27 August 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 784, The Rising Action
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. Since I’m writing a new novel, we need a new theme statement. Here is an initial cut.
Red Sonja, a Soviet spy, infiltrates the X-plane programs at Edwards AFB as a test pilot’s administrative clerk, learns about freedom, and is redeemed.
If you look above, you will see the five discrete parts of a novel. All good and successful novels have these five parts. Now, there are some Roman Fluv novels out there that ascribe to not have a climax—so be it, I say those are not novels. A novel without a climax is like a scene without a release. It exists, but does it make a sound when it falls in the forest. Really, such novels are usually not worth reading. Let’s assume as a writer of “good” novels, we accept that all novels must have the five discrete parts listed above.
In that case, following the initial scene, the author is in the rising action. By definition, everything from the initial scene to the climax is the rising action. This is the brass tacks of the novel—the fun part, the character revelation part, the building tension to the climax part. This is my favorite part. I enjoy the initial scene. I enjoy the climax. I love the rising action. This is the part where your characters live their lives and reveal the plot. The rising action should be filled with creative elements that entertain the reader. There should be nuggets on every page—the little pieces of excitement, entertainment, and foreshadowing that led the reader to the bitter or not so bitter end.
This is why and how I let the novel produce itself. I write each scene and see where that scene leaves my characters—that is the output of the scene. I start with that output as the input for the next scene and see where that scene goes etc. I know I’m moving toward the climax—that is my focus, but I’m letting the characters get there on their own. That is the entertaining part of writing to me. It is also the discovery part. Sometimes it leads to a very interesting climax, but the climax is always set by the character’s telic flaw—just so you remember. You might ask, what is Red Sonja’s telic flaw and what is the climax?
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