14 April 2019, Writing – part x743, Writing a Novel, Power of Settings, New Years
Announcement: 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: Why don’t we go back to the basics and just writing a novel? I can tell you what I do, and show you how I go about putting a novel together. We can start with developing an idea then move into the details of the writing.
You must have a protagonist and an antagonist. You may have a protagonist’s helper. Then there are other characters. Let’s talk about characters in general and then specifically.
I’ve been writing about choosing and developing protagonists who are interesting and entertaining to your readers. Readers like characters who they can intellectually identify with. These are the characters who appeal to them. If there is no intellectual connection, there is usually no connection. We saw this by the many characters whom readers can’t share any or many characteristics, but the characters still appeal.
For Christmas, I gave you scenes from my writing that were set during Christmas. I hope this was enlightening and entertaining to you. I just wanted to entertain you for the Christmas season. I also wanted to show you how important real events and settings are to novels.
There are three ways to create a setting or a world: real, reflected, and created.
A real worldview comes directly from the real world. A reflected worldview comes from a historical and real basis but from a fictional or mythic basis. A created worldview is developed from a real base, but is either fantasy or futuristic.
I should have covered New Years with Christmas. New Years is really a full on secular holiday where all kinds of people get together. This is the party day for the USA and most Western cultures. There are other cultures that celebrate it well, but not quite as a party day. For example, in Asian cultures, New Years is a time of family celebration and religious execution. Many if not most Japanese go to a temple for the first visit of the year, and there are numerous traditions centered around that visit and the day.
In the West, there are region based celebrations and food, but New Years isn’t a religious holiday in the West. The power of New Years for the author is that it is a continuation of Christmas—that’s what I use it for.
I flip my characters from the religious Christmas to the secular New Years as a continuation of time just like it is in the real world. By this I mean that I usually have a party or celebration coming up to Christmas, the actual Christmas Eve and day, and then a party at New Years. That’s for the full gamut. I haven’t done the whole thing in every book, but a few.
The point for the author is to realize the opportunities that exist base on the holidays. If I based my novels on my own life, there would be one or two parties every week of December until Christmas and then Christmas Eve and Day followed by a party at New Years Eve. If this is the focus of your novels, and you need that many get-togethers, go for it. I’ve just never needed that many—the point is you could, and it wouldn’t be unusual.
I’ll look finally at the Fourth. More on this weekends, weeks, months, and why Christmas is an expression of the real world.
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