3 October 2015, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 456, Intro and Ancient Works Q and A 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 26th novel, working title, Shape, is this: Mrs. Lyons captures a shape-shifting girl in her pantry and rehabilitates her.
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 started writing 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.
One of my blog readers posed these questions. I’ll use the next few weeks to answer them.
1. Conflict/tension between characters
2. Character presentation (appearance, speech, behavior, gestures, actions)
3. Change, complexity of relationship, and relation to issues/theme
4. Evolving vs static character
5. Language and style
6. Verbal, gesture, action
7. Words employed
8. Sentence length
10. Type of grammar
12. Field of reference or allusion
14. Mannerism suggest by speech
16. Distinct manner of writing or speaking you employ, and why (like Pinter’s style includes gaps, silences, non-sequitors, and fragments while Chekhov’s includes ‘apparent’ inconclusiveness).
17. Intro the concepts to my boys, using Homer’s Illiad, chp 4-7.
Moving on to 17. 17. Intro the concepts to my boys, using Homer’s Illiad, chp 4-7.
Slight digression: I’m writing from Cairo on another world tour.
Far be it from me to dissuade anyone from using ancient literature as a study material. However, I will. Believe it or not, but literature is getting better and better with time. Let’s look at the history of literature and you will see what I mean. The first writing is records of sacrifices. This way the king kept the priests straight and the priests kept the king straight. Only later after people began to get the notion that other things could be kept on a list–like their sheep or their goods or their laws did we get a slight change. The change was from goods to ideas. You still see some of this in the early books of the Tanakh (Old Testament). The record, the literature, is almost 100% narrative lists. In some cases you begin to get narrative historical information, but list are the thing. From lists of people, to lists of animals, to lists of time, to lists of the things created, to lists of laws, to lists of sacrifices, and the list goes on. The Tanakh, by the way is the highest level of this type of ancient document.
At the same time, you began to get records of myths, spells, and works attributed to gods or about the gods. These were ideas originally in a story format that people just got around to writing down. The Illiad and the Odyssey are examples of narrative poems that happened to get written down in this period of literature. Beowulf and many sagas also are this type of literature. Many assert that some accounts in the Tanakh are likewise this type of literature. The Egyptian Book of the Dead and the Gitas are this type of literature.
Eventually, another type of literature began to assert itself. This was literature that claimed to record the words of the gods or ideas from the gods. This wasn’t about the gods, but the words of the gods. The Tanakh records many of these pieces in the prophetic books. The records of Buddha or Confusion sayings are this type of literature.
All these types of literature: lists, records about the gods, and the words of the gods were about the only thing the word had to offer until about 500 BC–that is when the first human histories were recorded by the Greeks. The change was considered a great change in literature and the advent of the legal-historical method. For the first time, human history and events were as important (or almost as important) as the gods. This was also the beginning of the age of true human literature.