3 March 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 607, Love Examples of Tone 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 13. 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.
I’m writing from Florida–thought you should know.
If tone is the feel of the writing, the author must start first with what tone he wants to convey.
Aksinya is a great example of tone in a novel. The novel moves from horror and murder to blissful elegance and high society. The tone of the scenes range from love to hate and from great happiness to despair. The peaks of human emotion and human suffering are found in Aksinya—the tone of the novel must therefore fit the scenes. I can’t leave you without a scene whose tone is love. There is much more to this scene.
Ernst pulled her a little closer, “This is not the place to speak about such things.”
“Come, we will converse in private.”
Aksinya pressed her lips together again, “Not without my chaperone.”
Ernst glanced at her. He hesitated a moment, “Very well.” He led Aksinya to where Natalya sat. Aksinya made a sign to Natalya. Ernst held to Aksinya’s fingers on his arm and took her back toward the parlor. He led her through the room and to the entrance to a smaller sunroom on the other side. The music from the ballroom still sifted to them. He touched the back of a chair and glanced at Natalya, “I wish to speak privately with the Countess. Would you sit here by the door? You can still observe us though the opening.”
Natalya glanced at Aksinya. Aksinya nodded to her. Natalya sat in the chair, and Ernst led Aksinya to the end of the sunroom. The small room was like an enclosed balcony. The outer wall was glass and overlooked a courtyard within the interior of the building. A low stone wall stood at the end as though the balcony had once been open, but the glass had been added later. He rested against the edge and held Aksinya’s hands. She pulled her hands from his and leaned on the top of the wall. The top was unfinished stone with some crumbling mortar in between. She picked at the loose pieces of it, “What did you wish to say to me that you couldn’t say in the ballroom?”
“The reason I am so interested in you.”
Aksinya toyed with the mortar, “I was about to tell you… you are interested only because of the sorcery. I understand that.”
He stared out at the darkened courtyard, “It isn’t the sorcery.”
Aksinya picked at the mortar a little more fiercely, “It has always been about the sorcery.”
“Why are you trying to tell me how I feel about you?”
“It is obvious. It is because of the sorcery. Isn’t that what you told me before?”
Ernst grabbed her hands and made her look at him, “It is obvious that I love you.”
Aksinya tried to pull her hands out of his and turned her face away, “It is obvious because of the sorcery. Don’t bring in such ideas as love.”
“I’m telling you, Aksinya. It isn’t the sorcery. I love you.”
“You…you used my name.”
“Sorry, I’m telling you, it isn’t the sorcery. It never was the sorcery. That was just an excuse I used to get close to you.”
“You said you were trying to accomplish sorcery, and you wanted me to teach you.”
“You said my courtier told you about me.”
“I heard about you from your uncle. He pointed me to your courtier. I don’t know why the subject of sorcery came up with him. I have been studying it. I have been completely unsuccessful. I know I can’t really do it. It requires a faith in the world I don’t have.”
“So you took my book just to get me to go to the ballet with you.”
“Your courtier said there was no other way to convince you. I wanted to get to know you. You are an astonishing person. In my mind, you are a perfect woman.”
Aksinya mumbled, “Ha, you know nothing about me.”
“But I do know a lot about you now. Everything I know, I love.” Ernst pulled Aksinya closer to him, “Listen to me Aksinya. I want you to be mine.”
She trembled and tried to pull away, “What do you mean by that?”
“I want you to marry me.” He pulled her close again and put his lips on hers. Aksinya allowed him to kiss her. She sunk into his embrace. They stood there for what seemed like to Aksinya for a long time. Slowly he let her go, and she settled back with her feet solidly on the ground.
Natalya rushed from the other room. She grabbed Aksinya by the arm and tried to pull her away from Ernst, “Get back Ernst von Taaffe. I know impropriety when I see it. That was much too forward. Let her go.” She punched at the young man.
Ernst let go of Aksinya’s hands, and she fell back a step. She stared at Ernst with dawning realization, “You…you kissed me.”
“Mistress, you should have slapped him. Otherwise, he will be encouraged…”
Aksinya closed her eyes for a moment and took a deep breath, “No, Natalya. I wish to speak with him further.”
“I will stand right here between you.”
“No,” Akisnya’s voice softened, “No, please, Lady Natalya. Just let me speak with him a moment more. I shall stand away from him, and he shall not touch me again.”
“Only if he promises…”
Ernst growled, “I will promise for now.”
Aksinya pleaded, “You see, Lady Natalya, he promised. Allow me to speak to him for a little longer after that you and I will retire for the evening.”
