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Friday, May 27, 2016

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 777, The Initial Scene


27 May 2016, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 777, The Initial Scene

Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but the publisher has delayed all their fiction output due to the economy.  I'll keep you informed.  More information can be found at www.ancientlight.com.  Check out my novels--I think you'll really enjoy them.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning 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.

     4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.

5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

All novels have five discrete parts:

1.  The initial scene (the beginning)

2.  The rising action

3.  The climax

4.  The falling action

5.  The dénouement

The theme statement of my 26th novel, working title, Shape, proposed title, Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si, is this: Mrs. Lyons captures a shape-shifting girl in her pantry and rehabilitates her.

I just started writing my 27th novel, working title, Claire, potential title Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse.  This might need some tweaking.  The theme statement is: Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, a dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.  

Here is the cover proposal for Essie: Enchantment and the Aos SiEssie is my 26th novel.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action.  I’m editing many of my novels using comments from my primary reader.  I finished my 27th novel, working title Claire.  I’m working on marketing materials.

I'm an advocate of using the/a scene input/output method to drive the rising action--in fact, to write any novel. 

Scene development:

1.  Scene input (easy)

2.  Scene output (a little harder)

3.  Scene setting (basic stuff)

4.  Creativity (creative elements of the scene)

5.  Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)

6.  Release (climax of creative elements)

 

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.

 

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.

 

I don’t mean to be overly simplistic about the climax or the telic change, but this is a challenge for an author too.  With a protagonist and a protagonist’s helper, we can contemplate the initial scene.  Usually, the best initial scene is the meeting of the protagonist and the protagonist’s helper.  This is also the practical and a good point to introduce (describe or set) the characters.  This is not the most action oriented initial scene, but I’m not sure of a better place to start the novel.

 

Dorothy Smith, aka Red Sonja, aka Sophia Iosifovna Sokolov gets off the train at Lancaster Station, California.  She has to wait for Lieutenant Mike Rush to pick her up.  On the drive to Edwards AFB, he explains about her work and the program.  This provides info to the reader and to the characters.  Dorothy doesn’t give up much information.  I haven’t let the reader know yet that she is a spy.  I won’t tell the reader—I’ll let them guess entirely through her actions. 

 

The novel will progress as Dorothy gets to know the people at Edwards.  She’ll meet people and find out about the X-15 and other programs.  She’ll begin to collect intelligence for the USSR and begin to broadcast it.

 

Not a super exciting initial scene, but one that begins to excite the curiosity of the reader.  This will be a mystery and a discovery novel.  The reader will slowly begin to see who Dorothy really is.  Red Sonja will begin to see what the USA is like.  I can’t wait until she gets her first paycheck and sees what she can buy with it.        

 

More tomorrow.


For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:

fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 776, Designing New Characters on the Stage of the Novel in the Initial Scene


26 May 2016, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 776, Designing New Characters on the Stage of the Novel in the Initial Scene

Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but the publisher has delayed all their fiction output due to the economy.  I'll keep you informed.  More information can be found at www.ancientlight.com.  Check out my novels--I think you'll really enjoy them.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning 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.

     4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.

5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

All novels have five discrete parts:

1.  The initial scene (the beginning)

2.  The rising action

3.  The climax

4.  The falling action

5.  The dénouement

The theme statement of my 26th novel, working title, Shape, proposed title, Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si, is this: Mrs. Lyons captures a shape-shifting girl in her pantry and rehabilitates her.

I just started writing my 27th novel, working title, Claire, potential title Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse.  This might need some tweaking.  The theme statement is: Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, a dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.  

Here is the cover proposal for Essie: Enchantment and the Aos SiEssie is my 26th novel.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action.  I’m editing many of my novels using comments from my primary reader.  I finished my 27th novel, working title Claire.  I’m working on marketing materials.

I'm an advocate of using the/a scene input/output method to drive the rising action--in fact, to write any novel. 

Scene development:

1.  Scene input (easy)

2.  Scene output (a little harder)

3.  Scene setting (basic stuff)

4.  Creativity (creative elements of the scene)

5.  Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)

6.  Release (climax of creative elements)

 

How to begin a novel.  Number one thought, we need an entertaining idea.  I usually encapsulate such an idea with a theme statement.  Here’s the theme statement from Sorcha.

 

Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, a dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.

 

Let’s be very specific about setting and description in the initial scene (and all scenes).  Set the stage of the novel.  Here is a repeat of rule for writing number 4 (listed above).

 

4. Don't show (or tell) everything.

     4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.

 

The first step in writing a new novel is the development of characters.  This occurs in conjunction with the design of the initial scene or at least the initial scene input.  I have a setting: Edwards AFB (or whatever it was called at the time, Muroc, I think).  I have an idea for the protagonist: Red Sonja, aka. Dorothy Smith, aka. Whatever her Soviet name is.  The protagonist helper will be a military pilot.  He’ll be an experimental test pilot and an officer.  He’ll be single and a member of the X-15 test organization.  Perhaps he’ll be one of the safety or chase pilots who is also moving into an X-15 test slot.  The antagonist will likely be indirect—perhaps the USSR directly.  This is a common approach in these types of novels.

