18 March 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 986, more on Characters, 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?
The great secret in all of my novels is the supernatural (spiritual) undergirding that drives the plot and theme. Deirdre, the protagonist of my newest novel, School, is the child of a human, James Calloway, and the great goddess Ceridwen, Kathrin Calloway. In my other novels, Kathrin and James, to a lesser degree, play out roles as leaders and rulers. Both Kathrin and James are also members of the British MI structure. They are both members of the Organization, which used to be MI-19 during World War II and oversees covert operations and language espionage. The Organization is all about providing covert agents to the other MI organizations and the British government in general. Further, James is a share to MI-6 and works in the far east as an agent. Kathrin started in the Organization as an interrogation operative and eventually ran the language interrogation branch. Since the 1970s she has run the Stele branch of the Organization. Stele protects Britain from supernatural threats inside and outside of the nation. Kathrin came to lead this part of the organization.
In my other novels, Kathrin and James’ children are shown to work in the Organization and the MI structure. Kathrin and James had five children of their own and adopted Sveta and Klava. Sveta and Klava are the major focus of three of my Ancient Light novels. In other Enchantment novels, James and Kathrin’s children James, Stewart, and Flora all had roles. They weren’t large roles, but James and Stewart worked for the Organization. Stewart had taken Timothy Long’s position at the Foreign office. Flora worked at the Foreign office with her husband and their daughter Sorcha played a large role in two Enchantment novels. I haven’t written about Deirdre or Lachlann before. I expect to have Lachlann in this novel—perhaps as a guest.
This is part of the history of Deirdre. Her parents and family touch and intersect with the British MI system and secretly with the British supernatural. How much the children know about their mother, is another secret. I intended that they not know much at all. They all have ideas, but who could imagine a goddess in the modern world. This is the exact feel and experience I want to produce in my novels—everything is normal. There is no supernatural, but the supernatural is all around the characters and touching every aspect of the plot and theme. The point isn’t the supernatural at all, but rather the feeling that there is something else to be seen more than the plain and regular world around the reader. That’s the point, the reader experiences this world just like the characters do.
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