21 April 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x20, Creative Elements in the World of Aegypt, Ancient Light
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
To me, the most interesting themes are about worlds, people, and life that goes on around us that is hidden or unrealized. I have developed this type of world and theme and used it to build creative elements for my plots and scenes. I’ll use my own novels as examples for this. I’ll start with Aegypt. You can get Aegypt in paperback or in most electronic book formats. Aegypt is the first Ancient Light novel.
The world of Aegypt works on two levels. The first level is that of the ancient world revealed and brought into the modern world. This is a motif and a creative element. This creative element runs through all the novels in the Ancient Light series. The main focus of this element are beings who appear to be human but who retain powers outside of human understanding. They were venerated as gods in the ancient world. They are similar to our concept of gods and goddesses. In the novels, this creative element, embodied by the characters, is used as a subtext of a world outside of the human norm. This creative element builds and expands in the other Ancient Light novels.
In Aegypt, two goddesses from ancient Egypt are brought back into the world in 1926. The creative element is the idea that there could actually be goddesses and a means of preserving them for 3,500 years to come back to life. Many of the ideas and creative elements in the novel comes directly out of Egyptian myth and history. In Aegypt the idea or creative element begins as a mystery and suspense concept, but this idea undergirds the entire series and builds on each of the creative elements. As I noted, this singular creative element drives the theme and the main portion of the plot. You can imagine the cascading creative elements that derive from this idea.
On a purely historical level, the world of 1926 in Tunisia is also a creative element that builds the world of Aegypt. The French Foreign Legion is the major force providing power and law in this French colony. Languages are varied and build a subtext and another creative element into the story. The history of Tunisia in 1926 and the subtext of history from Egypt in the 21st Dynasty are both exactly historically correct and are creative elements on their own. These are all major features of my novels: historical accuracy, historical relevance, revelation of hidden or secret ideas from a historical basis, languages, cultures, military operations, intellectualism, and art. All of these are evident in Aegypt and begin to build the world within a world that forms Ancient Light.
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