4 September 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 792, Climax Examples, Centurion
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.
I’ll try not to introduce spoilers, but please read my novels and see for yourself these examples. My next published work is Centurion. Centurion is a historical novel about the Centurion Abenadar who was charged by Pilate to crucify Christ. The historical climax should be obvious—it is the crucifixion of Christ. As we know, that might not be the actual climax of the novel. The novel’s climax depends on the protagonist’s telic flaw. In this case, Abenadar’s telic flaw is internal and external. His external problem is that he is half Roman, and he is half Jew. As a half Roman, he can’t expect to progress above the level of Centurion. This mix gave him the skills and ability to reach the level of Centurion, but he rightly perceives that those characteristics poison his life and success. His internal telic flaw is based on this perception. To succeed, Abenadar would have to overcome his birthright and be free from his internal contradictions. You might imagine that executing Jesus would not solve either, and you would be right. The climax is only loosely connected to the historical climax. It is closer than in The Second Mission. You can also see, the climax, based on history, must be action oriented.
The last point is expected, but unexpected. Who, knowing the history of Jesus could not expect the climax of the novel. On the other hand, some might predict the response of the Centurion. I’m not so sure. I did write the entire novel from the standpoint of a Roman and not a Jew or a Greek. The novel is unique because of this. You should read the novel yourself to determine if the response of Abenadar is reasonable and expected. I’d like to think that, in the end, Abenadar and his lover Ruth’s reactions and actions are unexpected. The climax is expected, but unexpected, action oriented, and based on the protagonist’s telic flaw. This is what produces a great climax. The next is Aegypt.
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