10 July 2018, Writing – part x465, Developing Skills, Telic Flaw, Ideas
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 always tied directly to the protagonist and is a primary characteristic of the protagonist. The more interesting and well developed the telic flaw, the stronger the plot and the better the novel. That is in theory. In actuality, some great writers have taken very simple and unimaginative telic flaws and used them with great power. The best example of this is Shakespeare who took very simple and basic telic flaw ideas and turned them into great plots.
Shakespeare’s power was in the execution as opposed to the theme, telic flaw, or plot. This means, if you are a fantastic writer, you can take a very simple concept and turn it into an amazing novel. I’ve met a very few people who are this good of a writer. Most aren’t or there would be lots of Shakespeare quality literature. So even with great skills, perhaps it takes more than that to make any telic flaw, plot, or theme into a great novel.
What I’ve tried to show you is how simple a telic flaw can be. I just started to refer to the telic flaw in terms of plot and theme because that’s exactly what it is. We use the same terms to mean pretty much the same thing. The focus is where the idea came from. For example, the telic flaw is attached to the plot and the protagonist. The theme is usually attached to the plot and not as clearly to the protagonist (although I express a theme in terms of the protagonist). Some other writers use other terms, but in general, these terms express the idea of the plot and protagonist that results in the novel.
If the telic flaw, theme, and plot idea is this simple, all we need to do is discover one and start writing—that’s the point. Wherever the idea comes from. Find one and start writing. I’ve been trying to help you find a telic flaw, so you can start writing. In fact, I’ve been trying to define ideas to help you start writing. Perhaps I should move from ideas to mechanics.
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