8 July 2015, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 369, How to Develop 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 building 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..
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 Bali on another around the world tour.
How does an author develop tension in the rising action. You can ask that question about every part of a novel. Each scene must build toward the climax, each scene must reveal the plot and theme, and each scene must be filled with tension followed by a release of some type. A novel is built on scenes. If you break a novel apart into the scenes it becomes very simple and straightforward to write–as long as you can fill each scene with tension and release.
You might then ask: how do you develop tension in a scene? And how in every scene? Since this is a fundamental part of writing, I should try to define and explain this the best I can. It isn’t easy. We are discussing the creative part of writing. Creativity does not easily and simply define itself–if that were true, everyone could be Michelangelo.