22 April 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x21, Creative Elements in the World of Ancient Light, Sister of 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. The next novel in the Ancient Light series is Sister of Light. This novel should be available in the next year. It is supposed to be published as a three-in-one with Aegypt and Sister of Darkness.
As I mentioned yesterday, the world of Ancient Light revolves around the idea of two ancient Egyptian goddesses who have been brought back into the 20th Century. The purpose of the novel, other than to entertain, is to entertain through this juxtaposition of ancient Egypt, ancient goddesses, modern history, and the French Foreign Legion. These are broadly the creative elements that move through all the Ancient Light novels.
In Sister of Light, the world expands to Paris in 1926. Paris is a creative element. Paul and Leora, the Goddess of Light, were married at the end of Aegypt. That is a creative element. The idea of a dark skinned Egyptian woman marrying a French officer is not well accepted in early Twentieth Century Europe. This is another creative element. Paul’s parents come on the scene. This is also a creative element. Further, we learn that Leora can’t handle lack of sunlight well. Paul plans an assignment to the United States of America to get Leroa to a place of greater sunlight. This is an important creative element that plays through this and the next novel—actually all the novels to one degree or another. In Sister of Light, we also mix children. These are creative elements. Additionally, Paul is sent on an important classified mission as the world moves toward war. One of the major creative elements in the novel is this mission and Paul’s disappearance. There is more, much much more, all creative elements that drive the plot and scenes of the novel. These creative elements are those that build the scenes and provide entertainment in the novel. As I noted there are many more creative elements woven into the novel. These creative elements all derive in some way from the original creative elements that form the theme and the plot of the novel. That is the idea of two Egyptian goddesses brought into the Twentieth Century. The world of Sister of Light is the same historical world the readers are used to, the only difference is this tiny add—that of beings who were ancient goddesses. This is also the unique flavor of the novel that drives the entertainment. If you look at is this way, a tiny concept drives an entire novel and the elements of entertainment in it.
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