9 July 2018, Writing – part x464, Developing Skills, Telic Flaw, Plots
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 internal and external telic flaw.
The telic flaw is a characteristic of the protagonist and the plot. I find the development of the plot easy based on the protagonist and their telic flaw. If this is true, then the author can develop a great plot by developing the proper protagonist and their telic flaw.
If you haven’t noticed, the protagonist and the telic flaw are tied wholly together. Usually, just by inspecting your protagonist, you find their telic flaw. I’d rather you design the protagonist with their telic flaw as part of the design of the novel, but with any protagonist, you should be able to determine a telic flaw—if not, just make one up. For example, I have a young man seeking to become an artist. The telic flaw is that he isn’t an artist yet. Another: I have a woman who wants to rescue her friend from a Mexican cartel. The telic flaw is that her friend has been captured or enslaved by a Mexican cartel. Another: I have a boy wizard who survived an evil wizard’s attack. The telic flaw is the what? You can do a lot with this. The evil wizard must use the boy wizard to return to life and then wants revenge and power. Pretty weak telic flaw, but it is a kid’s novel. Another: a young woman mistakes a gentleman’s words and influence as a personal affront. The telic flaw is the required resolution between the mistake and the gentlemen. This is, of course, Pride and Prejudice. Another: a man shipwrecked on an island must survive. The telic flaw is survival until rescue. This is Robinson Caruso. Another: an impoverished girl has a taste of wealth, life, and love and wants that to continue. This is Jane Eyre.
Telic flaws are rather simple. The execution certainly isn’t. You can design a novel entirely from the protagonist and their telic flaw.
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