15 March 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 983, I’m still 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?
What I need is some overriding issues derived from my protagonist’s life. The protagonist is likely Deirdre and the protagonist’s helper is likely Sorcha. Sorcha is the girl who is secretly attending the boarding school. Deirdre is the girl who knows. What I need is to parley the Luna Bolang connection. I have already had Luna and Deirdre make an agreement. It should be obvious to the reader that Luna knows more that she lets on, but her job is the finishing, the taming, of Deirdre. Since Luna and Deirdre have an agreement that relates to Sorcha, all I need it to produce a series of scenes directly related to this. What I’m thinking is that Luna assigns Deirdre work in relation to the Organization. The Organization is the secret MI group that used to be MI-19 during World War II. Deirdre’s mother and family work for this organization—it shouldn’t be surprising that Luna does too. I think I’ll have Luna be less officially connected and instead a little oddly connected. The point is that Luna will direct Deirdre to accomplish certain work and Sorcha will get pulled along. Deirdre can’t help it because of the agreement she has made with Luna.
In addition, I also need a foible for Deirdre. We know Deirdre’s problem and telic flaw is her propensity to fighting and antagonism. That is not really a foible. A foible is a characteristic the protagonist, or another character, doesn’t want someone to know and that seriously embarrasses them. I intend a very strong foible. I’m still thinking of what it might be. I was thinking singing, but that would be too similar to Essie. Maybe ballet dancing—something that really makes the protagonist, Deirdre uncomfortable, but that she is really good at. I’m working on the development of the rising action.
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