14 December 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 892, Novel Development, Insufficient Telic Flaw
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.
These are the steps I use to write a novel:
- Design the initial scene
- Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
- Research as required
- Develop the initial setting
- Develop the characters
- Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
- Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
- Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
- Write the climax scene
- Write the falling action scene(s)
- Write the dénouement scene
Here is my list of ways an author might add extraneous writing to a novel. Let’s look at the sixth.
- Material not relevant to the climax or plot.
- Characters or character arcs not relevant to the climax or plot.
- Side stories.
- Information not relevant to the climax, setting, or plot.
- Excessive storylines.
- Lack of a sufficient telic flaw.
- Incorrect protagonist.
The lack of a sufficient telic flaw is a problem for many authors. The telic flaw must match the theme and level of maturity of the novel. This is also a critical point concerning every novel. The telic flaw must support the theme of the novel. Specifically, the telic flaw is the theme. The telic flaw literally is the novel. Everything starts with the telic flaw, rises with the telic flaw, and resolves with the telic flaw. From the writer’s standpoint everything in the novel must match the telic flaw.
For example, in a kid’s novel, the telic flaw can be simple and facile. The kid protagonist whose greatest problem is cleaning his room gets on the football team—yah. In a teen novel, the telic flaw might be a bit more complex. The girl protagonist is bullied and needs help. In a young adult novel theme, we begin to see the seeds of a psychological telic flaw along with situations of grave peril—or that feel like grave peril. In an adult novel, the force of the telic flaw must match the degree and power of the novel. Thus, a life or death peril matched with a sufficient degree of telic flaw. For example, the telic flaw in Around the World in 80 Days, is the need to win the bet—there is also the friendship of the protagonist’s helper and the protagonist. In this breezy but adult novel, there are no psychological issues and no real deadly peril. There is peril, but no one imagines the characters will lose their lives. It is a travel diary with a great scientific twist at the end. On the other hand, The Three Musketeers, is a powerful novel that appears to be a simple adventure romp. It is a strong psychological novel about revenge and vengeance where the main characters are caught up in forces of politics, religion, and love. This is a true adult novel. The Moonstone is a similar powerful novel whose telic flaw matches its adult theme and degree of peril.
The telic flaw must match the novel. Missing this characteristic will definitely result in a novel that is unsellable. In this case, the novel is filled with the extraneous. Next, bathos and pathos.
fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic