9 October 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 827, The Stage of the Novel, more of the Initial Scene
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.
Let’s go back to the beginning. I’ll use my newest novel as an example. It’s a historical novel, and you can see the theme statement just above. Let’s look at a novel from the standpoint of a stage play. A novel is not a stage play or a screenplay, but the author should approach some aspects of the novel from this vantage point.
First of all, the stage of the novel is an obvious parallel idea to a stage play. The author should strive to only show, describe, and relate what is evident on the stage of the novel. The POV (point of view) should remain the same, but the camera may move. This is a very important concept, and one that I this is fundamental to writing novels.
The stage of the novel is like a real stage; however, when the curtain rises, the spectators immediately see the stage. Their world becomes the world of the stage. Conversely, when the curtain for a scene in a novel rises, the author must describe the stage. This is an immediate and necessary step. Every scene must be set. When the curtain rises, the reader is dependent on the author to describe the WORLD of the novel to them. A stage in a play is just a stage—the stage of the novel is a world. The stage of the novel is limited to the scene, but an author can move in the description from the universe down (if she wishes). He can stay fixed in a space, a room, or a town, or a graveyard.
The power of the author is to describe the WORLD of the novel in a scene with sight, hearing, touch, smell, sensations, taste, and any other human or inhuman perception. The author of a novel commands a world and not just a simple stage. The world of the novel comes alive in the imagination of the readers. This is an incredible power. It is a power much beyond most other art. Movies can’t come close. The world of the novel is revealed in the mind and imagination of the readers—the author is the midwife to this world.
The power of the world of a novel comes only through description.
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