independent and individualistic protagonist, but so is Reb.  Reb more so since she is an abnormality in her society.  Reb and Scott both come from the common, but Scott is more common than Reb.  Reb was specially breed to be the human she is and as an uncommon but common citizen of Freedom, she gets special privileges due to her training and skills.  They are both educated, but educated in different ways.  Reb has just enough education to provide her services, while Scott has a more general education that allows him to see the world from a broader standpoint.  In this way, he helps Reb to learn.

The novel is entirely a showing of the inner world of the protagonist and the protagonist’s helper without telling or going into their minds.  Freedom is truly a horrific place.  Much of the novel takes place outside the urban capital and in the rural parts of the island.  Definitely, the comparison of beauty, nature, and the imagination clash in this novel.  Freedom as a nation is all about trying to achieve industrialization on the backs of the citizens.  Reb’s personal revolt and Scott’s fight for freedom illustrate this more than anything.  Idealization isn’t so much the point as the lack of freedom caused by socialism and its negative effects on everyone and everything.

This novel is very much unlike many of my other novels.  It does include a strong portion of Christianity as an opposite to the nonreligion of Freedom.  If you call this supernatural or mythical, there it is.  I don’t.  There are no historical elements at all.  Personification is all there, but the focus of the novel is freedom for Scott and redemption and freedom for Reb.

There is your telic flaw.  Scott wants to escape from Freedom and so does Reb.  For Scott is it a return to his usual life.  For Reb it is a redemption from complete oppression.  The plot comes directly out of this.  The plot is their escape from Freedom.  In the theme, the characters are both trying to escape from the oppression of Freedom in every way.

I hope you can see that the entire plot, telic flaw, and theme came out of the development of this character.  This is exactly what I mean when I write that the plot, theme, and telic flaw comes directly out of the protagonist.

Ultimately, the point is that we need to keep our readers content and pleased with our characters while presenting the revelation of the protagonist and the plot.

The beginning of creativity is study and effort.  We can use this to extrapolate to creativity.  In addition, we need to look at recording ideas and working with ideas.

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 xx224 Writing a Novel, Protagonists Plots and Theme Essie

7 August 2020, Writing – part xx224 Writing a Novel, Protagonists Plots and Theme Essie

Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but my primary publisher has gone out of business—they couldn’t succeed in the past business and publishing environment.  I’ll keep you informed, but I need a new publisher.  More information can be found atwww.ancientlight.com.  Check out my novels–I think you’ll really enjoy them.

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

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

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

The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:

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

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

  1. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

These are the steps I use to write a novel including the five discrete parts of a novel:

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

I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential title Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.  The theme statement is: Lady Azure Rose Wishart, the Chancellor of the Fae, supernatural detective, and all around dangerous girl, finds love, solves cases, breaks heads, and plays golf.

Here is the cover proposal for Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I am continuing to write on my 30th novel, working title Red Sonja.  I finished my 29th novel, working title Detective.  I’m planning to start on number 31, working title Shifter.

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

For novel 30:  Red Sonja, a Soviet spy, infiltrates the X-plane programs at Edwards AFB as a test pilot’s administrative clerk, learns about freedom, and is redeemed.

For novel 31:  Deirdre and Sorcha are redirected to French finishing school where they discover difficult mysteries, people, and events.

Here is the scene development outline:

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

Today:  Why don’t we go back to the basics and just writing a novel?  I can tell you what I do, and show you how I go about putting a novel together.  We can start with developing an idea then move into the details of the writing.

To start a novel, I picture an initial scene.  I may start from a protagonist or just launch into mental development of an initial scene.  I get the idea for an initial scene from all kinds of sources.  To help get the creative juices flowing, let’s look at the initial scene.

  1. Meeting between the protagonist and the antagonist or the protagonist’s helper
  2. Action point in the plot
  3. Buildup to an exciting scene
  4. Indirect introduction of the protagonist

Ideas.  We need ideas.  Ideas allow us to figure out the protagonist and the telic flaw.  Ideas don’t come fully armed from the mind of Zeus.  We need to cultivate ideas.

  1. Read novels.
  2. Fill your mind with good stuff—basically the stuff you want to write about.
  3. Figure out what will build ideas in your mind and what will kill ideas in your mind.
  4. Study.
  5. Teach.
  6. Make the catharsis.
  7. Write.

The development of ideas is based on study and research, but it is also based on creativity.  Creativity is the extrapolation of older ideas to form new ones or to present old ideas in a new form.  It is a reflection of something new created with ties to the history, science, and logic (the intellect).  Creativity requires consuming, thinking, and producing.

If we have filled our mind with all kinds of information and ideas, we are ready to become creative.  Creativity means the extrapolation of older ideas to form new ones or to present old ideas in a new form.  Literally, we are seeing the world in a new way, or actually, we are seeing some part of the world in a new way.

So, modern characters must look like the reader’s impression of the protagonist.  This is an interesting problem as culture and society change as does the impression of the readers. 

Here is the list of characteristics for great protagonists (this is based on the concept of a Romantic protagonist):

  1. Hero, independent, and individualistic – characters who truly risk their lives for others.
  2. From the common ilk – as opposed to the nobility and wealth.
  3. Educated – both seeking education and study and loving to read and learn.
  4. Focus on the inner world of the protagonist – the mind and motivation of the protagonist.
  5. Celebration of nature, beauty, and imagination – the expression of the mind of the protagonist.
  6. Rejection of industrialization and social convention – from urban to rural.
  7. Idealization of woman, children, and rural life.
  8. Inclusion of supernatural or mythological elements.
  9. Inclusion of historical elements.
  10. Frequent use of personification.
  11. Emphasis on individual experience of the sublime.
  12. Discovery and skills—the protagonist finds his or her special skills and abilities and uses them to resolve the telic flaw.
  13. The readers agree with the mind (thoughts and decisions) of the protagonist

I added the last statement, but really this last statement is a direct reflection of 4, 11, and 12.

My ultimate point is that first I develop a great protagonist and the plot and theme of the novel I want to write comes directly out of that protagonist.  Every great protagonist comes with his or her own telic flaw.

The other day, I gave you an example of Azure Rose from my novel, Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.  I showed how she was a Romantic protagonist and how she herself resulted in a plot and theme for the novel.  In other words, I didn’t develop a plot or a theme first, I developed a great protagonist and found the telic flaw, plot, and theme from her revelation.  Azure Rose came with a plot and a theme.  I’ve done this before and at the risk of repeating myself, I’ll do this a couple of more times or more.  Here is a list of my completed novels and protagonists:

A Season of Honor (Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox III), published, Shawn du Locke

The Fox’s Honor (Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox II), published, Devon Rathenberg

The End of Honor (Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox I), published, John-Mark

Antebellum, not published, Heather Sybil Roberts

Aegypt, published, Paul Bolong

Centurion, published, Centurion Abenadar

Athelstan Cying, not published, Den Protania

Twilight Lamb, not published, Den Protania

Regia Anglorum, not published, Nikita Protania

The Second Mission, published, Alan Fisher

Sister of Light, not published, Leora Bolang

Hestia: Enchantment of the Hearth, not published, Angela Matheson

Sister of Darkness, not published, Leora Bolang

Shadow of Darkness, not published, Lumière Bolang

Shadow of Light, not published, Lumière Bolang

Children of Light and Darkness, not published, Kathrin McClellan

Warrior of Light, not published, David Long

Shadowed Vale, not published, Nikita Protania

Warrior of Darkness, not published, Klava Calloway

Dana-ana: Enchantment and the Maiden, not published, Byron Macintyre

Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon, not published, Aksinya

Khione: Enchantment and the Fox, not published, Pearce Wimund

Valeska: Enchantment and the Vampire, not published, George Mardling

Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer, not published, Dane Vale

Escape from Freedom, not published, Scott Phillips

Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si, not published, Essie

Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse, not published, Shiggy

Deirdre: Enchantment and the School, not published, Deirdre Calloway

Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective, not published, Azure Rose

Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si, is currently not published.  The protagonist is Essie.  I developed Essie as an experiment for my blog.  Let’s look at Essie and see how the development of the protagonist resulted in a telic flaw, a plot, and a theme.

