14 January 2015, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 194, more Documents Legal-Historical Method and Other’s Conversation, Methods of Revelation How to Develop Storyline, Rising Action
Announcement: Ancient Light is in publication, and you can buy it at almost any internet book sellers or order it from any brick and mortar bookstore. You can read 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 newest novel, Valeska, is this: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed.
Here is my proposed cover for Valeska:
I decided on a white cover style. You can see more at www.GoddessofDarkness.com.
The purpose of a novel is to reveal the protagonist and usually the protagonist’s helper. The author needs to place them in circumstance that allows them to reveal themselves. The means can be conversation, exploration, discovery, other’s conversation, confession, accidental discovery.
There are three ways to know truth: the scientific method, the historical-witness method, and logic. So, if you didn’t already guess, I teach classes in the scientific method, the legal historical method, and logic. You can find my classes on You-tube.
The first evidentiary test is the bibliographical test. This test relates to the quality and accuracy of the text itself. It really doesn’t tell us anything about the contents or claims of the document. However, claims of authenticity are usually carefully evaluated when a document that has been entirely unknown suddenly appears. Numerous manuscript copies that are close to the original define the authenticity–a lack of many close manuscripts brings the document’s antecedents quickly into question.
There are two other evidentiary tests: the internal and the external tests. The internal test looks at the document’s claims and contents. All written evidence must first pass the bibliographical test. Once it has passed that test, a document’s claims are always accepted unless contradicted. So, if a document claims to be a first person account, it is always accepted as a first person account unless there is another overriding claim or problem with the document. For example, a document that passes the bibliographical tests, but has internal contradictions or incoherent parts might be rejected to a degree. The Gospel of Judas is such a document. It is dated in the 3rd to 4th Centuries and claims to be written by Judas the disciple. Unfortunately, this Gnostic document can’t be written by Judas–too late, and talks about the death of Jesus. These are internal problems.
Remember, if the document passes the bibliographical tests, it must have some strength as an historical document. A document such as the Egyptian Book of the Dead is a book with good bibliographical antecedents. We have 7 extant copies that are all wildly variant. They are from different eras. They do not claim to be historical but rather to be spells used by the dead to enter the afterlife. In this regard, the Egyptian Book of the Dead is a quatriary source. It is not history in any way shape or form.
On the other hand, Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations is a primary source document that does recount some miracles and sacrifices. It is considered a primary historical document. We have a few copies and those are about 1000 years from the original. It internally claims to have been written by Marcus Aurelius and also that it is a history of his thoughts. There is another test for historical documents.