Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 514, more Telic Change Character Change Q and A

30 November 2015, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 514, more Telic Change Character Change Q and A

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.

Today’s Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select “production schedule,” you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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 ComputerLilly is my 24th novel.

Cover Proposal

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.

Scene development:
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
9.  Complexity
10.  Type of grammar
11.  Diction
12.  Field of reference or allusion
13.  Tone
14.  Mannerism suggest by speech
15.  Style
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).

Moving on to 3. 3.  Change, complexity of relationship, and relation to issues/theme

I’ll repeat:

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 telic flaw of the protagonist is introduced during the initial scene.  The change of the telic flaw of the protagonist occurs during the rising action.  The climax occurs because of the telic flaw of the protagonist and is resolved through overcoming the telic flaw (or not).  The work is a comedy if the telic flaw is overcome.  It is a tragedy if the telic flaw overcomes the protagonist.

The change in the telic flaw of the character is called the telic change.  This is what we call the change in the protagonist.  Other characters can have flaws (not telic flaws).  Other characters may show a change in their flaws, but it is not a telic flaw and their flaws can’t drive the plot, climax, or resolution.  This change is critical to the entire novel–in fact, this change is the plot and theme of the novel.  That is, it is the piece that pulls the plot theme and characters together into the structure of the novel.  Indeed, the telic flaw and the change of the telic flaw is what a novel is about.

Now, you will note some novels are not put together this tightly or well–that’s a diplomatic way of saying they don’t follow classic novel design.  If you look at any well written and classical novel, you will see they all follow this ideal and method.  A simple example is A Christmas Carol.  Scrooges’ telic flaw is obvious and presented immediately–he is smitten by the love of money.  His telic flaw is greed.  The initial scene introduces his greed.  The rising action is about his redemption from greed.  The climax, the death of Tiny Tim (and Scrooge himself) are caused by his greed.  The resolution of the climax is a result of the change of Scrooges’ telic flaw.  He succeeds and that makes the novel a comedy.  This is a very clean classic novel by plot and theme.  Let’s look at another classic novel, The Scarlet Letter.  Hester Prynne’s telic flaw is her love (sexual passion and adultery) for the minister Arthur Dimmesdale.  We are introduced to this flaw during the initial scene.  The rising action is how she begins to see the protection of her lover isn’t really worth the price.  However, her daughter is the Pearl of great price–purchased at a great cost.  The climax is caused by her telic flaw and she does not overcome it.  Therefore, she loses her lover.  Her telic flaw overcomes her, and the novel ends a tragedy.  This leads us to complexity of character and relationships in a novel.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:



About L.D. Alford

L. D. Alford is a novelist whose writing explores with originality those cultures and societies we think we already know. His writing distinctively develops the connections between present events and history—he combines them with threads of reality that bring the past alive. L. D. Alford is familiar with technology and cultures—he is widely traveled and earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Pacific Lutheran University, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University, a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from The University of Dayton, and is a graduate of Air War College, Air Command and Staff College, and the USAF Test Pilot School. L. D. Alford is an author who combines intimate scientific and cultural knowledge into fiction worlds that breathe reality. He is the author of three historical fiction novels: Centurion, Aegypt, and The Second Mission, and three science fiction novels: The End of Honor, The Fox’s Honor, and A Season of Honor.
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