11 May 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x40, Creative Elements in the World of my Science Fiction Novels, Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox: A Season of 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: A Season of 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.
A Season Honor adds some spectacular new creative elements to the mix. Specifically, a betrothal, a plan to protect an inheritance, a planet with great wealth, a banished prince, a dishonored nobleman, a mission, an assassination attempt, and a look-alike. The protagonist of this novel is Baron Shaun du Locke. Shaun was once the Prince John-Mark. He was banished for ten years. He has returned to the mainstream of the Empire, and has come to Acier. On Acier, his friend and once vassal, Ian Acier contracts Shaun to take his Daughter Elina Acier to her wedding on the capital of Arienth. Shaun gives his word and is keen to accomplish this task until he sees Elina Acier. Elina could be the twin of his lost love Lyral Neuterra. Elian and Lyral were cousins—they could be twins.
This begins a trip across space to bring Elina to Arienth before the current Emperor can eliminate Elina. Shaun at the same time, is gathering his supporters to assert his and Elina’s rights before the Landsritters. You can see how the creative elements join to build this novel and form the plot. Each of these creative elements along with additional creative elements builds the entertainment in the novel. Each scene focuses around a creative element and all the other creative elements join to form the setting, plot, and theme.
I’m looking at my science fiction novels. I’ll discuss the creative elements in The Ghost Ship Chronicles: Athelstan Cying next.
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