My desire was to develop an initial pathos building character and protagonist.  Essie is just that.  We meet Essie as a naked wild girl who is raiding pantries for meat.  She’s put the constable and the shire on edge.  Mrs. Lyons, who is an interesting character on her own, captures the feral girl in her kitchen.  Essie initially doesn’t speak, has no clothing, appears abused, and doesn’t seem to understand human society at all.  She is the classic pathos building protagonist: poor, girl, hungry, needy, abused—you can’t get any better than that.  Essie, however, is much more than that.

Mrs. Lyons works diligently to figure out Essie.  She and we know inherently there is much more about Essie than appearances tell us.  We find that Essie was captured at the orders of Ceridwen, the goddess of the Gaelic and Celtic lands.  She was held a captive for a long time.  We also discover that she is a sovereign of the Fae creatures and an equal of Ceridwen.  Ceridwen was tricked by the Fae into capturing Essie.  The reason was that Essie is plain, uneducated, unsophisticated, and represents the world and the powers of the world that bind the Fae in their place.  This gets complicated, but we discover through the novel that Essie is a messiah-like being to the Fae, and they hate her for it.  Woo, this is a complex character, and the revelation of the novel is all about her.  Now, to see how she fits in the Romantic model.

Essie is indeed a great hero.  She is willing and has been consistently willing to give her life and love to help her people and humans.  She is an entirely independent and individualistic person—alone and usually unfriended in the world.  Essie is not from the common ilk.  She is created as pathos building so she is impoverished, abused, unaggressive (in some ways), a girl, and like a child in some ways.  Essie is not educated but she is seeking to learn—this is classic in a Romantic protagonist.

We see the inner world of Essie only through her actions.  It is important, but we only see glimpses.  The celebration of nature, beauty, and imagination should be obvious.  Essie is a force of nature embodied in the Fae world.  The urban to the rural is also fixed in the plot and the scenes.  There is also a more modern theme of bringing the rural into the urban.  The idealization of women, children, and the rural are obvious in Essie also.  The inclusion of supernatural and mythical elements are also obvious—Essie is a supernatural and mythical creature.  The historical elements are also evident.  Personification is also evident—Essie depicts a being who represents the force of the world within the supernatural.

Most important in the novel is Essie’s experience of the sublime.  You would think that Essie as a representation of a Fae messiah would not need any redemption, but Essie both represents redemption to the Fae, and she desires reconciliation with Ceridwen and the Fae.  This produces a very powerful theme.  And here we come to the plot.

Essie’s discovery of her skills and her education are what the plot is all about.  She discovers she has amazing musical skills—it is part of her essence.  In some ways this part of discovery develops the entire rest of the novel.  This is exactly the type of novels I like—the protagonist discovers herself and the reader discovers the protagonist.

We see in Essie the telic flaw comes directly out of her existence.  She is held captive and needs to be reconciled to Ceridwen and the world.  The plot leads to the discovery of her skills and her education.  Finally, the theme is connected directly to this—Essie must find reconciliation with herself, her subjects, and her sovereign (Ceridwen).

I hope you can see that the entire plot, telic flaw, and theme came out of the development of this character.  This is exactly what I mean when I write that the plot, theme, and telic flaw comes directly out of the protagonist.  Plus, Essie bites the Queen in the end.  How can this not be entertaining?

Ultimately, the point is that we need to keep our readers content and pleased with our characters while presenting the revelation of the protagonist and the plot.

The beginning of creativity is study and effort.  We can use this to extrapolate to creativity.  In addition, we need to look at recording ideas and working with ideas.

More tomorrow.

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

http://www.ancientlight.com/

http://www.aegyptnovel.com/

http://www.centurionnovel.com

http://www.thesecondmission.com/

http://www.theendofhonor.com/

http://www.thefoxshonor.com

http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

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

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Writing – part xx223 Writing a Novel, Protagonists Plots and Theme Shiggy

6 August 2020, Writing – part xx223 Writing a Novel, Protagonists Plots and Theme Shiggy

Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but my primary publisher has gone out of business—they couldn’t succeed in the past business and publishing environment.  I’ll keep you informed, but I need a new publisher.  More information can be found atwww.ancientlight.com.  Check out my novels–I think you’ll really enjoy them.

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

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

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

The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:

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

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

  1. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

These are the steps I use to write a novel including the five discrete parts of a novel:

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

I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential title Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.  The theme statement is: Lady Azure Rose Wishart, the Chancellor of the Fae, supernatural detective, and all around dangerous girl, finds love, solves cases, breaks heads, and plays golf.

Here is the cover proposal for Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I am continuing to write on my 30th novel, working title Red Sonja.  I finished my 29th novel, working title Detective.  I’m planning to start on number 31, working title Shifter.

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

For novel 30:  Red Sonja, a Soviet spy, infiltrates the X-plane programs at Edwards AFB as a test pilot’s administrative clerk, learns about freedom, and is redeemed.

For novel 31:  Deirdre and Sorcha are redirected to French finishing school where they discover difficult mysteries, people, and events.

Here is the scene development outline:

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

Today:  Why don’t we go back to the basics and just writing a novel?  I can tell you what I do, and show you how I go about putting a novel together.  We can start with developing an idea then move into the details of the writing.

To start a novel, I picture an initial scene.  I may start from a protagonist or just launch into mental development of an initial scene.  I get the idea for an initial scene from all kinds of sources.  To help get the creative juices flowing, let’s look at the initial scene.

  1. Meeting between the protagonist and the antagonist or the protagonist’s helper
  2. Action point in the plot
  3. Buildup to an exciting scene
  4. Indirect introduction of the protagonist

Ideas.  We need ideas.  Ideas allow us to figure out the protagonist and the telic flaw.  Ideas don’t come fully armed from the mind of Zeus.  We need to cultivate ideas.

  1. Read novels.
  2. Fill your mind with good stuff—basically the stuff you want to write about.
  3. Figure out what will build ideas in your mind and what will kill ideas in your mind.
  4. Study.
  5. Teach.
  6. Make the catharsis.
  7. Write.

The development of ideas is based on study and research, but it is also based on creativity.  Creativity is the extrapolation of older ideas to form new ones or to present old ideas in a new form.  It is a reflection of something new created with ties to the history, science, and logic (the intellect).  Creativity requires consuming, thinking, and producing.

If we have filled our mind with all kinds of information and ideas, we are ready to become creative.  Creativity means the extrapolation of older ideas to form new ones or to present old ideas in a new form.  Literally, we are seeing the world in a new way, or actually, we are seeing some part of the world in a new way.

So, modern characters must look like the reader’s impression of the protagonist.  This is an interesting problem as culture and society change as does the impression of the readers. 

Here is the list of characteristics for great protagonists (this is based on the concept of a Romantic protagonist):

  1. Hero, independent, and individualistic – characters who truly risk their lives for others.
  2. From the common ilk – as opposed to the nobility and wealth.
  3. Educated – both seeking education and study and loving to read and learn.
  4. Focus on the inner world of the protagonist – the mind and motivation of the protagonist.
  5. Celebration of nature, beauty, and imagination – the expression of the mind of the protagonist.
  6. Rejection of industrialization and social convention – from urban to rural.
  7. Idealization of woman, children, and rural life.
  8. Inclusion of supernatural or mythological elements.
  9. Inclusion of historical elements.
  10. Frequent use of personification.
  11. Emphasis on individual experience of the sublime.
  12. Discovery and skills—the protagonist finds his or her special skills and abilities and uses them to resolve the telic flaw.
  13. The readers agree with the mind (thoughts and decisions) of the protagonist

I added the last statement, but really this last statement is a direct reflection of 4, 11, and 12.

My ultimate point is that first I develop a great protagonist and the plot and theme of the novel I want to write comes directly out of that protagonist.  Every great protagonist comes with his or her own telic flaw.

