30 April 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x29, Creative Elements in the World of my Enchantment Novels, Aksinya: Enchantment and the Deamon
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’m moving to my Enchantment Novels. I’ll start with Aksinya: Enchantment and the Deamon. This novel is not on contract yet—I’m looking for a publisher.
I’ve written before, I wrote the Enchantment Novels to allow more scope for my writing and to entertain themes much different than those in Ancient Light. The Enchantment Novels are still historical novels with a touch of myth or the supernatural. I’ll be more specific, the Enchantment Novels relate in history those ideas that people once or still believe. For example, the Gaelic, Saxon, and Celtic peoples once believed in myths or their gods, goddesses, and other creatures. Why shouldn’t I write a novel about the modern era that includes these beings that these peoples once so fervently believed? The is the essence of the Enchantment Novels.
In the second Enchantment Novel, Aksinya: Enchantment and the Deamon, the time and place is Russia in 1917 and Austria. A young woman, the aristocrat Aksinya, calls the demon Asmodeus to protect her family. She is successful, but unfortunately her family is murdered by the Bolsheviks. The creative elements are sorcery, a demon, Russia, the Bolsheviks, Austria, and a Princess. I shouldn’t tell you who the princess is. In any case, these creative elements are made more specific as: Latin sorcery, Asmodeus, Russia, the Bolsheviks, Austria, and Aksinya. There are many more creative elements that branch off of these. For example, the places in Russia, and the places in Austria, the Catholic Church, Aksinya’s relations, the Austrian courts. These are made more specific and also branch off. Aksinya, for example, is made up of all her problems, skills, and character traits. She has problems with many things. She considers herself ugly, and might be ugly in comparison to her mother and sister. She has sexual issues that drive her life and her being. She is enamored with sorcery. She calls a demon—the demon Asmodeus. Asmodeus is the demon of luxeria. That is the demon of extravagance in all things—this is precisely Aksinya’s problem.
Another creative element that is derived is that of temptation. Temptation isn’t exactly the opposite of redemption, but falling into temptation is. The power and much of the entertainment in the novel is the experience of Aksinya under the temptation of the demon. Perhaps I shouldn’t call this entertaining. It is excruciating. It is painful to watch, but the reader can’t help but understand how Aksinya falls into the demon’s traps—over and over. These traps are sometimes simple and subtle—they are at other times complex and direct. The entertainment factor comes out of this experience whether it is negative or positive. You can read this novel on this blog. The next novel’s creative elements we will look at are those in Dana-ana: Enchantment and the Maiden.
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