25 April 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x24, Creative Elements in the World of Ancient Light, Shadow 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 Shadow of Light. 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 Light, the major creative elements become the rise of China and Southeast Asia in world events, the Osiris Offering Tablet, Lumie’re (Paul and Leora’s daughter), British Foreign Service, British Intelligence, Lumie’re’s love Alexandre, and the myths of ancient China.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, the power of creative elements is really they build creativity. Just look at where we can go with Sister of Light from a historical standpoint. The times of the novel and the involvement of the British historically are amazing. This is the beginning of the Korean War, Vietnam, and other wars of Soviet and Chinese aggression. The West and the rest of the free world were involved in using diplomatic means to influence China and the Soviets. China and the Soviets were interested in forcing a confrontation, first in North Korea and second in Vietnam. These can only be seen historically from one point of view, but they are luscious with spies, intelligence, and secret work. Lumie’re and Alex are involved from Britain and the USA in these silent confrontations. There is more. Although the world of the modern era is filled with intrigue and excitement, the ancient world of Chinese myth and the supernatural is filled with interesting circumstance.
For example, a Dragon. Not just any dragon, but the Dragon who protects the north and east of China. Chinese deities didn’t fully develop from the stage of animism—they are more akin to natural forces that are fully personified than pantheonic deities. A Dragon is a being of power, logic, and reason. It is a creature of the Tao and of filial piety. The filial piety of a Dragon encompasses the entire land of China, but especially the rivers. Dragons are river deities. The creative element of the myths of China brings in so many other creative elements. For example, where would such a Dragon reside? How would you find such a creature? What would he look like? How would he speak? How powerful would he be? And so on. The answer to each of these lies in history and in the ideas of the Chinese people. The author mines these sources to produce nuggets of information and ideas to fill a novel. The next Ancient Light novel is Children of Darkness and Light.
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