24 April 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x23, Creative Elements in the World of Ancient Light, Shadow of Darkness
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 Shadow of Darkness. This novel is not on contract yet—I’m looking for a publisher.
The world of Ancient Light revolves around the idea of two ancient Egyptian goddesses who have been brought back into the 20th Century. In Shadow of Darkness, the major creative elements become the end of World War II, the Osiris Offering Tablet, Lumiere’ (Paul and Leora’s daughter), the Orthodox Church, and Soviet Russia.
This novel is a discovery novel and continues the themes and creative elements introduced in the previous novels. It is still at standalone novel. All these novels are standalone. The discovery part of the novel comes out of Lumiere’s injury and loss of memory at the beginning. She is horribly injured and can’t remember anything about her previous life. Then the dreams begin.
Lumiere’ relives her life through World War II in dreams and flashbacks. These cause her terrible mental anguish that eventually leads her mentor to take her to the Orthodox Church. The Soviets want to send Lumiere’ to a people’s asylum—that is a mental institution. Within a convent, Lumiere’ gradually is exposed to other languages. She learns that she knows many languages. The Church uses her as a translator for the Patriarch of Moscow. Through this, she comes to the attention of the Soviet. This was all part of the Patriarch’s plan to place a spy into the NKVD and Stalin’s inner circle. Lumiere’ plays this witting spy. I think you can see how the creative elements bound and create the world of the novel. They are likewise cascading creative elements. For example, Lumiere’s language skills identify her to the NKVD. This also brings her to the attention of Stalin. Other important figures in the Soviet notice her. Lumiere comes to the attention of Stalin’s daughter, which comes around to Stalin again. At the same time, Lumiere learns that the Goddess of Darkness, who escaped at the end of Sister of Darkness is in China influencing Mao and the Chinese Communists. This builds another focus into the novel—a focus that turns into a romantic stream and other creative elements. You can see, these creative elements build the plot and scenes. A further creative element that moves through the whole of the novel is that of history. The happenings in the Soviet and in the rest of the world come into play as critical aspects of the novel. All of these build and produce the scenes in the novel. The next Ancient Light novel is Shadow of Light.
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