6 November 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 855, Introductions, Developing Conversation on the Stage of the Novel
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.
All conversations follow a similar development and cycle of events. If an author is sensitive to this development and cycle, he can write more natural sounding (read realistic) conversation. The cycle of conversation moves like this: greetings, introductions, casual words, deeper words, ending. Let’s look at the introductions.
Following the greeting, the conversation moves to an introduction. If all the characters know one another, there is no need for an introduction, but in some settings an introduction is necessary. For example, at a formal event or a dinner party. This is a stage of conversation that many authors seem to miss. It is also an opportunity for description and character introduction. The writers should take every advantage of the introduction stage in a conversation.
Here is an example:
“Mr. Biggam, may I introduce my wife Jane and my niece Sissy.”
Mr. Biggam smiled, “I am pleased to meet you ladies. Jake, I’m glad you decided to bring them to our party. Don’t you think so, Josephine?”
Mrs. Biggam turned to them, “I should say so, Harold. Please introduce me to these pleasant ladies. Jake I already know.”
And so the conversation and introduction continues. The wise author takes the opportunity in the introduction to provide some description. For example:
Mrs. Biggam was a tall and large woman with sandy red hair and dark brown eyes. Her hands were large and red that completely contradicted her fine clothing and beautifully done hair. Mrs. Biggam put her hand out to Jane, “Mrs. Clement, I am so pleased to entertain you in my home.”
In this introduction example, all kinds of information is passing back and forth. The reader gets names, some titles, some description, and more. The more can come through gestures etc. In any case, when people meet each other for the first time, and during certain formal events, you will always need and have introductions. This is a basic function in human dynamics. The author will realize this and ensure his conversation doesn’t miss this very important element.
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