2 April 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x1, too many 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: transition from input to output focused on the telic flaw resolution)
- 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
Can you have too many creative elements in a scene? I’d say never. Most writers don’t have enough creative elements anywhere. You can build too much tension without significant or proper release. This is a characteristic of some horror novels. I am currently reading a young adult novel that has way too much tension and not enough release. I’ll hold out my novel, Aegypt as an example of how to write a good horror novel with the proper suspended tension and release. A suspended tension is one that lasts for more than one scene. Obviously, each scene must have an entertaining tension and release cycle and a strong creative element to base the tension and release on.
Suspended tension is a good technique for any horror or suspense novel. As I wrote, suspended tension is tension that continues over more than one scene. This is a staple in suspense and in horror because it builds the tension more powerfully toward the climax. In many suspense novels, the tension may drive from the beginning of the novel to the climax of the novel. This isn’t a problem as long as the tension and creative element matches in degree. What I mean is that the tension and the creative element must be powerful enough to support the novel beyond more than one scene. I’m currently reading a novel that is boring me. The main reason is that the tension development does not fit the level of tension required to support the plot of the novel.
Each scene in this novel has a tension and release based in a competition. The overall suspended tension is that one character wants to lose the competitions and one character wants to win the competitions. The competitions have their own suspended tension that is the overall competition. Further, there is another tension development altogether different from the competitions. All this is all right, but the author delivers the scenes at a breakneck speed and moves from scene to scene very quickly. The only release is the winning of one competition, and these are made in mostly an omniscient summary voice. There is no sufficient release in each scene. This is a problem of pacing.
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