Writing – part x493, Developing Skills, Build a Protagonist, more Action in Scenes

7 August 2018, Writing – part x493, Developing Skills, Build a Protagonist, more Action in Scenes

Announcement:  Ancient Light is delayed due to the economy.  You can read more about it at http://www.ancientlight.com.  Ancient Light includes the second edition of Aegypt plus Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness.  I’ll keep you updated.

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 with http://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.
  5. 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)
    1. Research as required
    2. Develop the initial setting
    3. Develop the characters
    4. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  3. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  4. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  5. Write the climax scene
  6. Write the falling action scene(s)
  7. Write the dénouement scene

I finished writing my 28th novel, working title, School, potential title Deirdre: Enchantment and the School. The theme statement is: Sorcha, the abandoned child of an Unseelie and a human, secretly attends Wycombe Abbey girls’ school where she meets the problem child Deirdre and is redeemed.

Here is the cover proposal for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I continued writing my 29th novel, working title Red Sonja.  I finished my 28th novel, working title School.  If you noticed, I started on number 28, but finished number 29 (in the starting sequence—it’s actually higher than that).  I adjusted the numbering.  I do keep everything clear in my records.  I’m just finishing number 30, working title Detective.

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 29:  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 30:  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 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:  Many people would like to write, but writing is hard work.  I’ll express again, if you want to be a skilled and potentially a published author, you need to write about one million words.  That equates to about ten 100,000 word novels.  When you look at it this way, it is a daunting goal especially if you haven’t written a single novel.

To become a good writer, you need two specific skill sets first reading and then writing.  Without these skill sets, I really can’t help you much.  I provide advanced help and information on how to write great fiction.

Characters are the key to great writing.  Entertainment is the purpose of fiction writing.  The key to entertainment is character revelation, and specifically revelation of the plot and protagonist telic flaw (the same thing).  If we want to be a successful writer, we must aim for great protagonists, and a great protagonist means a great or compelling telic flaw.

In moving to mechanics, you have to start with something.  The something I recommend is the protagonist.  As I noted for you, the protagonist owns the telic flaw and the telic flaw is the catalyst for the plot.  The resolution of the telic flaw is the plot of the novel, so obviously, the best place to start any novel is with the protagonist.  I hate to do this because I usually end up writing a new novel—let’s develop a character.

I happen to have a list of great protagonist characteristics.

  1. Skilled or becoming skilled—they are competent.
  2. Even though these characters are unique and uniquely different, they feel like real people.
  3. Intellectual.
  4. Pathos building.
  5. Action oriented.

Here is a list of updated ideas from yesterday.

  1. Isolated and protected
  2. Were-creature
  3. Mystical
  4. School girl
  5. Arts
  6. France or Britain
  7. Deirdre and Sorcha

Here is my initial description:

The girl stared intently at them both.  Her large eyes glared with intensity and some agitation.  She looked like she wanted to say something, but she didn’t.  Her face simply sent her severe displeasure and reproach.  She looked young with gently pale cheeks only tinged slightly with rose, and the slight swell of youth in her face, but that was her only manifestation of lack of adulthood.

She was not very tall, but somehow, she looked imposing.  Her face was thin like the rest of her, but her appearance wasn’t emaciated—it looked restrained and strong.  In contrast to her black dress and black bonnet, her hair swept long pale and straight from the crown of her head to a single thick braid at her back.  Her eyes were a piercing light blue that glanced haughtily under thin nearly invisible brows.  Her nose was likewise striking and straight, but not so large to mar her features.  It pointed to her lips and chin—the lips being a thin pale pink and her chin oddly pointed.  All in all, her face was beautiful, but unforgettable—a face that was in no way plain, but left an impression of tightly controlled energy and chilly restraint.

Her name was Cassandra Lyons, but the nuns and teachers all called her Lady Glamis.  She was some relation of the House and clan of Glamis a Scottish noble family.

In the list above, I noted characteristics that help build an entertaining character.  What I’ll do is look at these characteristics in Cassandra Lyons.  The fifth is action oriented.

All of these creative elements require action, dialog, and lead to tension and release in the scene.  The big point of action is to develop and write scenes that are entertaining.  Action oriented scenes are always entertaining.  I’ll go so far as to state that I don’t think scenes should ever not be action oriented. A scene without action is either telling or boring.

As I tried to show in the example of Cassandra, even the most nonaction appearing plot or idea can be developed into a highly action oriented scene, and the scenes are what matter.

Obviously, as authors, we are seeking to write an entertaining novel length plot, but a novel length plot is made up of scenes.  Each scene must be filled with action.  The action in the scenes are what makes them entertaining and the overall plot entertaining.  That comes back to creative elements in scenes.

It isn’t enough to write a scene, what we do as authors is craft a scene.  What I mean by this is that we make our scenes exciting and entertaining by building them into events and not just narrative.

