7 March 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 975, Publishing, 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?
I love writing these blogs—sometimes I get some great ideas. I’m not finished with Red Sonja, but I want to explore this new novel idea. Sometimes ideas come like that. I’m still working on a theme statement and the initial scene, but I’ve started writing. I want to tie this novel into my Enchantment novels. Here is the basic idea for the initial scene: Deirdra is the child of Kathrin Calloway. She is a problem child and was sent to Wycombe Abbey girls’ boarding school to be finished. Actually to be fixed. I haven’t fully decided how I want the character of Deirdra to be, but I’m thinking that as the fourth child she is super smart, but always in the shadows of her brothers and sisters. Because of this, she has always had to fight to get what she wants. This is the classic fourth child. They are sensitive, but tough and fighters. They are usually very smart and talented, but somewhat lazy. I’m not casting dispersions on fourth children, I’m building a character. There is more, I’ll pass it on as I develop it.
The other major character (protagonist or protagonist’s helper) is a girl who I’m seeing as a Halfling. That is her mother was fae and her father was human. She has the power of fae glamor and some fae skills. She was discarded by her mother and is making her way in the world. She is super smart. I picked the name Sorcha Angela Weir for her. That isn’t her real name, that is the English translation of her name. She will have this in common with Deirdra. Sorcha was in a home. She was fostered out, but ran away because she was beaten. She was incarcerated in a prison not far from Wycombe Abbey but escaped. When she came to High Wycombe, she decided she wanted an education and that she wanted to go to Wycombe Abbey. Using the power of her glamor, she has snuck into the school to learn. She has been there for a few years, and everything has been going well for her—until Deirdra arrives. Deirdra is sensitive to the fae because of her mother and her family. Others can’t really see Sorcha. Sorcha is there, but her glamor hides her from the prying eyes of everyone who looks at her. Sorcha lives on the edge of being discovered. If she is discovered, she will have to run away or return to prison. I’m still thinking about this novel theme—we’ll see where it goes.
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