11 January 2019, Writing – part x650, Developing Skills, How to Suspend Disbelief, Writing
: 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.
I’ve read some surprisingly good to great writing in my time. There are writers whose skill with the English language and specifically with figures of speech have left me dumbfounded. I’ve always been amazed at the turn of phrase of Jack Vance. Alan Bradley, the author of the Flavia Deluca novels has an astounding way with words. C. Valente, the author of the Fairyland novels written supposedly for children is an astounding weaver of words. And then, there is a writer I met at a local forum. Her writing was amazing, the topic, plot, and characters didn’t matter. Her skills at the use of English made the most mundane ideas golden. Why she isn’t published, I have no idea. Perhaps she can’t apply her skills as a writer to characters, plots, or topics.
Then there is the rest of us. Most writers fall into the normal showing a story types. We don’t have the awkward brevity of Hemingway, thank God, and we don’t have the unusual skill of the golden pen like those I mentioned above. Most writers get by with entertaining characters, plots, and topics. Then there are the few who can muster greatness from nothing. Shakespeare might be placed in this category, especially in his time. Today, his writing style and quality baffles the uninitiated while those who can produce the dulcet tones of expressing the world through words alone can dazzle without entertaining characters, plots, or topics.
If you haven’t seen this type of writing before, I recommend you seek it out. I don’t recommend you write this way, but I do recommend you capture some of the power of their skill. Why not write in this style, and why not allow the writing alone to carry the suspension of disbelief? Let’s look at that next.
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