27 March 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 995, About Pathos in the Rising Action
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
I finished writing my 27th novel, working title, Claire, potential title Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse. This might need some tweaking. The theme statement is: Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, a dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.
Here is the cover proposal for Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse.
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 not sure pathos is used enough in modern literature. The Victorians were geniuses at pathos. Readers are suckers for pathos. Why don’t authors use pathos more strongly? Why don’t authors use Romantic characters more often? The primary reason is that most people are not being taught much about classical literature. In fact, although I was taught in high school about classical novel development, I didn’t get much in college. From conversations here and there, I have the feeling that many if not most college and high school students aren’t taught much at all about novel development and form. In general, I think young people aren’t taught about novels and literature. They are taught to interpret literature, but I think they know nothing about the tools to understand and write literature. I was not taught well about this subject. I did get many of the fundamentals.
Personally, I don’t think many people, professors, and teachers are qualified to teach this subject. I’m not certain they are able to teach about novels and literature either. I have a very distinct feeling that modern teaching about literature comes down to: what do you feel this means or what do you think about this? Literature doesn’t matter what you or your teacher think about it—literature just is. You can argue the strength or the origin of a figure of speech, but the meaning of that figure of speech in context should be obvious. If it isn’t obvious in context, the novelist failed grossly. There is no homoerotic, hetero, black, socialist, Marxist, Christian, modern, female, male, etc. interpretation of literature. Now, I do know you can go to universities and pay $40,000 per year to hear nonsense about these fictitious interpretations of literature. Don’t pay for it and don’t believe it. If you do, you will never become a novelist.
Just remember the primary rules of writing fiction. The purpose of fiction is to entertain. This is the beginning and the end of everything in fiction. If you forget this or never learn it in the first place, you might become a professor of literature, but you will never write a novel that sells.
fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic