21 July 2015, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 382, Extraneous and Entertainment in Scenes Developing 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.
1. Scene input (easy)
2. Scene output (a little harder)
3. Scene setting (basic stuff)
4. Creativity (creative elements of the scene)
5. Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)
6. Release (climax of creative elements)
In any of your writing, you don’t want anything extraneous in the writing. In writing a novel, you are not necessarily being paid by the word–in your editing and your rewriting, you want to clarify and reveal more effectively and cut everything that does not relate to the plot, theme, and main character revelation. In some cases, there might be reason to cut main character revelation. The question is what exactly is extraneous to a novel?
I don’t have any problem determining this. I use the no need, then exclude concept. If a character or an event can be excluded from the novel, and that exclusion doesn’t change the plot or theme of the novel, then the character or the event should not be included in the novel.
For example, let’s say you have secondary characters who are in love with each other–if they go on a date and discuss your protagonist and protagonist’s helper’s relationship, that might be material to be included in the novel (if it provides revelation of the protagonist or protagonist’s helper’s characters or it forwards the plot or theme). On the other hand, if the just have a date, there is no purpose to the novel–it should be excluded. That is a simple example–a more complex one might be: the revelation of a secondary character. No matter how interesting the life of a secondary character might be, there is no reason to waste more than a few paragraphs on them. If the character is that interesting, write another novel. That’s what I did with Khione and Ceridwen. The lives of the non-major characters (characters who are not the protagonist, antagonist, or protagonist’s helper) are usually not important to the revelation of the characters, plot, or theme. Do not include anything extraneous.