14 March 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 982, I’m Developing 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 need to keep the pathos moving in the novel. I’m writing about the new novel I’m writing, working title, School. It’s about a student who is secretly attending a boarding school in Britain. There is much more to the novel, but this is the basis for the initial scene, the character development, and the telic flaw development. I’m working, at the moment, on the rising action and the context of the climax of the novel. What I want is more tension and release development to base the scenes on. I’ll probably develop some just by writing here. The trick is that I want to maintain and extend the tension and release through the pathos I developed with the major characters. The best way to do this is to put the protagonist and the protagonist’s helper into conflict. There is also the possibility of conflict with the antagonist and the setting itself. I kind of projected the antagonist as the school, but this isn’t true. The school and the teachers aren’t really the antagonist. If anything, the antagonist is the concept that prevents Sorcha from succeeding as she desires. The school kind of stands for this, but it isn’t my point to make wealth or lack of wealth and standing the antagonist either. Deirdre comes from a wealthy family and environment, yet she has problems too.
In Essie, I was able to keep the pathos strong by putting others in her school at odds with her. Essie was in conflict with other girls in her school on all kinds of levels. Essie wasn’t a combative person, so the conflict kind of fizzled or just caused hardship.
In this novel, I want to set up similar conflict, I just have to map it out. A little conflict and bullying goes a long way to developing pathos. Plus, this is a fun kind of novel, and eventually, we’ll see a strong climax develop out of the growing tension.
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