6 July 2018, Writing – part x461, Developing Skills, Telic Flaw, Entertaining and Threat of Loss
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.
These are the steps I use to write a novel including the five discrete parts of 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
I finished writing my 28th novel, working title, School, potential title Deirdre: Enchantment and the School. The theme statement is: 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.
Here is the cover proposal for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School.
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I continued writing my 29th novel, working title Red Sonja. I finished my 28th novel, working title School. If you noticed, I started on number 28, but finished number 29 (in the starting sequence—it’s actually higher than that). I adjusted the numbering. I do keep everything clear in my records. I’m just finishing number 30, working title Detective.
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 29: 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 30: Lady Azure Rose Wishart, the Chancellor of the Fae, supernatural detective, and all around dangerous girl, finds love, solves cases, breaks heads, and plays golf.
Here is the scene development 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
Today: Many people would like to write, but writing is hard work. I’ll express again, if you want to be a skilled and potentially a published author, you need to write about one million words. That equates to about ten 100,000 word novels. When you look at it this way, it is a daunting goal especially if you haven’t written a single novel.
To become a good writer, you need two specific skill sets first reading and then writing. Without these skill sets, I really can’t help you much. I provide advanced help and information on how to write great fiction.
Characters are the key to great writing. Entertainment is the purpose of fiction writing. The key to entertainment is character revelation, and specifically revelation of the plot and protagonist telic flaw (the same thing) . If we want to be a successful writer, we must aim for great protagonists, and a great protagonist means a great or compelling telic flaw.
So what is a compelling telic flaw? We need a direct and specific telic flaw.
We examined the threat of loss of life, the threat of loss of salvation, and the return of salvation as three major telic flaw ideas. These are likely the most common forms of telic flaw in literature. There are a few others and I’ve mentioned them, and we should look at them closely as well.
One common telic flaw is the loss of love or its correlated gain of love. Just as loss, gain, and return of salvation are key redemptive themes, likewise, loss, gain, and return of love are love themes.
The love theme is a great sub theme as well as a telic flaw. If you noted, I mention these are themes more than telic flaws. This is because love is usually a theme and not a telic flaw—ah, you might ask, what is the difference?
The telic flaw, when resolved, is the climax of the novel. In most love novels, love is not necessarily the climax of the novel. For example, in Romeo and Juliet, their deaths are the climax. Love was the theme, but only the loss of their lives could resolve the problem—at least from their standpoints. The telic flaw for Romeo and Juliet was their families and not their love. The resolution was their lives.
In general, we see that love itself isn’t the telic flaw—it can be, but it usually isn’t. Now about themes.
You can have as many themes as you want in any novel. Novels are best with all kinds of themes as well as plot based concepts hanging around—as long as there is only one telic flaw. As I noted about Lady Wishart, there are multiple mysteries for her to solve and multiple judgments for her to judge. There are multiple games of golf for her to play, and there is love. Lady Wishart has all kinds of fun ideas and themes and plot developments running through it, but there is only one climax and one telic flaw that must be resolved.
Now, it is possible to have an internal and an external telic flaw resolved in different ways and at different times in the same novel. That is a different topic.
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