20 July 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 746, Actions Developing Conversation, 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-sequiturs, 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-sequiturs, and fragments while Chekhov’s includes ‘apparent’ inconclusiveness).
I kept up the conversation example from my latest novel, Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse. What I want to point out today is the actions within the body of the conversation. You might call these gestures, but they include much more than gestures. Look at the first paragraph the tension and release cycle is started with Sveta’s stare. The stare at Shiggy’s shoulder is an immediate mystery. Those readers who get it will immediately catch that Sveta can see Angel—this is an intentional irony and a secret immediately revealed in the context of the conversation.
Next, there is the response of Daniel—he can’t see Angel and neither can the Captain or the Major.
Sveta runs off with Shiggy and Sorcha, and here is where things get really interesting. Look at how the actions and the conversation are conveyed in the scene. There’s a lot of showing going on here. Sveta’s holding on to Shiggy is funny and satire. I like to think of my conversation writing as dry humor wrapped in pathos. There are no hysterics going on, but many of the participants are becoming uncomfortable. This irony, pathos, and satire come through the actions of the characters as well as their words.
Sveta totally devastates Angel and for good reasons. The reader has hints throughout that Angel isn’t the brightest tool in the shed—Sveta confirms that and so does Angel.
Sveta suddenly stared at Shiggy’s shoulder, “Not quite yet. Shiggy, Sorcha come with me and bring…well you know.” Sveta kissed Daniel’s cheek, “Entertain these gentlemen for just a moment, we girls need to take a powder. I’ll be back before our next guests arrive.”
Daniel stood for a moment speechless. He turned to Captain Cross and Major Easom.
Sveta grasped Shiggy’s hand and pulled her to the side and into a sitting room. Sorcha swaggered after them.
Sveta didn’t let go of Shiggy, “Sorcha, close the door.” She turned to Shiggy and pointed at Shiggy’s left shoulder, “Really, what do you mean by bringing her with you?”
Shiggy swallowed, “Mrs. Long may I introduce Angel Trumpet of the Seelie Court.”
Angel curtsied very nicely, “Good evening, Lady of…” Sveta made an elaborate symbol in the air. It shimmered and pulsed for a moment, then disappeared.
Whatever Angel was going to say suddenly stopped. Sveta raised her chin and gripped Shiggy’s arm, “Angel Trumpet, I did not invite you into this house, and I did not expect you,” she glared at Shiggy, “to bring one of the fae in here.”
Shiggy tried to pull away, “Ma’am, my arm.”
Sveta glared at Shiggy and Angel, “Sorcha, what is the meaning of this?”
Sorcha slid over, but not too close, “Well, Aunty, Mrs. Calloway thought Shiggy should have a little extra help in the judgement and wrong-doing area. She assigned Ms. Angel Trumpet here to be Shiggy’s conscious.”
“You’re kidding, right?”
“Serious as a heart attack.”
“Why would she do something like this?”
“You can ask her. She’s attending this evening. I suspect she’ll ask Shiggy and Angel how things are working out.”
Sveta continued to glare, “Why in the world would Mrs. Calloway assign this stupid fairy to Shiggy?”
“Not a word or a sniffle out of you, Angel Trumpet. I don’t need you poisoning my guests or burning my carpet.”
“And what is this fae creature wearing?”
Shiggy was still trying to twist out of Sveta’s grasp, “It’s just Barbie clothing. I thought she could use a little finery for the season.”
Sveta closed her eyes, “Sorcha does this Shiggy understand about fae gifts?”
Shiggy yelled, “You don’t need to ask her, ma’am. I understand. I understand.”
Sveta’s eyes popped open. She groaned, “Very well, Angel Trumpet, what did you give in return for this very fine gift?”
Angel sniffed, “I gave a bit of fae fire…as…as well as companionship. What are such gifts among friends?”
Sveta stuck her finger against Angel’s neck. She still held Shiggy with a grasp of steel. “A friend. You call this Shiggy a friend?”
Angel trembled and sniffled, “She is a friend of the fae.”
“Sorcha. Sorcha, did you know this?”
Sorcha still stood near the door, “I knew she was accepted by an Unseelie. About the Seelie, I didn’t know.”
Shiggy sniffled, “What is so wrong with being a friend of the fae?”
Sorcha and Sveta answered together, “Obligations, dear.”
Sveta suddenly released Shiggy. That sent her reeling back against Sorcha. Sorcha caught her.
Sveta still glared. She crossed her arms, “The first is this. Angel Trumpet, no one in this house invited you inside. You are not a companion, guest, associate, friend, or servant here. Do you understand this?”
Angel pressed her hands together, “Mrs. Calloway made this abundantly clear in the charging. I am only an associate for Shiggy. I can only go where she goes and nowhere else. I cannot and will not return to this house.”
Angel balked, “I swore already to Mrs. Calloway.”
“Swear it to me, or so help me…”
“I do swear all you asked by the One and All that I will not consider my entrance a standing invitation into your house.” Angel’s hair puffed out. She snarled, “I hate that.”
Sveta lowered her chin, “Second, I will have no fae events at my party. Ms. Tash, Shiggy, you are responsible for that dolled up fairy. Do not let her out of your sight and do not allow her to accomplish any action, use fae power, invite any other fae here, disturb or bother my other guests. Is that clear? There will be guests here who can see her. If anyone asks, tell them Mrs. Calloway allowed it and I know about it. Do not tell anyone about gifts, being friends, being assigned, or anything else concerning this issue. In every sense, use what little common sense you seem to have Shiggy Tash, and do not cause an eruption of unrestraint tonight.”
Shiggy nodded emphatically.
“I really should make you and this fairy swear, but she knows what will happen to her already, and you can’t swear in this fashion. Third, this has royally disturbed my holiday. I don’t know how you can repair the current situation, but I want to see both of you in my office next Monday. Thank the Dagda that I don’t have to put up with Heidi or Scáth this year.” Sveta stomped to the door. Sorcha jumped out of her way and pulled Shiggy to the side. Sveta stood for a good ten seconds taking deep breaths. She smiled, opened the door, and glided out again.
Continuing from above. Look at the series of actions. Sveta drags Shiggy and Sorcha swaggers into the sunroom. Sveta accosts Shiggy and Angel. Sveta dresses down Angel, and brings some very interesting information about Mrs. Calloway’s choices. Sveta gives great information about fae gifts and obligations. The reader begins to realize things are not what they seem. Shigy begins to realize everything isn’t what she thought it was. These are secrets. I love secrets and I love them in my writing. This is how I write—this is the manner of my writing.
Specifically, I’m going for irony, satire, pathos, and hiding secrets from my readers—secrets I tantalize my characters and my readers with. This is the manner of writing, and this is the style that I think sets my writing apart from other authors. I hope my readers and many readers can appreciate this manner and style. To me, it is entertaining.
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