4 February 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 944, Publishing, Protagonists, Example: Enchantment Series
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?
As I wrote, I perfected the development of Romantic characters who are also pathos based (I hate to write pathetic—it just sounds wrong in English). In my Enchantment novels, I took advantage of this skill. I’ll have to admit, the first Enchantment novel is Antebellum. It’s one of my early novels. It has a Romantic and pathos based character—I’ll get to that directly. I just got lucky on that one.
I wrote the Enchantment novels (I’m still writing them), to allow me to explore new theme, character, and plot ideas. The themes are specifically redemptive and most specifically beings, creatures, and humans many would consider unredeemable. I don’t do the standard evil human kind of plot or theme—the point isn’t the potentially redeemable, but the unredeemable. Thus, I have a goddess, a demi-goddess, a vampire, a fae being, an absolute screw-up, a banished goddess, a sorceress who calls a demon, and a Japanese kami (goddess). Many of these are characters we might consider unredeemable, but in my Enchantment novels, I provide them a path to redemption.
Redemption is a powerful theme. It can mean redemption from evil or to a religion. The concept of redemption means many thing to many people. To some, it is the altar call in a church service. To others, it is the change of life and heart to an ideal. I am a Christian and a writer who is a Christian. To me, redemption means a change of life and heart to a classic Western acceptance of God and the church. I usually couch this in terms of the Orthodox or Catholic Church. The point isn’t about theology or doctrine—the point is about redemption.
I think all people seek redemption—even atheists seek redemption. They wouldn’t say it was for their souls, but rather for their behavior. All sane and civilized people seek to match an ideal of behavior and existence. This behavior and existence is based in cultural and societal norms. Every sane person seeks to excel toward cultural and societal morals and ethics. Those who don’t are usually ostracized or imprisoned. As I wrote, we all seek to be redeemed even if we don’t understand what that redemption might be. In my Enchantment novels, I provide many roads to redemption with beings we consider unredeemable. My goal is to make protagonists who are lovable, evoke emotion, and whom we want to be.
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