Natalya scowled at Ernst. She glanced at Aksinya from the sides of her eyes, “Very well, mistress. But he must stand on one side of the room and you on the other. I shall be watching.” She pointed at Ernst, “If you make a single move toward her, sir, I shall scream for her aunt and uncle and tell them everything.”
Ernst moved to the end of the enclosed balcony, “Lady Natalya, you need not fear. I will not attempt to molest your mistress again.”
Natalya glanced at Aksinya. Aksinya hastily moved to the other end of the balcony. They waited for Natalya to return to her seat.
Aksinya bent forward a little toward Ernst. She whispered and tried to get her voice to carry to him, “You…you kissed me.”
Ernst kept his voice low, “I have wanted to kiss you for a long time.”
She touched her lips, “Why?”
“Because I love you.”
“What will you gain by loving me?”
Ernst smiled, “I desire you. That is all. I love you. Do you love me?”
“I…I don’t know.”
“Then I’m sorry I was so forward, but I’m not sorry I kissed you. I would hope to continue to woo you. I want you to marry me.” He pulled a small box from his coat pocket, “I have a ring for you. I would like to give it to you tonight.”
“For me? Then you are serious?”
“Why would you think I wasn’t serious?”
“What about your father, and his wish for you to join his business?”
“I told him tonight that I would join the firm. I made arrangements with him to begin to work the following Monday. I will still be able to escort you to dinner and the opera on Wednesday. Didn’t you understand me? Even if you will not make up your mind tonight, I will continue to see you and entertain you. I will pursue you until your answer is yes. You have no other suitors?”
Aksinya shook her head.
“You don’t have another lover?”
Aksinya shook her head.
Ernst’s voice softened, “Then there are no others ahead of me. I have no competition.”
“But I have never imagined someone loving me before.”
Ernst shook his head, “Why should a man not love you. You are beautiful and intelligent. Your deportment and social skills are excellent. You enjoy all the pasttimes I enjoy. Why should I not want to share my life with you?”
Aksinya stared out into the darkness and whispered, “This is a temptation to me. It is surely a temptation.” She spoke more loudly, “Did Anatov Aznabaev put you up to this?”
“Your courtier? I haven’t seen him in a long time.”
“Have you been engaging in sorcery?”
Ernst put up his hand, “Not since I met you. I realized then, I could not achieve any of it. I told you already, I don’t have the skills or the power to do it. I want to give you this ring.”
Aksinya raised her eyes to his, “I’m not sure of what I will answer to you. I’m not certain if I love you.”
“Isn’t it enough if I love you? I swear I will give you everything in my power.”
Aksinya cried, “Do not swear. Do not swear anything to me. Don’t use those words around me. Don’t you realize how dangerous that is?”
“Dangerous to swear what I am truly willing to do? I do swear it. I swear to Aksinya that I love her, will do anything I can for her, and will marry her.”
Aksinya pressed her hands over her ears, “Don’t swear. It is enough to say you will do it, but do not swear it.”
“Will you accept my ring?”
“I cannot—not yet.”
“Will you accept my love?”
“I must think on this—it is too difficult for me to decide right now. My mind is in turmoil.”
“Will you allow me to continue to court you?”
Aksinya sighed, “Will you kiss me again?”
“I will, but only if the Lady Natalya will not scream.”
Aksinya turned a little toward Natalya, “Lady Natalya, I wish to allow Ernst to kiss me again. Will you please let him?”
“Kiss him? You should hit him.”
“I wish to kiss him. Please allow me. I shall not ask for more than one tonight, but I would like to kiss him once more.”
Natalya’s anger was evident on her face, “I shall turn around for ten seconds. By the time I have counted to ten, I expect you to be at my side. If you are not, I shall certainly yell for your aunt and uncle.”
“Thank you, Lady Natalya.” Aksinya didn’t wait to see if Natalya turned, she ran to Ernst and put her arms around his neck. She clumsily brought her lips to his and lingered there in a measured kiss. He put his arms around her and held her tightly. They parted at eight seconds and Aksinya ran to Natalya’s side. Natalya noted Aksinya beside her with an impatient nod and began walking. Aksinya glanced back at Ernst. His eyes lingered on her. They did not leave her the entire time until she lost sight of him when she exited the parlor.
This is a scene from late in the novel. It is before the first climax—the theme climax. In this scene Ernst declares his love, and Aksinya seems like she will accept. The Lady Natalya shows some very interesting responses to Aksinya and Ernst. You would think Natalya would long for her mistress to find love. Life and novels have strange events. Right now, I want you to get the feel of tone—later we will look at the how of the tone.
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