Yesterday, I mentioned the outline for a scene for Cassandra.  The focus of the scene was two girls at a new school.  The crafting in the scene was the interaction of the scene with the proposed plot.  There is more to this, for example, the dialog, exploration, and interaction of the girls and their environment.  I haven’t fully designed or crafted these details.  I will start with setting elements.

For example, wonderful setting elements are the girl’s clothing (perhaps uniforms).  In fact, I could make them uniforms for that purpose.  The places in the setting are wonderful setting elements.  Further, the other characters they meet are further setting elements.

We turn these setting elements into creative elements through interaction.  Thus dialog and action in meeting and working with others will produce this interaction.  There is much more to this.

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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Writing – part x492, Developing Skills, Build a Protagonist, Action in Scenes

6 August 2018, Writing – part x492, Developing Skills, Build a Protagonist, Action in Scenes

Announcement:  Ancient Light is delayed due to the economy.  You can read more about it at http://www.ancientlight.com.  Ancient Light includes the second edition of Aegypt plus Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness.  I’ll keep you updated.

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 with http://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.
  5. 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)
    1. Research as required
    2. Develop the initial setting
    3. Develop the characters
    4. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  3. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  4. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  5. Write the climax scene
  6. Write the falling action scene(s)
  7. Write the dénouement scene

I finished writing my 28th novel, working title, School, potential title Deirdre: Enchantment and the School. The theme statement is: Sorcha, the abandoned child of an Unseelie and a human, secretly attends Wycombe Abbey girls’ school where she meets the problem child Deirdre and is redeemed.

Here is the cover proposal for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I continued writing my 29th novel, working title Red Sonja.  I finished my 28th novel, working title School.  If you noticed, I started on number 28, but finished number 29 (in the starting sequence—it’s actually higher than that).  I adjusted the numbering.  I do keep everything clear in my records.  I’m just finishing number 30, working title Detective.

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 29:  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 30:  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 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:  Many people would like to write, but writing is hard work.  I’ll express again, if you want to be a skilled and potentially a published author, you need to write about one million words.  That equates to about ten 100,000 word novels.  When you look at it this way, it is a daunting goal especially if you haven’t written a single novel.

To become a good writer, you need two specific skill sets first reading and then writing.  Without these skill sets, I really can’t help you much.  I provide advanced help and information on how to write great fiction.

Characters are the key to great writing.  Entertainment is the purpose of fiction writing.  The key to entertainment is character revelation, and specifically revelation of the plot and protagonist telic flaw (the same thing).  If we want to be a successful writer, we must aim for great protagonists, and a great protagonist means a great or compelling telic flaw.

In moving to mechanics, you have to start with something.  The something I recommend is the protagonist.  As I noted for you, the protagonist owns the telic flaw and the telic flaw is the catalyst for the plot.  The resolution of the telic flaw is the plot of the novel, so obviously, the best place to start any novel is with the protagonist.  I hate to do this because I usually end up writing a new novel—let’s develop a character.

I happen to have a list of great protagonist characteristics.

  1. Skilled or becoming skilled—they are competent.
  2. Even though these characters are unique and uniquely different, they feel like real people.
  3. Intellectual.
  4. Pathos building.
  5. Action oriented.

Here is a list of updated ideas from yesterday.

  1. Isolated and protected
  2. Were-creature
  3. Mystical
  4. School girl
  5. Arts
  6. France or Britain
  7. Deirdre and Sorcha

Here is my initial description:

The girl stared intently at them both.  Her large eyes glared with intensity and some agitation.  She looked like she wanted to say something, but she didn’t.  Her face simply sent her severe displeasure and reproach.  She looked young with gently pale cheeks only tinged slightly with rose, and the slight swell of youth in her face, but that was her only manifestation of lack of adulthood.

She was not very tall, but somehow, she looked imposing.  Her face was thin like the rest of her, but her appearance wasn’t emaciated—it looked restrained and strong.  In contrast to her black dress and black bonnet, her hair swept long pale and straight from the crown of her head to a single thick braid at her back.  Her eyes were a piercing light blue that glanced haughtily under thin nearly invisible brows.  Her nose was likewise striking and straight, but not so large to mar her features.  It pointed to her lips and chin—the lips being a thin pale pink and her chin oddly pointed.  All in all, her face was beautiful, but unforgettable—a face that was in no way plain, but left an impression of tightly controlled energy and chilly restraint.

Her name was Cassandra Lyons, but the nuns and teachers all called her Lady Glamis.  She was some relation of the House and clan of Glamis a Scottish noble family.

In the list above, I noted characteristics that help build an entertaining character.  What I’ll do is look at these characteristics in Cassandra Lyons.  The fifth is action oriented.

In developing scenes, we play to action.  Action is dialog, and action is narrative deeds.  In designing a scene, we follow the scene development outline.  A scene always starts with a scene input—this is either the initial scene or the output from the last scene.  In writing a scene, we start with the setting based on the input and the implied or directed setting.

