Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 518, Real Details Character Complexity Q and A

4 December 2015, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 518, Real Details Character Complexity 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

Third, I know what they look like and who they are.   What does your character look like.  I design my characters from people in real life.  None of my characters are a singular person from real life, but I take a bit from one and a bit from another.  I rarely, if ever, borrow anything from another character in literature or other media.  Especially as far a appearance and dress, I take my descriptions and examples from real people and real fashions.

My favorite example for a human description is the pony-faced girl from my yet unpublished novel, Hestia.

The summer sun sank slowly behind the buildings along the street. It left the street, Athinas, in shadows. Slowly with fits and whispered droning, the lights along the street sputtered on.

Almost unnoticed a young girl separated herself from the passersby and came close to the table Angela, Phil, and Jack shared. She stood at the edge of the street just opposite Angela and stared at Angela’s wrist. Angela felt her gaze, but until the lights came on, Phil and Jack didn’t notice the girl at all. When the neon lights of the taverna flickered with a buzz and illuminated the girl’s upturned face—almost magically, there she stood.

Angela had discerned her presence in some way unknown and watched the darkness that cloaked her. The girl was small and slight. She didn’t appear over ten or twelve, the cusp of adolescence. But there was a feeling of age and antiquity in her bearing. Her face was beautiful but under-slung. Her face sloped at an angle so her chin stuck much further than the tip of her nose. Her nose and lips were slight, but well formed. Angela wondered long before she realized the girl watched the keys on her wrist where she had seen such a face before.

Without turning her head, Angela pronounced under her breath, “Phil, Jack, do you see the girl at the street?”

Phil said, “Yes.”

Jack nodded.

Angela spoke to the girl, “Hello. Would you come sit with us?”

The girl nodded, but no trace of shyness constrained her. She waited until the way was clear, then with a stealthy look to the right and left, she came to their table and sat down.

At close range, the oddity of her profile was even more pronounced, but her strange beauty made it impossible not to look at her.

“Who are you?” asked Angela.

The girl’s voice was lilting and warm like the last shot of sunlight on a hillside, “You may not want to know my name. Ask me later, when you know something about me.”

“Still, who are you?” With a sudden illumination of thought, Angela asked, “Are you with us, or do you oppose us?”

The girl ignored Angela’s question. She said wistfully, “It is said that the goddess of the hearth went to the big temple to seek the one true God.”

“Yes, Hestia went to the cathedral and accepted the worship of the true God. Would you like to go there?”

The girl took her gaze off Angela’s wrist for the first time and stared in her eyes. The girl’s eyes were large and adorned with long lashes. They were like deep wine dark pools that swallowed up everything. “Not all of us can go there on our own, many of us are bound.” Her lips curled into a smile and her eyes narrowed, “But, lady, you hold the way to free us.” Her eyes snapped back to Angela’s wrist.

Angela made a wry face at the keys, “You mean these?”

“Yes, those. I am bound and….”

At that moment, Father Slannas stepped across the street toward the taverna. He waved at them and called. They waved back, and by the time he made his way to their table, the girl was gone—she had disappeared.

The pony-faced girl is based on the appearance of a real person.  I happened to notice a girl who looked exactly like what I imagined this bound demi-god should appear like–so I borrowed it.  The personality of this being is not at all like the person she looks like.  The appearance of the person was unique and different.  I like unique and different–they are easy to describe and for your readers to remember.

Now to what they wear…

More tomorrow.

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

http://www.ancientlight.com/
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Advertisements

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.
This entry was posted in Daemon and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s