16 January 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 561, Odds and Ends Words Best Not 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 Escape from Freedom. Escape is my 25th 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
- 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.
- 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
The list is gone. I’d would be nice to keep it up and add to it as I thought of more classics. I want to give you more ideas about the employment of words or the right word for the moment, but I’m going to come from a different point of view for a moment. Let’s look at words not to use. Here’s the list:
These are words you want to reduce in your writing.
Gotten is rotten. Got is rot. Just don’t use them. You can find so many other ways of saying the same thing without using these words. Instead of got, in almost every case, you can use received. Examples:
She got the package.
She received the package.
He had gotten a note.
He received a note. Or He had received a note.
Even is okay if you are using it to describe a level area or idea, it is usually redundant as in:
Even the cats didn’t like it. (bad)
The cats didn’t like it. (better)
Everyone including the cats didn’t like it. (exactly the same statement, still redundant, more specific)
Just don’t use it. Utilize means the same as use. It is a redundant word without any purpose. Always use a smaller shorter word when it will do. That is unless you want your character to sound pretentious and overinflated. Examples:
I utilized the knife.
I used the knife.
These words are just bad ones for writing and tend to creep into our writing without notice. The best thing to do is to check for them and clean them out. I suggest riding them from your day to day writing as well as your fiction writing. We’ll look at said next.