1 October 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 819, Climax Examples, Aksinya again
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.
Since we had a chance to look at many examples of how to develop a climax, I want to look in more detail at the development of a climax. To prevent spoilers, I’ll use Aksinya. I provided Aksinya with commentary in this blog as an example of how to write an entire novel. Since you can read the climax, I’ll write about how it was developed. The novel itself is more fun than any commentary, but here it is.
As I’ve written, the climax comes out of the telic flaw of the protagonist. In fact, the climax is the resolution of the telic flaw of the protagonist. There exists therefore, an expected direct climax. This kind of resolution is okay for a kiddy novel, but not for an adult novel. In an adult novel, the expected climax should be impossible or undesirable, and therefore, an unexpected resolution should form the climax of the novel. Further, there should be action in the climax. Let’s look at an example.
Aksinya calls and contracts the demon Asmodeus to protect her family for the Bolsheviks. Her family is killed anyway, and she is stuck with a demon who constantly temps her to evil and sin. Aksinya’s telic flaw is that she has a demon. This telic flaw is both internal and external. The obvious climax is that she is rid of her personal demon. We know from other literature and our cultural history that it is impossible to get rid of a demon. Once you’ve contracted your soul, when you die, you are condemned. This is what Faust along with a myriad of other literature on this subject tells us. Thus, we have an impossible climax. Further, Aksinya’s demon is internal and external. Her own personal desires drive her activities and temptation. Although I present the demon as a real being, only Aksinya sees, hears, or experiences him. There is another question as to the reality of the demon but not about her personal demon (internal temptations).
The unexpected resolution of this novel comes out of the basis for this novel. I write in the commentary that Aksinya is a semi-allegory of the book of Tobit from the Apocrypha. In Tobit, Tobias with the help of the angel Raphael saves Sara by banishing and binding the demon, Asmodeus. Since Asmodeus gives Akisnya a fish pendent as the surety for their contract, you can see the beginning of the unexpected resolution. To get rid of Asmodeus, Tobias and Sara pray and burn a part of the fish. Likewise, Father Dobrushin determines to burn the demon’s surety and pray to get rid of Asmodeus.
When they begin to burn the surety, the demon appears and attacks Father Dobrushin. Aksinya interjects her body between them and is mortally wounded. Aksinya has put her life up as a sacrifice for Father Dobrushin—this indicates her internal telic flaw is resolved. The angel Raphael appears—just like in Tobit—and binds and banishes Asmodeus. Aksinya’s contract was dissolved by the demon’s attack on her. Thus the external telic flaw is resolved. As a bonus, Raphael turns back the clock on the demon’s negative effects on Aksinya’s body—and she is healed. As a further resolution, Aksinya and Dobrushin fulfill their marital vows which solves one of Aksinya’s temptation issues.
You can see the resolution of Aksinya’s internal and external telic flaws, the expected climax, the unexpected resolution, and the action in the climax. This is how a climax is nurtured and developed in a plot.
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