In any case, we start with a setting and characters.  The setting includes setting elements.  The characters are already developed or they are introduced in the setting.  We then design an output for the scene.  The action of narrative and dialog from the input of the scene to the output of the scene is the scene.  To write a scene, we populate the scene with creative elements developed from the setting elements.  The interaction of the characters with the creative elements is the action of the scene.  In addition, characters are creative elements.

Let’s take an example.  We have schoolgirls in a boarding school.  The input for the scene is two girls entering into the school.  The output is the girls going to sleep.  What actions can we write into the scene?  First, they get to their room and inspect it.  Then, they notice something from their room related to the school and Cassandra.  Next, the girls go to explore what they see.  They are locked out and find no way to explore what they observed.  They find they have to go to dinner.  They meet some other girls.  Finally, they return to their room.  There they observe something else of interest.  That’s the output of the scene.

The next task is to write the action and dialog in the scene.  You can see this simple scene is filled with action.  The excitement and entertainment in the scene is in the action and dialog based in the tension and release in the scene.  You can see the tension and release already.  The main tension is that the girls see something they want to explore.  There is additional tension based on the two of them not wanting to be at the school.  They are forced to be friendly with the other girls.  They can’t explore what they want to, and they get another tantalizing clue.

All of these creative elements require action, dialog, and lead to tension and release in the scene.

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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Writing – part x491, Developing Skills, Build a Protagonist, more Action

5 August 2018, Writing – part x491, Developing Skills, Build a Protagonist, more Action

Announcement:  Ancient Light is delayed due to the economy.  You can read more about it at http://www.ancientlight.com.  Ancient Light includes the second edition of Aegypt plus Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness.  I’ll keep you updated.

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 with http://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.
  5. 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)
    1. Research as required
    2. Develop the initial setting
    3. Develop the characters
    4. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  3. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  4. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  5. Write the climax scene
  6. Write the falling action scene(s)
  7. Write the dénouement scene

I finished writing my 28th novel, working title, School, potential title Deirdre: Enchantment and the School. The theme statement is: Sorcha, the abandoned child of an Unseelie and a human, secretly attends Wycombe Abbey girls’ school where she meets the problem child Deirdre and is redeemed.

Here is the cover proposal for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I continued writing my 29th novel, working title Red Sonja.  I finished my 28th novel, working title School.  If you noticed, I started on number 28, but finished number 29 (in the starting sequence—it’s actually higher than that).  I adjusted the numbering.  I do keep everything clear in my records.  I’m just finishing number 30, working title Detective.

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 29:  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 30:  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 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:  Many people would like to write, but writing is hard work.  I’ll express again, if you want to be a skilled and potentially a published author, you need to write about one million words.  That equates to about ten 100,000 word novels.  When you look at it this way, it is a daunting goal especially if you haven’t written a single novel.

To become a good writer, you need two specific skill sets first reading and then writing.  Without these skill sets, I really can’t help you much.  I provide advanced help and information on how to write great fiction.

Characters are the key to great writing.  Entertainment is the purpose of fiction writing.  The key to entertainment is character revelation, and specifically revelation of the plot and protagonist telic flaw (the same thing).  If we want to be a successful writer, we must aim for great protagonists, and a great protagonist means a great or compelling telic flaw.

In moving to mechanics, you have to start with something.  The something I recommend is the protagonist.  As I noted for you, the protagonist owns the telic flaw and the telic flaw is the catalyst for the plot.  The resolution of the telic flaw is the plot of the novel, so obviously, the best place to start any novel is with the protagonist.  I hate to do this because I usually end up writing a new novel—let’s develop a character.

I happen to have a list of great protagonist characteristics.

  1. Skilled or becoming skilled—they are competent.
  2. Even though these characters are unique and uniquely different, they feel like real people.
  3. Intellectual.
  4. Pathos building.
  5. Action oriented.

Here is a list of updated ideas from yesterday.

  1. Isolated and protected
  2. Were-creature
  3. Mystical
  4. School girl
  5. Arts
  6. France or Britain
  7. Deirdre and Sorcha

Here is my initial description:

The girl stared intently at them both.  Her large eyes glared with intensity and some agitation.  She looked like she wanted to say something, but she didn’t.  Her face simply sent her severe displeasure and reproach.  She looked young with gently pale cheeks only tinged slightly with rose, and the slight swell of youth in her face, but that was her only manifestation of lack of adulthood.

She was not very tall, but somehow, she looked imposing.  Her face was thin like the rest of her, but her appearance wasn’t emaciated—it looked restrained and strong.  In contrast to her black dress and black bonnet, her hair swept long pale and straight from the crown of her head to a single thick braid at her back.  Her eyes were a piercing light blue that glanced haughtily under thin nearly invisible brows.  Her nose was likewise striking and straight, but not so large to mar her features.  It pointed to her lips and chin—the lips being a thin pale pink and her chin oddly pointed.  All in all, her face was beautiful, but unforgettable—a face that was in no way plain, but left an impression of tightly controlled energy and chilly restraint.

Her name was Cassandra Lyons, but the nuns and teachers all called her Lady Glamis.  She was some relation of the House and clan of Glamis a Scottish noble family.

