6 June 2015, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 337, Meeting Escape 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.
Here is the cover proposal for Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer. Lilly is my 24th novel.
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 fifteenth chapter right now. That means I’ve written about 300 pages.
The picture looks like this: a girl on the ground who will do anything to escape her country; a pilot high overhead in an cargo shuttle that is about to have an engine failure; and an island nation called Freedom that isn’t free at all. Now the author sets it all in action. Here is the meeting of the main characters:
A girl or young woman of indeterminate age stood in front of Scott. Her brown hair was pulled up into a tight bun. Her features were regular but unusual. Her eyes seemed very large in her face. They were a pale green. And her nose stuck out a little longer and straighter than he would have expected. Her nose moved as though it had muscles of its own, and she sniffed the air constantly. She wasn’t ugly, but she wasn’t very pretty by Scott’s standards either. Her dress was a neutral dark green and reached primly from a stiff collar to the tops of her work boots. It wasn’t very becoming, and it appeared like some kind of uniform. Wet spots and mud stained the front of the dress. He guessed she had to dive to the ground when he landed. Scott unlatched the helmet at the neck and pulled it off, “Hi there. Are you all right?”
Rebecka could understand his words although the accent was strange to her ears. She was breathless, “Did you come to get me?”
The man stood straight as though the question caught him completely off guard, “To get you?” He took a moment to regain his thoughts, “No my engine failed. I’m afraid I’m stuck until they rescue me…” The last sounded slightly desperate in his ears. “Do you think I could get some help here?”
Rebecka shook her head slowly, “This is Freedom. I’ve never heard of anyone coming here from anywhere else before.”
“Freedom? That’s an odd name for this place. Could you help me?”
Rebecka stood in contemplation for a long time.
Finally, Scott asked again, “Can you help me?”
“Do you really think they will come for you?”
“Eventually…,” But that didn’t sound very reassuring either.
“If you will take me with you when you leave here—I’ll help you…”
“Take you with me?”
“Listen to me. You don’t stand a chance here without help. If you will take me with you, I will do everything in my power to help you.”
“I’m not so sure about that.”
Rebecka stuck her hands on her hips, “Do we have an agreement or not? If you wait too long, the armed citizens will come and take you away. If that happens, you will be judged and categorized. If that happens, I don’t think you will ever leave here.”
“Judged and categorized…what’s that?”
“Listen to me very carefully. I can see you know nothing about this place…”
“You’re right about that.”
“You don’t stand a chance without help. I will help you, but you must promise to take me with you.”
Scott thought for a moment. A sudden noise from the west startled them both.
Rebecka stamped her foot, “We don’t have very long. Make up your mind…”
Scott sighed, “If you will help me, I’ll do anything you wish…”
“Is that a promise? Do you swear?”
“As a citizen…”
“I’m not a citizen.”
Rebecka was taken aback, “You do swear by all you hold sacred?”
Rebecka stepped up to him and grasped his gloved hand, “Then come with me.”
This is the initial meeting between Reb and Scott. I need to do a little more work on it, but this is the first cut. The meeting begins with scene setting–in this case character description. This moves quickly into conversation. Can you see their aspirations ad desires? Reb wants to leave Freedom–she will do anything to escape. Scott was breaking the rules and accidentally landed on the island. The first question from Reb is, “Did you come to get me.” She imagined she was going to be rescued. Scott was looking for help and found it. This chance meeting between a girl who shouldn’t have been in the place she was and the man who shouldn’t have been in the place he was suddenly propels the novel. This is the launching point of this novel. This is the place from which all the action and entertainment comes. This meeting is the most important part in the novel. Notice, this is where the protagonist and the protagonist helper meet for the first time. Because a friend asked, and this is the right point to discuss this subject, I will go into writing conversation in some detail. Next time.