28 June 2015, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 359, more Information Transition to the Rising Action
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, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I’m writing about the transition from the initial scene to the rising action of my newest novel, “Escape.” Escape is the working title. I’ll decide on the actual proposed title when I finish the novel. I’m at the nineteenth chapter right now. That means I’ve written about 380 pages. I’ve just finished writing the dénouement.
Let’s review my guidelines for conversation.
1. Cultural norms (greeting, introduction, small talk, big talk)
2. Logical response (characters must respond to each other in the conversation)
3. ID the speaker
4. Show us the picture of the conversation
5. Use contractions (most of the time)
6. What are you trying to say?
7. What is unsaid in the conversation?
8. Build the tone of the conversation.
9. Show don’t tell.
10. Keep proper names to a minimum.
I’m an advocate of using the/a scene input/output method to drive the rising action–in fact, to write any novel. I’ll describe this technique (and style) again if you are new to my blog or you missed it before.
In the novel, Scott wants as much information as possible about Freedom. His purpose is to escape Freedom. The reader wants to know just as much, if not more, than Scott–that’s entertainment.
Part of the problem in transitioning to the rising action is that Reb doesn’t know everything. If the purpose of the novel is to reveal the protagonist, the protagonist’s helper, the plot, and the culture of the society, the author can’t completely rely on any single source. This is why I really don’t like first person novels. A first person novel only gives you one point of view. When I read a novel, I want to know everything about the place and the characters. If the place and the characters weren’t worth knowing about, they wouldn’t be worth writing or reading about.
In transitioning or working scenes in this novel, the key players are Scott, Reb, knowledgeable Citizens, Party Members, and observation. I gave you a little of Scott’s observation. If you note, in a novel like this, there is not a lot of opportunity to make friends and get information–the author must provide this interface and interaction. I accomplish this through having Scott work for the hospital. At the hospital, Scott meets HD08 950 Steve. Steve mistakes Scott for the new workman assigned to the hospital. Steve is an HD (Hospital Doctor) which means he executes Citizens by extracting their organs and fluids. Steve isn’t evil–it’s just his job–yuck.
Steve feels an affinity for Scott because their series is the same (S) and Scott is more observant and talkative than the usual CN (Construction) Citizen. Steve tells Scott all about the drugs used in Freedom and more about the hospital than Scott would really like to know. By engaging in conversation as friends, Scott (and the reader) can learn things about Freedom that Reb doesn’t know and that isn’t common knowledge.
Simply, in any novel, the rising action is about meeting people, potentially making friends, and learning information from them. Part of the focus of the rising action is about this interaction–the trick is to move the scenes in this direction. I’ll give an example tomorrow.