26 September 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 814, Climax Examples, Athelstan Cying
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’m writing about how to develop the climax of a novel. I’m giving examples from my published and yet to be published novels. I’ll try not to introduce spoilers. You can’t read some of these novels yet, but it’s worth writing about the process of developing the climax for them. I have two contracted novels Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness. These are supposed to be published in a three-in-one with Aegypt and individually. The economy has delayed their publication. These first three novels are called Ancient Light. They include Aegypt, Sister of Light, and Sister of Darkness. In addition to the Ancient Light novels, I’ve written some other novels.
The Ghost Ship Chronicles are a set of five science fiction novels centered around a single theme idea. The novel started as one, but the theme idea was so large, it kind of took on a life of its own. I don’t like trilogies or other super long novels in multiple volumes. I wrote these novels to be stand alone, but provided an introduction to each to bring the reader up to date. You could read these novels separately, but they all drive to a common problem and theme.
To start, the Athelstan Cying is a derelict ship apparently lost during a hyperspace misjump. The Athelstan Cying carried a group of escapees from a Reb interrogation and war criminal facility on the capital of Arienth. The escapees were psionic experts from the Imperial forces. The ship was lost more than two thousand years ago. Somehow, on the ship, the mind and soul of one of the psionic masters is still alive.
The Twilight Lamb, a family trader ship, discovers the Athelstan Cying and moves to take it as salvage. In the salvage crew is the Captain’s son, Den Protania. Den has failed at everything he has tried: command, astrogation, and now shuttle. During the salvage mission, Den disobeys his orders and is mortally injured. The soul from the Athelstan Cying attempts to save Den and succeeds in saving his body, but not his mind. The being from the Athelstan Cying is now locked into the body of Den Protania. This is the epic theme statement that flows through all five novels.
On the Twilight Lamb, Den’s nemesis, Natana Kern, is assigned as his psychological doctor. Natana is a sensitive and a psionic master. She quickly determines that Den Protania has changed in more ways than one. She unexpectedly resolves to help him fit into the ship and the times.
Den Protania is our protagonist. His external telic flaw is that an ancient warrior has become a part of the never-do-well Den Protania. His internal telic flaw is that he lacks purpose in the modern era. The expected climax is that Den finds his place in the Twilight Lamb and the wider world. In the novel, this resolution is presented as a near impossibility. Den is in too much debt and too untrusted on the ship. The expected climax seems impossible, thus the unexpected resolution is the expected climax. There is more, but we’ll see more in the other novels. There is, of course, action in the resolution of the first climax and novel.
I’ll continues with my science fiction unpublished novels. I’ll look at the Ghost Ship Chronicles. We’ll inspect Twilight Lamb next.
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