11 April 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x10, What is 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
I suspect it should be obvious just what the rising action is. Perhaps this isn’t as obvious as I think it is. If you’ve already figured all this out, you probably have a couple of books in publication. If not—well, I’ll try to help.
The rising action is properly the scenes in the plot from the initial scene to the climax. The rising action drives to the climax. The rising action is also the most interesting and the most exciting part of the novel. In the initial scene, they author introduces the main characters, sets the novel, and begins the plot with the telic flaw revelation. The rising action is the revelation of the protagonist through the telic flaw to the resolution of the telic flaw (climax). What makes the rising action so exciting and entertaining is that this is where the protagonist is revealed. All those wonderful actions, conversations, and information about the protagonist comes out in wonder, guts, and glory. If this is not exciting or entertaining, you need to rethink your protagonist. For example, in School, the girls Deirdre, Sorcha, and soon Elaina will be accomplishing electives specified by their teacher Luna. The electives will let them accomplish and learn skills, meet boys, have adventures, and etc. All this with a touch of the supernatural.
The rising action is the main part of the novel. If you are not having fun while writing this part of the novel, something is really wrong. If you are directionless while writing the rising action, you missed the telic flaw or you picked the wrong protagonist. I’ll also note, if you are not entertained by the rising action, your readers won’t be either. Then the question must be—how do we bring excitement and entertainment into the rising action? Glad you asked that.
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