20 January 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 929, Publishing, Protagonists, Example: The Second Mission
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?
The Second Mission is my first novel. It is partner published by Xulon. A partner published novel is one that must meet a degree of publishing criteria, but where the author shares in the cost of publication. I did this because it was recommended to me. My current publisher would have likely published this novel, so I do regret publishing the novel this way. On the other hand, the publishing process taught me something about the current publication business. I learned something valuable, and I have the published novel. Unfortunately, it isn’t available electronically.
The protagonist of The Second Mission is Alan Fisher a nuclear scientist from the White Sands range in New Mexico. He is accidentally whisked back into the second mission into time. The description of Anan Fisher is provided in pieces in the novel. I provide revelation throughout concerning who he is—not as much about what he looks like. I hadn’t learned what I do now about description. Here is where he first describes himself.
“That I do know. I’m Alan Fisher from the Los Alamos nuclear lab. I’m a research engineer there.” He almost immediately regretted having given her so much information.
Alan Fisher is a man out of time. He is not in opposition to his new time as he is trying to become part of it—or at least hide within it. He is not really a Romantic character nor a pathetic character. He would be considered a normal archetype. The plot of the novel revolves around him, but the revelation is more his understanding of the times he lives in than of himself. There is some revelation of the man, Alan Fisher, but Alan Fisher is more of a character who sees and reports conditions and events around him. This approach produced a really fun novel, but it isn’t the way I write most of my novels today. The Second Mission was the ninth novel I finished writing. I’m not certain we can learn much about the development of a powerful protagonist from Alan Fisher. He is a normal protagonist from an exploration novel. He is more a conduit for the reader to assimilate the times of ancient Greece. I’ll move on to Centurion next.
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