28 March 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 996, Tension and Release with Creative Elements 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?
How do you write a strong and entertaining rising action? The reader becomes excited about your novel from the initial scene. They love your novel because of the build up to the climax in the rising action. The initial scene is the most important scene, but every scene in the rising action has its own importance to produce tension and release to build to the climax. I think you can have a really great novel as long as the initial scene is excellent and the rising action is entertaining. It all has to be entertaining, but the scenes in the rising action drive the novel beyond the initial scene. The question is how do we write them and make them entertaining?
Number one thought, every scene needs to be focused around an entertaining creative element. This creative element must drive the scene both internally and toward the climax. Thus, there ae all kinds of creative elements in my initial scene for School, the novel I’m working on right now. The main creative element is of the initial scene is a fight. The girl Deirdre is following figures the only way to get rid of Deirdre is to hit her, perhaps beat her up. She doesn’t know that Deirdre was sent to Wycombe Abbey for fighting. The main creative element of the scene is the fight. This is the main tension and release developer in the scene. This is also the creative element that sets off the entire novel. The entire scene is built around this creative element. The creative element fosters and develops the tension throughout the scene. The reader doesn’t know that this is the focus of the release for the scene, but all kinds of other elements and information points to this as the release in the scene. For example, we find that Deirdre constantly talks about the briefing about her. The teachers who were briefed about her issues will back down if she acts a certain way and etc. In other words, this is foreshadowing using events and information to let the reader know that something might happen if Deirdre is crossed. There are hints and information passed to the reader. The reader might or might not guess that Deirdre and the girl will fight, but the resolution isn’t unexpected. When the girl attacks, they get that Deirdre won’t back down, not easily. The reader knows there will be a fight, they just don’t know the outcome or the details. The point is there is a huge build up in this scene to the fight. The fight is the creative element and the driving creative element for the scene. The next scene is also driven by another creative element.
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