26 July 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 752, Sorcha, Description
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 my 27th novel, working title Claire. I’m working on marketing materials.
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)
How to begin a novel. Number one thought, we need an entertaining idea. I usually encapsulate such an idea with a theme statement. Here’s the theme statement from Sorcha.
Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, a dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.
I usually start with a concept and give the character a name. We have the name Sorcha (Claire) Davis. The next step is physical description. Here is how I described Clare. In the first novel, Valeska, she doesn’t physically appear. There is no physical description for her. She is very generally described. Here’s what I wrote:
Stewart slouched again. He held up his tea cup, “I really want to recall you, George. If something happens to you, my sister, my mother, and Claire will all have my head.”
“I only took that school girl, Claire, out once because you asked—I’m not promised or anything.”
“Well, it’s a bargaining chip.”
George pursed his lips, “A bargaining chip? Claire isn’t twenty, and I’m almost thirty. If you want to set me up, you need to find me an older relative. No, no, Stew, I’m staying here until we finish the current mission.”
Stewart stuck his hands in his coat pockets, “I only asked you to take her out because I could trust you with her—I didn’t expect her to build this infatuation.”
“That’s more reason to keep me here—she’ll eventually find a young man of her own age to fall in love with. I’m safer here.”
Here, we find out that Claire is infatuated with George. We do discover she is not twenty—she is nineteen. George isn’t all that enraptured with her—if you didn’t notice. Claire shows up at the tender age of seven in Essie. I’ll give you a couple of descriptions:
Mrs. Lyons smiled, “Claire is not bad, but she is precocious.”
“What does precocious mean?”
“Generally, it means very mature for your age. It can be considered a pejorative, a negative description, in many cases. In Claire’s case, it means she is very bright and left too much to herself.”
“Then I am not precocious.”
“No, I don’t think I would ever describe you as precocious. You are quite the opposite and definitely not in the sense of a pejorative. Claire may say some things to you and possibly to me that are unkind. You must remember her age and lack of maturity.”
“I thought you said precocious meant mature for her age.”
“Claire may sound mature, and her knowledge might impress you and me, but she is still young and hasn’t faced any suffering in her life.”
“I’m not sure I understand.”
Mrs. Lyons nodded, “I mean to say. If Claire says something that makes you sad or angry, do not react by running off.”
“Oh. What should I do?”
“Tell her that it made you feel sad or angry and tell her why.”
Here a more direct description:
The little girl stopped suddenly. She stared at Essie then she moved her eyes with a glance at Mrs. Lyons then Seasaìdh, and finally back to Essie. She pointed her finger, “Just who is that, Aunt Tilly?”
Seasaìdh led Essie to the little girl. She really wasn’t that little. For a seven year old, Claire was quite tall—she stood more than four feet tall. In comparison though, Essie appeared very small—she was not quite five feet. Both Seasaìdh and Mrs. Lyons were tall women.
Claire took a small step forward and repeated, “Aunt Tilly, who is that person?”
Essie hid slightly behind Seasaìdh. Mrs. Lyons swept from the house and came down the lawn. Before she could arrive there, Seasaìdh drew Essie forward, “Claire, this is Aunt Tilly’s daughter, Essie Lyons.”
Claire looked Essie up and down. Essie kept her eyes carefully on something else. Claire put her hands on her hips and cocked her head, “You, Essie, just how old are you?”
Essie wasn’t sure what to say. She thought a moment, “I don’t know how old I am.”
Claire’s eyes slitted, “Well then what year or form are you in?”
Essie’s quiet voice asked, “What is a form? I don’t know what a year means like that.”
“For crying out loud, year in school—what year have you completed in school? Years are one through eleven. The sixth form includes years twelve and thirteen. Obviously, you are not in the sixth form, or you would understand this.”
Essie stared at her feet, “I haven’t gone to school…”
“Not gone to school. Really, I say, you look at least…,” Claire looked her up and down, “at least twelve, and you haven’t gone to school?”
