12 July 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 738, more My Distinct Manner of Writing 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 16. 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).
The bottom line for learning to write and write well is first to read, then to fill your mind with experience and knowledge, and finally to write. Start with the goal of one million words, break that goal into novels, short stories, and essays, then begin.
Now we can talk about manner of writing. That manner of writing, I really want to call this style…that manner of writing will begin as an amorphous construct of your reading and your experience. The how will not be very clear to you. This is why I try to give you specific goals. If I had known about scene writing and creative elements, I could have knocked years off my writing and improved my writing quickly. This is why I write that every author believes their methods and manner of writing are the best—they worked and work for them. I still recommend my methods as a beginning. If this can take years off the difficulty of learning to write well, so be it. I just wish someone had told me.
My writing mannerism comes directly out of my experiences and my reading. I’ll define my style (manner) of writing as well as I can. The first is the dependence on the scene as the focus of the writing. I craft each scene individually and sequentially. The scene development follows the outline above. This is both style and technique. Further, I use the novel outline, also above. I know it is possible to write a novel that doesn’t follow this outline, but I wouldn’t try it, and few have succeeded with another type of design. Put both together, and my major focus is the initial scene. Each of my scenes is crafted from the input to output based on the initial scene. The characters come out of this scene, and they are developed before this scene.
The scene to me is the most important piece of the novel. The initial scene is the critical part of everything. To me it defines everything. The rest of the novel blooms like a flower based on this initial scene. To me, the initial scene is the bud that opens into a complex flower by the climax. The characters are revealed throughout the novel to the climax that reveals the solution to the protagonist’s telic flaw. The means of this revelation is the manner (style) of the writing.
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