16 April 2019, Writing – part x745, Writing a Novel, Power of Settings, Conclusions
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.
In novels, authors always seek ways to bring together the elements of the plot in a cohesive and imaginative way. The wise author always wants to prevent deus ex machina (god machines) which dilute the writing and lead to bathos (improper response to emotion). I should mention that deus ex machina are all over most movies. You see them in books too, but at a much reduced rate. I think well-written novels should never have more than one deus ex. Usually, a deus ex will set the novel rolling and that’s it. To clarify, a deus ex can be a chance meeting or a chance event. A singular chance event makes sense to make the occurrences of a novel begin, but a bunch of them make the novel not just trite but unbelievable.
In consequence, authors are always looking for ways to bring disparate characters together. Further, wise authors are always looking for the material of scene and creative elements for scenes that depict the most interesting aspects of their protagonists and reveal them in the context of the plot—not to mention to move the plot forward.
I find that holidays, and especially Christmas and New Years provides unique and expected opportunities to bring characters together. I showed you examples in my twelve days of Christmas scenes. I also think there is great scope in the use of other holidays to do the same, or rather, holidays can be used to bring characters together in amazing ways.
Although this is a conclusion, I’ll mention another example of a holiday I’ve used before. If you remember, the British love to celebrate horse racing. One of their most revered aristocratic events is The Grand National. This is the event that women wear their wonderful hats to and Gentlemen dress to the nines. What better way to get together a plethora of interesting and aristocratic people and beings. There is likely few other places where these people and potentially others might be in attendance—or at least where they might meet each other in passing. Providing a reasonable place where people might come together is a means of moving a plot without addition of deus ex to a manuscript.
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