The other day, I gave you an example of Azure Rose from my novel, Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.  I showed how she was a Romantic protagonist and how she herself resulted in a plot and theme for the novel.  In other words, I didn’t develop a plot or a theme first, I developed a great protagonist and found the telic flaw, plot, and theme from her revelation.  Azure Rose came with a plot and a theme.  I’ve done this before and at the risk of repeating myself, I’ll do this a couple of more times or more.  Here is a list of my completed novels and protagonists:

A Season of Honor (Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox III), published, Shawn du Locke

The Fox’s Honor (Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox II), published, Devon Rathenberg

The End of Honor (Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox I), published, John-Mark

Antebellum, not published, Heather Sybil Roberts

Aegypt, published, Paul Bolong

Centurion, published, Centurion Abenadar

Athelstan Cying, not published, Den Protania

Twilight Lamb, not published, Den Protania

Regia Anglorum, not published, Nikita Protania

The Second Mission, published, Alan Fisher

Sister of Light, not published, Leora Bolang

Hestia: Enchantment of the Hearth, not published, Angela Matheson

Sister of Darkness, not published, Leora Bolang

Shadow of Darkness, not published, Lumière Bolang

Shadow of Light, not published, Lumière Bolang

Children of Light and Darkness, not published, Kathrin McClellan

Warrior of Light, not published, David Long

Shadowed Vale, not published, Nikita Protania

Warrior of Darkness, not published, Klava Calloway

Dana-ana: Enchantment and the Maiden, not published, Byron Macintyre

Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon, not published, Aksinya

Khione: Enchantment and the Fox, not published, Pearce Wimund

Valeska: Enchantment and the Vampire, not published, George Mardling

Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer, not published, Dane Vale

Escape from Freedom, not published, Scott Phillips

Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si, not published, Essie

Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse, not published, Shiggy

Deirdre: Enchantment and the School, not published, Deirdre Calloway

Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective, not published, Azure Rose

Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse, is currently not published.  The protagonist is Shiggy.  It’s actually a much longer name than that, but Shiggy gets renamed early.  Shiggy is a fun character and my problem child.  Problem children make great protagonists.  Let’s look at Shiggy and see how the development of the protagonist resulted in a telic flaw, a plot, and a theme.

Shiggy doesn’t start as a hero.  She wants to be a hero, but she just doesn’t have the skills and abilities to achieve it.  Shiggy has no friends.  She may be the most independent and individualistic person you might ever meet.  Shiggy wants friends, but she can’t imagine a world where she is or has any friends.  The problem with Shiggy is she is the perfect example of a total screw up.  In the novel, we find the full extent of Shiggy’s mistakes, but I’ll give the short version.  She started her problems as a graduate student at Oxford where she accidentally exposed her students to a radioactive substance.  When she was fired from Oxford, she went to the British Military Intelligence and was headed for commissioning in the Army until she blew the kneecap off an instructor during target practice.  Because Shiggy was training for intelligence, the MI6 structure picked her up.  They had here assigned to their science branch until she accidentally released nerve agent in the lab.  No one died, but they sent her to communications and so on until Shiggy was eventually assigned to all of the MI offices.  In the final encounter that sealed her fate, she accidentally shot a hostage with a laser scored pistol during a rescue practice, and one of her instructors shot her with a tranc-dart.

Shiggy wakes restrained in a lab and is confronted by Sorcha who is her trainer and handler.  The problem with Shiggy is that she has been privy to the intelligence information and techniques of every office in MI6.  Sorcha must take the failure who is Shiggy and make her the number two member of Sorcha’s supernatural intelligence office.

You can already see the telic flaw and the resulting plot and theme of the novel, but I’ll expand on the other qualities of Shiggy.

Shiggy is definitely from the common ilk.  She is definitely over educated.  That’s one of the things that makes her so dangerous and capable (from a theoretical standpoint).  Shiggy is completely a novel about the mind of the protagonist.  You can tell the telic flaw that comes with her is her curse, well actually her immaturity and lack of coordinated skill.  She has other problems, but those are just icing.  Shiggy’s world is set in Sherwood Forest and among the Fae.  This is the celebration of nature, beauty, and the imagination along with the rejection of the urban in favor of the rural.  The idealization of women and the rural life should be obvious, but Shiggy’s character and other denizens of Shiggy’s world bring in children as well.  All my novels are based in real history.  Personification is just a style—to a degree.  The end, of course, is the redemption of the protagonist.  This is ultimately the experience of the sublime.  As I already noted, Sorcha’s job is to help Shiggy express her skills in a way that makes her a tool in the intelligence structure—instead of a security risk.

I already mentioned the telic flaw of the novel is Shiggy needs to learn to be an asset to the intelligence community.  This also will lead to her own personal success.  The plot is this training and education.  The theme is the acceptance of responsibility and gaining proper life skills.  You might also say it is about social skills and responsibilities.  This is all from the singular character who is Shiggy.

I hope you can see that the entire plot, telic flaw, and theme came out of the development of this character.  This is exactly what I mean when I write that the plot, theme, and telic flaw comes directly out of the protagonist.

Ultimately, the point is that we need to keep our readers content and pleased with our characters while presenting the revelation of the protagonist and the plot.

The beginning of creativity is study and effort.  We can use this to extrapolate to creativity.  In addition, we need to look at recording ideas and working with ideas.

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 xx222 Writing a Novel, Protagonists Plots and Theme Deirdre

5 August 2020, Writing – part xx222 Writing a Novel, Protagonists Plots and Theme Deirdre

Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but my primary publisher has gone out of business—they couldn’t succeed in the past business and publishing environment.  I’ll keep you informed, but I need a new publisher.  More information can be found atwww.ancientlight.com.  Check out my novels–I think you’ll really enjoy them.

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

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

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

The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:

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

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

  1. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

These are the steps I use to write a novel including the five discrete parts of a novel:

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

I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential title Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.  The theme statement is: Lady Azure Rose Wishart, the Chancellor of the Fae, supernatural detective, and all around dangerous girl, finds love, solves cases, breaks heads, and plays golf.

Here is the cover proposal for Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I am continuing to write on my 30th novel, working title Red Sonja.  I finished my 29th novel, working title Detective.  I’m planning to start on number 31, working title Shifter.

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

For novel 30:  Red Sonja, a Soviet spy, infiltrates the X-plane programs at Edwards AFB as a test pilot’s administrative clerk, learns about freedom, and is redeemed.

For novel 31:  Deirdre and Sorcha are redirected to French finishing school where they discover difficult mysteries, people, and events.

Here is the scene development outline:

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

Today:  Why don’t we go back to the basics and just writing a novel?  I can tell you what I do, and show you how I go about putting a novel together.  We can start with developing an idea then move into the details of the writing.

To start a novel, I picture an initial scene.  I may start from a protagonist or just launch into mental development of an initial scene.  I get the idea for an initial scene from all kinds of sources.  To help get the creative juices flowing, let’s look at the initial scene.

  1. Meeting between the protagonist and the antagonist or the protagonist’s helper
  2. Action point in the plot
  3. Buildup to an exciting scene
  4. Indirect introduction of the protagonist

Ideas.  We need ideas.  Ideas allow us to figure out the protagonist and the telic flaw.  Ideas don’t come fully armed from the mind of Zeus.  We need to cultivate ideas.

  1. Read novels.
  2. Fill your mind with good stuff—basically the stuff you want to write about.
  3. Figure out what will build ideas in your mind and what will kill ideas in your mind.
  4. Study.
  5. Teach.
  6. Make the catharsis.
  7. Write.

The development of ideas is based on study and research, but it is also based on creativity.  Creativity is the extrapolation of older ideas to form new ones or to present old ideas in a new form.  It is a reflection of something new created with ties to the history, science, and logic (the intellect).  Creativity requires consuming, thinking, and producing.

If we have filled our mind with all kinds of information and ideas, we are ready to become creative.  Creativity means the extrapolation of older ideas to form new ones or to present old ideas in a new form.  Literally, we are seeing the world in a new way, or actually, we are seeing some part of the world in a new way.

So, modern characters must look like the reader’s impression of the protagonist.  This is an interesting problem as culture and society change as does the impression of the readers. 