In the list above, I noted characteristics that help build an entertaining character.  What I’ll do is look at these characteristics in Cassandra Lyons.  The fifth is action oriented.

The question then is how do we write an action oriented character?  Characters such as Jonny Rico from Starship Troopers or Kirth Gersen from the Demon Princes novels are easy to picture in an action oriented plot.  In the development of Cassandra as a character, she doesn’t seem to be set in an action oriented role.

Let me be very specific about this.  Almost any, and I would state unequivocally, every entertaining plot is action oriented.  The author must evaluate each scene to find the setting elements which are turned into creative elements (Chekov’s guns) in it.  This is the means to develop an entertaining and action oriented scene.

To build an entertaining scene, the author places setting elements within it and then has the characters use those setting elements which turns the setting elements into creative elements.  These creative elements are Chekov’s guns.  Just to catch everyone up, a Chekov’s gun is an item that is introduced in a scene (or earlier scene) and then used in the current scene.  It is called a Chekov’s gun because Chekov wrote that when the playwright introduces a gun in scene one, someone must fire it in scene two.  His point is that setting elements that are brought into a scene must become creative elements in that or a future scene.

In a novel, the author has more latitude than the playwright, but placing a significant setting element leads the reader to some kind of expectation.  The expectation is always action.

This is a very important concept in writing scenes.  I’ve been away from these ideas for a while and perhaps this is where we should head next.  In any case, even when a plot or a scene is not expected to be action oriented, action is the major point of any scene.  If it isn’t then you are likely telling too much.

In the scene, the action narrative or the dialog (also an action) drives everything in the scene.  If the scene is happening in the mind instead of in action and dialog, dump the scene.  That is telling—authors show and do not tell (or they reduce it as much as possible).  In terms of action and Cassandra, I’ll leave that until tomorrow.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing – part x490, Developing Skills, Build a Protagonist, Action

4 August 2018, Writing – part x490, Developing Skills, Build a Protagonist, Action

Announcement:  Ancient Light is delayed due to the economy.  You can read more about it at http://www.ancientlight.com.  Ancient Light includes the second edition of Aegypt plus Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness.  I’ll keep you updated.

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 with http://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.
  5. 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)
    1. Research as required
    2. Develop the initial setting
    3. Develop the characters
    4. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  3. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  4. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  5. Write the climax scene
  6. Write the falling action scene(s)
  7. Write the dénouement scene

I finished writing my 28th novel, working title, School, potential title Deirdre: Enchantment and the School. The theme statement is: Sorcha, the abandoned child of an Unseelie and a human, secretly attends Wycombe Abbey girls’ school where she meets the problem child Deirdre and is redeemed.

Here is the cover proposal for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I continued writing my 29th novel, working title Red Sonja.  I finished my 28th novel, working title School.  If you noticed, I started on number 28, but finished number 29 (in the starting sequence—it’s actually higher than that).  I adjusted the numbering.  I do keep everything clear in my records.  I’m just finishing number 30, working title Detective.

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 29:  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 30:  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 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:  Many people would like to write, but writing is hard work.  I’ll express again, if you want to be a skilled and potentially a published author, you need to write about one million words.  That equates to about ten 100,000 word novels.  When you look at it this way, it is a daunting goal especially if you haven’t written a single novel.

To become a good writer, you need two specific skill sets first reading and then writing.  Without these skill sets, I really can’t help you much.  I provide advanced help and information on how to write great fiction.

Characters are the key to great writing.  Entertainment is the purpose of fiction writing.  The key to entertainment is character revelation, and specifically revelation of the plot and protagonist telic flaw (the same thing).  If we want to be a successful writer, we must aim for great protagonists, and a great protagonist means a great or compelling telic flaw.

In moving to mechanics, you have to start with something.  The something I recommend is the protagonist.  As I noted for you, the protagonist owns the telic flaw and the telic flaw is the catalyst for the plot.  The resolution of the telic flaw is the plot of the novel, so obviously, the best place to start any novel is with the protagonist.  I hate to do this because I usually end up writing a new novel—let’s develop a character.

I happen to have a list of great protagonist characteristics.

  1. Skilled or becoming skilled—they are competent.
  2. Even though these characters are unique and uniquely different, they feel like real people.
  3. Intellectual.
  4. Pathos building.
  5. Action oriented.

Here is a list of updated ideas from yesterday.

  1. Isolated and protected
  2. Were-creature
  3. Mystical
  4. School girl
  5. Arts
  6. France or Britain
  7. Deirdre and Sorcha

Here is my initial description:

The girl stared intently at them both.  Her large eyes glared with intensity and some agitation.  She looked like she wanted to say something, but she didn’t.  Her face simply sent her severe displeasure and reproach.  She looked young with gently pale cheeks only tinged slightly with rose, and the slight swell of youth in her face, but that was her only manifestation of lack of adulthood.

