3 October 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 821, Falling Action, Examples
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.
How to give a coherent example of the falling action? In most novels, the falling action is shorter than a chapter and usually a single scene. In rare novels, it might be a couple of scenes. I’ll write about Aksinya since you can read it for yourself on this blog.
In the falling action for Aksinya, Dobrushin undresses Akinsya, they have sex, they discuss what they will do next, and they go to sleep. One scene. Short, sweet, and off the stage. The next scene is the dénouement. The dénouement shows you what happens to close out their lives in the novel. Not with their deaths, but with a completion of the plot. That is the dénouement—I’ll get to that tomorrow.
Perhaps a little closer example might help. You can read Akisnya, but you can’t read this novel. Here is a short falling action:
Unbelievably, at the beginning of summer, on the twenty-second of June, the air suddenly cooled, and began to snow. Just lightly, at first, but the snowfall grew quickly in the weakening sunlight.
The Unseelie court held their heads low to the ground.
A sudden blaze of light shone at the back of the borrow. It brightened and there stood a woman clothed in a white gown. Fiery red shadows moved through the gown. The woman’s hair flashed a brilliant scarlet.
Kathrin didn’t turn toward her, “Brigitta.”
“Ceridwen, Your Majesty. I am here to robe you.” Brigitta carried a fine white robe before her. She reverently took the caldron from Kathrin’s hands, and placed it at her feet. She draped the robe over Kathrin’s naked body and helped her don it. The robe looked magnificent but utterly simple. It was white, a white so pure and perfect, its like might have never been seen on earth before. Brigitta wrapped a belt of pure silver chain around Kathrin’s waist, and finally placed a crown of green heather on her head. She knelt before Kathrin.
Morgan la Fey waved her hand. Immediately the males of her retinue reappeared. They fell on their faces.
“Call the others,” Brigitta was exultant. “They will all attend, Your Majesty.”
Kathrin raised her hands again, “Come all the fairy courts to me. Come and swear your fealty.”
The air filled with swirling bodies. They appeared fairies from all over the Celtic and Gaelic lands. They were all there. The fen was covered with them. They all bowed on their faces to Kathrin.
Kathrin raised her hands, “Come, my friends the gods and goddesses of these lands. Come to me and help me rule.”
Men and women stood around Kathrin. James saw Kathrin’s father. He saw her mother. There appeared beings he had never heard of before. They all fell to their knees. Kathrin motioned to James, and he came to her. She motioned to Klava and Sveta, and they came to her. Kathrin arranged the girls on one side and James on the other. Kathrin kissed James gently and whispered, “Stand here beside me.”
Kathrin looked out over the many, many beings who knelt before her and called, “Rise. Rise all of you. Morgan la Fey, where is my child?”
Jubilant, Morgan la Fey held Seumas in her arms. She handed Seumas to Kathrin, “We could never let harm befall this child. He is our promise as much as yours.” Morgan la Fey lowered her head as though she expected Kathrin to strike her.
Kathrin puzzled over that statement, but she could not for long. They all stared at her. Kathrin looked at Seumas and knew he remained whole and well. She kissed him. She gazed at those all around her, “That was a terrible trick you played to make me take my place, but in spite of that I forgive you all for the sake of my son.”
“You forgive us?” Morgan la Fey raised her head. “That was never Ceridwen’s way in the past. She would have punished us all. Me particularly. That is why I was chosen.”
Kathrin handed Seumas to James. She lifted Morgan la Fey and kissed her, “I will not punish you. I wronged you. I bowed my neck to the Dagda, but not to His purpose. You made me take on the role I was made by Him to do. I wish for you all to accept they yoke of the Dagda just as I did, but I will not coerce or demand this from anyone. I ask you. Look at my babe. Look at what I have become. Decide for yourself.
“For the fairy courts, I will leave open the gate to my garden, but you must swear to never harm my friends or guests there.”
Morgan la Fey fell again at Kathrin’s feet, “I swear, Your Majesty, all my forces to guard your houses and lands.”
Kathrin smiled, “I accept your offer, but in the middle of London, your subjects might bring fear, danger, and suffering to my people.”
“Yes, Your Majesty. I understand.”
King Oberon bowed low before Kathrin, “I will accept the obligation of Queen Morgan la Fey.”
Morgan la Fey lifted a smile, “That is the first time you have granted me any boon, Oberon.”
Oberon twitched his lips, “It may be the last, but it seemed appropriate at this time. The snow of the White Lady is falling. The coronation of Her Majesty, Ceridwen has come. We will revel together for this time and celebrate this strange beginning.”
“So we shall.”
The fairy courts each summoned a banquet. The gods and goddesses in Kathrin’s train brought forth their blessings. Kathrin raised a wood and a great warm area above them. The snow still fell. They all celebrated until the morning light began to dawn in the east.
Kathrin greeted each of her subjects with a blessing and a kiss. Near the end, the Welsh fae, the Tylwyth Teg, came privately to greet her. Their King, Pryderi fab Pwyll wore robes of a plainer cut than Oberon and his lady or Morgan la Fey and her consort. A filigree of gold and green covered the front and sides. His consort, Cigfa, wore a plain blue robe of gossamer. Pryderi fab Pwyll stood slightly away from Kathrin, “Your Majesty, I must report that one of your subjects did not answer your summons.”
Kathrin didn’t know how to respond. She stuttered, “Who might that be Pryderi fab Pwyll.”
“The Aos Si intentionally did not come.”
“Who is the Aos Si?”
Pryderi fab Pwyll squinted, “A creature of great darkness and danger to your realm and to your subjects. It is a creature of enormous power who can act against humans and the fae.”
“What would you have me do Pryderi fab Pwyll.”
“If you wish, we will confine this creature to protect you and all the land.”
“That is then my decree. I do give you leave. By the One and All to confine the Aos Si and protect the land.” The air crackled and Kathrin’s hair frizzed slightly. Power rose around her.
Pryderi fab Pwyll smiled with a bow, “Thank you, Your Majesty. Your will shall be done.”
When the Tylwyth Teg returned to their place, Kathrin felt slightly ill at ease, but she soon forgot about it and joined in the merriment of the moment.
This example is from Children of Light and Darkness. It is the sixth of the Ancient Light novels. The novel was resolved when Kathrin took her place. The falling action completes the novel and gets the characters off the stage. It doesn’t close the curtain. There are a couple of new ideas enclosed in this falling action. One is the status of the Aos Si. I included this to set up another novel I’ve already written: Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si. The other new idea that I haven’t used yet directly is the idea that the Seelie Court guards Kathrin’s Rosebush House.
Just to be clear, the climax of the novel was that Kathrin took her place—she is the Celtic goddess over all. The falling action completes the loose threads of the novel and moves the characters off stage. The dénouement may give us a last look at the characters before the curtain closes, but the dénouement is where the curtain comes down. I’ll give you the dénouement from Children of Light and Darkness tomorrow—and I’ll repeat the dénouement from Aksinya.
fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic