Writing – part x320, Novel Form, Scene Release Conclusion

15 February 2018, Writing – part x320, Novel Form, Scene Release Conclusion

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’ll be providing information on the marketing materials and editing.

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.

This is the classical form for writing a successful 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 (protagonist, antagonist, and optionally the protagonist’s helper)
    4. Identify the telic flaw of the protagonist (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

The protagonist and the telic flaw are tied permanently together. The novel plot is completely dependent on the protagonist and the protagonist’s telic flaw. They are inseparable. This is likely the most critical concept about any normal (classical) form novel.

Here are the parts of a normal (classical) novel:

  1. The Initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  2. The Rising action scenes
  3. The Climax scene
  4. The Falling action scene(s)
  5. The Dénouement scene

So, how do you write a rich and powerful initial scene? Let’s start from a theme statement. Here is an example from my latest novel:

The theme statement for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School 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 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

If you have the characters (protagonist, protagonist’s helper, and antagonist), the initial setting, the telic flaw (from the protagonist), a plot idea, the theme action, then you are ready to write the initial scene.  I would state that since you have a protagonist, the telic flaw, a plot idea, and the theme action, you have about everything—what you might be lacking is the tension and release cycle in your scenes.

The release part of the scene development cycle is similar to a punchline. This is the point at which the tension of the scene is released.  The complete tension is never released until the climax of the novel, but the tension of the scene is released to some degree at this point.

The major elements I’ve defined for you in the development of tension release in your scenes is conflict and secrets.  Further, conflict and secrets are a major part of the plot.  What I tried to emphasize is the very special thing about secrets that I’ve learned over the years as a writer.

Conflict is the basic of scene tension and release—this is how you create tension and then release in a scene.  Tiny issues can become wonderful conflicts to be ignored or used.  I just wrote a beautiful example of this type of conflict and I might as well show it to you.  This is from my newest novel, working title Detective and proposed title, Blue Rose Enchantment and the Detective.

Lady Rose acquired so many invitations that she rarely accepted any.  She literally had more than enough work to entirely fill her days.  She automatically made the list for any party of the monarchy or any high level event in London.  She sent off a response to Lady Atwell the moment she returned to Wycombe.  She was much too busy during the rest of the day investigating Wing Commander Lachlann Calloway to accomplish much else.

She forgot about the entire thing until her address book reminded her in time to dress, review her files, ride her bike to the Stag Pub in Flackwell Heath, and travel by taxi to London.  She charged her official account for the fare and the new dress.  She was on business for the Crown with another connection to make that evening.

 

Azure wore a stunning white silk gown with lace at the top and pearls at her neck.  The pearls were her old ones and matched the dress.  She topped it with a silk lace cap with a white feather and a puff of lace.  She was dressed a bit out of season for this sort of event, but it should be an engaging party. She didn’t think Wing Commander Calloway would be able to wrangle an invitation, but she always kept her word.  In any case, she could always make a showing and beg her way out after dinner.  Lady Atwell always put up a good dinner.

 

The taxi delivered Azure to Lady Atwell’s large London house.  A servant opened the taxi door for her, and she placed her card in the butler’s hands at the door.  Azure didn’t expect a reception here, and she was surprised to have the butler lead her to the receiving line and announce her.

 

Lady Atwell stood at the front of a grand ballroom.  She wore a black low cut gown that likely came from Dior.  The butler bowed, “Lady Atwell, may I present Lady Rose, the Keeper of the Book.”

 

Lady Atwell’s eyes opened wide.  She grasped Azure’s hands before Azure could take a step, “Lady Rose, when I received your acceptance I was unusually pleased.  I know you rarely accept any invitations.”

 

Azure gave her an Elizabeth smile, “I couldn’t miss the opportunity to celebrate your success or miss our mutual friends.”

 

Lady Atwell laughed, “So you came on business as usual?”

 

Azure made a face, “I couldn’t tell you if it were true.”

 

“Then away with you.  I’m still happy you came.  You look stunning, as you always do.”

 

Azure clicked her tongue, “I did buy a new dress, but it is in my usual color.”

 

“Always in white.  I’m not certain who you are meeting tonight, but no one could miss you.”

 

“I’ll take that as a compliment.”

 

“You should.  Will you give me a little of your time in conversation tonight, or will you be engaged in business the entire time?”

 

Azure twitched her lips, “I shall be at your beck and call.”

 

“Yes, I’ll believe that when I find out who you are meeting.”

 

“I’d rather you not.”

 

“Lady Royall is here, but a suspect I should keep you apart.”

 

“Don’t trouble yourself.  I will behave.”

 

“Yes, no politics.”

 

“When have you ever heard me speak about politics?”

 

“Dear, you are dripping with the wrong party, but as I said, I am very pleased you chose to come to my soirée.”

 

Azure gave a slight curtsy which Lady Atwell returned.  The lady released Azure’s hands with a wink, “There is a gentleman here who has been asking for you all evening.”

 

“Really?”

 

“I sent him to the bar with the promise I would call for him the moment you appeared.”

 

“Could you give me a few minutes, that is, before I have to face him?”

 

“Nothing of the sort.  You’ll keep him in check, and he shall keep you in check.  He asked me especially to escort you…and here he is.”

