23 March 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 991, Power of Secrets in Tension, Developing the Rising Action, Themes and Pathos
Announcement: Ancient Light is delayed due to the economy. You can read more about it at http://www.ancientlight.com. Ancient Light includes the second edition of Aegypt plus Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness. I’ll keep you updated.
Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.
I’m using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I’ll keep you informed along the way.
The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:
1. Don’t confuse your readers.
2. Entertain your readers.
3. Ground your readers in the writing.
4. Don’t show (or tell) everything.
5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.
All novels have five discrete parts:
1. The initial scene (the beginning)
2. The rising action
3. The climax
4. The falling action
5. The dénouement
The theme statement of my 26th novel, working title, Shape, proposed title, Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si, is this: Mrs. Lyons captures a shape-shifting girl in her pantry and rehabilitates her.
I just started writing my 27th novel, working title, Claire, potential title Sorcha: Enchantment and the Trainee. This might need some tweaking. The theme statement is something like this: Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, the dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.
Here is the cover proposal for Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si. Essie is my 26th novel.
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I started writing my 28th novel, working title Red Sonja. I’m also working on my 29th novel, working title School.
I’m an advocate of using the/a scene input/output method to drive the rising action–in fact, to write any novel.
- Scene input (easy)
- Scene output (a little harder)
- Scene setting (basic stuff)
- Creativity (creative elements of the scene)
- Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)
- Release (climax of creative elements)
How to begin a novel. Number one thought, we need an entertaining idea. I usually encapsulate such an idea with a theme statement. Since I’m writing a new novel, we need a new theme statement. Here is an initial cut.
For novel 28: Red Sonja, a Soviet spy, infiltrates the X-plane programs at Edwards AFB as a test pilot’s administrative clerk, learns about freedom, and is redeemed.
For novel 29: Sorcha, the abandoned child of an Unseelie and a human, secretly attends Wycombe Abbey girls’ school where she meets the problem child Deirdre and is redeemed.
These are the steps I use to write a novel:
- Design the initial scene
- Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
- Research as required
- Develop the initial setting
- Develop the characters
- Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
- Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
- Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
- Write the climax scene
- Write the falling action scene(s)
- Write the dénouement scene
Would you like to write a novel that a publisher will consider? Would you like to write a novel that is published? How about one that sells?
You can read the entire novel Aksinya Enchantment and the Daemon. I gave it to you in installments with comments on the writing. I don’t feel bad writing about spoilers. Aksinya is a novel filled with and all about secrets. It really isn’t a mystery, but it has some qualities of a mystery. It is a very complex novel, but very succinctly, it is about an aristocrat girl who calls a demon to protect her family from the Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks murder her family anyway and now she is stuck with a demon who wants her to sin.
One of the great mysteries and secrets of the novel is the reality of the demon. No one else really sees him. He looks like a normal person to everyone other than Aksinya. Is the demon real or is he a figment of Aksinya’s imagination? Further, in the novel, we find everyone has a secret. Natalya has been abused. We learn that early. We didn’t know she was sexually used and tried to escape her abusive household through sex. Aksinya’s uncle and aunt have secrets. They want to be powerful in the nobility. Aksinya’s teacher has secrets—she is attracted to girls…and to Aksinya. The church has secrets. The Bishop has secrets. In Aksinya, there are secrets everywhere. All of these secrets are resolved or revealed in the novel. The big secret of the demon is the climax of the novel—it is also the telic flaw of Aksinya.
Novels should be filled with secrets—the more the better. I recommend you build novels on secrets. All mystery novels are. All detective novels are. Most spy novels are. Novels are all about secrets—you might as well think very carefully about this as you write.
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