15 May 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 680, Analogies, Style 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, proposed title, Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si, is this: Mrs. Lyons captures a shape-shifting girl in her pantry and rehabilitates her.
I just started writing my 27th novel, working title, Claire, potential title Sorcha: Enchantment and the Trainee. This might need some tweaking. The theme statement is something like this: Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, the dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.
Here is the cover proposal for Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si. Essie is my 26th 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 finished editing Children of Light and Darkness and am now writing on my 27th novel, working title Claire.
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 15. 15. Style
Woah—style is huge. I just spent more than six months defining style from almost every angle I could imagine. Here are the elements I found for an author’s style.
1. Novel based style
a. Writing focus
c. Scene development
d. Word use
g. Use of figures of speech
i. Character revelation
k. Real world ties
m. Character interaction
2. Scene based style
c. Tension and release development
e. Theme development
Quick digression: Back in the USA for the holidays.
I consider foreshadowing to be one of the most important tools for the author. It’s difficult to fully explain foreshadowing as the power tool for writing long fiction, and I’m sure there’s much more to say, but in terms of style, I’m moving to analogies. Here is a definition for analogies.
a comparison between two things, typically on the basis of their structure and for the purpose of explanation or clarification.
“an analogy between the workings of nature and those of human societies”
- a correspondence or partial similarity.
“the syndrome is called deep dysgraphia because of its analogy to deep dyslexia”
- a thing that is comparable to something else in significant respects.
“works of art were seen as an analogy for works of nature”
An analogy is a figure of speech. In general, analogies are one of the most powerful tools an author has for communicating. Analogies and style come in two parts: how much and what. The how much is how many words the author expends in analogies. Analogies can be very long or very short. A long analogy is like an allegory. A short analogy is a simple metaphor. The what is the types of analogies an author uses.
The purpose of an analogy is to communicate a complex idea more simply. Here’s an analogy: the young boys ate like wolves. Instead, you could write: the young boys tore at their food, wolfing it down without any regard for taste or anyone else. The second sentence is longer and includes an analogy (or at least a figure of speech) of its own. Both sentences convey almost the same idea. In the first, the reader pictures young boys acting like wolves. In the second, the author depicts young boys acting like wolves. Which is better? The answer is which fits the continuum of the writing and which is more entertaining in context.
The purpose of fiction writing is always entertainment. There is no other real purpose for it. If, ate like wolves, is more entertaining, the author should write that. If there is another way to write the idea, use that. The point of analogies is the writer can move the writing into a more powerful creative sphere. Comparing young boys directly to wolves creates the ability to continue along a theme about wolves and boys—think of Lord of the Flies.
Now, this is why you want to write using analogies. The question of style is what you do then.
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