6 October 2015, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 459, still more Continuation 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.
The New Testament Gospels are the beginning of modern literature. They are the first documents in the ancient world to include narrative and quotations within the same text. That isn’t the end of the story. This is just the beginning of modern literature. Modern literature has come a long way since the Gospels.
This time period was characterized by the invention of the novel. The first novel was written by Murasaki Shikibu. It is titled The Tale of Genji. Murasaki wrote her novel around 1000 AD. Few if any Western novels were written until Don Quixote. The first English novel is usually attributed to Daniel Defoe with Robinson Caruso. Daniel Defoe is usually given credit for the first modern novel in any language. Daniel Defoe wrote a journal in the first person past tense in the sense of a history. Daniel Defoe caused a huge problem for the Enlightenment. He wrote a piece of fiction that looked like history. Because of Defoe’s novels we basically began to use the word fiction and novel for a fictional account.
The huge difference between Defoe and previous writers was that Defoe didn’t tell a story rather Defoe showed a story. In previous writing, short stories had early begun to show the story instead of telling the story, but Defoe was almost the first in a long format.
Defoe accomplished this showing through narration mixed with quotation–just like the Gospels. Now, Defoe was one of the first with this new idea, so his novels still did a lot of telling. Novels have evolved since Defoe. In each generation of writers, you see the strength of the showing improve and increase. You see the word use and word play improve. You see ideas that would be impossible for Defoe or Dickens come to life.
Though it too will soon be eclipsed by better literature, I consider Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine to be one if not the best modern novel. I would use Dandelion Wine as an example of great fiction writing.