13 March 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 981, I’m Moving into the Rising Action, 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?
I’m writing a new novel, and I’m moving into the rising action. I’m not sure where this novel will go. I’m not sure if the climax should be the revelation of Sorcha’s secret, or if it should be something else and the revelation of the secret happen earlier. At this moment, I’m researching events in this period 1992 to 1993 and potentially 1994 that would provide a focus for a climax. There are other potential climax events.
So far, I have the protagonist and the protagonist’s helper joining the fencing team. There is scope in that. The teacher Luna Bolang, who is somewhat related to Deirdre is suspicious and obviously knows more than she is letting out. Specifically, Luna Bolang’s job, other than as a French and fencing teacher, is to help contain and grow Deirdre. Anything that leads to Deirdre’s success, as defined by her mother and family, is good for Luna. Luna knows more than she lets on, and this will play through the novel. I would like to bring in young men, but I’m still debating that part of the novel. There is always potential conflict with Sorcha’s side of the family, the Unseelie. I can’t bring in Essie, although I’d like to. Essie has to stay out. Essie is the Aos Si, the ruler of the fae. I can bring in the other leaders of the fae. I can also bring in some of the denizens of Britain and their friends.
The trick in the rising action is to build to the climax. The climax isn’t exactly clear, but the telic flaws of Sorcha and Deirdre are. If Deirdre is the protagonist, the novel could have much greater power—Deidre’s telic flaw is her personality and her character. Sorcha’s telic flaw is her secret. This is why I write that if the climax is the revelation of Sorcha’s secret, that requires one type of plot and rising action. On the other hand, if the climax is the resolution of Deirdre’s issues, the novel and plot can be very different. I’m going for Deirdre. Sorcha just provides the initial tension and initial scene.
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