 

This scene is the perfect example of muted or ignored conflict.  Look at the wordplay with Lady Atwell.  I love this kind of dialog.  The first conflict is the announcement.  Lady Rose hates being announced, but this is how she in identified among other things at these events.  Second, this is not conflict, but the Lady Atwell is really happy that Lady Rose has come.  The reality is that Lady Rose has come for business.  She actually came for business and because she made a promise to the Wing Commander.  Third, the dress—Lady Atwell likes the dress, but it is not her style and not the style of her parities.  This is another potential conflict that is muted.  The obvious is that Lady Rose dresses this way so she will not be missed.  Fourth is the desire for conversation from Lady Atwell.  This is purely politeness or so we imagine.  They don’t get this opportunity by the end of the evening. Another muted conflict.  Fifth, the issue of Lady Rose’s business.  This is indeed a muted conflict—the Lady Atwell realizes her party is being used for Lady Rose’s business.  Sixth, politics.  This is a point of conflict that Lady Rose isn’t really interested in, but Lady Atwell makes an issue.  This is a dig at Lady Rose’s politics.  Again a muted conflict.

The point of this example is to show subtlety in conflict within a dialog.  As I wrote, I love to write these kinds of dialogs.  As one of my readers pointed out, many of my readers might not fully grasp the subtlety of the dialog.  I don’t care—the point is to produce a muted conflict with tension release at each point.  This, to me, is entertainment.  Any reader gets the tension in the dialog that is gently released so the conflict disappears—or if it doesn’t disappear, they social lubricant has been applied.  This is how refined people behave and converse.

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 x319, Novel Form, Scene Release and Reviewing Revealed Secrets

14 February 2018, Writing – part x319, Novel Form, Scene Release and Reviewing Revealed Secrets

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’ll be providing information on the marketing materials and editing.

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.

This is the classical form for writing a successful 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 (protagonist, antagonist, and optionally the protagonist’s helper)
    4. Identify the telic flaw of the protagonist (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

The protagonist and the telic flaw are tied permanently together. The novel plot is completely dependent on the protagonist and the protagonist’s telic flaw. They are inseparable. This is likely the most critical concept about any normal (classical) form novel.

Here are the parts of a normal (classical) novel:

  1. The Initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  2. The Rising action scenes
  3. The Climax scene
  4. The Falling action scene(s)
  5. The Dénouement scene

So, how do you write a rich and powerful initial scene? Let’s start from a theme statement. Here is an example from my latest novel:

The theme statement for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School 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 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

I’m in Dubai today writing from the Airport Lounge.

If you have the characters (protagonist, protagonist’s helper, and antagonist), the initial setting, the telic flaw (from the protagonist), a plot idea, the theme action, then you are ready to write the initial scene.  I would state that since you have a protagonist, the telic flaw, a plot idea, and the theme action, you have about everything—what you might be lacking is the tension and release cycle in your scenes.

The release part of the scene development cycle is similar to a punchline. This is the point at which the tension of the scene is released.  The complete tension is never released until the climax of the novel, but the tension of the scene is released to some degree at this point.

The revelation of secrets is what novel writing is all about—that is considering you have the basic writing, characters, and setting down.  If you don’t, then skip back to the basics.  Secrets is definitely about advanced management of the plot and the theme.

I noted that usually you have secrets the readers know about, but the other characters do not.  These types of secrets are very common.  The most prevalent type of secret is the unrevealed part of the plot—this is common in every book.  In any properly written novel, you will always have the unrevealed part of the plot as a secret.

The part I like best, however, are the secrets known to the readers but kept from many characters.  This is the focus of the novel I am currently writing.  I’m writing this novel for fun.  It’s a detective novel, of sorts, with supernatural undertones.  The most exciting part of it is that the protagonist is trying to keep secret her many identities.

She isn’t like a super hero with a secret identity, she just has many interests and activities that don’t or do overlap.  She keeps secret who she is in almost every case.  I’m about to bring her world crashing down around her through the actions of the antagonist/protagonist’s helper.  A man has taken an interest in my protagonist, Azure.  Azure is haughty, very intelligent, and has never met her match.  She is about to, and she is about to set off a range war.

What I want to do is to provide two things.  The first is an exciting and entertaining revelation and the second is an accounting of my protagonist’s secrets.  Not all of them, but a salient part of them.  The finder will be this man who was challenged by Azure.

The reckoning will be entertaining and new to Azure.  She’s never been bested in this way.  It will also provide a pry bar to her heart and life.  She won’t change her personality, but she will be forced to let this man in.

The two things I get for my readers out of this revelation is an accounting of the protagonist’s secrets, a characters who knows these secrets, and a character who can work with her.  No others in the world can really work with her—this will change.  This isn’t a new type of secret, this is simply the specific revelation of a secret.

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 x318, Novel Form, Scene Release and more Revealed Secrets

13 February 2018, Writing – part x318, Novel Form, Scene Release and more Revealed Secrets

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’ll be providing information on the marketing materials and editing.

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.

This is the classical form for writing a successful 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 (protagonist, antagonist, and optionally the protagonist’s helper)
    4. Identify the telic flaw of the protagonist (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

The protagonist and the telic flaw are tied permanently together. The novel plot is completely dependent on the protagonist and the protagonist’s telic flaw. They are inseparable. This is likely the most critical concept about any normal (classical) form novel.

Here are the parts of a normal (classical) novel:

  1. The Initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  2. The Rising action scenes
  3. The Climax scene
  4. The Falling action scene(s)
  5. The Dénouement scene

So, how do you write a rich and powerful initial scene? Let’s start from a theme statement. Here is an example from my latest novel:

The theme statement for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School 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 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

I’m in Dubai today writing from the Airport Lounge.

