7 July 2015, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 368, more Tension in 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 started on the next major run-through..
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.
Short digression: I’m writing from Singapore on another around the world tour.
All novels and all fiction writing is about tension and release. To help you develop your novel(s), I advocate the use of scenes as the foundation of the novel. In fact, if you write normal (as opposed to abby normal) novels, you will always write in scenes. I wrote in scenes all the time when I wrote my first novel, I just didn’t realize it. As I matured as a writer, and while writing about writing, I came to realize the actual method I used to write a novel. That method is the use of scenes with an input/output from the scene to the next scene. The previous scene output becomes the input for the next scene. This is how you begin a scene.
The development of each scene begins with scene setting–you set the scene and you set the characters in the scene. Next, the author lets the characters loose in the scene. The action/purpose/meaning of the characters in the scene is always to produce tension and release while progressing the plot and theme.
Let’s look back at the purpose of a novel–the only purpose of a novel is to entertain. No entertain, no readers, no readers, no one buys your novel. There are likely ten unpublishable great American novels for every published novel that might not be great or American, but it is entertaining. I write only to entertain. If you are easy to entertain, you may or may not make a good author. If you are good at entertaining others, you should make a good author.
Since the purpose of a novel is only to entertain–you must write entertaining scenes. To write an entertaining scene requires tension and release.