She was not very tall, but somehow, she looked imposing.  Her face was thin like the rest of her, but her appearance wasn’t emaciated—it looked restrained and strong.  In contrast to her black dress and black bonnet, her hair swept long pale and straight from the crown of her head to a single thick braid at her back.  Her eyes were a piercing light blue that glanced haughtily under thin nearly invisible brows.  Her nose was likewise striking and straight, but not so large to mar her features.  It pointed to her lips and chin—the lips being a thin pale pink and her chin oddly pointed.  All in all, her face was beautiful, but unforgettable—a face that was in no way plain, but left an impression of tightly controlled energy and chilly restraint.

Her name was Cassandra Lyons, but the nuns and teachers all called her Lady Glamis.  She was some relation of the House and clan of Glamis a Scottish noble family.

In the list above, I noted characteristics that help build an entertaining character.  What I’ll do is look at these characteristics in Cassandra Lyons.  The fifth is action oriented.

This might seem easy, but the opposite of action oriented is reluctant and ambiguous.  For some reason reluctant and ambiguous are popular characters at this moment.  I hate them.  I am not reluctant or ambiguous about action.  When I see action, I’m all in.  I want my characters to be all in.  For example, when there is a school dance, just to make a setting and perspective, the hero is the one who dances, not sits in the corner.  The hero is the one who asks the wallflower to dance.  The hero is not the wallflower or the quiet one in the corner—that is not action.

Likewise, when a rescue or action is required, the hero (protagonist) should be the first one out of the gate.  What other purpose is there for a protagonist?  Just say’n.  Now, reluctance or ambiguity is reasonable for certain events and things.  For example, if the protagonist is asked a question of an illicit or with moral consequences.  To be specific, let’s say the protagonist is asked, “Is there anyone you like?”  There is no reason for the protagonist to put everything on his or her sleeve—the answer should be ambiguous.  Likewise a question such as, “Did you kiss her?”  A gentleman or gentlewoman does not answer such questions.  Unless you are developing a cad, ambiguity and reluctance are reasonable.

Thus, there are action events that require a response and non-action events that don’t.  To me, based on the character, they are obvious.  To others they might not be so obvious, but they should be evident by the feel of the writing.  When Harry Potty refuses to act in a heroic way that peeves me.  He is the messiah and the chosen one and all that.  For him to not act is the opposite of a protagonist who is action oriented.  I’d rather have a heroic fool running into danger than a cowardly intellectual hiding from the world.

In any case, I think readers are drawn to characters who don’t shirk.  They may lose.  They may see defeat.  They may experience failure.  But they are the kinds of characters we want to be.  That is the overall point.  Protagonists we love are those we wish we were—not in the sense that we want to be them, but in the sense that we want to think we would act and respond like them.  We want to think that we would be like Sara Crew—giving our last six-pence for bread and sharing five of the six buns with a beggar girl even though we are hungry.  We want to think that we would be like Jonny Rico in Starship Troopers, fighting the bugs for human freedom and existence even when success looks futile.  We want to imagine we would be like Kirth Gersen from Jack Vance’s Demon Princes novels using our minds and bodies to seek out the murderers of our family and friends.

In any case, great characters are true heroes.  Powerful authors downplay the strength and power of these characters, but we know their hearts and minds.  We know they are true heroes, and we love them for it.  This is the point, to a great degree, of action oriented.

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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Writing – part x489, Developing Skills, Build a Protagonist, Pathos

3 August 2018, Writing – part x489, Developing Skills, Build a Protagonist, Pathos

Announcement:  Ancient Light is delayed due to the economy.  You can read more about it at http://www.ancientlight.com.  Ancient Light includes the second edition of Aegypt plus Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness.  I’ll keep you updated.

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 with http://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.
  5. 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)
    1. Research as required
    2. Develop the initial setting
    3. Develop the characters
    4. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  3. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  4. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  5. Write the climax scene
  6. Write the falling action scene(s)
  7. Write the dénouement scene

I finished writing my 28th novel, working title, School, potential title Deirdre: Enchantment and the School. The theme statement is: Sorcha, the abandoned child of an Unseelie and a human, secretly attends Wycombe Abbey girls’ school where she meets the problem child Deirdre and is redeemed.

Here is the cover proposal for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I continued writing my 29th novel, working title Red Sonja.  I finished my 28th novel, working title School.  If you noticed, I started on number 28, but finished number 29 (in the starting sequence—it’s actually higher than that).  I adjusted the numbering.  I do keep everything clear in my records.  I’m just finishing number 30, working title Detective.

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 29:  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 30:  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 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:  Many people would like to write, but writing is hard work.  I’ll express again, if you want to be a skilled and potentially a published author, you need to write about one million words.  That equates to about ten 100,000 word novels.  When you look at it this way, it is a daunting goal especially if you haven’t written a single novel.

To become a good writer, you need two specific skill sets first reading and then writing.  Without these skill sets, I really can’t help you much.  I provide advanced help and information on how to write great fiction.

Characters are the key to great writing.  Entertainment is the purpose of fiction writing.  The key to entertainment is character revelation, and specifically revelation of the plot and protagonist telic flaw (the same thing).  If we want to be a successful writer, we must aim for great protagonists, and a great protagonist means a great or compelling telic flaw.

