10 July 2015, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 371, more Developing 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’ve just started on the next major run-through of my novel, Escape.
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 Alice Springs Australia on another around the world tour.
If you begin writing your scenes as if they are short stories, you will be ready for success in building tension and release into each scene. You must remember, the purpose of every novel is entertainment, therefore, every scene must be filled with entertainment. To accomplish this means the development of tension and release in the plot, theme, and in each scene. I’ll leave it to you in the development of the tension and release in the plot (that’s the rising action and the climax) and in the theme (usually the rising action and the climax). Development of tension and release in each scene is almost more important than in the plot and theme. I’ve read quite a few novels whose plot and theme were poor, but whose tension and release were excellent. For example, all those novels that everyone loves the characters and the predicaments they get into, but can’t remember the climax or perhaps the theme–like, The Martian Chronicles, Tuff Voyaging, Little Women, Little Men… I suspect I could name many novels like that. Mainly novels by short story writers who built their short stories into novels, or novelists who were great at tension and release in the scenes, but less so in the plot.
The point is simple, you can write an excellent novel if you know how to use tension and release.