9 June 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 705, Character Interaction Non-Pathos Archetypes, 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)
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.
A non-pathos building character or a non-pathetic character can still produce emotion, but not by just existing. This is the power of a pathetic character. A pathos building character (a pathetic character) generates emotion simply by being alive. This is similar to kitten videos and big-eyed prints. People are filled with emotion just by looking at them. Likewise, a pathetic character generates emotion just by existing in a novel. A non-pathetic character is the most common character for any novel. Think of most novels that don’t include an orphan, a girl, or any combination thereof, those are mostly non-pathetic characters. I say most because I like to use pathetic characters, and I have made some very new advances in this type of character.
The non-pathetic character is the norm of literature. The problem with this norm is that most authors and readers would like a little free pathos in their novels. Many protagonist helpers or other side characters tend to become pathetic characters. This is a good technique for novels that need a little emotional boost. Most novels need some emotional development. As I mentioned, this comes into play many times with the protagonist’s helper or with other side characters. For example, Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol or Mary in Oliver Twist are characters whose purpose is to develop pathos in the novel. Oliver Twist himself is a pathetic character, and Scrooge can also be considered a pathetic character.
Think about Scrooge and about Oliver Twist. Oliver Twist is an orphan who is taken in by thieves. This is a good pathos builder. Oliver is pretty much a pansy, if he were a strapping young boy, he wouldn’t generate much strength of emotion, but Dickens wrote him as a pale waiflike nobleman. Scrooge, on the other hand, seems like the last character to develop pathos, but Dickens portrays Scrooge as a person alone because of his life and money. Scrooge chose poorly and chose money instead of love or humanity. He is a miser without excuse, but he is still a character who generates pathos.
Another interesting character from this period is George Elliot’s Silas Marner from the book of the same name. The major characters in this book are pathetic characters and intended to drive an emotional response. Silas Marner is as miserly a character as Dicken’s Scrooge, but he is changed over the course of time by Eppie, the orphaned girl he rescues from a snowy death. This book is a great example of the use of pathos in characters and situations. The creative elements in this novel are devoted to this type of emotional development.
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