Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 706, Character Interaction Romance Archetypes, Style Q and A

10 June 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 706, Character Interaction Romance 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.

Today’s Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select “production schedule,” you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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 SiEssie is my 26th novel.

Cover Proposal

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 development:

  1. Scene input (easy)
  2. Scene output (a little harder)
  3. Scene setting (basic stuff)
  4. Creativity (creative elements of the scene)
  5. Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)
  6. Release (climax of creative elements)

One of my blog readers posed these questions.  I’ll use the next few weeks to answer them.

  1. Conflict/tension between characters
  2. Character presentation (appearance, speech, behavior, gestures, actions)
  3. Change, complexity of relationship, and relation to issues/theme
  4. Evolving vs static character
  5. Language and style
  6. Verbal, gesture, action
  7. Words employed
  8. Sentence length
  9. Complexity
  10. Type of grammar
  11. Diction
  12. Field of reference or allusion
  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.
  14. Mannerism suggested by speech
  15. Style
  16. 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
b.  Conversations
c.  Scene development
d.  Word use
e.  Foreshadowing
f.  Analogies
g.  Use of figures of speech
h.  Subthemes
i.  Character revelation
j.  Historicity
k.  Real world ties
l.  Punctuation
m.  Character interaction

2.  Scene based style

a  Time
b.  Setting
c.  Tension and release development
d.  Revelation
e.  Theme development
f.  POV

Quick digression: Back in the USA.

I included romance as an archetype to compare with romantic. A romance character is not necessarily bound to the romance genre, but that’s one of their hangouts. A romance archetype is a character whose telic flaw revolves around love in all its splendor. Here is an interesting juxtaposition. If you remember, genre of literature can be divided based on the climax resolution of the writing. For example, a science fiction novel is a science fiction novel because the climax resolution is about science. You might think about this specific example a little. A romance novel is a romance novel because the climax resolution is about love. A historical novel is a historical novel because the climax resolution is based in history. A fantasy novel is a fantasy novel because the climax resolution is based in fantasy. You might say, this isn’t always true. The question then: if the climax and genre don’t match, is there a problem with the genre or the novel. My simple point is this. The climax resolution is tied to the telic flaw of the protagonist. This makes the protagonist a type of archetype based on the genre of the novel. For example, if the climax resolution is based in science, the protagonist’s telic flaw is about science, and the protagonist’s archetype is science (or science fiction, if you like).

This is an interesting idea. This also means you can mix up characters’ archetypes but still remain true to a genre. Thus we have a romance character in any literature. A romance character is one who technically has a telic flaw based in love. Their telic flaw is either external, they need to find a person to love, or internal, they need to discover how to love someone else. The romance character can also be looking, and the novel not resolve based on love. For example, a science fiction novel with a romance based character. The resolution of the novel is based in science, but the character’s trait is seeking love. Is the novel science fiction or romance?

I just mention this interesting conundrum to show that archetypes have more to do with romantic, pathetic, and internal vs. external telic flaw. The characteristics of the protagonist have less to do with archetype and more to do with stereotypes. I try to keep away from stereotypes completely. I like to have characters who are the exact opposite of stereotypes. For example, my female characters tend to be very powerful and assertive. They literally have unworldly power and control it—or not, for the better good. I like to develop pathos producing women characters who are powerful because of who they are. This may sound a little odd, but if you read Aksinya: Enchantment and the Deamon, I think you will begin to see the type of character I like to write about. Aksinya is a powerful sorceress, perhaps the most powerful of her time. She is a cold and calculating person who calls a demon to protect her family and contracts the demon. She loses the family she is trying to protect. Here we have a woman caught in a problem of her own producing, but she is an orphan and dependent on the demon. Aksinya becomes a pathetic character. At the same time, she is a romantic character. She is intentionally stepping out against the culture of the times in many ways. Further, she has an internal and an external telic flaw. That is why this novel has a plot and a theme climax. I’ve written about this before. Further, Aksinya is an archetype romance and fantasy character. The climax of the novel turns on her telic flaws, but one happens to be the need for love and the other is based in the fantastic—a demon. I call the genre historical suspense. The interaction of the archetypes and the interaction of the characters is a question of style.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:


fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic


About L.D. Alford

L. D. Alford is a novelist whose writing explores with originality those cultures and societies we think we already know. His writing distinctively develops the connections between present events and history—he combines them with threads of reality that bring the past alive. L. D. Alford is familiar with technology and cultures—he is widely traveled and earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Pacific Lutheran University, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University, a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from The University of Dayton, and is a graduate of Air War College, Air Command and Staff College, and the USAF Test Pilot School. L. D. Alford is an author who combines intimate scientific and cultural knowledge into fiction worlds that breathe reality. He is the author of three historical fiction novels: Centurion, Aegypt, and The Second Mission, and three science fiction novels: The End of Honor, The Fox’s Honor, and A Season of Honor.
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