Writing – part x647, Developing Skills, How to Suspend Disbelief, more Setting

8 January 2019, Writing – part x647, Developing Skills, How to Suspend Disbelief, more 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.

Today’s Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select “production schedule,” you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:

  1. Don’t confuse your readers.
  2. Entertain your readers.
  3. Ground your readers in the writing.
  4. Don’t show (or tell) everything.

     4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.

  1. 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:

  1. Design the initial scene
  2. Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
  3. Research as required
  4. Develop the initial setting
  5. Develop the characters
  6. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  7. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  8. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  9. Write the climax scene
  10. Write the falling action scene(s)
  11. 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.

Cover Proposal

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:

  1. Scene input (comes from the previous scene output or is an initial scene)
  2. Write the scene setting (place, time, stuff, and characters)
  3. Imagine the output, creative elements, plot, telic flaw resolution (climax) and develop the tension and release.
  4. Write the scene using the output and creative elements to build the tension.
  5. Write the release
  6. 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.

  1. Reasonably written in standard English
  2. No glaring logical fallacies
  3. Reasoned worldview
  4. Creative and interesting topic
  5. A Plot
  6. Entertaining
  7. POV

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:

  1. Characters
  2. Plot
  3. Setting
  4. Topics
  5. Writing
  6. 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.

I love to use settings to drive entertainment, and many other authors are very sensitive to setting.  Just look at your favorite novels.  How about Murder on the Orient Express—I can’t imagine a better place to start and a better setting for a murder mystery.  If you didn’t know, the story begins in Turkey and the characters take the Orient Express from Turkey to Paris.  I love to use trains and have used trains as a scene setting in numerous novels.

What about Harry Potty?  We have a medieval castle with all kinds of fun castle stuff like dungeons, towers, hidden rooms, paintings, spooky stuff, and all the rest of the castle kind of things.  I use castles and mansions in my novels all the time.  Every mansion and every castle comes with all kinds of special places, elements, and surroundings like furnishings.  Just the mention of a castle or mansion brings entertaining circumstances to mind.

How about A Little Princess?  Her novel is set in a boarding school.  When you imagine the setting of a boarding school, you think of many circumstances and events that are beautifully set in such a place.  What about other schools?  I have set my novels in boarding schools, public schools, in universities, and colleges.  These are incredible settings mainly due to the educational environment.  These environments usually excite people simply because it brings back memories, mostly good memories, but almost everyone in the first world has gone to school and everyone in the third world wishes they could.  A school environment usually entices your readers because of their own memories, and as I noted, most have positive memories of school.  Even those who don’t have positive memories recognize the potential excitement and entertainment in that environment.  There is bullying, learning, fighting, friends, love, sports, and all.

How about Starship Troopers?  The setting begins with military training and moves to space and interstellar warfare.  How can this not be entertaining?  I use space and planetary environments for my science fiction novels.  This is always a crowd pleaser.

The setting can’t be the only thing that holds the attention of the reader in the suspension of disbelief, but it sure helps to move them and keep them there.  Let’s look at topics next.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:

http://www.ancientlight.com/

http://www.aegyptnovel.com/

http://www.centurionnovel.com

http://www.thesecondmission.com/

http://www.theendofhonor.com/

http://www.thefoxshonor.com

http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic

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About L.D. Alford

L. D. Alford is a novelist whose writing explores with originality those cultures and societies we think we already know. His writing distinctively develops the connections between present events and history—he combines them with threads of reality that bring the past alive. L. D. Alford is familiar with technology and cultures—he is widely traveled and earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Pacific Lutheran University, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University, a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from The University of Dayton, and is a graduate of Air War College, Air Command and Staff College, and the USAF Test Pilot School. L. D. Alford is an author who combines intimate scientific and cultural knowledge into fiction worlds that breathe reality. He is the author of three historical fiction novels: Centurion, Aegypt, and The Second Mission, and three science fiction novels: The End of Honor, The Fox’s Honor, and A Season of Honor.
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