1 November 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 850, The Stage of the Novel, Developing Warfare Action on the Future Stage
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.
In setting the stage of the novel follow my rules for writing 4a above:
4. Don’t show (or tell) everything.
4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.
I’m using warfare as an example of developing action on the future stage. I’ve written three published science fiction novels that include future warfare. I’ve written five other science fiction novels that incorporate some degree of warfare and personal combat. In every case, I had to predict the future of warfare and of personal combat.
Because the three published science fiction novels, The End of Honor, The Fox’s Honor, and A Season of Honor, are all about honor based future cultures, I went to the potential for the society to move back toward more personal weapons—like swords and knives. They also use shooting type ranged weapons like high tech pistols, carbines, and rifles. The other analogue skill is in electronics. In my future world, electronic warfare plays a decisive role. This is true of large and personal warfare.
In my published science fiction novels, spaceship forces are categorized similar to naval vessels in the now era. The warfare is also similar, but in three-dimensions and at much higher speeds. The speeds tend to be decisive for getting into combat and getting out of combat. I used now naval tactics and electronic warfare tactics to develop the future ship to ship warfare.
This makes a lot of sense, if you think about it. Other science fiction novels and ideas have done something similar. I have a much more realistic approach because, although I’m not experienced in surface naval warfare, I’ve flown combat aircraft and trained in air combat. I’ve also been trained in general naval tactics and studies much of it on my own. Perhaps a naval aviator might be more qualified to write about space warfare based on current naval tactics, but I think I have some of the necessary credentials. Space warfare, in my estimation, should be more similar to electronic warfare than just slug throwers in space. Additionally, the three dimensions in space will make space combat more akin to aerial warfare than surface warfare.
These are all ideas the writer should explore before she or he begins writing.
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