5 March 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 973, Publishing, Protagonists, more Themes and Pathos
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?
Themes about people and their real existence are the most powerful. Modern literature has become so overblown, there is almost no perspective anymore. The modern novel is all into the end of the world or the destruction of a nation. Young adult and kid’s literature seems to have fallen deep down this hole. Maximum Ride, Riordan’s works on sons and daughters of the gods, Harry Potty, there are many more—are all based on the end of the world or some other human caused calamity. At least, it isn’t natural forces ending the world. In developing themes (and plots), I think real human storylines and ideas are the most powerful. I do like a touch of the unique, but readers are more interested in love, human suffering, humans overcoming proper human dilemmas, humans overcoming human problems. For example, Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse is a really fun novel. Its theme is about striving to overcome human deficiency. Although the deficiency is called a curse, it is obvious, the curse is a positive thing and the real problem is not striving enough to achieve. The striving is all about human capabilities and human foibles—although, in the novel, there are elements of the supernatural, the supernatural only provides the impetus that forces the humans to act and react. This is my point. Although the fact that King Oberon can’t make his magic work properly might be a fun tension and release, a human caught up in the problem of King Oberon’s magic and having to use human knowledge and abilities to escape or defeat it is more interesting to a normal reader.
Likewise, I think readers are more interested in the love theme of a novel and not the end of civilization theme that might accompany it. Human and human striving to achieve common or normal human results make a powerful theme.
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