25 December 2015, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 539, more Explanation Historical Speech Language and Style 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.
- Scene input (easy)
- Scene output (a little harder)
- Scene setting (basic stuff)
- Creativity (creative elements of the scene)
- Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)
- Release (climax of creative elements)
I can immediately discern three ways to invoke creativity:
- History extrapolation
- Technological extrapolation
- 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.
- Conflict/tension between characters
- Character presentation (appearance, speech, behavior, gestures, actions)
- Change, complexity of relationship, and relation to issues/theme
- Evolving vs static character
- Language and style
- Verbal, gesture, action
- Words employed
- Sentence length
- Type of grammar
- Field of reference or allusion
- Mannerism suggest by speech
- 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 5. 5. Language and style
Short digression: I’m writing from Glacier Bay National Park.
To write in a younger person’s speech pattern, I just have to use standard English and then use the proper decade’s or period’s standard English and idioms. In general, I use the modern period’s idioms and language. Like for an older person, here’s an example of a greeting. The greetings are the best place to show differences.
Leila opened the door, “Morning, Tilly.”
Tilly replied, “Hi, Leila.”
Leila waved, “Come on in. I’ll make tea.”
“I could use a spot of breakfast too.”
If you notice nothing else, look at the abbreviated formality. Youth in almost every culture (except Victorian) are less formal than (even in Victorian culture, some youth may abbreviate formality) their elders. Some cultures are imitative of the old and some reject age. Modern American culture rejects age—you will see more adults and the aged imitating the youth. Victorian culture reveres and imitates the aged—you will see the youth imitating the aged (in most cases).
In any case, in the above example, you see modern speech patterns and idioms but no colloquialisms. I’ve written before, colloquialisms will ruin your writing now and for the future. You should read The Little Witch for a perfect example of how the use of non-standard English will ruin the longevity and readability of a beautiful novel. The Little Witch is a fun book written in the 1950s—it is filled with 1950s jingoism and colloquialisms. The novel is still fun to read, but it is hard to read and loses much of its pathos and power because of the use of non-standard English. The author could have used standard English, but instead chose to use the colloquialisms of the time.