In moving to mechanics, you have to start with something.  The something I recommend is the protagonist.  As I noted for you, the protagonist owns the telic flaw and the telic flaw is the catalyst for the plot.  The resolution of the telic flaw is the plot of the novel, so obviously, the best place to start any novel is with the protagonist.  I hate to do this because I usually end up writing a new novel—let’s develop a character.

I happen to have a list of great protagonist characteristics.

  1. Skilled or becoming skilled—they are competent.
  2. Even though these characters are unique and uniquely different, they feel like real people.
  3. Intellectual.
  4. Pathos building.
  5. Action oriented.

Here is a list of updated ideas from yesterday.

  1. Isolated and protected
  2. Were-creature
  3. Mystical
  4. School girl
  5. Arts
  6. France or Britain
  7. Deirdre and Sorcha

Here is my initial description:

The girl stared intently at them both.  Her large eyes glared with intensity and some agitation.  She looked like she wanted to say something, but she didn’t.  Her face simply sent her severe displeasure and reproach.  She looked young with gently pale cheeks only tinged slightly with rose, and the slight swell of youth in her face, but that was her only manifestation of lack of adulthood.

She was not very tall, but somehow, she looked imposing.  Her face was thin like the rest of her, but her appearance wasn’t emaciated—it looked restrained and strong.  In contrast to her black dress and black bonnet, her hair swept long pale and straight from the crown of her head to a single thick braid at her back.  Her eyes were a piercing light blue that glanced haughtily under thin nearly invisible brows.  Her nose was likewise striking and straight, but not so large to mar her features.  It pointed to her lips and chin—the lips being a thin pale pink and her chin oddly pointed.  All in all, her face was beautiful, but unforgettable—a face that was in no way plain, but left an impression of tightly controlled energy and chilly restraint.

Her name was Cassandra Lyons, but the nuns and teachers all called her Lady Glamis.  She was some relation of the House and clan of Glamis a Scottish noble family.

In the list above, I noted characteristics that help build an entertaining character.  What I’ll do is look at these characteristics in Cassandra Lyons.  The forth is pathos building.

Pathos building might be a little more difficult for Cassandra.  The fact that she is intentionally isolated and held captive, but doesn’t understand what is happening to her makes for a very poignant situation and a pathetic situation (pathos building).  Her lack of friendship and lack of understanding of the world will also build to this.

Deirdre and Sorcha’s cases are even more pathos building than Cassandra’s, and this is a positive too.  They were supposed to go into training with Deirdre’s General officer relation and begin to acquire military and aviation skills.  Their training was derailed due to world incidents—there are plenty in this time.

Fully pathos building incidents or circumstances are usually poverty, abuse, hunger, bullying, and other fully zero level type events.  These don’t rise quite to that level, but they should be powerful enough.

For the author, the point is to present pathos building characters and especially the protagonist.  I’ve written about writing a plot from zero to hero—you can’t do that if the protagonist isn’t at zero.  No one wants to read a novel where the hero starts as hero—there is no there there.

This is part of the problem with Harry Potty.  Harry starts at a wonderful zero as the abused child under the staircase.  This is a perfect zero and pathos building.  The moment Harry goes from zero to messiah, the spell is broken.  There was enough material for nine movies and eight books (or something like that), but the author had to keep slamming Harry back to zero in each novel.  That’s actually the way to accomplish zero to hero and obviously produces sellable novels.

A better approach is either to keep the secret or build up the character to hero gradually.  This is why I really don’t like messiah themes. I don’t mind secret skill themes—I write those all the time.  The secret skill theme is one where the protagonist discovers his or her skills and builds on them gradually.  The character might be well fitted to defeat the antagonist, but not necessarily fated to defeat the antagonist.  You see the problem, I hope, with messiah themes.  The messiah is fated to defeat the antagonist—this makes the expected, unexpected resolution too obvious.

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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Writing – part x488, Developing Skills, Build a Protagonist, Intellectual

2 August 2018, Writing – part x488, Developing Skills, Build a Protagonist, Intellectual

Announcement:  Ancient Light is delayed due to the economy.  You can read more about it at http://www.ancientlight.com.  Ancient Light includes the second edition of Aegypt plus Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness.  I’ll keep you updated.

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 with http://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.
  5. 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)
    1. Research as required
    2. Develop the initial setting
    3. Develop the characters
    4. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  3. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  4. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  5. Write the climax scene
  6. Write the falling action scene(s)
  7. Write the dénouement scene

I finished writing my 28th novel, working title, School, potential title Deirdre: Enchantment and the School. The theme statement is: Sorcha, the abandoned child of an Unseelie and a human, secretly attends Wycombe Abbey girls’ school where she meets the problem child Deirdre and is redeemed.

