20 April 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x19, Creative Elements as a Focus of Entertainment 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:
- Don’t confuse your readers.
- Entertain your readers.
- Ground your readers in the writing.
- Don’t show (or tell) everything.
- 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
Here is the beginning of the method from the outline:
- Scene input (comes from the previous scene output or is an initial scene)
- Write the scene setting (place, time, stuff, and characters)
- Imagine the output, creative elements, plot, telic flaw resolution (climax) and develop the tension and release.
- Write the scene using the output and creative elements to build the tension.
- Write the release
- Write the kicker
I think the greatest problem in modern literature, movies, and thought is the lack of creative elements to drive the entertainment and excitement. Too many themes are based on the end of the world. You see this trend in kid’s lit, young adult lit, and adult lit. It pervades movies of all types. I suppose if it was always the end of the world every day and in every way, then end of the world themes would be appropriate. It is never the end of the world on any basis. The theme was a good one for Noah, but the world didn’t end there either. Today, I’ve read so many novels where the world was ending I thought, what’s next? The end of the Universe? What should your themes be like and what should drive them?
Creative elements drive proper human themes. The themes should be about human life and existence. I write all the time that themes should be unique and entertaining. To me, the most interesting themes are about worlds, people, and life that goes on around us that is hidden or unrealized. This is the premise of the magical world in Harry Potty. I was writing like this well before Harry Potty. Don’t steal my ideas, but you can make this type of world with much more than magic. In fact, in my worlds magic is a bad thing. For example, in many of my novels, the world I create is one of covert intelligence. This was a world I operated in. I write about it in an entirely different context than I lived it, but the rules and ideas are the same. The world of covert intelligence is real in our world. It remains intentionally below the radar of the world. It never reveals itself. Revelation is impossible based on what it is about. In one of my novels, I actually have a revelation scene for a covert operation—it is ugly, but the operative and agent cover it up, the CIA covers it up, MI-6 covers it up, the Chinese cover it up, the USSR covers it up. You can’t let these revelations out or the covert world will be in the open, and that can’t be. What I should do is review my novels and show the types of worlds and the types of creative elements I use in designing their themes.
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