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 consuming, thinking, and producing.
Let’s loo a little deeper into characters and creativity. I was describing for you the characteristics of the character I am developing for a potential new novel. The creativity in designing the character is related directly to taking an old idea and making it new. The old idea I’m borrowing is a shape-shifter. My shape-shifter happens to be a little different. She will get her skills from a source other than a typical curse–she may be cursed, but not in the werewolf sense. She will be very different from my regular characters, but with her, I will be able to explore an idea I haven’t before. I always look at the dark underside of my characters and then give them space to be redeemed. The same will be true of this character.
Demons lurk in the hearts and minds of every person. Everyone is potentially a homicidal maniac. Everyone is potentially a murderer or a thief. Everyone is potentially an evil person. What keeps all this evil in check? The obvious answer to me is first a person’s strength of will and self-control. Second, their religious faith (that is considering a moralistic and ethical religion). Third, their culture. Fourth, their fear of punishment. I write often about control of desires and strength of will. I just finished a book, Escape, where the characters didn’t show much self control about certain things. In this new character, I want a demon to rage in her soul that she will learn to control going backwards through the four means of control. This character will learn to control herself and her power–and she has a great and dangerous power. The creativity is in taking common human issues and characteristics and looking at them in a new way.