If you have the characters (protagonist, protagonist’s helper, and antagonist), the initial setting, the telic flaw (from the protagonist), a plot idea, the theme action, then you are ready to write the initial scene.  I would state that since you have a protagonist, the telic flaw, a plot idea, and the theme action, you have about everything—what you might be lacking is the tension and release cycle in your scenes.

The release part of the scene development cycle is similar to a punchline.  This is the point at which the tension of the scene is released.  The complete tension is never released until the climax of the novel, but the tension of the scene is released to some degree at this point.

The revelation of secrets is what novel writing is all about—that is considering you have the basic writing, characters, and setting down.  If you don’t, then skip back to the basics.  Secrets is definitely about advanced management of the plot and the theme.

The author takes a secret(s) and manages the secret(s) to reveal characters and plot.  Generally, we are writing about the protagonist when we say characters, but other major characters can have secrets.  Now the question is who knows the secrets and when do they know them.

I’ve tried to show you that in many cases, the readers know the secrets while the characters do not.  This is a very powerful type of secret revelation.  The revelation should come from showing the actions of the characters or through dialog.  Thus, in the example of my newest novel, the readers know something about Azure Rose Wishart.  They learn more and more through each scene.  In the first scene, they only know that Azure Rose Wishart is hiding her name and true identity while helping Scotland Yard solve difficult crimes.  We learn that Azure’s specialty is the supernatural.  We find in the subsequent chapter that she is living with a very odd landlady and a girl, Accalia.  We discover later that she is the student body president and head girl for a prestigious boarding school.  We learn that she is a wiz at golf as well as academics and human affairs.  All this the reader sees through the scenes with Azure.

The readers know this, but no one else knows all of this.  We see that Azure has hidden many parts and pieces of her life from everyone.  No one knows the whole and she wants to keep it that way.  This is a stasis in the novel.

As authors, we need to realize, stasis means non-movement.  We want the novel to move toward overall resolution, the revelation of secrets, in their proper time is the way this movement occurs.  This is why I proposed the introduction of a new character who is bound to help unintentionally reveal Azure’s many operations and activities.

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 x317, Novel Form, Scene Release and Revealed Secrets

12 February 2018, Writing – part x317, Novel Form, Scene Release and Revealed Secrets

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’ll be providing information on the marketing materials and editing.

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.

This is the classical form for writing a successful 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 (protagonist, antagonist, and optionally the protagonist’s helper)
    4. Identify the telic flaw of the protagonist (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

The protagonist and the telic flaw are tied permanently together. The novel plot is completely dependent on the protagonist and the protagonist’s telic flaw. They are inseparable. This is likely the most critical concept about any normal (classical) form novel.

Here are the parts of a normal (classical) novel:

  1. The Initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  2. The Rising action scenes
  3. The Climax scene
  4. The Falling action scene(s)
  5. The Dénouement scene

So, how do you write a rich and powerful initial scene? Let’s start from a theme statement. Here is an example from my latest novel:

The theme statement for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School 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 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

I’m in Dubai today writing from the Airport Lounge.

If you have the characters (protagonist, protagonist’s helper, and antagonist), the initial setting, the telic flaw (from the protagonist), a plot idea, the theme action, then you are ready to write the initial scene.  I would state that since you have a protagonist, the telic flaw, a plot idea, and the theme action, you have about everything—what you might be lacking is the tension and release cycle in your scenes.

The release part of the scene development cycle is similar to a punchline.  This is the point at which the tension of the scene is released.  The complete tension is never released until the climax of the novel, but the tension of the scene is released to some degree at this point.

Secrets, secrets, and more secrets–when is any of it revealed?  I just thought of a great angle for the detective novel I’m currently writing.  I wanted to place my girl Friday—actually Azure, connected into high society.  The best way I thought I could do this was to somehow have her attached to the executive structure by requiring some official signatory to her responsibilities as the Lady Chancellor of the Fae.  This official capacity would provide her a title and the official recognition.  The great secret is that none know who she really is and few her actual capacity.

Here’s the connection.  When Azure goes to get her official signatures for her actions on behalf of the British people, she must attend the garden party of Lady xxxx, the Chancellor for Property and Titles or something like that—I have to still do my research.  The steward for this Lady knows Azure well and provides the social grease to get her into these parties and to the Lady.  Why else would a young woman have such connections without family links?  And here is the zinger, while she is at one of these garden parties, a young officer, an attaché falls madly in love with her.  Azure isn’t very interested—she is much too busy with her life to fall in love or to have a boyfriend.

This is where secrets come in.  If I can get some of Azure’s secrets into the hands of this young officer, I can have a field day with his wooing.  Azure isn’t really interested, but the young man is pursuing and determined.  I think this will be a wonderful part of the novel and provide a type of love interest I haven’t written about before.

Still, I teased you with revealed secrets.  I’ll get there, but let me tease you more.  Secrets are necessary, but who knows the secrets is very important too.  As I noted, if I can get one of Azure’s secrets or the perception that the officer knows one of her secrets, then gotcha.  The other question is how much does the reader know of all these secrets and when shall they be revealed?

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 x316, Novel Form, Scene Release and Secrets

11 February 2018, Writing – part x316, Novel Form, Scene Release and Secrets

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’ll be providing information on the marketing materials and editing.

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.

This is the classical form for writing a successful 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 (protagonist, antagonist, and optionally the protagonist’s helper)
    4. Identify the telic flaw of the protagonist (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

The protagonist and the telic flaw are tied permanently together. The novel plot is completely dependent on the protagonist and the protagonist’s telic flaw. They are inseparable. This is likely the most critical concept about any normal (classical) form novel.

Here are the parts of a normal (classical) novel:

  1. The Initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  2. The Rising action scenes
  3. The Climax scene
  4. The Falling action scene(s)
  5. The Dénouement scene

So, how do you write a rich and powerful initial scene? Let’s start from a theme statement. Here is an example from my latest novel:

The theme statement for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School 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 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

I’m in Bahrain today writing from the Airport Dilmon Lounge.

If you have the characters (protagonist, protagonist’s helper, and antagonist), the initial setting, the telic flaw (from the protagonist), a plot idea, the theme action, then you are ready to write the initial scene.  I would state that since you have a protagonist, the telic flaw, a plot idea, and the theme action, you have about everything—what you might be lacking is the tension and release cycle in your scenes.

The release part of the scene development cycle is similar to a punchline.  This is the point at which the tension of the scene is released.  The complete tension is never released until the climax of the novel, but the tension of the scene is released to some degree at this point.

To begin a novel and to propel tension and release, you really need secrets.  That’s simplifying because the tension is developed through conflict, but the conflict comes through secrets (the unknown or unsaid).  Release is the reduction of tension not as a result of revelation necessarily, but through some communication or other action.

What about secrets?  If you want to start a novel, you need secrets.  I just started writing novel number 30.  I call it Detective for now.  It is a detective novel.  I chose my detective to be a Sixth Form student who has been providing solutions to crimes for Scotland Yard for a while.  One of the beginning secrets is: who is she?  The Chief Inspector for the homicide department, La Cross doesn’t even know her real name.  She hides it—for some reason.  This is one great secret—who is this girl.

The other secrets come with the writing of the novel.  The girl’s real name, known to the reader is Azure Rose Wishart.  She lives with Miss Highgate and Miss Accalia.  Miss Highgate happens to be a vampire and Miss Accalia is a werecreature.  These are great secrets.

Let me tell you how this works.  I haven’t said anything in the novel about Miss Highgate being a vampire.  From the descriptions of her and her interaction with Azure, you might just imagine Miss Highgate is an eccentric woman.  I likely will not tell the reader anything about Miss Highgate being a vampire.  This is a secret that is too good to reveal.  Why tell it, when you can show it and still not reveal it.

Likewise, I might let the reader see Miss Accalia in her wild state.  I’ve already had her in a training bout with Azure.  We know Accalia goes out at night and dirties her clothing.  Just what is she about?

These are all secrets.  The secrets drive conflict of some kind and the author uses these secrets and conflict to further the entertainment in the scenes and the novel.

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 x315, Novel Form, Example of Scene Release

10 February 2018, Writing – part x315, Novel Form, Example of Scene Release

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’ll be providing information on the marketing materials and editing.

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.

This is the classical form for writing a successful 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 (protagonist, antagonist, and optionally the protagonist’s helper)
    4. Identify the telic flaw of the protagonist (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

The protagonist and the telic flaw are tied permanently together. The novel plot is completely dependent on the protagonist and the protagonist’s telic flaw. They are inseparable. This is likely the most critical concept about any normal (classical) form novel.

Here are the parts of a normal (classical) novel:

  1. The Initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  2. The Rising action scenes
  3. The Climax scene
  4. The Falling action scene(s)
  5. The Dénouement scene

So, how do you write a rich and powerful initial scene? Let’s start from a theme statement. Here is an example from my latest novel:

The theme statement for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School 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 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

I’m in Bahrain today writing from the Marriot.

If you have the characters (protagonist, protagonist’s helper, and antagonist), the initial setting, the telic flaw (from the protagonist), a plot idea, the theme action, then you are ready to write the initial scene.  I would state that since you have a protagonist, the telic flaw, a plot idea, and the theme action, you have about everything—what you might be lacking is the tension and release cycle in your scenes.

The release part of the scene development cycle is similar to a punchline.  This is the point at which the tension of the scene is released.  The complete tension is never released until the climax of the novel, but the tension of the scene is released to some degree at this point.

Yesterday, I described the concept of a scene with the tension and release.  Today, the best I can do is give you the scene.  I’ve shown you this scene before.  I think it is a great example of many different writing techniques and concepts.  Primarily, I’m looking at the release, but don’t neglect to look at the tension development.

This scene is from my yet unpublished novel, Valeska: Enchantment and the Vampire.

At 1900 on Friday, 12 December George and Heidi stood in front of the Lyons House.  Two rather new looking stone lions sat at either side of the very large oak door.  The house the door fronted looked large and beautiful.  Its facing was stone and brick in the emperor style.  It appeared very old.  George wore a suit and an inexpensive Christmas tie.  Heidi wore a very frilly white dress with red and green panels on the skirt and the top.  She wore a jaunty beret made of the same white lace, red, and green material as the dress.  It was a warm enough evening that they didn’t require their coats.  The ground was wet, but the rain stopped earlier in the afternoon.

A young looking butler opened the door to them, “Good evening.  I’m Harold, the butler.  May I announce you?”

