8 September 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 796, Climax Examples, A Season of Honor
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 about the climax of a novel. My next published work is A Season of Honor. A Season of Honor is a science fiction novel and returns Prince John-Mark as the protagonist—only he is no longer Prince John-Mark. Due to the agreements at the end of The End of Honor, John was shorn of his title and lands. He was also banished. When he returns, his old friend and advisor Count Ian Acier asks John, who is now Shaun du Locke, to take his daughter Elina to Arienth (the capital) to marry the son of a Duke.
We find all kinds of political machinations at work, but chiefly, the Emperor (the same evil fellow from The End of Honor) needs to kill Elina before she can marry on Arienth. Thus, we have a race in space for life and death to the planet Arienth. Also, unfortunately, Elina looks just like her cousin Lyral Neuterra—the woman who was supposed to marry Shaun du Locke. So, Shaun is taking the woman who looks like the love he lost into danger and to marry another man. This obviously causes problems. The telic flaw for Shaun is externally, he lost the woman he loved. Internally, he feels guilty. You should be able to see where this is going. To solve the problem, Shaun needs to win Elina’s love and/or deliver her to her wedding. The expectation, of a comedy, is that Shaun gets Elina to her wedding. The expectation of the telic flaw is that Shaun somehow solves his internal and external issues. The expected climax lies somewhere in this direction. The unexpected climax would resolve all these issues—that’s what makes it unexpected.
So, expected climax but unexpected climax resolution. Additionally, the climax should be action based. We have that. I’ll give a little info. The climax occurs while Shaun and Elina are escaping the Emperor’s forces. Shaun must gather his supporters and force a confrontation with the Emperor, his brother. There you have it: action, expected but unexpected resolution, and resolves the telic flaw of the protagonist. Further, they fall in love, but what else did you expect.
My next contracted and supposed to be soon published novel is Sister of Light.
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