16 April 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 651, Release Mannerisms Suggested by Speech 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 editing many of my novels using comments from my primary reader. I’m on Children of Light and Darkness at the moment.
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 14. 14. Mannerism suggested by speech
When you describe a mannerism, action, or gesture through speech, don’t overdo it and save it for the release. If you remember, in pacing, I described the release like a properly told joke. Improper pacing (or timing) when telling a joke makes the joke fall flat. This is true in a scene as well. In a scene, proper pacing (timing) brings the release of the tension to just the proper boiling point before giving the climax of the scene. The climax is the release.
One of the best means to bring about the release is a well-placed conversational gesture. So, for example, the tension build up is for the protagonist who is trying out for the football team. He gives his all, but that isn’t enough to get him on the team. At the end, the coach announces the new team members and the protagonist isn’t on the list. He turns and the team manager, a girl, tosses him a towel and whispers, “I thought you’d make the team—keep the towel as long as you like.” He held the towel over his eyes.
Here is a conversation that implies a mannerism from the protagonist. Look at how much is conveyed in this very simple statement. The statement implies, the protagonist is visibly upset and the team manager, who is likely his friend, and perhaps interested in him, gives him a towel with the whispered comment. The implication is the boy is unhappy, perhaps to the point of tears, but the author and the team manager protect his manhood. This is also another means of showing emotion without telling about it. You can immediately understand the power of this kind of conversation and this kind of action—the author doesn’t have to tell or describe anything. The readers get it without any other explanation.
Look for points in your own writing where you can use this type of writing technique—this is a very advanced technique, but the way.
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