7 May 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x36, Creative Elements in the World of my Enchantment Novels, Deirdre: Enchantment and the School
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 Deirdre: Enchantment and the School. 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 eighth Enchantment Novel, is Deirdre: Enchantment and the School. This novel isn’t finished yet. I’m up to chapter eight, and so far, writing is going well. I love it when I am up to my elbows in a new novel. I got the idea for this novel from this blog. I was writing about pathetic characters and mentioned that possibly the most pathetic character I could image would be an abandoned girl who was trying to go to a good school just for the opportunity of learning. I took this to heart and began a novel about such a girl. Actually, this girl happens to be the protagonist’s helper, but the protagonist is something of a foil to her.
The major creative elements for the novel are: a girl’s boarding school, a hidden girl (Sorcha), a girl who needs to be fixed (Deirdre), a teacher who can fix them both (Luna), magic, the fae, and adventures. We can call the adventures electives.
The basis of the novel is that a girl with some fae power, glamour to be precise, is using this power to hide and attend Wycombe Abbey girl’s school. This is Sorcha. A certain girl who has many issues, Deirdre, can see Sorcha and her tricks to appear like a normal student. This is the theme that undergirds the entire novel. This is Sorcha’s secret, and Deirdre’s lips are sealed. At the same time, Luna has been assigned the job of turning Deirdre into a lady, or at least prevent her from harming herself and others. Luna is in charge of making Deirdre into something. When Sorcha suddenly tags along, Luna just brings her in. This is good in so many ways.
Luna’s training and teaching have everything to do with what she calls electives. We can call them adventures. This is the point of all the other creative elements in the novel. The adventures become the focus of the training and education. Thus training about magic, fae power, meeting fae creatures, meeting a goddess, shooting, fencing, meeting boys, making friends. Luna makes each of these the focus of an assignment to the girls. They must comply as a result of an agreement Deirdre made with Luna. We and the girls aren’t certain how much Luna knows about everything. This is part of the revelation in the novel. Thus the adventures in this novel are individual creative elements. As I mentioned, they take the form of assignments. For example, Luna requires the girls to make friends…with the tea-party class of girls. This is a creative element on its own and leads to other creative elements. I’ve never written a book quite like this where the form of the plot was adventures by the protagonist and protagonist’s helper.
I’ve run out of my normal fiction–let’s move over to my science fiction novels.
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