10 December 2015, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 524, more Flaws 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.
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).
Moving on to 3. 3. Change, complexity of relationship, and relation to issues/theme
Sixth, what are their flaws and specifically, what is the telic flaw of the protagonist. Yesterday, I mentioned: Anne of Green Gables, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, and The Little Princess (Sara Crew). What are the telic flaws in these three characters, and how does that relate to the climax and the resolution of the novel?
The telic flaw of Sara Crew is that she is an orphan. However, the theme is very clear from the title (A Little Princess) that we are supposed to regard Sara Crew as nobility. According to the ideas of the early 20th Century, nobility will out, therefore, Sara will continue to act like nobility in spite of all harm and abuse that befalls her. Her problem is that she is an orphan and specifically fatherless. She has no power to fix this telic flaw, but in the sense of this type of theme, since nobility will out–she must be observed as noble and discovered by her new father. The resolution of her telic flaw is that she doesn’t ever fail in her nobility. This is not exactly our modern view of how a novel or theme should work. We understand the plot and the plot devices (quite a few deus ex machina) that make everything come out right, and we enjoy them. Plus this novel was not intended to ever be able to be a tragedy. In a tragedy, Sara Crew would never had failed in being a little princess, but she would not have overcome her fatherlessness or orphan state and she would have ended in servitude and penury.
Not a great children’s book at all–that is the tragedy of Sara Crew. Let’s look at the next…