6 October 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 824, The End, Oh Well
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.
Why worry about the end any way. The reality is that the initial scene is the most important. If someone picks up your novel because of the initial scene, they’ll most likely read it, they’ll probably like it, and if the climax or anything else isn’t very well written, they’ll likely think it’s okay. The initial scene is what sells the novel. The rest of the novel might get them to write a nice review.
I’m not telling you to short the rising action, the climax, the falling action, or the dénouement, I’m just pointing out that the most important piece is the initial scene followed by the rising action and the climax. Once you’re there, you don’t have to sweat it. The falling action and the dénouement are so short and unimportant that you could almost write anything and be home free.
What I will tell you is this: I strive to make each and every part, scene, sentence, and word perfect. I want the falling action and the dénouement to fit the novel and balance the novel. When I write the falling action and the dénouement, I craft them delicately. Here’s an example, and an idea for an ending. In Escape from Freedom, I present the falling action from the point of view of the air traffic facility that controls the ship and aircraft that rescue the protagonist and the protagonist’s helper. In this novel, I present the dénouement as a news article about the protagonist and the protagonist’s helper. This is a slightly experimental falling action and dénouement, but this is a neat science fiction novel. The taste of the falling action and the dénouement come as almost normal elements to the modern reader. The novel is like a horrible nightmare. The end is like a normal news story.
If you haven’t read my other science fiction novels, you don’t realize that I am a somewhat experimental writer. Not like James Joyce—I write to entertain, but I like to use different methods to present the scenes in the novel. For example, The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox have a couple of parallel chapters. These are from different POV (points of view), but the same events. It’s only a single chapter, but the two novels The End of Honor and The Fox’s Honor, intersect at this scene. It is the pivotal scene in each novel, but provides a different perspective in each novel. This is what I mean by experimental. I wanted to provide a déjà vu moment for my readers. Likewise, in Escape from Freedom, the falling action and dénouement are focused around an entirely different POV of the major characters.
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