30 July 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 756, Shiggy, Protagonist’s 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.
So, what does a Shiggy look like? Here are some of the descriptions from Sorcha:
In the mirror, Shiggy saw a beautiful young woman. Her hair flowed long and blond, almost white. Her eyes were blue—a clear blue like ice. Now, above her eyes was a blue eyeshadow. Eyeliner highlighted her eyes. Mascara made her light lashes bounteous. Her plain face looked elegant and beautiful. Not just pretty, but beautiful. Light pink lipstick matched her face and hair and clothing.
In the mirror, Shiggy stared at a thin very petite woman in a very short and sexy skirt and a tight sweater. She thought she looked sexy. For the first time in her life, she looked in the mirror and saw sexy. She wasn’t exactly sure what to say or what to do.
In Sorcha, most of the descriptions of Shiggy are comparison and conversational. In other words, I use others and the words of characters to adequately describe Shiggy. There really isn’t a point, other than above, where I just describe her. The reason is that Shiggy’s appearance and impression of herself is changing through the novel. Shiggy imagines she is ugly. As we can see, a little attention to details makes her look very different. As the novel progresses, Shiggy does indeed look more and more beautiful and sexy. Sorcha’s plan for Shiggy is to make her the most beautiful woman possible—for the purpose of seducing and distracting spies and criminals. Sorcha is very successful. Shiggy is supposed to look like a beautiful ditz. That’s how the Organization uses her various capabilities.
Shiggy’s description is to look like a completely engaging and unassuming young woman who appears like a complete ditz. This is because she is literally one of the most dangerous persons you are likely to meet. Shiggy’s appearance is directly related to her character.
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