George proffered his invitation, “George Mardling and my niece Heidi Mardling.”

The butler smiled, “The receiving line just ended.  Please follow me.”

They stepped through the door, and the butler closed it after them.  Harold stepped ahead of them.  Heidi whispered to George, “Did you time our arrival to intentionally miss the receiving line?”

George grinned behind his hand, “I don’t have to give up all my trade secrets to you, do I?”

The butler led them down the hallway off the foyer.  It opened into a classical large ballroom with twin staircases at the back.  Dark and ancient wood paneled the interior.  The rugs were Turkish and slightly ragged.  Heidi cocked her head, “A very wealthy and old family.”

George smiled back, “Perhaps.”

The room was not crowded with people, but at least fifteen couples stood in the space.  Buffet tables filled with food and drink were stationed under the stairs.  A quartet at the left side played Christmas music intermixed with classics.  Harold, the butler, led Heidi and George toward a handsome middle-aged couple at the side.  The man was medium height and shorter than George.  His hair was light brown and his features were fine but nondescript.  He possessed a very pleasant face with a few wrinkles–most seemed to grace his eyes and lips as though he was used to smiling.

The woman looked slight, petite and exquisitely beautiful.  Her skin was the color of cappuccino.  Her hair was black, long, and silky.  Her eyes seemed more appropriate on an Egyptian tomb painting and were large and brown and exotic.  She possessed an almost timeless appearance, but slight wrinkles marked her eyes and lips in almost the same measure as the man—as though they had known many of the same joys and sorrows.

The butler stepped to the side, “Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Long, may I present Mr. George Mardling and his niece Ms. Heidi Mardling.”

Mrs. Long immediately stepped forward and put her hand out to Heidi.  She maintained a very bright smile on her face.  She took Heidi’s hand in hers and her eyes went wide.  Heidi instantly released Mrs. Long’s hand.  Mrs. Long became breathless.  She stammered a little, “Good evening.  I’m Sveta Long.”  [Tension]

Heidi made a deep curtsy, “Thank you very much, Mrs. Long for inviting us to your party.”

Sveta reached out to Heidi again.  Heidi stepped back, but Sveta connected with Heidi’s shoulder.  Sveta froze, and her head came up.  She frowned and stammered again, “You’re very welcome.  Make yourself comfortable in our home,” but her face clearly said exactly the opposite. [Tension]

Heidi glanced in Sveta’s eyes, then quickly turned her head away, “What I really need is a glass of sweet wine.” [Release]

Sveta looked as if she was about to say something, but she lowered her head and stepped back.

Heidi sighed.

Daniel’s lips twitched, “I’m not sure what is going on, exactly.”  He grabbed George’s hand and shook it, “Good to see you back in England, George.”

George forced a smile, “I’m glad to be back.  I’m looking for a new assignment as soon as possible.” [Tension]

Daniel clapped George on the shoulder, “I really hoped to keep you here in London for a while.  I have some new recruits and training for you to supervise.”

George grimaced, “Sounds long term.  I guess we’ll make do.”

“We’ll?”

“Heidi and I.”

Daniel frowned and put his head back, “Don’t tell me you are sharing your flat with this young woman.” [Tension]

Heidi blinked, “I am happy to have a place to stay while I’m visiting in London.”

Sveta stepped forward, “No, you should stay here.  As I understand, the single flats the organization is assigning now are barely suitable for one—I can’t imagine a young woman having to put up with such close quarters…”  [Tension]

Heidi glared at Sveta, “I would feel completely out of place anywhere else.”

Sveta glared back, “I insist.” [Tension]

“I equally insist and respectfully decline—Mr. Mardling is my guardian in London.  It would be unthinkable for me to stay anywhere else.”

Sveta narrowed her eyes at Heidi and Heidi squinted back at Sveta. [Tension]

Daniel stepped between them, “Sveta, dear, I’m certain I can assign George a larger flat.” [Release]

Sveta let out her breath.  She visibly calmed, “Yes… I’m sure we can work things out.  Are you certain, Heidi, you don’t want to spend your time here until we can get George a larger place.” [Release]

Heidi didn’t back down.  She made a slicing motion with her hand, “I will not.” [Tension]

Sveta forced a smile, “Very well.  But, I do think you are a bit young to drink wine.” [Release and Tension]

At that moment, a maid carrying a platter of filled wine glasses walked by.  Heidi gracefully plucked a glass off the platter.  She downed the whole glass in a swallow and turned Sveta a deep frown, “I do not like dry white wines.  Do you have something more acceptable to my palate?” [Release and Tension]

Sveta’s eyes bulged.  She took a step toward Heidi and appeared like she was about to leap.  Heidi crouched slightly. [Tension]

Daniel grasped Sveta’s arm, and she came to herself. [Release]

George raised his hands, “Heidi is much older than she looks.  We just came from Poland where there are no age limits for drinking alcohol.  She usually has a glass or two every evening.” [Release]

Sveta narrowed her eyes again, “I see.  Heidi,” she almost spat the name, “You may drink as much as you desire in my house.  Harold, please bring up a sweet German Riesling for Ms. Mardling.” [Release]

Heidi raised her head high, “An auslese, if you have it.”

Harold, the butler, bowed, “Yes, ma’am.”

Heidi glanced at Sveta from the sides of her eyes, “Thank you again for your hospitality.” [Release]

Daniel pulled Sveta back a step.  Heidi grasped George by the hand and led him toward the buffet tables.