Here is the cover proposal for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I continued writing my 29th novel, working title Red Sonja.  I finished my 28th novel, working title School.  If you noticed, I started on number 28, but finished number 29 (in the starting sequence—it’s actually higher than that).  I adjusted the numbering.  I do keep everything clear in my records.  I’m just finishing number 30, working title Detective.

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 29:  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 30:  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 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:  Many people would like to write, but writing is hard work.  I’ll express again, if you want to be a skilled and potentially a published author, you need to write about one million words.  That equates to about ten 100,000 word novels.  When you look at it this way, it is a daunting goal especially if you haven’t written a single novel.

To become a good writer, you need two specific skill sets first reading and then writing.  Without these skill sets, I really can’t help you much.  I provide advanced help and information on how to write great fiction.

Characters are the key to great writing.  Entertainment is the purpose of fiction writing.  The key to entertainment is character revelation, and specifically revelation of the plot and protagonist telic flaw (the same thing).  If we want to be a successful writer, we must aim for great protagonists, and a great protagonist means a great or compelling telic flaw.

In moving to mechanics, you have to start with something.  The something I recommend is the protagonist.  As I noted for you, the protagonist owns the telic flaw and the telic flaw is the catalyst for the plot.  The resolution of the telic flaw is the plot of the novel, so obviously, the best place to start any novel is with the protagonist.  I hate to do this because I usually end up writing a new novel—let’s develop a character.

I happen to have a list of great protagonist characteristics.

  1. Skilled or becoming skilled—they are competent.
  2. Even though these characters are unique and uniquely different, they feel like real people.
  3. Intellectual.
  4. Pathos building.
  5. Action oriented.

Here is a list of updated ideas from yesterday.

  1. Isolated and protected
  2. Were-creature
  3. Mystical
  4. School girl
  5. Arts
  6. France or Britain
  7. Deirdre and Sorcha

Here is my initial description:

The girl stared intently at them both.  Her large eyes glared with intensity and some agitation.  She looked like she wanted to say something, but she didn’t.  Her face simply sent her severe displeasure and reproach.  She looked young with gently pale cheeks only tinged slightly with rose, and the slight swell of youth in her face, but that was her only manifestation of lack of adulthood.

She was not very tall, but somehow, she looked imposing.  Her face was thin like the rest of her, but her appearance wasn’t emaciated—it looked restrained and strong.  In contrast to her black dress and black bonnet, her hair swept long pale and straight from the crown of her head to a single thick braid at her back.  Her eyes were a piercing light blue that glanced haughtily under thin nearly invisible brows.  Her nose was likewise striking and straight, but not so large to mar her features.  It pointed to her lips and chin—the lips being a thin pale pink and her chin oddly pointed.  All in all, her face was beautiful, but unforgettable—a face that was in no way plain, but left an impression of tightly controlled energy and chilly restraint.

Her name was Cassandra Lyons, but the nuns and teachers all called her Lady Glamis.  She was some relation of the House and clan of Glamis a Scottish noble family.

In the list above, I noted characteristics that help build an entertaining character.  What I’ll do is look at these characteristics in Cassandra Lyons.  The third is intellectual.

I didn’t complete the idea of intellectual yesterday.  I intend to depict Cassandra as an intellectual character by her interest in books and reading, by her desire to learn, and by the knowledge she expresses to Deirdre and Sorcha.

In fact, her life will be filled with learning and books, and the girls will offer her more and different.  Cassandra will be an isolated person who hasn’t had any friends.  The expression of her knowledge and intellectualism will be gentle and related to her position.

I will show this through her experience and her life.  I achieved this pretty well with Sorcha and Deirdre.  Where Sorcha is the one who loves learning from books, Deirdre loves learning from life, and that is an entirely different expression of intellectualism.

Your characters can express their love of learning in different ways, you just can’t have an important character who doesn’t like books and learning.

I literally cringe when I read about a character who isn’t interested in books or learning.  You find them occasionally in novels.  I wonder all the time how the author expressed such a character when every reader is cringing with me.  Every reader you have loves books and learning—the expression of a character who doesn’t is a real downer.

If you want a semi intellectual character, you need to have them desire knowledge and not able to achieve it—that is pathos.  Any reader would love books and to learn—a character who doesn’t is not worth reading about.  I can assure you.

So, I will make Cassandra interested and immersed in reading and learning, but there will be a twist concerning the interest of Deirdre and Sorcha and their interaction in Cassandra’s learning.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing – part x487, Developing Skills, Build a Protagonist, Intellectual

1 August 2018, Writing – part x487, Developing Skills, Build a Protagonist, Intellectual

Announcement:  Ancient Light is delayed due to the economy.  You can read more about it at http://www.ancientlight.com.  Ancient Light includes the second edition of Aegypt plus Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness.  I’ll keep you updated.

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 with http://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.
  5. 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)
    1. Research as required
    2. Develop the initial setting
    3. Develop the characters
    4. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  3. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  4. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  5. Write the climax scene
  6. Write the falling action scene(s)
  7. Write the dénouement scene

I finished writing my 28th novel, working title, School, potential title Deirdre: Enchantment and the School. The theme statement is: Sorcha, the abandoned child of an Unseelie and a human, secretly attends Wycombe Abbey girls’ school where she meets the problem child Deirdre and is redeemed.

