7 January 2019, Writing – part x646, Developing Skills, How to Suspend Disbelief, Setting
: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but my primary publisher has gone out of business—they couldn’t succeed in the past business and publishing environment. I’ll keep you informed, but I need a new publisher. More information can be found atwww.ancientlight.com. Check out my novels–I think you’ll really enjoy them.
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 withhttp://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.
4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.
- 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 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential titleBlue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective. The theme statement is: 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 cover proposal for Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I am continuing to write on my 30thnovel, working title Red Sonja. I finished my 29th novel, working titleDetective. I’m planning to start on number 31, working title Shifter.
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 30: 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 31: TBD
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: Suspension of disbelief is the characteristic of writing that pulls the reader into the world of the novel in such a way that the reader would rather face the world of the novel rather than the real world—at least while reading. If this occurs while not reading, it is potentially a mental problem. To achieve the suspension of disbelief your writing has to meet some basic criteria and contain some strong inspiration. If you want to call the inspiration creativity, that works too. Here is a list of the basic criteria to hope to achieve some degree of suspension of disbelief.
- Reasonably written in standard English
- No glaring logical fallacies
- Reasoned worldview
- Creative and interesting topic
- A Plot
Everything is about entertainment. The purpose for all published novels is entertainment. Other than this is the only point of fiction literature, one of the main reasons is that entertainment can fill a lot of holes as well as result in the suspension of disbelief.
The factors that do lend themselves to entertaining are these:
- Use of figures of speech (vocabulary and language).
Characters are the focus of entertainment and the plot, but other parts of a novel can help drive entertainment. As we are discussing, the suspension of disbelief is about entertaining. If you can hold your readers in a state of entertainment, you can usually hold them in a suspension of disbelief. The point is to hold your readers in a suspension of disbelief. A powerful setting can help hold readers in the suspension of disbelief and a powerful setting can increase the entertainment potential of any novel.
What kind of settings are we writing about? Let’s just put it this way. The common, ordinary, and unexciting can’t be excluded from an entertaining setting, but at best, such a setting will likely not increase the potential entertainment. I seek settings that will enhance my characters and the entertainment of the novel. The setting shouldn’t be common, ordinary, and unexciting.
You need to develop a setting that is uncommon, unique, and exciting. Even the common, ordinary, and unexciting becomes uncommon, unique, and exciting when placed in a time and place that is entertaining and unusual. What about a school? I’ve used boarding schools, universities, and schools for the setting of adult novels. What about an estate or a castle? I’ve used estates and castles as settings for novels. The types of plot and characters wrapped around such settings can be very entertaining. What about exotic cities or just cities? What about real places? How about restaurants, diners, and bars? Add to that special and real historical events. These are all settings, and these add great entertainment.
For example, most of my novels are historically based, and I introduce you to real people, events, and places. Can this not be exciting? Can this not be entertaining? These settings drive the characters and plot. I’ve written about examples from my novels, but let’s look at a well-known entertaining setting—Harry Potty.
Harry starts out at a common and not very exciting place. The entertainment starts with the setting of Harry in his home. He lives under the stairs. He is kept from his past and his future. This might not seem like much, but it provides a great zero level for the protagonist and provides a wonderful contrast to the main portion of the novel, Hogsworth or Pigsworth or whatever.
The setting that helps drive the entertainment and the suspension of disbelief in the novel is the setting of the magical school for witches and wizards. You can actually approach a novel development this way—that is you can add appropriate settings to a novel to build and develop entertainment.
I’ll write more about how I use settings to build entertainment and produce suspension of disbelief.
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