17 December 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 895, Novel Development, Writing and the 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.
An author’s business is dealing in pathos, but never bathos. Obviously, the telic flaw of the protagonist is a critical part of a novel. For the author, matching the telic flaw properly to the tone and level of the novel is an important part of the writing. A novel without pathos is like a day without: sunshine, rain, clouds, weather, cold, hot, warm—it is basically an inhuman piece of writing. Without pathos, you might as well write technical papers because no one will even enjoy your writing. The skilled author plays his readers like Harpo plays a harp. The means of accomplishing this is through emotions and that means pathos.
Let’s start with neither pathos nor bathos. The telic flaw must match the level of the writing and the level of the novel. An adult novel needs a telic flaw that is based in adult concepts. A young adult novel needs a telic flaw that leads to young adult ideas. A teen novel needs a telic flaw that appeals to teens. A children’s novel needs a telic flaw that children enjoy. Thus, in a children’s novel, the telic flaw might be the mystery of a treehouse and lights appear at night. The solution is the kid next door’s father works late and the child feels safer reading in the treehouse. In a teen novel, the child is abused by her father and sleeps in the treehouse at night. In a young adult novel, the treehouse houses a secret group of students who are trying to fit in. An adult novel wouldn’t have a treehouse at all. The concept itself is outside of the adult sphere. An appropriate telic flaw for an adult novel is an abandoned cottage in the woods shows lights during the night. A secret cabal meets there to plot the overthrow of the British government. They are using the beach to bring weapons, spies, and soldiers into Britain (The Scarlet Pumpernickel, or close enough).
If you didn’t notice, an adult novel usually involves some degree of action outside of the human mind or simple human interaction. A love story is great for a young adult novel (Love Story). A love story in the midst of war is an adult theme (For Whom the Bell Tolls or The Sun also Rises). Events in adult novels revolve around the powers outside of human control or at least individual human control. The duplicity of young adults, teens, and children is that a person can control things outside themselves—or specifically, that those things outside can’t directly affect the characters. Love in a young adult novel might be bittersweet and painful (those vampire novels), but it is not usually death defying (The Sun also Rises) or death dealing (Romeo and Juliette).
fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic