1 September 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 789, Writing the Climax
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.
Writing the climax is very important. This is similar to developing the climax, but much more specific. Let me give you some writing tricks. The first is this—the climax is always an action scene. The climax of any novel should be filled with action. This is true of even the most erudite novel. In a novel about books and libraries or laboratories and ideas, the climax should still be action based. It does no good to have the climax of any novel be the detective delivering a missive on how the crime was committed. Whoa, so then how do you end such a novel (a mystery detective novel). The answer is easy—not with the detective telling how the crime was committed. Perhaps the detective captures the criminal, and they fight it out. I don’t care how you end such a novel, just don’t end it with words—action is the only way. Don’t end it with conversation—it must be action filled.
I don’t know if this is a good example or a bad example. My novel, A Season of Honor ends in a confrontation between the Emperor and his brother Shawn du Locke. Shawn has the upper hand militarily, but not politically. The Emperor could crush his brother and their forces, but risks political ruin if he does so. The novel could be concluded with an agreement—no way. I set up a duel between Shawn and the presumptive fiancé of Shawn’s love Elina. The duel will determine the political stalemate between the Emperor and Shaun. There is also a bit of revenge in this solution for more than one reason. It all makes sense in the context of the novel and the situation, but the novel could have ended with a piece of paper. I would not do that. As an author, I know the climax must be filled with action. The plot builds to this scene and the action in it. The reader and many of the characters are caught by surprise at this end and climax. There is another point of the climax—it is unexpected, but expected.
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