Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 556, more real Classics Words Employed Q and A

11 January 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 556, more real Classics 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.

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’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 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 – how tone is created through diction, rhythm, sentence construction, sound effects, images created by similes, syntax/re-arrangement of words in sentence, the inflections of the silent or spoken voice, etc.
  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 7. 7.  Words employed

To increase your vocabulary, you need to read the “classics.” I’ve never done this before. I’m going to give you a list of 100 books that I consider “classics.” I’ll also give a little info about the novels. Obviously the list isn’t from best to worst or from worst to best—it is just random.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen – Victorian and not the best example of a modern novel.
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien – Tolkien is a great story teller, but not the best novelist.
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte — Victorian
4 Dandelion Wine – Ray Bradbury – Best modern novel in English
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible – Most important book to understand Western culture.
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte – Victorian
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 We The Living – Ayn Rand
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens – Victorian, but more modern than others in the period.
Total:
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott – Beginning of the US Victorian
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Dune – Frank Herbert
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare – better to see as plays
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 The Cadwal Chronicles – Jack Vance
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Green Pearl Novels – Jack Vance
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
Total:
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchel
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy – I’m not so sure this is a great novel in English
25 Starship Troopers – Robert Heinlein
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck – In Dubious Battle may be better
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
Total:
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy – Not so sure about this one, but it’s worth a read
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma -Jane Austen – Victorian
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand
37 The Tale of Genji – Murasaki Shikibu – the first novel ever written
38 The House of Seven Gables – Nathaniel Hawthorne
39 The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
Total:
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 Dracula – Bram Stoker – First Gothic horror novel
43 Til We All Have Faces – C.S. Lewis – two for one—you get Cupid and Psyche at the same time
44 Le Morte D’Arthur – Thomas Malory – chief basis for Arthurian Legend and chivalry
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 Ivanhoe – Sir Walter Scott – perhaps the most important historical novel about England
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand
Total:
51 What Katy Did – Sarah Chauncey Woolsey under her pen name Susan Coolidge
52 A Little Princess – Frances Hodgson Burnett
53 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling
56 Kim – Rudyard Kipling
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 Beowulf – Unknown
60 The Odyssey – Homer
Total:
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Moonstone – Wilkie Collins – first detective story in English
64 The Maltese Falcon – Dashiell Hammett – first noir detective novel
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Robinson Caruso – Daniel Defoe – First novel in English
69 The Red Badge of Courage – Stephen Crane
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
Total:
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Don Quixote – Miguel De Cervantes
73 Heidi – Johanna Spyri
74 Hans Brinker – Mary Mapes Dodge
75 Ulysses – James Joyce – really not worth the read and not really a classic, but you might as well know what a bad novel is.
76 The Inferno – Dante
77 The Big Sky Country – Arlo Guthrie
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
Total:
80 The Black Arrow – Robert Louis Stevenson
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
83 The Gulag Archipelago – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
84 The Miser – George Elliot
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 For Whom the Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemmingway
87 Tarzan – Edger Rice Burroughs
88 The Death of Socrates – Plato
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 I, Robot – Isaac Asimov
Total:
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 Huckleberry Fin – Mark Twain
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift
96 Matilda – Roald Dahl
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 The Canterbury Tales – Geoffrey Chaucer
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

101 The Once and Future King – T.H. White

102 The Deerslayer – James Fenimore Cooper

103 The Black Book of Communism – Various

104 Ben Hur – Lew Wallace

105 The Robe – Lloyd C. Douglas

106 The Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan

107 The Histories – Herodotus

108 Lives – Plutarch

109 The Call of the Wild – Jack London

110 Stand on Zanzibar – John Brunner

 

111 The Shockwave Rider – John Brunner – prediction of the computer virus and inspiration for it

  1. The Aeneid – Virgil

 

I left up the list. If you haven’t read these books, you really need to. If you haven’t, your education is suspect. I would like you to especially note—many women authors are on this list. Most are early novelists and the earliest novelist. I can keep adding to the list, but what I really want you to take away is what you can gain from these books and novels. We started with the employment of words.

The only way to fully comprehend the proper employment of words is to read works in English (or the language you wish to write in) and get the feel of the proper use of words. The vocabulary you use in the proper times and mouths is the employment of words. The descriptions you make in scene and character setting are dependent on the proper employment of words. The conversations you write must subtly and not so subtly convey your character(s) age, education, class, culture, etc.—all this through the words employed.

The first step is knowledge of and enjoyment of the classics—the second step is the employment of the words themselves. Now, I will assume for now you are knowledgeable about proper grammar and the use of English. I hope you also learned this from the classics. In word use (employment), I have some advanced advice for the best use of language. This is a true secret of writing—I’ll show you next.

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

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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.
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