15 December 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 893, Novel Development, more 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.
Bathos and pathos are Greek words used to describe inappropriate and appropriate emotion. In English, Bathos means from the sublime to the ridiculous. Pathos means from the ridiculous to the sublime. They are a little more complex than that actually. In Greek pathos is the appropriate emotion you feel that literally is uncontrollable. When a person was swept up in an emotion, the ancient Greeks would say—that was pathos. Pathos, in ancient Greek also applied to uncontrollable love, but Greeks used the word pathos to describe any uncontrollable serious emotion.
Bathos is an entirely different concept. Bathos also applies to an uncontrollable feeling, but its cause and effect are different. Where pathos was regarded as a real and serious emotion, bathos was a flippant and incorrect feeling. For example, a wonderful scene of great sadness—the death of a daughter to honor her father’s wishes—is pathos. On the other hand, bathos occurs when an audience laughs at the wrong place. When a very sad and serious scene suddenly turns ludicrous and the audience titters. Back to the English definitions.
Bathos, from the sublime to the ridiculous. The author is trying to write a sad scene and accidentally makes the reader laugh at the wrong point through incompetence or just bad or accidentally poor word choice.
Pathos, from the ridiculous to the sublime. The ridiculous, for example, Cinderella, the girl who sweeps out the ashes and is abused becomes the princess. In the Greek worldview, a reader could not help but be filled with appropriate emotion because of Cinderella. Cinderella’s stepsisters cause bathos, the readers laugh at them because their actions are ridiculous—the prince could not desire either of them.
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