Writing – part x649, Developing Skills, How to Suspend Disbelief, more on Topics

10 January 2019, Writing – part x649, Developing Skills, How to Suspend Disbelief, more on Topics

: 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 topic can help hold readers in the suspension of disbelief and a powerful topic can increase the entertainment potential of any novel.

If a topic is entertaining to a reader, the reader will more likely be held in a suspension of disbelief even if the plot and the characters are poorly written.  You know this is true because there are some terribly written novels that appeal because of the topic.  I gave the example of Harry Potty—they aren’t that terribly written, but they aren’t great works of art.

Another example is Tolkien.  Tolkien is a terrible author, but a good storyteller.  His topics and what he did with them are what attract readers to his novels.  The author should select topics that appeal to them and not necessarily topics that are popular, but it isn’t a bad idea to write about popular topics if they are interesting and entertaining to the author.

For example, at this moment, I’m debating writing another vampire into my newest novel.  I think bringing a vampire into this novel would make it very entertaining.  This novel needs some more excitement and entertainment.  It’s still in the development stage.  Let me give you a short synopsis.

Deirdre and Sorcha were supposed to train in military flight training for preparation to go to British flight school.  Their guardian is recalled and they are sent to a French boarding school to be finished.  They are not allowed to reveal their British origins.  At boarding school, they discover a mysterious and isolated girl and at the moment are attempting to make contact.  They are rooting around in the underside of Saint Malo, and the perfect person for them to meet would be a vampire.  I don’t want to copy the circumstances of my novel Valeska about another vampire, but I would like to present a similar setup.  I want to produce a pathos building vampire.  I see this as a great balance to the mysterious girl in the novel.  The girl is a captured creature while the vampire would provide a comparison and a foil.  I would like to bring them all together to build up an entertaining and exciting topic to the novel.

So, I think the topic of a novel can really make a difference.  This is why I recommend building a unique and interesting basis for your writing. As I’ve written, writing about the normal and common isn’t going to make it especially today—every author needs to carve out their niche in the writing world.  Those who succeed will have something new and exciting to give to readers and not something old and tepid.

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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