Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x86, Creative Elements in Scenes, Plot Devices, Two Way Love

26 June 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x86, Creative Elements in Scenes, Plot Devices, Two Way Love

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.

Today’s Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select “production schedule,” you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:

  1. Don’t confuse your readers.
  2. Entertain your readers.
  3. Ground your readers in the writing.
  4. Don’t show (or tell) everything.
  5. 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.

Cover Proposal

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 development:

  1. Scene input (easy)
  2. Scene output (a little harder)
  3. Scene setting (basic stuff)
  4. Creativity (creative elements of the scene: transition from input to output focused on the telic flaw resolution)
  5. Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)
  6. 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:

  1. Design the initial scene
  2. Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
    1. Research as required
    2. Develop the initial setting
    3. Develop the characters
    4. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  3. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  4. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  5. Write the climax scene
  6. Write the falling action scene(s)
  7. Write the dénouement scene

Here is the beginning of the scene development method from the outline:

  1. Scene input (comes from the previous scene output or is an initial scene)
  2. Write the scene setting (place, time, stuff, and characters)
  3. Imagine the output, creative elements, plot, telic flaw resolution (climax) and develop the tension and release.
  4. Write the scene using the output and creative elements to build the tension.
  5. Write the release
  6. Write the kicker

Below is a list of plot devices. I’m less interested in a plot device than I am in a creative element that drives a plot device. In fact, some of these plot devices are not good for anyone’s writing. If we remember, the purpose of fiction writing is entertainment, we will perhaps begin to see how we can use these plot devices to entertain. If we focus on creative elements that drive plot devices, we can begin to see how to make our writing truly entertaining. I’ll leave up the list and we’ll contemplate creative elements to produce these plot devices.



Deus ex machina (a machination, or act of god; lit. “god out of the machine”)


Flashback (or analeptic reference)



Frame story, or a story within a story

Framing device


In medias res

Narrative hook


Plot twist

Poetic justice

Predestination paradox


Red herring

Self-fulfilling prophecy

Story within a story (Hypodiegesis)

Ticking clock scenario

Chekhov’s gun

Unreliable narrator

Third attempt


Judicial Setting

Legal argument


Two way love – Current discussion.

Three way love (love rival)


Celebrity (Rise to fame)

Rise to riches

Military (Device or Organization manipulation)

School (Training) (Skill Development)





Impossible Crime

Human god



Silent witness

Secret king


Hidden skills

Fantasy Land (Time Travel, Space Travel)

End of the — (World, Culture, Society)

Resistance (Nonresistance)

Utopia (anti-utopia)


Augmented Human (Robot) (Society)

Mind Switching (Soul Switching)

Unreliable character

Incarceration (imprisonment)

Two way love: here is my definition – two way love is the use of the romantic relationship between two people to further a plot.

Two way love is a plot device that focuses on the relationship between two people. This focus can be from puppy love to marriage and beyond. The main point is two people who are dedicated and centered on each other. Usually, the relationship moves from meeting, to friends, to love, to some kind of stronger relationship. Everything is reasonable in developing the love in a two way love. The only point that isn’t reasonable is interjecting another person into the mix—this interjection is three way love. Two way love is indeed a plot device. I’ll give you an example below.

From Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse:

Captain Cross pulled Shiggy out of the door and to the side. Shiggy could see the black SUV at the street. The Captain searched in his pockets for a moment and brought out a small giftwrapped box, “I would be pleased, Shiggy, if you would accept this Christmas present from me.” He handed it to her.

Shiggy took the gift in both hands and stared at it, “This is for me?”

“Of course it’s for you.”

“May I open it, now?”

“If you wish.”

Shiggy tore off the wrapping and opened the box, “It’s beautiful. Earrings. They’re blue and silver.”

“Blue like your eyes. I noticed your ears were pierced, but you haven’t worn anything in them when I’ve been with you.”

“Sorcha hasn’t got to jewelry yet. Thank you. Thank you very much. I’m sorry. I don’t have a present for you.”

“You don’t need one for me.”

“But now I feel obliged.”

“If that’s so, then I’d like you to promise to get to know me better.”

Shiggy smiled, “I’d like that too.”

Captain Cross leaned forward, “May I kiss you, Shiggy?”

That got Angel’s attention. She grabbed Shiggy’s hair, “That’s obviously bad judgement. If you let him kiss you, I’ll poison him.”

Shiggy’s eyes filled, “Please, let me kiss him.”

“Not now. Perhaps never.”

Shiggy’s tears began to fall, “I really want to kiss him.”

“Stop it Shiggy.” Angel spit on her hand and held it menacingly near Captain Cross’ face.

Shiggy blubbered, “William, I would very much like you to kiss me, but at the moment, I must decline.” She pushed him away.

Angel cheered, “That away, Shiggy.”

Captain Cross gave her a puzzled look, “I understand. I think.”

Shiggy burst into tears, “I don’t.” She ran to the front door, and into Lyons’ House.

Sorcha found her there bawling in the foyer.

Sveta heard her and came running, “Now, what’s the matter?”

Sorcha hauled Shiggy up on one side and Sveta took the other. Shiggy tightly held the box Captain Cross had given her. Sorcha picked up Shiggy’s clutch, “Whatever is the matter with you, Shiggy?”

Shiggy sobbed, “William gave me such a nice pair of earrings, and he asked to kiss me.” Shiggy roared, “But this stupid fairy threatened to poison him. I’m so mad, I could poison her.”

Sorcha held her, “Calm down, Shiggy. Relax. I’m sure William understands. A kiss on the first date is a bit quick.”

Shiggy glared, “By whose standards?”

Sorcha grimaced, “Well not by Mrs. Calloway’s.”

Sveta shook her head, “Perhaps not by Mrs. Calloway’s standards, but certainly by mine and by our families’. It was very nice of William to give you a gift. Let’s wait a little for the kissing part.”

Sorcha commiserated, “Plus my team is going to hell right now. I have a pilot who’s chasing me. Muscle who’s chasing my assistant. How can we operate together like this?”

The focus of this novel is not the romance, but romance is a beautiful part of the novel. The novel is about Shiggy, but a wonderful touch in the novel is the romance between Shiggy and Mr. Cross and Sorcha and her beau. This plot device brings great entertainment to the novel and builds power in the novel through relationship.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:








fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic


About L.D. Alford

L. D. Alford is a novelist whose writing explores with originality those cultures and societies we think we already know. His writing distinctively develops the connections between present events and history—he combines them with threads of reality that bring the past alive. L. D. Alford is familiar with technology and cultures—he is widely traveled and earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Pacific Lutheran University, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University, a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from The University of Dayton, and is a graduate of Air War College, Air Command and Staff College, and the USAF Test Pilot School. L. D. Alford is an author who combines intimate scientific and cultural knowledge into fiction worlds that breathe reality. He is the author of three historical fiction novels: Centurion, Aegypt, and The Second Mission, and three science fiction novels: The End of Honor, The Fox’s Honor, and A Season of Honor.
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