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 writing on Shape.
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 approach scene development from the standpoint of extrapolation. In this case, we will be extrapolating the character revelation, plot, and theme of the novel. That is, to develop scenes (ideas) for the rising action, we take the already developed characters and extrapolate their actions into the future. The point is to develop the plot and reveal the theme.
So, in shape what will the characters do? I already started this novel down a plot path in the rising action. The beginning was the initial scene. In the initial scene, Mrs. Lyons caught a naked girl in her pantry eating her ham. She confronted and tried to capture the girl in the pantry, but accidentally knocked her out. This is in itself entertaining and exciting–it’s a great initial scene.
The next scene extrapolates creatively from the initial scene–it also uses the initial scene’s output. The output of the initial scene is that Mrs. Lyons has a naked, unconscious girl in her pantry. The obvious question is what will she do about that? A normal person might call the constable and that is that–end of the story. Mrs. Lyons is a little different. She has never had her own children, but she has taken care of many of her friends’ children and grand children. She calls them her adopted grands and greats. Mrs. Lyons has always had a thing about helping children and especially girls get back on track. Second, Mrs. Lyons’ friends are not your regular kinds of people. Mrs. Lyons has pretended most of her life to ignore the special capabilities of her friends and their children, but she knows…that forms the basis for her actions about the girl.