15 August 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 772, Tone on the Stage of the Novel in the Initial Scene
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.
Let’s be very specific about setting and description in the initial scene (and all scenes). Set the stage of the novel. Here is a repeat of rule for writing number 4 (listed above).
Don’t show (or tell) everything.
4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.
When I first started writing novels (and all my fiction), I just wanted to create tone in my writing. Tone is an important part of the writing, and it can be created easily in the setting. However, the setting is much more important than tone. The setting is important purely due to setting the stage of the novel. Just as in a play, the author must set the stage, so must the author of a novel.
Imagine a stage in a play. When the curtain opens, I see the stage. I note everything there. The characters or conversation might draw my attention to one piece or another on the stage, but everything is there for me to see, observe, and scrutinize. This is the same as the stage of the novel. The author must provide these details. Now, the author doesn’t have to just vomit out everything in a catalog. The author can be subtle and indirect. Likewise, the author should be direct about some things. The characters are an item on the stage that should be described well. The author can still be subtle as necessary. For example, the shadowy figure behind the curtain. If you notice, this draws attention without much description. Let’s be very clear, the author can’t leave the stage unset. Now, about tone.
If I describe a graveyard at night with a full noon, I am setting a tone. If I describe a drawing room in a mansion, I am setting a tone. Every setting has a tone. Every setting is filled with tone. Also, notice, with no setting you have no, or little, tone. The importance is the setting, the result is tone. You write a setting because every scene must have a stage (a setting). Your setting will produce a tone. Do you get how important this is? If you don’t write a setting, you have some kind of tone (maybe). Without a cohesive setting, you don’t have a cohesive tone. As an author, this sounds horrific to me. I want to set the tone. I want to make the setting. I want to set the stage of my novel—if you don’t do it, who will?
fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic