5 August 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x126, It’s Finished, Editing
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 finished my 29th novel, working title School. I’ll be providing information on the marketing materials and editing.
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.
First stage editing for me is a general read of the novel with specific fixes. The specific fixes are for foreshadowing, details, descriptions, storylines, and general cleanup. How does this work. As you write, the complexity of the story and the revelation of the characters grow. The author’s understanding of the plot and the characters grows. I’ve written before that the author should develop the characters fully at the beginning, but we all know, the author’s understanding and the complexity of the characters grows with the revelations. Fully developed is still fully developed, but fully developed at the beginning is different than fully developed at the end. This doesn’t mean the development necessarily changes, it means the author must go back and reevaluate the character the he started with and provide the supporting details she didn’t realize existed at the time.
For example, in School, I knew that Deirdre would have enormous and spectacular secrets. I didn’t know what these secrets would be at the beginning of the writing, I only knew she would have some. During the writing, I decided those secrets would be her singing, dancing, and art skills. I planned for them, but I didn’t foreshadow them much because I didn’t fully realize what those skills would be nor their extent. In the first editing run through, I foreshadowed her secrets. These are subtle adds, but the point is that as the reader sees the revelation of Deirdre, they will note the foreshadowing (her actions that directly support her unusual skills) and think, I could have guessed that. The reader usually can’t really fully guess the foreshadowed revelation of your characters, but that isn’t the point—the point is to provide hints so when the reader gets to the revelation, they will go ah ha, I knew it, even if they didn’t. The foreshadowing, that is, hints are the important part. In the first part of the editing, the author needs to fix and strengthen this.
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