Here is the list of characteristics for great protagonists (this is based on the concept of a Romantic protagonist):

  1. Hero, independent, and individualistic – characters who truly risk their lives for others.
  2. From the common ilk – as opposed to the nobility and wealth.
  3. Educated – both seeking education and study and loving to read and learn.
  4. Focus on the inner world of the protagonist – the mind and motivation of the protagonist.
  5. Celebration of nature, beauty, and imagination – the expression of the mind of the protagonist.
  6. Rejection of industrialization and social convention – from urban to rural.
  7. Idealization of woman, children, and rural life.
  8. Inclusion of supernatural or mythological elements.
  9. Inclusion of historical elements.
  10. Frequent use of personification.
  11. Emphasis on individual experience of the sublime.
  12. Discovery and skills—the protagonist finds his or her special skills and abilities and uses them to resolve the telic flaw.
  13. The readers agree with the mind (thoughts and decisions) of the protagonist

I added the last statement, but really this last statement is a direct reflection of 4, 11, and 12.

My ultimate point is that first I develop a great protagonist and the plot and theme of the novel I want to write comes directly out of that protagonist.  Every great protagonist comes with his or her own telic flaw.

Yesterday, I gave you an example of Azure Rose from my novel, Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.  I showed how she was a Romantic protagonist and how she herself resulted in a plot and theme for the novel.  In other words, I didn’t develop a plot or a theme first, I developed a great protagonist and found the telic flaw, plot, and theme from her revelation.  Azure Rose came with a plot and a theme.  I’ve done this before and at the risk of repeating myself, I’ll do this a couple of more times or more.  Here is a list of my completed novels and protagonists:

A Season of Honor (Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox III), published, Shawn du Locke

The Fox’s Honor (Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox II), published, Devon Rathenberg

The End of Honor (Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox I), published, John-Mark

Antebellum, not published, Heather Sybil Roberts

Aegypt, published, Paul Bolong

Centurion, published, Centurion Abenadar

Athelstan Cying, not published, Den Protania

Twilight Lamb, not published, Den Protania

Regia Anglorum, not published, Nikita Protania

The Second Mission, published, Alan Fisher

Sister of Light, not published, Leora Bolang

Hestia: Enchantment of the Hearth, not published, Angela Matheson

Sister of Darkness, not published, Leora Bolang

Shadow of Darkness, not published, Lumière Bolang

Shadow of Light, not published, Lumière Bolang

Children of Light and Darkness, not published, Kathrin McClellan

Warrior of Light, not published, David Long

Shadowed Vale, not published, Nikita Protania

Warrior of Darkness, not published, Klava Calloway

Dana-ana: Enchantment and the Maiden, not published, Byron Macintyre

Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon, not published, Aksinya

Khione: Enchantment and the Fox, not published, Pearce Wimund

Valeska: Enchantment and the Vampire, not published, George Mardling

Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer, not published, Dane Vale

Escape from Freedom, not published, Scott Phillips

Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si, not published, Essie

Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse, not published, Shiggy

Deirdre: Enchantment and the School, not published, Deirdre Calloway

Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective, not published, Azure Rose

Deirdre: Enchantment and the School, is currently not published.  The protagonist is Deirdre Calloway, and the protagonist’s helper is Sorcha Aingealag Mac an Uidhir.  Let’s look at Deirdre and see how the development of the protagonist resulted in a telic flaw, a plot, and a theme.

Deirdre doesn’t start as a hero, but she is nearly completely independent and individualistic.  Deirdre’s ultimate problem is that she is skilled in ways her family isn’t.  This takes about half the novel to reveal, but since I am telling and not showing, I will give you the short version.  Deirdre is professionally talented in music, dance, and arts.  She comes from a family that works in British intelligence and that prides itself on language skills.  That’s not to say that Deirdre doesn’t have great language skills, but her family is made up of socially connected people who know exactly the right ways to approach people and get along.  Deirdre is almost the opposite.  We learn why in the course of the novel, but ultimately because Deirdre excelled at singing, dance, and the arts, her family members encouraged it in unexpected ways—some might say cruel methods.  This made Deirdre almost an outcast in her own family.  She became a professional classical singer while young and was headed for success, but her independent personality, and her self-inflicted, family ostracism, and cruelty from others led her to violence.  She was the diva D known for a violent temper when she confronted artists of lesser quality and accomplishment.  In addition, her violence affected other people.  Because of the way her siblings treated her, Deirdre thought the way to a person’s heart was through beating them.  Thus, Deirdre was expelled from her last school and is now attending a girl’s boarding school separately from her siblings and their activities.

Thus at the beginning of the novel, we see Deirdre starting her first day at Wycombe Abbey boarding school for girls.  She knows no one, and no one knows her.  Deirdre is from the common ilk.  Her family has interesting connections, but those are not noble or wealthy in the normal sense, and they live their lives in some degree of apparent normality.  The novel is all about education.  Now, Deirdre is a girl who loves to study certain subjects but is not great at science and math.  She excels in the arts and languages.  She likes to read for fun.  The novel, you can see is all about the mind of the protagonist, but shown and not told.  How can a novel about art and violence because of art not be filled with nature, beauty, and imagination?  Forget the rejection of industrialization, but generally focus on art and beauty with movement from urban to rural fits that criteria.  The idealization of women, children (girls at a boarding school), and rural life are obvious.  Now a little deeper.

All my characters and novels are known for supernatural or mythical elements.  Deirdre comes from the family I developed for my Aegypt novels.  Her mother is Ceridwen, the great goddess of the Gaelic and Celtic peoples.  Deirdre is familiar with the Fae, gods and goddesses, and the supernatural in Britain.  Further, Sorcha, the protagonist’s helper, is the offspring of a human and an Unseelie Fairy, Nightshade.  Sorcha is the basis for the novel itself.  She is a girl hiding in plain sight to gain an education.  Before she meets Deirdre, Sorcha has been secretly attending Wycombe Abbey by using Fae Glamour, to hide herself.  The historical elements are just those of the time.  The novel is set in real time in the 1990s.  The Fae and supernatural elements represent the personification, and the point of the novel is the redemption of Deirdre’s issues of violence and rejection of her purpose.  The focus of the novel isn’t discovery of Deirdre’s skills, but rather refinement and reevaluation of them.  Does the reader agree with the decisions of the protagonist—that’s to be seen, but I do.  Now to the telic flaw, plot, and theme.

The telic flaw is Deirdre and to an extent Sorcha.  Remember, I told you Deirdre was prone to violence, but so is Sorcha.  Sorcha is a child of the streets, abused, orphaned, and outcast.  Deirdre is a trained child of violence.  They both are in need of redemption.  Deirdre to reconcile her life, skills, and violence.  Sorcha to gain her place and success.  Thus we see the telic flaw of the novel is this reconciliation.  This also fits beautifully the Romantic plot concepts.  The plot flows out of the telic flaw.

Thus, at the beginning, Deirdre sees through the supernatural glamour that hides the real Sorcha and is provoked to violence by Sorcha.  Sorcha, a child of the streets has never met someone who could best her.  Deirdre comes from a house of trained professionals in the business of controlled violence, and she is highly skilled.  The plot flows out of this meeting and both of their needs.  This is also the theme of the novel—the reconciliation of Deirdre and Sorcha to resolve their issues, but ultimately the issues of Deirdre’s skills and family problems.  There is much more to this novel, that’s the reason I wrote an over 100,000 word novel about Deirdre and Sorcha.

In any case, I hope you can see that the entire plot, telic flaw, and theme came out of the development of these characters and specifically Deirdre.  This is exactly what I mean when I write that the plot, theme, and telic flaw comes directly out of the protagonist.

Ultimately, the point is that we need to keep our readers content and pleased with our characters while presenting the revelation of the protagonist and the plot.

The beginning of creativity is study and effort.  We can use this to extrapolate to creativity.  In addition, we need to look at recording ideas and working with ideas.

More tomorrow.

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

http://www.ancientlight.com/

http://www.aegyptnovel.com/

http://www.centurionnovel.com

http://www.thesecondmission.com/

http://www.theendofhonor.com/

http://www.thefoxshonor.com

http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

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

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Writing – part xx221 Writing a Novel, Protagonists Plots and Theme Examples

4 August 2020, Writing – part xx221 Writing a Novel, Protagonists Plots and Theme Examples

Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but my primary publisher has gone out of business—they couldn’t succeed in the past business and publishing environment.  I’ll keep you informed, but I need a new publisher.  More information can be found atwww.ancientlight.com.  Check out my novels–I think you’ll really enjoy them.

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

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

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

The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:

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

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

  1. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

These are the steps I use to write a novel including the five discrete parts of a novel:

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

I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential title Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.  The theme statement is: Lady Azure Rose Wishart, the Chancellor of the Fae, supernatural detective, and all around dangerous girl, finds love, solves cases, breaks heads, and plays golf.

Here is the cover proposal for Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I am continuing to write on my 30th novel, working title Red Sonja.  I finished my 29th novel, working title Detective.  I’m planning to start on number 31, working title Shifter.

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

For novel 30:  Red Sonja, a Soviet spy, infiltrates the X-plane programs at Edwards AFB as a test pilot’s administrative clerk, learns about freedom, and is redeemed.

For novel 31:  Deirdre and Sorcha are redirected to French finishing school where they discover difficult mysteries, people, and events.

Here is the scene development outline:

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

Today:  Why don’t we go back to the basics and just writing a novel?  I can tell you what I do, and show you how I go about putting a novel together.  We can start with developing an idea then move into the details of the writing.

To start a novel, I picture an initial scene.  I may start from a protagonist or just launch into mental development of an initial scene.  I get the idea for an initial scene from all kinds of sources.  To help get the creative juices flowing, let’s look at the initial scene.

  1. Meeting between the protagonist and the antagonist or the protagonist’s helper
  2. Action point in the plot
  3. Buildup to an exciting scene
  4. Indirect introduction of the protagonist

Ideas.  We need ideas.  Ideas allow us to figure out the protagonist and the telic flaw.  Ideas don’t come fully armed from the mind of Zeus.  We need to cultivate ideas.

  1. Read novels.
  2. Fill your mind with good stuff—basically the stuff you want to write about.
  3. Figure out what will build ideas in your mind and what will kill ideas in your mind.
  4. Study.
  5. Teach.
  6. Make the catharsis.
  7. Write.

The development of ideas is based on study and research, but it is also based on creativity.  Creativity is the extrapolation of older ideas to form new ones or to present old ideas in a new form.  It is a reflection of something new created with ties to the history, science, and logic (the intellect).  Creativity requires consuming, thinking, and producing.

If we have filled our mind with all kinds of information and ideas, we are ready to become creative.  Creativity means the extrapolation of older ideas to form new ones or to present old ideas in a new form.  Literally, we are seeing the world in a new way, or actually, we are seeing some part of the world in a new way.

So, modern characters must look like the reader’s impression of the protagonist.  This is an interesting problem as culture and society change as does the impression of the readers. 

Here is the list of characteristics for great protagonists (this is based on the concept of a Romantic protagonist):

  1. Hero, independent, and individualistic – characters who truly risk their lives for others.
  2. From the common ilk – as opposed to the nobility and wealth.
  3. Educated – both seeking education and study and loving to read and learn.
  4. Focus on the inner world of the protagonist – the mind and motivation of the protagonist.
  5. Celebration of nature, beauty, and imagination – the expression of the mind of the protagonist.
  6. Rejection of industrialization and social convention – from urban to rural.
  7. Idealization of woman, children, and rural life.
  8. Inclusion of supernatural or mythological elements.
  9. Inclusion of historical elements.
  10. Frequent use of personification.
  11. Emphasis on individual experience of the sublime.
  12. Discovery and skills—the protagonist finds his or her special skills and abilities and uses them to resolve the telic flaw.
  13. The readers agree with the mind (thoughts and decisions) of the protagonist

I added the last statement, but really this last statement is a direct reflection of 4, 11, and 12.

My ultimate point is that first I develop a great protagonist and the plot and theme of the novel I want to write comes directly out of that protagonist.  Every great protagonist comes with his or her own telic flaw.

Yesterday, I gave you an example of Azure Rose from my novel, Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.  I showed how she was a Romantic protagonist and how she herself resulted in a plot and theme for the novel.  In other words, I didn’t develop a plot or a theme first, I developed a great protagonist and found the telic flaw, plot, and theme from her revelation.  Azure Rose came with a plot and a theme.  I’ve done this before and at the risk of repeating myself, I’ll do this a couple of more times or more.  Here is a list of my completed novels and protagonists:

A Season of Honor (Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox III), published, Shawn du Locke

The Fox’s Honor (Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox II), published, Devon Rathenberg

The End of Honor (Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox I), published, John-Mark

Antebellum, not published, Heather Sybil Roberts

Aegypt, published, Paul Bolong

Centurion, published, Centurion Abenadar

Athelstan Cying, not published, Den Protania

Twilight Lamb, not published, Den Protania

Regia Anglorum, not published, Nikita Protania

The Second Mission, published, Alan Fisher

Sister of Light, not published, Leora Bolang

Hestia: Enchantment of the Hearth, not published, Angela Matheson

Sister of Darkness, not published, Leora Bolang

Shadow of Darkness, not published, Lumière Bolang

Shadow of Light, not published, Lumière Bolang

Children of Light and Darkness, not published, Kathrin McClellan

Warrior of Light, not published, David Long

Shadowed Vale, not published, Nikita Protania

Warrior of Darkness, not published, Klava Calloway

Dana-ana: Enchantment and the Maiden, not published, Byron Macintyre

Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon, not published, Aksinya

Khione: Enchantment and the Fox, not published, Pearce Wimund

Valeska: Enchantment and the Vampire, not published, George Mardling

Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer, not published, Dane Vale

Escape from Freedom, not published, Scott Phillips

Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si, not published, Essie

Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse, not published, Shiggy

Deirdre: Enchantment and the School, not published, Deirdre Calloway

Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective, not published, Azure Rose

What I’ll do is start backwards and show how each protagonist comes with his or her own telic flaw, plot and theme.  I’ll do this like I accomplished it for Azure Rose.  I’ll try to make this entertaining as well as educational.  Perhaps, afterward, I’ll develop a new protagonist for a new novel.  Just so you know, I’m always writing a novel, currently as I note above, it is a novel with Sorcha Calloway as the protagonist with a tentative title of Cassandra: Enchantment and the Warriors.  I’m also writing Red Sonja.

Ultimately, the point is that we need to keep our readers content and pleased with our characters while presenting the revelation of the protagonist and the plot.

The beginning of creativity is study and effort.  We can use this to extrapolate to creativity.  In addition, we need to look at recording ideas and working with ideas.

More tomorrow.

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

http://www.ancientlight.com/

http://www.aegyptnovel.com/

http://www.centurionnovel.com

http://www.thesecondmission.com/

http://www.theendofhonor.com/

http://www.thefoxshonor.com

http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

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

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Writing – part xx220 Writing a Novel, Protagonists Form Plots and Themes

3 August 2020, Writing – part xx220 Writing a Novel, Protagonists Form Plots and Themes

Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but my primary publisher has gone out of business—they couldn’t succeed in the past business and publishing environment.  I’ll keep you informed, but I need a new publisher.  More information can be found atwww.ancientlight.com.  Check out my novels–I think you’ll really enjoy them.

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

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

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

The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:

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

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

  1. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

These are the steps I use to write a novel including the five discrete parts of a novel:

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

I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential title Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.  The theme statement is: Lady Azure Rose Wishart, the Chancellor of the Fae, supernatural detective, and all around dangerous girl, finds love, solves cases, breaks heads, and plays golf.

Here is the cover proposal for Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I am continuing to write on my 30th novel, working title Red Sonja.  I finished my 29th novel, working title Detective.  I’m planning to start on number 31, working title Shifter.

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

For novel 30:  Red Sonja, a Soviet spy, infiltrates the X-plane programs at Edwards AFB as a test pilot’s administrative clerk, learns about freedom, and is redeemed.

For novel 31:  Deirdre and Sorcha are redirected to French finishing school where they discover difficult mysteries, people, and events.

Here is the scene development outline:

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

Today:  Why don’t we go back to the basics and just writing a novel?  I can tell you what I do, and show you how I go about putting a novel together.  We can start with developing an idea then move into the details of the writing.

