13 June 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 709, more Character Interaction and 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: In Reno for Demos.
All characters are dependent on the climax and therefore the telic flaw of the protagonist. Since the author designs the protagonist and the telic flaw which defines the plot and theme, the style of the author comes naturally out of the development and interaction of the characters.
Then what is that interaction and how is it specifically related to style? This comes back to the way the author writes conversation and narrative. Really, it is first, the percentage the author gives to conversation and narrative. When I write narrative, I mean the action and description. My style is primarily based on conversation. My novels are about 80 percent conversation and 20 percent narrative—or so it seems to me. To me, this makes a perfect novel. However, if you look at many authors and especially Victorian era authors, the amount of narrative to conversation was more likely 80 percent description and action and 20 percent conversation. More modern novels move toward more conversation and less narration. The breakdown of conversation to narration is a question of character interaction and style.
The type of conversation and narration is also a function of style. For example, conversation can border on confrontation. On the other hand, conversation can express conviviality. Generally, in a novel, conversation expresses some degree of confrontation. If not, what is the purpose? Normal conversation is generally convivial and many times non-communicative. Conversation in a novel must always drive to the telic flaw resolution. For this reason, it usually must be communicative and/or confrontational. This is not to say you should write to be intentionally confrontational when it isn’t necessary. This is to state that conversation must communicate the ideas that lead to the telic flaw resolution. If it doesn’t, what’s the point?
fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic