Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 999, Creative Elements in the Rising Action

31 March 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 999, 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.

Today’s Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select “production schedule,” you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

Cover Proposal

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 development:

  1. Scene input (easy)
  2. Scene output (a little harder)
  3. Scene setting (basic stuff)
  4. Creativity (creative elements of the scene: transition from input to output focused on the telic flaw resolution)
  5. Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)
  6. 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:

  1. Design the initial scene
  2. Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
    1. Research as required
    2. Develop the initial setting
    3. Develop the characters
    4. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  3. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  4. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  5. Write the climax scene
  6. Write the falling action scene(s)
  7. Write the dénouement scene

Look back at my scene development outline. This is the way I develop and write a scene. The most important part is the creative element of the scene. The creative element must provide a transition from the scene input to the scene output and focus on leading to the climax of the novel. I don’t mention anything about the climax in this outline—I assume it is part of the scene development, but perhaps I should add that in:

  1. Scene input (easy)
  2. Scene output (a little harder)
  3. Scene setting (basic stuff)
  4. Creativity (creative elements of the scene: transition from input to output focused on the telic flaw resolution)
  5. Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)
  6. Release (climax of creative elements)

I promised you an example. I haven’t made many run-throughs of School and the novel is barely started. I’m on chapter five or six. I’ll give you a simple example that shows the climax of the scene.

At the end of class the teacher released them to lunch. Deirdre sat up, grabbed her books, stuffed them in her bag, and stood, ready to go. The girl slowly gathered her things together. She picked up her briefcase and stood. She gave a snarky look out of the sides of her eyes and headed out of the classroom. They walked outside. The girl headed toward the dining hall for a while, then she cut off toward the open areas and woods. Deirdre caught up quickly, “Where’re you going?”

The girl stared at her, “If you continue to interrupt my life this way, I will not be responsible for the results.”

Deirdre pressed her lips together, “You promised to tell me your name.”

The girl gave a hiss, “I was compelled, but I will keep my promise…”

“You must keep your promise…”

The girl snarled, “My name is Claire Angela Weir.”

Deirdre pounced on that, “Claire Angela Weir reveal your true self.”

Though the girl stood in direct sunlight and Deirdre spoke her name, she didn’t change.

Deirdre cried out, “That wasn’t your true name. I demand you tell me your true name. You promised…”

The girl started to complain, but her face turned green.

Deirdre laughed, “That’s what happens when you don’t follow the letter of your pledge. Now, what is your true name?”

The girl sounded desperate, “I shan’t tell you. I shan’t.” She covered her mouth, and her face went a shade whiter than it already was.”

“You’ll hurl if you don’t.” Deirdre watched the girl’s face fill with despair and pain. She thought a moment, “Is your true name, Sorcha Aingealag Mac an Uidhir.”

The girl covered her eyes and stomped her feet, “How did you know?”

Deirdre laughed and danced a little step, “Each of your names are Gaelic. If you change the names you gave me for their Gaelic, you must be Sorcha Aingealag Mac an Uidhir. Therefore, Sorcha Aingealag Mac an Uidhir, reveal your true nature.”

Sorcha Aingealag Mac an Uidhir suddenly stood in front of Deirdre in her faded back skirt. It was more threadbare than Deirdre remembered. Sorcha’s hose were filled with holes. Her sweater was an ancient version of the official sweater. Her shirt was a dirty yellow-white, and her tie was black. She wore rotten dirty Plimsolls on her feet. She held a horribly worn book bag in her hands. Sorcha gave a wild cry and pressed her hands over her eyes, “Why did you do that?” She stomped her feet, “You are the most hateful person I’ve ever met.”

“Hateful? Why are you sneaking into Wycombe? Who are you really?”

“A rich little Prince-ass like you wouldn’t understand.” She carefully put down her briefcase and launched herself at Deirdre.

This was the kind of response Deirdre was really used to. She fought her brothers and sisters. She fought her classmates. Fighting was one of the main reasons she was banished to Wycombe. This was one of Deirdre’s favorite activities. Sorcha grabbed Deirdre’s hair with both hands. That was a mistake. Deirdre’s hands were free, and little damage could be done by hair pulling—that was just a distraction. Deirdre pulled her fist back and popped Sorcha directly in the face. The feel of flesh under her fist and the response of Sorcha to the blow drew Deirdre to move forward make another hit. Sorcha let out an angry and hurt cry. Deirdre followed the right with a left then a kick. Sorcha roared. She’d fought in the streets and against groups. Girls like this one were supposed to give up immediately—they weren’t supposed to fight back.

