8 August 2015, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 400, more History Creativity 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)
I can immediately discern three ways to invoke creativity:
1. History extrapolation
2. Technological extrapolation
3. Intellectual extrapolation
Creativity is like an extrapolation of what has been. It is a reflection of something new created with ties to the history, science, and logic (the intellect). Creativity requires true study and true reading.
So if real events don’t work so well–what can we use to develop creativity? I didn’t write that all events in history or even a majority in history aren’t worth using. What I wrote was that events based in happenstance or coincidence are no good (or of lesser value). Any basic story where a person used logic, intellect, or knowledge to solve a problem or made an observation is a great basis for creativity.
Coincidence and happenstance are the problems not the events themselves. Unfortunately, people in the real world for some reason discount normal exciting events as nonevents in their lives. The events that stick out are those of coincidence and happenstance. I know many people who really lived exciting and interesting lives. When they are compelled to tell a story from their lives, they routinely begin with, “nothing really exciting happened to me.” Then they usually continue with a harrowing adventure that really would make a great scene or novel. No kidding. I know my life has been filled to the brim with excitement and interesting stuff–it still is. I have literally thousands of stories to recount–I have written some down in my Military Aviation Adventures on www.WingsOverKansas.com.
So, for creativity, here is the measure. You don’t have to live the events, but you need to know who and what can give you events to use. The question isn’t the most exciting thing in a person’s life or the most memorable. Ask them for a fun story from their lives and then willow out the coincidence and happenstance. Go for the intellectual, logical, and knowledge based. Perhaps ask them to explain how they used their mind to save their lives or the lives of others–or made some other event happen. You might get more material with such a question. You then must personalize it for your writing.