7 May 2015, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 307, Exciting Initial Scene
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 25th novel, working title, Escape, is this: a girl in a fascist island nation will do anything to escape–a young cargo shuttle pilot not following the rules crashes on the island.
I’ll make a slight digression because I’m developing advertising and publisher materials for my newest completed novel, Lilly. Here is the cover proposal for Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer.
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene. I’m writing about the initial scene of my newest novel, “Escape.” Escape is the working title. I’ll decide on the proposed title when I finish the novel. I’m at the eight chapter right now. That means I’ve written about 160 pages.
How do you make your first scene exciting? At least exciting and entertaining enough that a publisher might read further and a potential reader might buy your novel? This most critical scene requires your utmost attention. This scene must not be eclipsed by prologues or other impediments. This scene and the first paragraph might be your only attempt to sell your novel–no kidding. This scene must blow the socks off your readers. How do you do it?
Start with action. I recommend you begin with the meeting of he protagonist and antagonist or of the protagonist and the protagonist’s helper. This should generate some action and excitement–maybe a few fires and sparks. If the meeting of your protagonist and antagonist or protagonist and protagonist’s helper doesn’t create action or excitement, you might be writing about the wrong thing.
In Escape (working title), the meeting of the protagonist and the protagonist’s helper is full of action. She, Reb, the protagonist is walking home from her work. The protagonist’s helper, Scott, is illegally cutting across the island of Freedom (Reb’s homeland) in a cargo shuttle to save time. The engine of the cargo shuttle fails as Scott applies power to climb to a higher altitude. An engine failure while flying an illegal flight path that results in an emergency landing is a whole lotta excitement and action. This is the meeting of my main characters–the protagonist and the protagonist’s helper.