26 February 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 966, Publishing, Protagonists, Conclusions, Tenderizing and Humanizing
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?
James Bond can’t be a pathos developing character without destroying who he is. It doesn’t matter too much because James Bond is a bit two dimensional. He really isn’t a very deep or brilliant character. In fact, his intellect is of no use to him at all. He has scientific wonders and deus ex machina that he uses all the time to get out of death defying situations. James Bond is very similar to a superhero which is even more similar to a god. It is very difficult to make gods, superheroes, and superspies into pathos character—that is without ruining them. Then there is Spiderman. I’d also like to point out—there is Leroa, Lumiere’, Khione, Essie, Sveta, Valeska, Aksinya, Klava, among a host of other goddesses, demi-goddesses, sorceresses, and other supernatural characters who are strongly pathos driven. I gave you examples of them in this blog. I showed you, in general, how I made them pathetic and still kept them as Romantic characters.
The trick, like Spiderman, is giving them human and more than human traits. A vampire is a Romantic character. A vampire lost, alone, homeless, dirty, abused, and searching has pathos written all over her. A goddess is a Romantic character. A goddess limited in power, facing difficulties and difficult choices, under attack, and facing trials has pathos. I could go on and on repeating the examples I gave you. I don’t need to. Just look at the humanizing features that make Spiderman a pathos driven superhero. Spiderman can be sad and cry for those he loves and for those he tried to help. Spiderman doesn’t always succeed. Spiderman is a real man and not a two dimensional cutout with spider muscles and a secret hideaway.
The secret to making a Romantic character who can engender emotion is to make that character human. There is a huge tendency today to make, write, and direct superheroes. Perhaps we can look at that problem a little.
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