To start a novel, I picture an initial scene.  I may start from a protagonist or just launch into mental development of an initial scene.  I get the idea for an initial scene from all kinds of sources.  To help get the creative juices flowing, let’s look at the initial scene.

  1. Meeting between the protagonist and the antagonist or the protagonist’s helper
  2. Action point in the plot
  3. Buildup to an exciting scene
  4. Indirect introduction of the protagonist

Ideas.  We need ideas.  Ideas allow us to figure out the protagonist and the telic flaw.  Ideas don’t come fully armed from the mind of Zeus.  We need to cultivate ideas.

  1. Read novels.
  2. Fill your mind with good stuff—basically the stuff you want to write about.
  3. Figure out what will build ideas in your mind and what will kill ideas in your mind.
  4. Study.
  5. Teach.
  6. Make the catharsis.
  7. Write.

The development of ideas is based on study and research, but it is also based on creativity.  Creativity is the extrapolation of older ideas to form new ones or to present old ideas in a new form.  It is a reflection of something new created with ties to the history, science, and logic (the intellect).  Creativity requires consuming, thinking, and producing.

If we have filled our mind with all kinds of information and ideas, we are ready to become creative.  Creativity means the extrapolation of older ideas to form new ones or to present old ideas in a new form.  Literally, we are seeing the world in a new way, or actually, we are seeing some part of the world in a new way.

So, modern characters must look like the reader’s impression of the protagonist.  This is an interesting problem as culture and society change as does the impression of the readers. 

Here is the list of characteristics for great protagonists (this is based on the concept of a Romantic protagonist):

  1. Hero, independent, and individualistic – characters who truly risk their lives for others.
  2. From the common ilk – as opposed to the nobility and wealth.
  3. Educated – both seeking education and study and loving to read and learn.
  4. Focus on the inner world of the protagonist – the mind and motivation of the protagonist.
  5. Celebration of nature, beauty, and imagination – the expression of the mind of the protagonist.
  6. Rejection of industrialization and social convention – from urban to rural.
  7. Idealization of woman, children, and rural life.
  8. Inclusion of supernatural or mythological elements.
  9. Inclusion of historical elements.
  10. Frequent use of personification.
  11. Emphasis on individual experience of the sublime.
  12. Discovery and skills—the protagonist finds his or her special skills and abilities and uses them to resolve the telic flaw.
  13. The readers agree with the mind (thoughts and decisions) of the protagonist

I added the last statement, but really this last statement is a direct reflection of 4, 11, and 12.

Yesterday, I brought out my protagonist Azure Rose from Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective. I evaluated the protagonist and showed how she met each of my criteria.  I then mentioned again that the protagonist brings along their own plot and theme.  In other words to write a creative novel, you need to develop an entertaining protagonist and take their inherent telic flaw and expand that into a plot and theme.

Here’s Azure Rose again.  Azure Rose desires to regain her estate and position.  She is saving every penny she can to reach this goal.  She needs millions of pounds, but she has some very special and specific skills.  For example, she understands about the supernatural and can see and work with the supernatural.  This comes directly from her position as the Chancellor of the Fae and the Keeper of the Book of the Fae.  Because of her special abilities, Azure Rose thinks she can make more money to reach her goals by becoming a supernatural detective.  The reason should be obvious.  Well maybe it isn’t.  Azure Rose lives in a world like ours but that includes the supernatural—like our world.  Most people in her world, which is our world, can’t see much of the supernatural, she can.  Because of this, she is in a unique position to be able to solve supernatural crimes, thus to make money to regain her estate, Azure Rose has started a supernatural detective agency.

This is how the novel begins.  Fortunately or unfortunately Azure Rose doesn’t find any supernatural crimes.  What she does do is help New Scotland Yard to solve crimes that look supernatural but really aren’t.  She’s still making money, but she then comes to the attention of a young military officer in the Department of Foreign Affairs.  Over her desires, the officer becomes her protagonist’s helper.

Do you see how the plot is coming directly out of the protagonist and her characteristics?  With the circumstances of potential supernatural crime and a protagonist’s helper, we are set up for the main thrust of the plot.  There is much more than that–I write very complex and fun novels where everything fits together.

New Scotland Yard discovers a real supernatural crime, and Azure is asked to help.  Suddenly everything hits the fan.  Her protagonist’s helper and prospective boyfriend (from his side and not hers) gets involved because the British government has an agency under the Queen that works supernatural problems.  The Queen gets involved because of the agency, the potential boyfriend (he’s in the military), and the potential problem of a supernatural crime.

This is ultimately the plot intermeshed with a love story and all kinds of government intelligence involvement.  There’s more, but you need to read the novel.  The point is that the telic flaw comes directly out of Azure Rose.  The result is a plot to resolve the telic flaw.  The theme likewise comes directly out of the protagonist.  Perhaps I should bring out a few other examples.

My ultimate point is that first I develop a great protagonist and the plot and theme of the novel I want to write comes directly out of that protagonist.  Every great protagonist comes with his or her own telic flaw.

Ultimately, the point is that we need to keep our readers content and pleased with our characters while presenting the revelation of the protagonist and the plot.

The beginning of creativity is study and effort.  We can use this to extrapolate to creativity.  In addition, we need to look at recording ideas and working with ideas.

More tomorrow.

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

http://www.ancientlight.com/

http://www.aegyptnovel.com/

http://www.centurionnovel.com

http://www.thesecondmission.com/

http://www.theendofhonor.com/

http://www.thefoxshonor.com

http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

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

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Writing – part xx219 Writing a Novel, Protagonists from Classics, Conclusions

2 August 2020, Writing – part xx219 Writing a Novel, Protagonists from Classics, Conclusions

Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but my primary publisher has gone out of business—they couldn’t succeed in the past business and publishing environment.  I’ll keep you informed, but I need a new publisher.  More information can be found atwww.ancientlight.com.  Check out my novels–I think you’ll really enjoy them.

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

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

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

The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:

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

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

  1. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

These are the steps I use to write a novel including the five discrete parts of a novel:

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

I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential title Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.  The theme statement is: Lady Azure Rose Wishart, the Chancellor of the Fae, supernatural detective, and all around dangerous girl, finds love, solves cases, breaks heads, and plays golf.

Here is the cover proposal for Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I am continuing to write on my 30th novel, working title Red Sonja.  I finished my 29th novel, working title Detective.  I’m planning to start on number 31, working title Shifter.

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

For novel 30:  Red Sonja, a Soviet spy, infiltrates the X-plane programs at Edwards AFB as a test pilot’s administrative clerk, learns about freedom, and is redeemed.

For novel 31:  Deirdre and Sorcha are redirected to French finishing school where they discover difficult mysteries, people, and events.

Here is the scene development outline:

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

Today:  Why don’t we go back to the basics and just writing a novel?  I can tell you what I do, and show you how I go about putting a novel together.  We can start with developing an idea then move into the details of the writing.

To start a novel, I picture an initial scene.  I may start from a protagonist or just launch into mental development of an initial scene.  I get the idea for an initial scene from all kinds of sources.  To help get the creative juices flowing, let’s look at the initial scene.

  1. Meeting between the protagonist and the antagonist or the protagonist’s helper
  2. Action point in the plot
  3. Buildup to an exciting scene
  4. Indirect introduction of the protagonist

Ideas.  We need ideas.  Ideas allow us to figure out the protagonist and the telic flaw.  Ideas don’t come fully armed from the mind of Zeus.  We need to cultivate ideas.

  1. Read novels.
  2. Fill your mind with good stuff—basically the stuff you want to write about.
  3. Figure out what will build ideas in your mind and what will kill ideas in your mind.
  4. Study.
  5. Teach.
  6. Make the catharsis.
  7. Write.

The development of ideas is based on study and research, but it is also based on creativity.  Creativity is the extrapolation of older ideas to form new ones or to present old ideas in a new form.  It is a reflection of something new created with ties to the history, science, and logic (the intellect).  Creativity requires consuming, thinking, and producing.

If we have filled our mind with all kinds of information and ideas, we are ready to become creative.  Creativity means the extrapolation of older ideas to form new ones or to present old ideas in a new form.  Literally, we are seeing the world in a new way, or actually, we are seeing some part of the world in a new way.

