21 July 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 747, Conclusions, 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).
There is more to my manner of writing and style. You just have to read my novels to see it. I will tell you, my manner of writing and style have changed over time. I think they have improved significantly. In general, I think my writing has improved and continues to improve. The more novels I write, the better I become as a writer.
I’ve written many times before, to gain the skills necessary to become a published author, a writer needs to write about one million words. One million words is about 8 to 10 100,000 word novels. You can have credit for rewriting and editing, but only so much—the proof is in the pudding. Many authors give up too soon. They write one novel and can’t get that novel published. They conclude they are not that good at writing—at that point, they aren’t, and they give up. From my point of view, such a writer has Darwined themselves.
If you want to be a successful author, you first need to love to write. If you love to write, it doesn’t matter how many novels you have written or have published—you will keep writing. I’ll have to admit, every time I get another contract or another novel published, it gives me the energy to write a few more novels. A little encouragement is a good thing.
Once you have the skills to write, continue writing. I’m always astounded by the few people who have claimed to have written very little, but write best sellers or classics. I’m thinking Salinger and Lee. How their success as an entertainer (author) didn’t encourage them to write more and more novels, I have no idea. I think their success and their authorship was a fluke. They either didn’t think up the novel themselves or they had too much help in the authorship. I don’t mean to disparage those authors, but what an absolute waste.
If they didn’t have any other ideas, how sad. If they had too much help and never gained their own voice, how sad. Whatever drove them out of the path of writing for fun and the entertainment of others, don’t take that road yourself.
The road of the author is one of great effort and love. The continuing road of the author is great effort and love.
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