Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 596, Immersion in Allusion Q and A

20 February 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 596, Immersion in Allusion 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 Escape from FreedomEscape is my 25th novel.

 Escape Cover proposal sm
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. Historical 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 suggested 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 12. 12.  Field of reference or allusion

Here is a dictionary definition of allusion:

Allusion an expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference.

Here is definition of allusion I like even better:

Allusion, in literature, an implied or indirect reference to a person, event, or thing or to a part of another text

And, with that we have the purpose for field of reference and allusion—they immerse the reader into a historical world. They immerse the reader into a frame of reference that is different than the present. They immerse the reader into a place, event, or time such that those become real within the context of the writing.

The purpose of field of reference or allusion is immersion. You might ask, what about those who don’t understand the reference or the allusion—does a work detract for such a reader? The answer is not at all. If anything, the lack of understanding of an allusion or a reference should either make the uninformed seek out that reference or allusion or grab them on a later read—because that is the power of a novel strengthened by reference and allusion. Such a novel encourages readers to return to the novel and delve deeper. This is true of many literary classics—the reader is drawn to them again and again because they are entertaining and part of the “entertaining” is the reference and allusions in them.

An author must seek common allusions and common fields of reference. It does no good to make a reference to an unknown work or allusions to something that is outside of the normal human context. On the other hand, all classics and classical writing and especially those from antiquity are easily used for reference and allusion. It also doesn’t pay for an author to base a reference or allusion on a modern fad or non-classic popular work. Even a hard reference to such a work can fall flat—the work itself might be out of fashion or out of print. A great example of this is the youthful wizard and friends. It is highly unlikely that Harry and his world will survive as a classic—it possibly could, but what author would take that risk? On the other hand, an author might make a direct reference to such a work or the movie—that is, the characters in a novel might go to see a Harry Potter movie or read a Harry Potter book, as long as the book or movie fits the times and plot. Otherwise, the characters should just read a book or see a movie.

The point is, you can use direct references to set a work in a time and place. This is a field of reference in a setting—or a setting in a field of reference.

So as we move forward with this topic remember: use common, but classical references and allusions, and don’t allude to modern non-classical works.

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

fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic

Advertisements

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.
This entry was posted in Daemon and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s