5 January 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 550, Foreign Words Employed 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’m on my first editing run-through of 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 7. 7. Words employed
Use standard English, until you need some foreign words. At times, the author either has characters who speak a language other than English, or wants his characters to speak another language. We are well past the point, boys and girls, where the average English speaking person knows a little French, German, Latin, or any other important language. In the past, an author would just quote in the language, especially if it was a common language. Today, you can’t do that. I have begun the habit of writing the first, second, and max third statement in the foreign language and placing it in a footnote translated into English. Following a short introduction in the new language, I simply state: they continued conversing in French, and then use standard English for the conversation. There are a couple of other circumstances with foreign languages that can be handled in a similar way.
Exclamations in a foreign language. These are fun and a great way to remind the reader what language the characters are speaking. For example, merde in French or zut or oui. These are great to sprinkle into your text at the right moment. I usually place their translation in a footnote, or for a pure exclamation, I just leave it as it is.
Side conversations in a foreign language. Sometimes, for entertainment and tension and release, you will want your characters to make comments behind the backs of other characters. This can be a great method for both entertainment and for tension and release. It gives latitude to characters to speak candidly—and there is always the chance they will be heard and understood by the wrong person(s). I place the translations in footnotes so everyone can get the joke.
An author can also invent words.