10 May 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x39, Creative Elements in the World of my Science Fiction Novels, Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox: The Fox’s Honor
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 science fiction novels. I’ll continue on to the Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox: The Fox’s Honor. This novel was published in 2008 by Oaktara.
In science fiction novels, the creative elements or at least one creative element must be based in science. Usually, the writer is creating an entirely new universe. That universe is based on the world we know and the universe follows scientific ideas or concepts from the world we know. It must be based on ideas and concepts familiar to the reader or there is no way the novel would be readable or interesting.
The basic creative elements of the world of the Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox are: Anglo-Saxons, nobility, honor, Human Galactic Empire, breeding for leadership, the Codes, faster-than-light space travel, intrafamily conflicts, and love. These are the basis of the universe of the novel. I threw in love at the end because all three of these novels is ultimately about love and honor.
I mentioned before, the universe of the Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox is based loosely in the Anglo-Saxon society and culture. This is a highly honor based culture with a nobility based more in capability than in heredity. There is also a parliament of sorts called the Landsritters that is similar to the House of Lords in the old British parliament. The fracturing of the Human Galactic Empire occurs when one of the princes decides his brother’s actions threaten his clear ascendency to the throne. That’s when everything breaks loose.
The Fox’s Honor adds some spectacular new creative elements to the mix. Specifically, a duel, a plan, an intended death, a declaration of love, an unexpected princess, an unexpected marriage, an unexpected prince, and a secret hero. This novel is full of twists and turns that create entertainment and excitement. The protagonist is Devon Rathenberg. He has developed a plan along with the Emperor to reveal the internal enemies of the Empire. This plan will result in the death of Devon, but will aid the Empire and Emperor immensely. Devon intends to die during a duel to coalesce the intent of the nobility’s internal enemies and force them to act. He also intends to announce his love of the lady Tamar Falkeep just before he dies. Devon succeeds, but he doesn’t realize how much his confession means to the Lady Tamar. She brings him back to life (artificial respiration) and hides him while he heals.
With this perspective, I think you can see the additional creative elements that are brought into the plot. For example, revenge, a chase, a secret marriage, a father’s anger, a family’s resolve, and a great escape. Tamar and Devon are married through the Codes of the nobility, but she must keep this secret from her father for many reasons. The only problem is that her father catches Devon in her bed. There is more. My point is this—in this novel especially, the creative elements build on one another making a great political problem for the characters. The resolution of this political problem is the ultimate resolution of the novel. These creative elements drive the plot and the entertainment in the plot.
I’m looking at my science fiction novels. I’ll discuss the creative elements in Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox: A Season of Honor next.
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