 

The protagonist is a romantic archetype and beautifully pathetic.  How can a spy be pathetic?  This comes out of the way I like to write my novels.  My novels are more about people than about plots or stuff.  Imagine a spy who has been completely trained as a Soviet and a Marxist Communist plopped down into the capitalism of the 1960s.  She has been taught about the evils of capitalism and the American system.  She imagines all kinds of evils.  She has been taught that God is dead and that Americans are evil, money-grubbing, unfair, selfish, etc.  She was an orphan with nothing in the USSR.  She shared a dormitory and a bathroom all her life.  She had nothing in the USSR.  Then she gets her assigned GS quarters on base.  She gets her first paycheck.  She goes to a restaurant in town.  She goes to the O-Club.  She goes to Chapel on base.  Her boss, the pilot, is kind and sweet and not interested in having an affair with her.  Her life slowly balls up between what she know and what she discovers.  The pathos will be entirely internal (or mostly internal).  The reader will know, but others not so much. 

 

Her telic flaw will be internal and external.  The internal telic flaw is that she is a spy for the USSR that is her mindset and ideas.  The external telic flaw is that she is a spy for the USSR.  Can you imagine the pressure if you finally wanted to come out from the cold?  The danger and the results?        

 

More tomorrow.


For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:

fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 775, Designing Characters on the Stage of the Novel in the Initial Scene


25 May 2016, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 775, Designing Characters on the Stage of the Novel in the Initial Scene

Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but the publisher has delayed all their fiction output due to the economy.  I'll keep you informed.  More information can be found at www.ancientlight.com.  Check out my novels--I think you'll really enjoy them.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning 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.

     4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.

5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

All novels have five discrete parts:

1.  The initial scene (the beginning)

2.  The rising action

3.  The climax

4.  The falling action

5.  The dénouement

The theme statement of my 26th novel, working title, Shape, proposed title, Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si, is this: Mrs. Lyons captures a shape-shifting girl in her pantry and rehabilitates her.

I just started writing my 27th novel, working title, Claire, potential title Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse.  This might need some tweaking.  The theme statement is: Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, a dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.  

Here is the cover proposal for Essie: Enchantment and the Aos SiEssie is my 26th novel.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action.  I’m editing many of my novels using comments from my primary reader.  I finished my 27th novel, working title Claire.  I’m working on marketing materials.

I'm an advocate of using the/a scene input/output method to drive the rising action--in fact, to write any novel. 

Scene development:

1.  Scene input (easy)

2.  Scene output (a little harder)

3.  Scene setting (basic stuff)

4.  Creativity (creative elements of the scene)

5.  Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)

6.  Release (climax of creative elements)

 

How to begin a novel.  Number one thought, we need an entertaining idea.  I usually encapsulate such an idea with a theme statement.  Here’s the theme statement from Sorcha.

 

Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, a dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.

 

Let’s be very specific about setting and description in the initial scene (and all scenes).  Set the stage of the novel.  Here is a repeat of rule for writing number 4 (listed above).

 

4. Don't show (or tell) everything.

     4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.

 

I have an idea for a new novel.  I’m still whirling the idea around in my brain, but the basic concept is a Russian spy at Edwards AFB during the height of the cold war during the X-15 era.  I’m working on this idea.  I want the spy to be my protagonist.  Her covert name is Red Sonja.  I’m still thinking about her American name, but I’m contemplating Dorothy Smith.  Her Russian name will be Sonja something.  In other words, I am beginning to develop a new protagonist character.

 

I start with a concept and put a name to it.  From my viewpoint, her telic flaw is that she is a Russian spy in the USA.  This is a delicious irony.  Can you imagine a Russian spy in the USA?  She would have to experience all the wonderful things and freedoms of America and slowly begin to grasp the differences between the USA and the Soviet.  Sure, she’s bought in, but how can you continue to be bought into an idea that is shown to be completely false by everything around you. 

 

I’m still contemplating how crazy this might make you.  The climax is kind of obvious.  She would accept the ideas of the goodness of the USA, but how can she recover?  If she confesses, she will be incarcerated. If she is caught, she would be incarcerated or sent back to the USSR.  How terrible for a person who is bought in to an idea of freedom. 

 

This is my signature idea or concept.  I like to take a character and contrast their life and existence with another culture.  I can’t imagine a more powerful concept than the contrast between capitalism and communism.  There is so much to write about and so much to delve into intellectually, I can barely wait.  I want to start the novel right away.  I’m currently developing the protagonist and designing how her life and training was in the USSR.  I know something about this although it was kept from the American people.  I suspect Russia trains their spies the same way now.  Perhaps many nations do.  The first step is the development of the protagonist, but at the same time, I’m imagining the initial scene and the plot development.       

 

More tomorrow.


For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:

fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic