1 May 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x30, Creative Elements in the World of my Enchantment Novels, Dana-ana: Enchantment and the Maiden
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? This is the essence of the Enchantment Novels.
In the third Enchantment Novel, Dana-ana: Enchantment and the Maiden, the setting is the modern era in a college town in the southern USA. This is a creative element. I don’t mention the exact town, but for those who are observant, it’s Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I’ve set other novels in Louisiana, and I’ve lived there. This is simply the setting. Smallish town suburban in the Deep South.
What makes this novel special is the additional creative elements. The protagonist’s helper is Byron. He is a smart kid whose parents are college professors. He has a smart and smart-mouthed sister. All these are pretty normal creative elements. Dana-ana is the protagonist and the central creative element. She is a person who is lost in the modern world. She is a special refugee who was banished by the British government. Now, there is a creative element. This novel is a discovery novel, so this information isn’t known by the reader at the beginning. In the beginning, Dana-ana is a girl who is dirty, wears worn out clothing, takes food from garbage cans, doesn’t speak to anyone, won’t take the school’s food, books, or other charity, lives in a tarpaper shack on the Bayou. She has no friends, no family, no protectors until Byron comes along and saves her. Thus we begin with amazing creative elements. As I wrote, the novel is a discovery novel. There are creative elements that explain each of these creative elements. There are creative elements that are revealed as the plot progresses.
Let me just list some: magic, murder, the Queen, British Intelligence, the US State Department, a trip to Britain, megaliths, stone circles, the Fae, marriage, Saxons, and so on. The creative elements in the novel grow from those I already mentioned and from who Dana-ana is. These creative elements are woven into a novel that is filled with entertainment because of these creative elements.
The next novel’s creative elements we will look at are those in Khione: Enchantment and the Fox.
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