12 December 2015, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 526, more Telic 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 and the day before, 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.
Anne is the best integrated telic flaw of the three novels I’m using as examples. Anne’s major telic flaw is that she needs a family. Her mental lapses and pride come out of her upbringing and her birth. In this way, the author ties the telic flaw of Anne’s lack of family with her personality. The crises and climax of the novel comes with the death of her adopted father/protector and we learn Anne does indeed have a family and has become completely integrated into the community. Anne is not a perfect character. Now, I will point out a couple of issues with the telic flaw and the book itself.
First, the telic flaw is not a bad one, but it is one driven by fate. The fated theme is an old Greek idea based in a deus ex machina. Anne thrives because of the environment she finally falls into. This makes a wonderful story, but isn’t very useful to the reader–what happens to all the other children who aren’t as imaginative or those who are but are placed in a horrid family environment. The author started that way, but the book doesn’t have a proper climax. The proper climax of the novel would be Anne’s acceptance into the family without the tragic death of her father figure. The author diluted her true climax. That stated climax would be all right but the novel itself dilutes the tension and release cycle with way too much telling. Add to this the lack of tension and the diluted tension especially in the initial scene. I’ll try to think of a better example of a strong integrated telic flaw in a more modern novel.