Mrs. Lyons finally reached them, “Claire that is enough. I’ll tell you about Essie later. Don’t badger her.”
Claire turned toward Mrs. Lyons and stuck out her hand, “Good day, Aunt Tilly.”
“Welcome to Lyonshall, Claire, and you too Seasaìdh. I see you’ve already met Essie.”
Claire turned slightly toward Essie, “I’ve met her, but we haven’t been properly introduced.”
Seasaìdh frowned, “Claire, I gave you an introduction.”
Claire moved toward Essie. She stuck out her hand, “I’m Claire Davis.”
Essie looked at the girl’s outstretched hand. She slowly put out her hand. Before she could fully extend it, Claire grasped it. Essie jumped.
Claire’s lips moved up in a mischievous grin, “And you are Essie Lyons. Very nice to meet you, Essie.”
Claire let go and Essie stared at her hand.
Claire sniffed, “Aunt Seasaìdh and Aunt Tilly, you can’t fool me with that one. Aunt Tilly is much too old to have a child. How can you, Essie Lyons be Aunt Tilly’s daughter?”
Aunt Tilly let out a sigh, “Come inside Seasaìdh and Claire. I told you I would inform you all about Essie.”
Claire cocked her head again.
Aunt Tilly started toward the door, “Come along Essie. Seasaìdh, tell your driver to bring your things to the guest rooms.”
Seasaìdh smiled, “Yes, Aunt Tilly.”
They all went up to the door to see Claire and Seasaìdh’s things placed in the two furthest guest rooms.
Inside, Claire asked, “Won’t I be staying in the first room?”
Aunt Tilly didn’t look back, “That’s Essie’s room now. You’ll have the room across from your Aunt Seasaìdh.”
Claire pursed her lips.
Mrs. Lyons led them all into the parlor while the driver carried their bags into the proper rooms. Seasaìdh supervised.
When Mrs. Lyons entered the parlor, she stated, “Essie, please prepare tea for everyone.”
Essie turned and walked to the kitchen.
Mrs. Lyons sat in her wingback chair, and Claire sat on the sofa.
Mrs. Lyons crossed her arms, “Let’s get this out immediately Claire.”
Claire crossed her arms, “Let’s.”
Mrs. Lyons glared at the girl, “The first is this, Miss Claire Davis. Essie is my adopted daughter. She is a very special child. You must do your best to help her learn.”
Ah, you can see Claire is a handful already, and she is only six. Essie and Claire’s adventures in Essie are very entertaining—you can see already there will be sparks. Now for Sorcha.
She heard a very loud click, and the door in front of her feet burst open. A tall strawberry blond woman stood in it. She wore a costly sequin and lace blouse, but Shiggaion couldn’t see any farther than that. The woman’s face looked beautiful, like a model’s. She wore makeup, but it was very finely applied. Her eyes looked large, the makeup accentuated that look. Her nose and mouth were small, and her face heart-shaped. Shiggaion thought the short hair didn’t fit her at all. It made the woman’s very lovely face look larger and less feminine.
The woman threw open the door and yelled, “Shut up, Shiggy. You’re disturbing my tea.” In spite of the words, the woman sounded very aristocratic and Oxford.
I should add to this description about her height. I do remind the reader about it and in this scene, Shiggy is laying down. She can’t be expected to judge height well. Sorcha (Claire) is a tall beautiful blond woman who is slightly obnoxious and very domineering. She is the perfect foil for Shiggy. From Valeska, you know Claire is not George’s cup of tea. George is very conventional and very gentle in his own way—he is not the type of man who could handle Claire. Claire likes people she can dominate. George looks like he can be dominated, but he is made of very stern stuff. Enough about George. Above, I give you descriptions of Claire, but these are only the direct descriptions I placed in my novel. The novels, all three, but especially Sorcha are filled with more revelation of Sorcha. That is exactly the point of a novel—to reveal the characters. Sorcha is the protagonist’s helper in Sorcha, thus she is a focus for revelation.
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