When they moved out of earshot, George leaned over and whispered, “What was that all about?”

Heidi didn’t look at him, “I think she realizes what I am.” [Tension]

“What?  Are you kidding?”

“I am completely serious.  I think she would have attacked me right there if she could.  I am in serious danger here—in this house—and in this city.”

George turned and glanced back.  Daniel and Sveta engaged in a heated conversation.  Sveta did not look at them.  She pointed back toward them. [Tension]

Heidi moved to the buffet and picked up a plate.

George whispered, “Why did you have to antagonize her so much.  She is my boss’ wife, shouldn’t you try to gain her as an ally?” [Tension]

Heidi glared at him, “She antagonized me first.  Does a wolf try to ally itself with the hunter?  Or the sheep with the wolf?  Right now, I wish to eat her food.  It surely isn’t poisoned—not if she fed it to her friends.  I also wish to remain in the crowd where she can’t find me alone.  When we return to your apartment, I will go on foot.”

George caught her arm, “You sound like you have been through this before.” [Tension]

“Never before, but I have not lived this long without learning some degree of caution.”

“I find that hard to believe—you were not living very well when I discovered you.” [Tension]

Heidi raised her voice, “Your life-blood was eking out of your body when I found you.”

George whispered forcefully, “Sveta is my boss’ wife.  She runs an office in the organization.  You need to mollify her and not antagonize her.” [Tension]

Heidi stared at him, “You choose her over me?”  Her eye twitched.  [Tension]

“I didn’t choose her at all.  I just want to keep my job.  Where do you think this clothing comes from?”

Heidi threw down her plate, “If that’s the way it is, you may have it back right now.”  She began to unbutton her dress. [Release]

George grabbed her hands, “Stop that.  I didn’t mean it that way.”  He continued lamely, “I need this work.” [Release]

She stopped, “I understand.  I’m just not happy about it.”

George buttoned her dress, “Everyone is staring.” [Release]

She lowered her head, “I’m sorry, Mr. Mardling.”  She kept her head down and glanced up at him with her eyes alone. [Release]

“Pick up your plate.  You’re lucky it didn’t break.”

She knelt very primly.  Harold came up behind her and slipped the plate out of her hands.  He placed a glass of wine in it, “I’ll get you a new plate.  This one is soiled.” [Release]

“Thank you,” she mumbled.  She took a sip of the wine, and her face brightened. [Release]

Harold came beside her, “What may I select for you from the buffet.”

Heidi answered very sweetly, “Some of the partridge, a bit of cheese, bread, and pudding.”

Harold carried the plate for her.  Already the attention began to draw away from her and from George.  A few watched her as an apparent fifteen year old sipped on a glass of wine.  When the glass became empty, Harold replaced it with a full one.

Heidi found a seat at the back of the room.  She sat quietly with a very attentive look.  No one approached her.  George didn’t let Heidi out of his sight.  He took a plate of food and a mug of dark beer and sulked.

A few people greeted George.  Tim and his wife came by.  They spoke of trivialities.  As the evening progressed, George tried to keep count of the number of glasses Heidi downed.  He lost track, but he thought she only drank three.  He thought about leaving early.

Daniel Long sauntered over.  Sveta wasn’t in view.  Daniel took a quick glance at Heidi then addressed George, “George, do you know what set off your niece?” [Release]

“Not a clue,” George lied.

“Sveta was also very agitated, but she wouldn’t tell me what was going on.  Sveta thought that she was acting unsocial.  She’s trying to make it up to you both.”

“I’m afraid my niece is drinking herself to oblivion.”

“Sorry about that…”

“I didn’t handle it well at all.  She was narked at me too.”

Daniel stepped closer, “George, are you certain you don’t know why they leapt at each other’s throats?”

“Opposing personalities?”

Daniel shook his head and took a sip of his drink, “I’ve come to trust Sveta’s intuition about our business and many other things…”

“I can understand that.”

“I know this isn’t the best time to discuss things, George.  Perhaps you can come visit me on Monday.”

George grimaced, “Yes.  I’ll come by.”

“Maybe we can discuss getting a larger flat for you and…what was her name, Heidi.”

“Yes, Heidi.”

Daniel nodded apologetically, “Glad you could come to the party.  It’s not been as pleasant for you as I’d like—sorry about that.”

“It’s all right.”

Daniel moved on to the next couple.

When George turned around to check on Heidi, she was gone. [Tension]

Heidi held a glass of wine in her hand and followed Harold.  Harold stopped at a closed door, “Ms. Mardling, this is the sunroom.  Mrs. Long is waiting for you within.”  Harold opened the door for her and bowed.

Heidi didn’t stagger too much when she stepped through the door.  It shut behind her.

The room was very brightly lit.  Sveta sat in a padded chair next to the center of the room.  In front of her stood a love seat, and on the other side, a matching padded chair.  In between the seats sat a tea table.

Sveta stood.  She didn’t move an inch toward Heidi, “Thank you very much for being willing to meet with me.  I’m afraid we got off on the wrong foot…”

Heidi curtsied.  She didn’t lower her eyes, and she didn’t dare take her eyes off Sveta.

Sveta stretched out her hand, “Would you please take a seat.  I have tea.”

Heidi pursed her lips tightly together.  She stepped deliberately to the other padded chair and stood behind it.

