11 March 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 979, I’m Writing an Initial Scene, 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 also working on my 29th novel, working title School.
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.
For novel 28: 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.
For novel 29: Sorcha, the abandoned child of an Unseelie and a human, secretly attends Wycombe Abbey girls’ school where she meets the problem child Deirdre 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 initial scene should be filled with excitement. It has to set the novel. It should bring together the protagonist and the antagonist or the protagonist and the protagonist’s helper. The initial scene must be entertaining and exciting. It must draw the reader into the plot, begin the suspension of reality, and continue the suspension of reality.
In the initial scene of School, Deirdre, an outgoing, you might call her crass, girl notices that fae glamour hides the fact that another girl is not wearing the proper uniform for her new school, Wycombe Abbey. Deirdre can see through fae glamour due to her family and training. Deirdre is the type of person who can’t leave well enough alone. She intends to find out about this odd girl.
This is the tension buildup in the initial scene. The release occurs when the girl, Sorcha tries to run off Deirdre. Sorcha isn’t a timid type either. She knows that unless she can get rid of Deirdre, she will be uncovered and forced to leave the school. She is a secret student. In other words, she is using her abilities to hide in the school and attend classes. She is doing it to learn. To get rid of Deirdre, Sorcha attacks. What Sorcha didn’t know is that Deirdre is a master of brawling. She was sent to Wycombe Abbey for fighting. Deirdre is an expert with her hands and feet—the reason is her family, but I haven’t gotten there yet. Let’s just say, Deirdre turns the tables on Sorcha. Further, because Deirdre is under close watch from the teachers, she is caught almost immediately and accused of fighting. Deirdre is used to all of this. She takes it in stride. Sorcha has a lot to lose, but she doesn’t fully realize how much, Deirdre also has a lot to lose. The release of the scene is this small fight, skirmish between Sorcha and Deirdre. This propels the plot and the novel. This begins the revelation of the protagonist and the protagonist’s helper.
What do we have in the initial scene? Excitement, check. Setting, check. Entertainment, I think so. Meeting of the protagonist and the protagonist’s helper, assuredly. An interesting and arresting concept to propel the novel, I think so. The initial scene is complete. That doesn’t mean all the elements of the novel or the initial scene are complete—it only means I have a foundation for developing the novel. Oh, I also have a theme statement. All is well.
fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic