3 January 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 912, Publishing, Learning to Write, Unique Theme
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.
Merry tenth day of Christmas.
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
Would you like to write a novel that a publisher will consider? Would you like to write a novel that is published? How about one that sells? You need to find a unique and inviting idea and produce an entertaining novel. I mentioned that for my historical fiction novels I use supernaturally based ideas in my historical themes. This way I make my themes and novels unique. My science fiction is different first, in that it is hard science, and second, I base my science fiction themes on a unique world view. For example, the world view and culture of my Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox novels is based on the Anglo Saxons. The world view and culture of my second set of science fiction novels (The Ghost Ship Chronicles) is a strong capitalistic and trading culture. The universe is more varied than this, but the focus of the novel is the family traders and their world. My single (at the moment) science fiction novel, Escape from Freedom is focused around a socialist/communist culture. Each of these world views is unique and produces a unique theme in the novels.
As an artist, you could almost view my writing in terms of a series of ideas or connected themes. Like many artists’ works are similar in a time period or a series, so are my novels. The themes are based in a unique idea. We can look at this deeper. For example, my Enchantment novels are all based in a supernatural historical theme, but the theme is also one of impossible redemption. An impossible redemption is a creature or being we imagine can’t be redeemed, but then is.
The point is this, if you want to write a novel that has some hope of publication, you need a unique and entertaining theme. Such a theme will excite and attract a publisher and readers. Themes that are not entertaining and unique have almost no hope of publication in this day and age.
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