Sveta nodded her head, “You see, there is a table between us.  I won’t try to touch you again.”  Sveta sat down and put out her hand.

Heidi sat quickly.  She set her wine glass on the table.

“May I serve you tea?”

Heidi nodded.

Sveta poured the tea and pushed the cup and saucer toward Heidi.  After Sveta pulled her hand completely back, Heidi with her eyes on Sveta, reached forward and took the cup and saucer.  She held her cup and waited.

Sveta poured her tea.  No one moved for a while.  Finally, flustered, Sveta took a sip of tea.  Heidi kept her eyes on Sveta—she took a quick sip.

Sveta sat back a little, “Ah, I see…”  She steepled her hands, “Your dress is lovely.  You have very good taste.”

Heidi sipped her tea again, “Taste slightly out of time…”

“Yes, slightly out of time.  I really do not desire to antagonize you.  I wonder exactly why…”

“You wonder why my presence unnerves you…”

“Yes, I wonder very much…and I would like to know why.  What is it about you…?”

Heidi frowned, “It might be better for both of us if you do not know…”

“That thought never crossed my mind…”

“It has not left my thoughts since we were first introduced…”

Sveta sighed, “Listen, Ms. Mardling, let me lay my cards on the table.”

Heidi nodded, but didn’t lower her eyes.

“I recognize you are a being of spiritual dimensions.  I myself am such a being.”

“I know.  Does Mr. Long realize—that is about you?”

“Yes.  Does George realize about you?”

“I should lie and say no, but I will say this…officially, Mr. Mardling doesn’t know anything about it at all…”

“Then he does know… but I am not to tell my husband about it.  I understand.  I will not say anything to him.”

“Never…”

“I will not tell anyone…I am very good at keeping secrets.”

Heidi scowled, “You are not very discreet at hiding your emotions…”

Sveta put up her hands, “I understand.  I was just surprised.  The last thing I expected to find was a being like you at my Christmas party.”

Heidi took a deep breath, “I admit, I was not at my best.  I upset Mr. Mardling and your guests.  Additionally, I acted petulantly.  I apologize.  You were very tolerant of my behavior when I was childish.”

“You are not a child.  I realize that.”

“I am not a child.”

Sveta sucked in another deep breath, “Can you tell me who you are?”

“Your cards are on the table—not mine.”

“I understand.”  She sighed, “Then I will tell you who I am.  I am an unbound goddess.  I lead the Stele branch of ‘the organization’.”

Heidi stared, “You…you are a goddess?  I should ask for proof, but the fact that you recognized me…,” she gave a half smile, “…and I you, might be proof enough.  What exactly does this Stele office do?”

“Chiefly, we use spiritual means to protect Britain.”

Heidi visibly relaxed.

Sveta put her hands up, “I only wish to know more about you, but there is a scent.”

Heidi’s eye twitched, “The scent of blood and the grave?”

“Yes…”

Heidi folded her arms.

“Will you please tell me what kind of being you are?”

“No.”

“I see.  If you are worried, we follow the One named יהוה.”  The sound reverberated like a rushing wind about the room.

Heidi covered her ears.  Her eyes flashed, “Why did you have to say that Name?”

“I won’t say it again.  You have not bowed your neck to Him?”

“I was already broken by that Guy.”

Sveta’s brow creased, “I…I don’t understand.  I have never heard of such a thing.  Please tell me who you are.  I’d be happy to help any way I can.”

Heidi’s voice rose, “You can’t help me.  No one can help me.”

“I don’t believe that is true.”

“Then you don’t know everything do you…goddess?”

Sveta was getting a little hot, “If you tell me who you are, we can move forward from there.  If you simply bow your neck to Him, we can work together.”

“I lay with my face on the ground broken by Him and without any hope of redemption…”

“I know that is not true…”

Heidi rose to her feet, “It is truth.”

“If you know about Him and you are convinced, you must have hope…I believe this is truth.”

Heidi stood, “I believe we have nothing else to speak about…”

Sveta held out her hands, “Please, Ms. Mardling…don’t go.  I promise, as long as you don’t oppose us, we will help you…”

“You don’t understand…”

Sveta took a deep breath, “I want to understand.  Please tell me who you are…”

“I will not… if I do…if I do,” Heidi’s chest heaved.

“Please…, I know someone you will want to talk to.”

Heidi backed around the chair.  She kept Sveta at her front.

Sveta sighed, “You don’t need to fear me.  I promise—I’ll not attack you.  I think we can still work together to the same ends.”

Heidi perked up, “Do you truly promise?”

“I do… I do promise, by the last and all.”  The air crackled in the room.

Heidi smiled, “You may regret that you ever made such a promise, but I do accept it.  I can’t handle anything more tonight.  I thank you for your hospitality.”  She backed to the door.  When Heidi touched the door handle, Harold opened the door from the other side.  Heidi curtsied and ran through the opening.

I marked some points of tension and release in the scene above.  I’ve written about this before.  Complex scenes are about waves of tension and release.  If you notice the break –these are technically two separate scenes.  The second scene is a release of tension and more tension development from the first scene.  You can see that the tension developed in the first scene is not completely resolved by the second scene.

The really big secret that drives all the tension in these scenes is that Heidi is a vampire.  This is what motivates Sveta and Heidi.  This motivates George.  Everything in the scenes revolves around this secret.  There are other pieces of information, but this secret drives the tension and release cycle of the scenes.  In fact, this secret drives the tension and release cycle for the entire novel.  By the end, a few more people know Heidi’s secret, but not that many more.  This secret drives the tension and release through the entire novel.

