4 May 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x33, Creative Elements in the World of my Enchantment Novels, Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer
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 move on to Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer. 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.
The fifth Enchantment Novel, is Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer. I really wanted to move into a different area with this novel. I’ve been studying Japanese culture and society for the purpose of writing a novel set in 1000 AD, the Genjii period. I haven’t written that novel yet, but I wrote Lilly. The theme concept in Lilly is the redemption of a Japanese kami or goddess. The setup for this novel is a little odd, but the reason was to set the novel in an environment where I could compare and contrast Western and Eastern concepts. Thus, the creative elements in Lilly are: homeless abused genius computer girl (Lilly), smart boy (Dane), kami, the Shinto Shrine, the Pacific Northwest, Pacific Lutheran University, and charity.
The creative elements expand quickly in the world of the novel. Specifically, you can see where the idea of a Shinto Shrine must go in both the sense of the real world and the supernatural. In the real world, you have a place with buildings and purpose. In the supernatural world, you have a kami (god), the protectors of the shrine, and the servants of the shrine. I build the creative elements to create a world within a world. It is a place that becomes Lilly and a place Lilly and Dane must protect. In addition, I think you can see where a smart boy and the homeless, abused, genius computer girl can go—there’s got to be romance. The romance in the novel is a wonderfully innocent piece of creativity that comes out of a girl who never had a friend before and a boy who hasn’t been very interested in girls. Couple that with the idea of Lilly taking on the mind and persona of an ancient kami—you can see the creative elements bursting all over the place.
This isn’t a simple novel. It isn’t all that straightforward. It is a novel based on interesting and powerful creative elements that might not seem at first to fit together well. The point is, they don’t have to. A novel is entertaining when the readers are interested and excited by the characters, plot, and theme. The creative elements of the characters drive the plot and theme. As long as the character’s creative elements are entertaining the novel should be entertaining. That’s how we put them all together.
The next novel’s creative elements we will look at are those in Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si.
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