11 June 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 707, Character Interaction Other Archetypes, Style Q and AA
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.
Archetypes of the protagonist in literature follow the telic flaw of the protagonist and are either pathetic (emotion developing) or not and romantic (ideal) or not. Other characters, by definition, can’t have a telic flaw, but they can display characteristics and archetypes similar to the protagonist. We don’t write about multiple protagonists, but many different characters fill our novels.
An archetype is not a stereotype. On the other hand, there are natural stereotypes in all writing. I don’t like using stereotypes, and I don’t like my characters limited by stereotypes. Many times an author can start with a stereotype because people recognize it and turn it into something much more powerful and better. For example, in Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si, I present a number of British school girls. Essie gets into a group of “bad girls.” The point is that they act, not so much like bad girls, but more like just girls who happen to like to break the rules a little and smoke and drink when and where they aren’t supposed to. They may be “bad girls” but they are just school girls. I think this is a fundamental concept in the development of characters. Each character is like a completely different person—they aren’t in any way the same. They don’t talk or act the same. Real people are diverse and their reasons for acting the way they act are as diverse as they are.
When you develop a character, make them an individual. That starts with their name and their description. That continues to their words and actions. It ends only with the part the reader should never know, their motivations. I like to think character development is not a function of style. In other words, a writer develops characters that are individuals unto themselves and the style part comes in with the way the character acts and not the way they are generally developed. How characters interact is certainly a variability of style.
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