9 August 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x130, It’s Finished, Editing, Fourth Stage
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.
The fourth stage is for redundant words. In the last stage of editing, I listed the words and word constructions I look for in my writing. I reduce these constructions and words as much as possible. Another problem that really requires a strong editor is redundant words and redundant word constructions. Here is an example:
She woke alive and alert. Her mind was filled with ideas and alive with thoughts.
In this example, I used alive in close proximity to another use of alive. The wise author and your editor will insist you change one of the uses of alive. This is why we have thesauruses. Replace one of the alives and you have:
She woke alive and alert. Her mind was filled with ideas and buzzing with thoughts.
This is an easy example and easy to see. Most are not this easy, and many relate to the entire novel. For example, there are words that should only be used once in a 100,000 word novel. Let me give you one, cogent. Cogent should only be used once, unless it is a quote or the author is using a very specific reference. A good reader or editor will find this kind of word overuse immediately. Cogent is such a strong word and so obviously special, the reader will note it immediately. You might use it safely a second time depending on the context. More than that brings attention to the word in non-positive ways. I picked one word out—there are may others. They are words that are uncommon in normal speech. In most cases, these words sound just as uncommon in novels. You will risk losing your hearers if you use certain words too much. You risk losing your readers if you use certain words too much.
Which words? Give me a list, you say. I’d love to give you a list. The problem is that this list varies a lot in relation to culture and the times. What is considered a common word in the Victorian era may not be today. My point is that you need to keep your eyes open for these types of words. Redundant or close repeating words are the first and those other words that don’t quite fit are second.
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