Sorcha stepped back to recover and plan, but Deirdre didn’t give her a chance at all. She moved quickly with her fists raining right and left at Sorcha’s head. Sorcha screamed and struck back, but she couldn’t get a hit in anywhere. Suddenly, Sorcha was on the ground. She covered her head and held her hands over it. Deirdre stopped punching, “Do you give.”

Sorcha cried out, “I give. I give. Please don’t hit me again.”

Deirdre smiled, “On your surrender. I insist that you answer all my questions…” At that moment, someone grabbed Deirdre from behind. She almost twisted away and struck her new assailant. A voice behind her cried out, “Ms. Deirdre Calloway, you will stop this instant.” It was Mrs. Power.

Another voice at her left side made her cringe. It had a slight French accent, “Deirdre, I’m so ashamed at you—fighting on the first day of school.” Deirdre turned toward Luna Bolang. Luna Bolang was an extremely beautiful woman. She was petite where Deirdre was simply small. She had lovely black hair also in a French braid. Her skin was the color of coffee au lait. She was from France and related directly to Deirdre’s adopted sisters, Sveta and Klava. She was thirty-seven, unmarried, still beautiful, and absolutely fearless. Deirdre really liked her and really feared her—she had mother’s ear and respect.

“Curses,” Deirdre exclaimed. She didn’t move, then she yelled, “Sorcha Aingealag Mac an Uidhir run. Run. Run or they’ll catch you. Run and I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Blubbering, Sorcha leapt up from the ground and began to run. She only took the time to grab her old briefcase. She ran and was quickly lost in the trees. Mrs. Power didn’t seem to notice that she was gone. Luna stared out into the open for a long time. Then she turned around toward Deirdre.

Deirdre gave Luna the look, squinty eye and curled lip, and Luna hauled back her hand and slapped Deirdre. Deirdre’s eyes opened wide. Luna’s French accent seemed to disappear, “Your mother ordered you—no fighting. I can’t believe I find you fighting with a girl the first day. Who was she?”

Deirdre didn’t say a word.

“Deirdre, you can’t go around injuring these students. The school will expel you. If that happens, where do you think you will go then?”

We are talking about a whole stack of creative elements here. The big one is the fight. The fight isn’t very long, slightly unexpected but yet expected in the context of the novel, with slightly unexpected results, and an unexpected end. The fight is the main creative element of the scene. I wrote the scene to this element and with this scene climax (release) in mind. This creative element moves us from the input to the output of the scene. The input is the new kid Deirdre at her new school looking for a friend. The output is the punishment of Deirdre for fighting. The other creative elements crowd into this scene. You can see them directly and in periphery in this small piece that I gave you. The girl, Sorcha, who is using fae glamour to hide in the school. All the creative elements developed because of what she is doing. The teachers and especially Luna, who is an important character. The school itself. Each of these pieces are all creative elements that combine in this scene to provide the input and the output. Notice that many of these elements continue through the novel from scene to scene. The characters, the setting,, the school, the teachers, the touch of the supernatural. Each of these elements cascade though the novel producing it’s feel and unique quality. This is the importance of the creative element and creative elements in scene development.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:

http://www.ancientlight.com/
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic

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About L.D. Alford

L. D. Alford is a novelist whose writing explores with originality those cultures and societies we think we already know. His writing distinctively develops the connections between present events and history—he combines them with threads of reality that bring the past alive. L. D. Alford is familiar with technology and cultures—he is widely traveled and earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Pacific Lutheran University, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University, a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from The University of Dayton, and is a graduate of Air War College, Air Command and Staff College, and the USAF Test Pilot School. L. D. Alford is an author who combines intimate scientific and cultural knowledge into fiction worlds that breathe reality. He is the author of three historical fiction novels: Centurion, Aegypt, and The Second Mission, and three science fiction novels: The End of Honor, The Fox’s Honor, and A Season of Honor.
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