28 August 2014, Writing Ideas – Vampire Novel, part 55, Redemptive Theme, Developing Characters Rising Action
Announcement: My new novels are supposed to be released 1 September, so we are heading toward home plate. The title of the series is Ancient Light and is based on my novel Aegypt. The next two novels will be Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness. They will be published individually and as a 3 in 1 book. The initial cover is already developed, and you can see it at http://www.ancientlight.com. I’ll keep you updated.
Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel, and on 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–start with https://ldalford.wordpress.com/2010/12/12/daemon-installment-1-the-incantation/.
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. At this moment, I’m showing you the creative process I used to put together the novel.
Here are my four rules (plus one) of 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 new novel, Valeska, is: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed.
This is another reason I don’t like single word themes. For example, if you say, your novel has a “love” theme, what exactly does that mean? If you say it has a “true love” or “first love” theme, you are getting closer to some meaning–still obscure. When I write that my novel has a redemptive theme, that can mean too many different things.
Classically, a redemptive theme means the protagonist is redeemed from some great evil in their life. For example, the evil businessman who cheats his clients comes clean and repays what he stole, or the woman who prostitutes herself realizes her actions are wrong and becomes an upstanding member of society.
In my novel, Aksinya, the protagonist, Aksinya, called a demon from hell to help her save her family. Her family was killed anyway. Aksinya’s redemption is from the demon and her own demons. These are classical redemptive themes. Less classical, but just as important, in my mind, are redemptive themes where people are saved emotionally and mentally. I have used these types of redemptive themes before–they can be much more powerful than a classic redemptive theme. For example, the man who has turmoil over some terrible event in his life and overcomes the turmoil and the event, or the woman who is traumatized by abuse and overcomes that to help others. I have used this as a theme in my novels as well. Many times this is a good subtheme. For example, in my novels Shadow of Light and Shadow of Darkness, the protagonist has to overcome (be redeemed) from her fear that her parents hate her and believe she is evil. The novel is very complex in this regard, and the desire for people to make their parents happy is a very strong redemption theme.
You can see, a redemptive theme is a classic theme and one that has great potential to many audiences.
I’ll repeat my published novel websites so you can see more examples: http://www.ldalford.com/, and the individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel.com/, http://www.centurionnovel.com/, http://www.thesecondmission.com/, http://www.theendofhonor.com/, http://www.thefoxshonor.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.