So, modern characters must look like the reader’s impression of the protagonist.  This is an interesting problem as culture and society change as does the impression of the readers. 

I’ve been presenting the means to develop protagonists and characters your readers will enjoy—precisely those that will entertain your readers.  Mainly, the ideas I’ve proposed are these: seeking knowledge, readers, decisions the reader would make, pathos building, and overall, entertaining.

If we agree, any breech between the protagonist and the reader is not desirable, we can move forward.

Below is that list of classics.  Let’s look at it from the standpoint of protagonist’s I/we love.  Perhaps after I look at these from the standpoint of the protagonists I love, we can look at the opposite too.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen – I love this novel, but I can’t say I loved the protagonist or any character in it.  They are all too Victorian and too filled with themselves and their imagined slights and worlds.
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien – Does anyone really love any of these characters.  I don’t.
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte – I do love the young Jane and the older Jane is likable.  We can look at this one.
4 Dandelion Wine – Ray Bradbury – Best modern novel in English I evaluated this protagonist.
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee – I don’t find this protagonist to be lovable or likable.  I’ll skip.
6 The Bible – Most important book to understand Western culture.  There is no single book or protagonist and this isn’t a novel.
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte – I did enjoy the protagonist’s helper, but can anyone love this protagonist?
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell.  I like this novel, but the protagonist is not lovable or likable and barely rememberable.
9 We The Living – Ayn Rand.  This is an unforgettable protagonist.  Definitely, we should look at this one.
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens.  There are no lovable characters in this novel.

11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott – Jo isn’t my favorite protagonist.  The other characters are somewhat lovable.
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy.  None of Hardy’s protagonists are lovable.
13 Dune – Frank Herbert.  Paul is a lovable and unforgettable character in the first novel.  The author does pretty much destroy him as a protagonist at the end of the novel.
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare – better to see as plays.  This is a set of plays with many protagonists.  Many are unforgettable and lovable.
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier.  The protagonist is not lovable in this novel.
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien.  Bilbo Baggins is indeed a lovable and unforgettable character in this novel.
17 The Cadwal Chronicles – Jack Vance.  I evaluated this protagonist.
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger.  Nope, this is not a lovable human or protagonist.
19 The Green Pearl Novels – Jack Vance.  Yes, the protagonists in these novels are indeed lovable, and not so unforgettable.  It’s worth looking at.
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot.  I don’t consider this protagonist to be lovable or unforgettable.  Eliot’s protagonists are generally too real to make great protagonists.  Her human interaction and complex and realistic plots make her novels great.

21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchel.  They are unforgettable, but not lovable or even likable.
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald.  I’m not sure any protagonists by Fitzgerald are likable at all.
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens.  Dickens is best knowns for whiny kids and adults, not really unforgettable protagonists unless you consider Scrooge and Mr. Pickwick.
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy – I’m not so sure this is a great novel in English.  Yeah, no.
25 Starship Troopers – Robert Heinlein.  I covered this novel and its protagonist.  It is one of the best for great protagonists.
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky.  Not unless you like criminals.
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck – In Dubious Battle may be better.  I can’t love or even like Steinbeck’s protagonist’s.  I don’t think Steinbeck liked his protagonists.
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll.  Yes, Alice is unforgettable and lovable.
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame.  Ratty is too chatty, Mole is too quiet, Mr. Toad is crazy, and Mr. Badger is scary.  Kids aren’t sure who the protagonist really is and if they like them.

31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy – Not so sure about this one, but it’s worth a read.  Tolstoy’s characters are devious and scary.  If you like this, then perhaps, but they aren’t that memorable or lovable to me.
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens.  Alright, David is memorable and lovable to a degree.  He’s definitely less whiny than Oliver. 
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis.  I’ll skip this because although you have a hard time forgetting these characters, they aren’t very lovable.  That’s part of the point of the writing.
34 Emma -Jane Austen.  I can’t remember Emma although I’ve read this novel more than once.  I’ll skip it.
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen.  Jane’s characters are just not that memorable or lovable to me.  They are typical Victorian.
36 Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand.  Who really is the protagonist in this million word novel?  I love the novel, and the characters are unforgettable, but there are many.  I’ll skip it.
37 The Tale of Genji – Murasaki Shikibu.  This is a wonderful novel and the first ever written.  The protagonist is not a very good, honorable, or lovable person.
38 The House of Seven Gables – Nathaniel Hawthorne.  The protagonist is forgettable, but this is a great novel.
39 The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne.  This is perhaps one of the most unforgettable characters of the novels from this age.  Perhaps the most unforgettable, but only somewhat likable.  Still, we should look at Hester.
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne.  Pooh Bear or Christopher Robin?  Pooh Bear is lovable and unforgettable.

41 Animal Farm – George Orwell.  George doesn’t write many protagonists anyone could like.
42 Dracula – Bram Stoker – First Gothic horror novel.  Great novel, but the monster isn’t really the protagonist.  Perhaps this novel is worth looking at anyway.
43 Til We All Have Faces – C.S. Lewis – two for one—you get Cupid and Psyche at the same time.  The characters aren’t very lovable or unforgettable.
44 Le Morte D’Arthur – Thomas Malory – chief basis for Arthurian Legend and chivalry.  I can’t handle Arthur or his friends.  I love the novels.
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins.  Collins writes wonderful novels, but his Victorian characters are not very memorable.
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery.  Yeah Anne is unforgettable and lovable at the beginning.
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy.  I already wrote about Hardy.
48 Ivanhoe – Sir Walter Scott – perhaps the most important historical novel about England.  Ivanhoe is unforgettable, and lovable, but he is almost a flat plate around whom the other characters interact.
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding.  No one could like one of Golding’s characters.  His books are wonderful.
50 The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand.  Howard Roark is unforgettable, but really not that lovable.

51 What Katy Did – Sarah Chauncey Woolsey under her pen name Susan Coolidge.  A lovable character, but flat.
52 A Little Princess – Frances Hodgson Burnett.  Sara is unforgettable and lovable.  We covered her.
53 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett.  The protagonist is unforgettable and becomes lovable.
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen.  Nah, for the same reasons above.
55 The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling.  Mowgli seems like a side character compared to the animals.
56 Kim – Rudyard Kipling.  Kim is unforgettable and lovable.  Classic Romantic character.
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens.  Nope.
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley.  Huxley’s characters are forgettable and unlovable.
59 Beowulf – Unknown.  Beowulf is an unforgettable and lovable character.
60 The Odyssey – Homer.  Oh yeah, no one can forget Ulysses.  He isn’t that lovable, but he is Greek

61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck.  I wrote that Steinbeck doesn’t like his own characters, how can we?
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov.  No one could like this character.
63 The Moonstone – Wilkie Collins – first detective story in English.  The Moonstone has the same protagonist problems of other novels in its time.  The protagonist is hard to determine and to like.
64 The Maltese Falcon – Dashiell Hammett – first noir detective novel.  Great novel, but the protagonist is intentionally not likable.
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas.   The Count fades into obscurity.  The Three Musketeer’s D’Artagnan
66 As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner.  Nope.
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy.  Nope.
68 Robinson Caruso – Daniel Defoe – First novel in English.  Yeah, Robinson is an unforgettable and lovable character.
69 The Red Badge of Courage – Stephen Crane.  Nope, you can’t love a coward.
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville.  Nope.

71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens.  Perhaps.  I find Oliver flat, but he is worth looking at.
72 Don Quixote – Miguel De Cervantes.  Yeah, unforgettable and lovable for the wrong reasons.
73 Heidi – Johanna Spyri.  Definitely unforgettable and lovable.  I should have included her in the original list.
74 Hans Brinker – Mary Mapes Dodge.  Definitely unforgettable and lovable.
75 Ulysses – James Joyce – really not worth the read and not really a classic, but you might as well know what a bad novel is.  Nope.
76 The Inferno – Dante.  Nope.
77 The Big Sky Country – Arlo Guthrie.  Guthrie is a great author and his characters are unforgettable, but not for good reasons.
78 Germinal – Emile Zola.  Yeah, nope.
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray.  Thackeray’s characters are intentionally not likable.

