17 May 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x46, Creative Elements in the World of my Science Fiction Novels, Escape from Freedom
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 scene development 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. Escape from Freedom is a standalone science fiction novel that could spur a second novel. I haven’t written another novel based on it yet, and I may not.
The creative elements in a science fiction novel must first set the universe of the novel. In Escape, the creative elements of the setting are: colony world, island, communism, workers, armed workers, party members, social control, sexual control, free nations, and technology. The creative elements in this setting build a world that is mostly free but that has an island nation ironically named Freedom. Freedom is an isolated nation that has no contact with any other nation on this colony world. This forms the world of Escape from Freedom.
The plot of Escape has its own set of creative elements. These work in the universe of the novel to form the storyline. These creative elements are: the rebellious girl (V10+S10537 Rebecka, Reb), the pilot (Scott Phillips), the Development Center, the mishap, the hospital, the party member, the escape, and the desire to escape. There are, of course, many many more creative elements. I find it difficult to write the simplest of creative elements as an example because they as so interactive and complex in this novel. I would have to say, this is a very complex science fiction novel because it takes concepts directly from the real world and turns them into an exaggeration of that real world. This is one of the reasons I love historical novels. In some ways, this science fiction novel is an historical novel. It takes the real world and makes some simple changes that happen to be exaggerations to produce a chimera of the world we know. When you read the novel, I think your reaction will be—this novel sounds like something the world could be if we aren’t careful.
Back to the major idea in science fiction. Of course science fiction must include science in the creative elements, but additionally, the creative elements, the setting, as well as other elements must be familiar to the reader in some way. This familiarity allows the reader to accept and drop easily into the suspension of reality in the novel.
I think what I’ll do next is give some examples of creative elements in a scene. I’ll use examples from my newest novel and show how the creative elements fit into the scenes and the novel.
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