17 January 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 926, Publishing, more Romantic Protagonist
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
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?
If you think back to your favorite novels, and your favorite protagonists in novels, you should find that most if not all are Romantic characters. Readers love Romantic characters. The reason is that Romantic characters represent the type of person everyone wants to be, and everyone likes to see them stick it to the man. Everyone wants to be like Sara Crew—the perfect aristocratic person. Everyone wants to be like Harry Potty—the powerful magician whom everyone admires. Everyone wants to be like Tarzan—the perfect self-sufficient jungle roamer who is the consummate aristocrat. Like I wrote, everyone wants to be like a Romantic character. The Romantic character is in opposition to his or her culture and society. In a comedy with a Romantic character, the protagonist wins over the cultural and social obstacles. In a tragedy with a Romantic character, the telic flaw of the cultural and social obstacles overcomes the protagonist. The most famous example of this is Les Miserables where Jean Valjean is crushed by the French revolution.
In a comedy novel with a Romantic protagonist, the protagonist sticks it to the culture and society. As I noted, this is one of the ways you can determine a Romantic novel. Everyone wants to act and achieve like a Romantic protagonist does. That’s why most readers love a Romantic protagonist. Ultimately, they are all too perfect and their achievements are usually personal and not universal, but that is what really makes a Romantic character an archetype. They are a little better than humans can ever be. In general, they represent how people want to see themselves and their world. I like Romantic protagonists. I recommend them as a way to produce a novel that might be considered, published, and sell.
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