28 August 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 785, more of 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 started writing my 28th novel, working title Red Sonja.
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.
The obvious telic flaw for Red Sonja is that she is a Soviet spy. This is an external telic flaw, however, the mindset that makes her a Soviet spy turns this into an internal telic flaw. In other words to change, Red Sonja must be convinced that being a Soviet spy is not a good thing. Still, if this is a tragedy, Red Sonja can get rid of being a Soviet spy by dying. She can die in a hail of gunfire or suicide or killed by the Soviet. There are other end game options, but none of them are good and certainly aren’t really worth a novel (in my opinion). A Soviet spy who remains a Soviet spy under duress and seeing freedom is just stupid or a super patriot—a patriot for evil and stupidity, but a patriot. On the other hand, I’ve never read a novel about a spy who had a change of heart. I’m sure there are, but an internal telic flaw assumes the character’s mind can or will change. If her internal telic flaw changes, the huge question is can the external telic flaw change. Usually when a spy changes sides, they are made a counter spy or they are tried and imprisoned.
For Red Sonja, I want her internal transformation and then an external change. The climax should be obvious. For this type of novel, there are usually two climaxes: the internal climax and the external climax. The internal climax is when Red Sonja decides that the USA is not a bad place and she shouldn’t act as a spy anymore. The external climax seems more fun to me. I want it to be when she is caught as a spy and has to face the music. I’m working on the when this should happen and how deep she is involved in her community and with people. This is a great creative element.
The creative element is a question of when and how should the climax take place. The external climax is noted. The creative element is to what degree. I say—as far as you can get it baby. The greater the tension, the better the climax. Thus, the perfect image is Red Sonja completely integrated in her new culture and society imagining she is safe from detection, but betrayed at the worst time and in the worst way. The rising action should build to this.
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