80 The Black Arrow – Robert Louis Stevenson.  Definitely unforgettable protagonist’s helper.  Perhaps this is worth looking at.
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens.  Scrooge is definitely unforgettable and lovable.  He is worth looking at.
82 Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson.  Not so lovable or memorable.
83 The Gulag Archipelago – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.  It’s hard to love Solzhenitsyn’s protagonists or characters.
84 The Miser – George Elliot.  Silas Mariner is definitely an unforgettable protagonist and protagonist’s helper.
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert.  Nope.
86 For Whom the Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemmingway.  Hemmingway’s protagonist’s helper is memorable, but few of his characters are lovable.
87 Tarzan – Edger Rice Burroughs.  Oh yeah, Tarzan is unforgettable and lovable.
88 The Death of Socrates – Plato.  Unforgettable, and likable, but frustrating and not a novel.
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  Most readers like the protagonist’s helper, Dr. Watson better than Sherlock.  Perhaps this might be worth looking at.
90 I, Robot – Isaac Asimov.  Asimov’s technology and protagonists are not memorable.

91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad.  Nope.
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery.  The Prince is flat, but the writer or aviator in the stories is very interesting and lovable.
93 Huckleberry Fin – Mark Twain.  Yeah, you can’t forget and you have to love Twain’s protagonists.
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams.  Nope, it’s rabbits.
95 Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift.  Swift’s protagonists were for satire and irony not love or memory.
96 Matilda – Roald Dahl.  Perfect.
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas.  Yeap, one of the most balanced novels with more than one major character in orbit around a wonderful protagonist.
98 The Canterbury Tales – Geoffrey Chaucer.  More than one protagonist.
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl.  Charlie is pretty forgettable.
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo.  Nope.  Great Romantic novel but a poor Romantic protagonist.

101 The Once and Future King – T.H. White.  The first novel presents an acceptable Arthur.

102 The Deerslayer – James Fenimore Cooper.  Who can forget Natty Bumpo?

103 The Black Book of Communism – Various.  Not a novel.

104 Ben Hur – Lew Wallace.  Forgettable protagonist, but worth looking at.

105 The Robe – Lloyd C. Douglas.  Also forgettable.

106 The Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan.  A very flat protagonist, but it is an allegory.

107 The Histories – Herodotus.  Not a novel.

108 Lives – Plutarch.  Not a novel.

109 The Call of the Wild – Jack London.  Perhaps the most unforgettable animal protagonist.

110 Stand on Zanzibar – John Brunner.  Not a very memorable protagonist and definitely not lovable.

111 The Shockwave Rider – John Brunner – prediction of the computer virus and inspiration for it.  Kinda not memorable.  Definitely not lovable.

  1. The Aeneid – Virgil.  Nah.  Forgettable.

We looked at memorable and likable protagonists, but I skipped a bunch of classics because I called the protagonists forgettable and not likable.

Here is the list of characteristics for great protagonists (this is based on the concept of a Romantic protagonist):

  1. Hero, independent, and individualistic – characters who truly risk their lives for others.
  2. From the common ilk – as opposed to the nobility and wealth.
  3. Educated – both seeking education and study and loving to read and learn.
  4. Focus on the inner world of the protagonist – the mind and motivation of the protagonist.
  5. Celebration of nature, beauty, and imagination – the expression of the mind of the protagonist.
  6. Rejection of industrialization and social convention – from urban to rural.
  7. Idealization of woman, children, and rural life.
  8. Inclusion of supernatural or mythological elements.
  9. Inclusion of historical elements.
  10. Frequent use of personification.
  11. Emphasis on individual experience of the sublime.
  12. Discovery and skills—the protagonist finds his or her special skills and abilities and uses them to resolve the telic flaw.
  13. The readers agree with the mind (thoughts and decisions) of the protagonist

I added the last statement, but really this last statement is a direct reflection of 4, 11, and 12.

I guess I could continue this study, but I’m getting tired of it.  Just look at the list.  I recommend using this list to develop protagonists, themes, and plots.  I thought I should move on to themes and plots.

Of course, plots require creativity and expansion of creativity.  I have written to you that a great protagonist comes with their own plot and theme.  I think this is really true.  In other words, I think you can develop a great plot from a great protagonist, but I wrote just above that plots require real creativity.  This is really true.

If I develop a great protagonist, I see the plot inside that protagonist and write to the protagonist to produce the plot.  If you remember, I’ve written that all novels are the revelation of the protagonist.  If I start with a great protagonist and reveal that protagonist, I can build an awesome plot.

To be clear, this is how I write, and how I recommend approaching creativity and writing.  For me the development of a plot is difficult to impossible, but the development of a protagonist is easy.  I find that my protagonists come with a plot and a theme.

I’ve approached the development of a protagonist before.  In fact, I developed the protagonist Azure Rose on this blog to demonstrate the development of a protagonist and a plot—then I wrote her novel.  That’s Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.  In the case of Azure Rose, I developed the protagonist, Azure Rose, and she came with a plot, just as I wrote.  Indeed, I developed her plot by revealing her through the writing of the novel.

Tell you what, let me apply the list to Azure Rose and let’s see how the plot comes out.

Azure Rose is a hero who is independent and individualistic.  This comes out in the novel, but in them beginning, we see her sparing with Alicia (a werecreature) and practicing with her pistol.  Azure Rose is a truly well prepared woman.  She can face almost anyone, and in the novel she does.  She is also independent and individualistic.  She lives with her associates Miss Highgate and Alicia instead of in the dorm.  She works alone.

Azure Rose was born of nobility, but her father is in prison for embezzlement and her mother is dead.  She was once wealthy or at least she had a family and a house.  Today, she was brought to zero and has been fighting her way out of penury with the goal of repurchasing her estate.  Everyone assumes Azure Rose is a common person.  That’s one of her secrets.

Azure Rose is the head girl at her school.  She is constantly studying and working to improve herself.  She loves to read, and she plays golf to make pocket money.

Azure Rose is a complicated person.  She has many worries and many problems.  Her basic motivation is to regain her estate from the Crown.

Azure Rose lives in the country and is directly connected to the realm of nature through the Fae.  She is beautiful and tries to live in a beautiful fashion.  In addition, the world of Azure Rose is a world of expressed imagination.  Further, Azure Rose is a golfer and the novel makes much of her skills and work as a golfer.

Azure Rose rejects industrialization and social convention.  From where she lives, her life, her connection with the Fae, her rejection of social engagements, her friends, and her connections, Azure Rose is a being who moves without social convention but rejects it.

The idealization of women, children, and rural life are perfectly evident in Azure Rose’s life and revelation.  She is a woman, youthful, and in school.

Azure Rose is the Chancellor of the Fae and the Keeper of the Book of the Fae.  The Fae are fairies within the realm of fairies.  That’s pretty much supernatural and mythical.  In addition, Azure Rose gets involved with the gods and goddesses of the British Isles.  In addition, the novel is filled with historical elements and events.  I used the real world of the time to populate the time and history of the novel and Azure Rose.

Personification is something evident in the novel and the writing more than the protagonist, but the protagonist makes a great change through her revelation.  She comes to accept and love the man who is willing to help her regain her estate.  This is a type of redemption novel, plot, and theme.  Further, Azure Rose desires to succeed as a supernatural detective.  This is the ultimate plot and point in the novel.  She solves a supernatural crime.

The discovery part of the novel is more in the revelation of the protagonist.  Azure Rose has discovered her skills and has been honing them.  The novel is a revelation of this.  Those skills allow her to resolve the telic flaw which is a supernatural crime.  Further, the readers agree with the mind (thoughts and decisions) of the protagonist because they are rational and understandable.

What I should do is expand how these qualities lead to the development of the plot.

Ultimately, the point is that we need to keep our readers content and pleased with our characters while presenting the revelation of the protagonist and the plot.

The beginning of creativity is study and effort.  We can use this to extrapolate to creativity.  In addition, we need to look at recording ideas and working with ideas.

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

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