This idea of secrets or really unrevealed information is a concept I can’t push any harder.  I’ve written over and over about this idea.  Perhaps as an author, you imagine that only mystery and crime novels work with secrets…or some other specialty novel.  All novels are driven by secrets.  Think of Pride and Prejudice—this novel is completely driven by secrets.  The unrevealed thoughts and positions of the protagonist and the antagonist are known to the reader, but not to either character.  The resolution of the novel occurs when the protagonist and the antagonist realize their thoughts and motivations and communicate them together.  The classic irony and beauty of the novel is that the readers knows and wonders when and how the characters shall be resolved.

Think about any novel, at least any great novel.  Thing about the unrevealed or secretive knowledge in them.  In some cases, the knowledge is withheld from the readers and the characters.  Sometimes the characters know and the readers do not.  In some cases, the readers know but the characters don’t.  Each circumstance creates a different type of irony.  So to begin a novel and to propel tension and release, you really need secrets.

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 x314, Novel Form, Example Scene Release

9 February 2018, Writing – part x314, Novel Form, Example Scene Release

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’ll be providing information on the marketing materials and editing.

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.

This is the classical form for writing a successful 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 (protagonist, antagonist, and optionally the protagonist’s helper)
    4. Identify the telic flaw of the protagonist (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

The protagonist and the telic flaw are tied permanently together. The novel plot is completely dependent on the protagonist and the protagonist’s telic flaw. They are inseparable. This is likely the most critical concept about any normal (classical) form novel.

Here are the parts of a normal (classical) novel:

  1. The Initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  2. The Rising action scenes
  3. The Climax scene
  4. The Falling action scene(s)
  5. The Dénouement scene

So, how do you write a rich and powerful initial scene? Let’s start from a theme statement. Here is an example from my latest novel:

The theme statement for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School 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 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

I’m in Bahrain today writing from the Marriot.

If you have the characters (protagonist, protagonist’s helper, and antagonist), the initial setting, the telic flaw (from the protagonist), a plot idea, the theme action, then you are ready to write the initial scene.  I would state that since you have a protagonist, the telic flaw, a plot idea, and the theme action, you have about everything—what you might be lacking is the tension and release cycle in your scenes.

The release part of the scene development cycle is similar to a punchline. This is the point at which the tension of the scene is released.  The complete tension is never released until the climax of the novel, but the tension of the scene is released to some degree at this point.

So, how can I show a good example of a release?  Perhaps if I walk through the ideas in a simple example that would suffice.  A vampire walks into a Christmas party.  This is the setup.  A Vampire named Valeska (Heidi) attends a Christmas party given by her friend, Mr. George Marding’s boss. This is a great setting.  There isn’t any blood or criminal activity—vampires like their nights out too.  Heidi is just going for the fun and the food, plus Mr. Marding was ordered to go, and Mr. Long, his boss, can be pleasant, but insistent.  That’s the setting and the major characters—except one.  I didn’t mention Sveta Long.  Sveta is married to Mr. Long.  Where Mr. Long is the head of the Organization, Mrs. Long is a director of one of the major clandestine offices.

Mrs. Long happens to be the head of the office that protects Britain from supernatural enemies.  A vampire, even a pleasant one, could be considered a supernatural problem.  This is the setup.  Oh, I need to add that Mrs. Long can detect the supernatural, as can Heidi.  The reader doesn’t know all this—the reader just knows that Heidi and Mr. Marding are going to the Long’s Christmas party.

Now, this is an explosive setup.  I told you the setting, but no one in the scene understands all this.  What can you expect at the party?  This is obvious, and I’ve written about this before.  First, you must have greetings, then introductions, then casual speech, then deep speech, finally, departure. If you don’t know this, you need to get out more.

Writing should and must reflect real life—and this is how you write conversation in any case.  Therefore Heidi and George enter the party, they are greeted by the Butler and brought to the host and hostess.  There are greetings and then introductions.  The moment Heidi and Sveta touch, they both know something is up.  They are surprised by the event, but Sveta is more surprised than Heidi.  That is a function of age and experience.

This is the conflict.  You have two supernatural beings who want and need to understand the other—to a degree.  Heidi is ambivalent—she just wants to survive.  Sveta’s responsibility is the supernatural—what do you think her reaction is?  We have conflict and the question is how do we resolve it, and how do we show it?

As the writer, I discarded the idea of direct fisticuffs right at the beginning. That might be entertaining, but it would ruin the Christmas party for more than one person.  Heidi and Sveta do have a confrontation at the beginning, but that is somewhat settled.  Obviously, this situation provides a perfect opportunity for Sveta and Heidi to converse.  They need to get together in private, and they need time.  I provide this.

Their conversation results in a degree of accommodation, but it also ends with Mrs. Long wanting to know more—this propels the rest of the novel in the direction I wanted it to go.

I described the tension, vampire vs. vampire hunter.  The release is incomplete, but is a conversation between the vampire and the vampire hunter.  That’s all, and that’s all you need for a release.  As I mentioned, the release should not be complete.  For example, I guess I could have Heidi tell Sveta all about herself and who she is, then where would we be?  The cat’s out of the bag and the rest of the novel—wait what rest of the novel? Heidi’s secret is a huge part of the novel.

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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