Here is the cover proposal for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I continued writing my 29th novel, working title Red Sonja.  I finished my 28th novel, working title School.  If you noticed, I started on number 28, but finished number 29 (in the starting sequence—it’s actually higher than that).  I adjusted the numbering.  I do keep everything clear in my records.  I’m just finishing number 30, working title Detective.

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 29:  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 30:  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 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:  Many people would like to write, but writing is hard work.  I’ll express again, if you want to be a skilled and potentially a published author, you need to write about one million words.  That equates to about ten 100,000 word novels.  When you look at it this way, it is a daunting goal especially if you haven’t written a single novel.

To become a good writer, you need two specific skill sets first reading and then writing.  Without these skill sets, I really can’t help you much.  I provide advanced help and information on how to write great fiction.

Characters are the key to great writing.  Entertainment is the purpose of fiction writing.  The key to entertainment is character revelation, and specifically revelation of the plot and protagonist telic flaw (the same thing).  If we want to be a successful writer, we must aim for great protagonists, and a great protagonist means a great or compelling telic flaw.

In moving to mechanics, you have to start with something.  The something I recommend is the protagonist.  As I noted for you, the protagonist owns the telic flaw and the telic flaw is the catalyst for the plot.  The resolution of the telic flaw is the plot of the novel, so obviously, the best place to start any novel is with the protagonist.  I hate to do this because I usually end up writing a new novel—let’s develop a character.

I happen to have a list of great protagonist characteristics.

  1. Skilled or becoming skilled—they are competent.
  2. Even though these characters are unique and uniquely different, they feel like real people.
  3. Intellectual.
  4. Pathos building.
  5. Action oriented.

Here is a list of updated ideas from yesterday.

  1. Isolated and protected
  2. Were-creature
  3. Mystical
  4. School girl
  5. Arts
  6. France or Britain
  7. Deirdre and Sorcha

Here is my initial description:

The girl stared intently at them both.  Her large eyes glared with intensity and some agitation.  She looked like she wanted to say something, but she didn’t.  Her face simply sent her severe displeasure and reproach.  She looked young with gently pale cheeks only tinged slightly with rose, and the slight swell of youth in her face, but that was her only manifestation of lack of adulthood.

She was not very tall, but somehow, she looked imposing.  Her face was thin like the rest of her, but her appearance wasn’t emaciated—it looked restrained and strong.  In contrast to her black dress and black bonnet, her hair swept long pale and straight from the crown of her head to a single thick braid at her back.  Her eyes were a piercing light blue that glanced haughtily under thin nearly invisible brows.  Her nose was likewise striking and straight, but not so large to mar her features.  It pointed to her lips and chin—the lips being a thin pale pink and her chin oddly pointed.  All in all, her face was beautiful, but unforgettable—a face that was in no way plain, but left an impression of tightly controlled energy and chilly restraint.

Her name was Cassandra Lyons, but the nuns and teachers all called her Lady Glamis.  She was some relation of the House and clan of Glamis a Scottish noble family.

In the list above, I noted characteristics that help build an entertaining character.  What I’ll do is look at these characteristics in Cassandra Lyons.  The third is intellectual.

For most authors writing an intellectual character should be easy.  Most authors consider themselves to be intellectuals—many are.  In the modern world perhaps 50% of people can read well enough to read a novel.  Maybe 25% can read a novel well enough to understand it.  Perhaps 25% can write.  Of those perhaps 10% can write well enough to write a novel, and 5% have the discipline to write a novel.  I’ll add that maybe as many as 1% will or have written novels.  These are just general numbers, but I’d say we are right to conclude that most authors are intellectuals.

Most readers likewise imagine they are intellectuals, and based on the numbers above, they likely are.  So, most authors should not have any problem expressing an intellectual character, and they should be writing about intellectual characters.

Here’s the rub, we love intellectual characters, but we don’t fully comprehend what makes them intellectual.  Most authors think the average person is to some degree intellectual, but the general figures above tell you this isn’t true.  In fact, getting people to read is one of the greatest difficulties in modern education.  Getting them to write is almost a dying education form.  Most people are not intellectual, but more often than not, readers are.

Here’s the point.  You can’t tell us the character is an intellectual—you must show us.  This means the character must be normative enough to look real, but actually act like an intellectual.  This is really more simple than you might imagine based on my comments above.  All you have to do is have your character read and love reading.  That is intellectual.

If you have a non-reading character, the character must desire to learn and to read.  Further, if the character loves to learn, loves to read, and knows how to write or uses writing—that is an intellectual in the mind of most readers.  That really isn’t the meaning of an intellectual, but hey, it’s good enough for our writing, and it will touch your readers.

A real intellectual is a person who actually likes to and does spend significant amounts of time in the study, research, and reporting (writing) about some subject.  These are few and far between in this modern world.

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

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