21 February 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 597, more 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.
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:
- Historical 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 suggested 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 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.
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.
Here is an example of a direct reference. The building looked like a Dracula’s castle. Or, you could write, the building looked like Dracula’s castle. These are direct references and allusions. I didn’t place them in the full context of a setting—there should be more here (about 290 more words of description) to round out the setting. However, just writing a building or an environment is like Dracula’s castle should produce an image in the mind of a reader. Every reader should know about Dracula and every literate person should have read Dracula by Bram Stoker.
This is a very simple example of an allusion. A more complex example might compare a character to a character in Dracula or a room to a room in the novel. The allusion could be direct and name names or a pure allusion and indirectly allude to Dracula.
Now, expand this to the entire list of classics I gave before. Of special note, writers in the past used three chief sources for reference and allusion—those sources, in order, are the Bible, myth, and poetry (especially Greek and Latin poetry). If you know about these three, you can read and understand most classical literature. If you don’t, you likely have no basis or ability to do so.
As a writer, your sources of allusion and reference should mainly come from these sources too.
fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic