14 July 2020, this blog is about writing in scenes. I’m focusing on the tools to build scenes. I’ll leave up the parts of a novel because I think this is an important picture for any novelist. I’m writing about how to begin and write a novel.
- The initial scene
- The rising action scenes
- The climax scene
- The falling action scene(s)
- The dénouement scene(s)
Announcement: I need a new publisher. Ancient Light has been delayed due to the economy, and it may not be published. Ancient Light includes Aegypt, Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness. If you are interested in historical/suspense literature, please give my novels a try. You can read about them at http://www.ancientlight.com. I’ll keep you updated.
Today’s Blog: The skill of using language comes from the ability to put together figures of speech that act as symbols in writing.
Short digression: Back in Wichita.
Here are my rules of writing:
- Entertain your readers.
- Don’t confuse your readers.
- Ground your readers in the writing.
- Don’t show (or tell) everything.
4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.
- Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.
Creativity is the extrapolation of older ideas to form new ones or to present old ideas in a new form. It is a reflection of something new created with ties to the history, science, and logic (the intellect). Creativity requires consuming, thinking, and producing.
Here is the beginning of the scene development method from the outline:
- Scene input (comes from the previous scene output or is an initial scene)
- Write the scene setting (place, time, stuff, and characters)
- Imagine the output, creative elements, plot, telic flaw resolution (climax) and develop the tension and release.
- Write the scene using the output and creative elements to build the tension.
- Write the release
- Write the kicker
First step of writing—enjoy writing. Writing is a chore—especially if you don’t know what you are doing, and you don’t know where you are going. Let me help you with that.
I’m currently writing a novel that is a little difficult to explain. It’s a reflected worldview novel so it includes fairy creatures, British mythical beings and gods, and a vampire. It is an adult novel, but is set in a girl’s boarding school in Saint Malo France. The initial scene was based on another novel titled Deidre: Enchantment and the School.
What I’ll do now is focus on the details of words, sentences, paragraphs, and scenes on entertainment. I can assure you if these are right, the other parts will be too.
I’ve been looking at scenes and especially themes for scenes and themes for novels. The point of all of this is entertainment. The question now is how to develop a novel length idea—this is the ultimate question I’ve been trying to help you with.
Below is the question for the current novel I’m writing.
What would happen if a royal heir was banished from England for having a supernatural heritage and kept imprisoned in a convent was released in the modern era?
Here is the theme statement:
Deirdre and Sorcha are redirected to French finishing school where they discover difficult mysteries, people, and events.
You can see there are real differences between the question and the theme statement. I really can’t show you how to write a question per se. The question is just a question. It’s directly related to the plot. I can show you how to write a theme statement.
The theme statement sets you up to write the initial scene, but here is where real creativity must prevail. The initial scene more than any other scene in a novel is the most important and creative. I always start the creation of my novels, now, with an initial scene.
I completed an entire section about showing and not telling. Remember show and don’t tell. That makes me feel better. At the moment, I’ve personally been focusing on writing a very complex non-fiction book length work, finding a publisher for my novels, and trying to write cohesively about showing instead of telling. I think I have this part down well in my novels, and I’m constantly trying to discover ways to help others figure this out too.
So, just what is entertaining and how do we make writing entertaining? These are two very completely different questions. What is entertaining, is a whole set of ideas and other questions. Entertaining is based on age, interests, ideas, intellect, and education. Let’s settle on some specifics just to help clarify and focus the discussion.
Then what is entertaining? If we know what makes something entertaining, we can repeat that formula and make everything entertaining. This is what I’ve been trying to express through studying about creativity, characters, protagonists, scenes, tension and release, and all. Each of these are elements of the whole—the goal being entertainment. Some simple books are easy to pull apart to evaluate for their entertainment, novels aren’t very easy to deconstruct entirely for entertainment. But we can. Let’s look at the children’s book I Want My Hat Back.
In I Want My Hat Back, the bear has lost his hat. He asks each animal he meets about his hat. On the way, the rabbit is wearing a red hat and seems suspicious. The bear continues until he’s tired. He remembers seeing a red hat like his, and he returns to the rabbit to claim his hat. In the end, the rabbit is missing and the bear has his red hat. That’s a pretty simple story. What makes it so entertaining? If you haven’t read this book before, check it out of your library or go to Amazon Prime and see the book read for you. What did we learn from this kid’s book?
- Telic flaw
- Well developed
The first step in entertainment is this—our protagonists should not do anything that our readers would find disagreeable. In fact, our protagonists can’t do anything our readers find disagreeable.
Protagonists need quirks. I mentioned about tags for protagonists and characters. This moves to quirks. The best protagonists aren’t necessarily filled with quirks, but quirks and characters are memorable. Let me write, we don’t want quirky protagonists, but protagonists with quirks are great—what’s the difference.
You probably won’t forget a quirky protagonist. I have a couple of quirky protagonist’s the whole point of my novels for these protagonists is to make them more and more like normal humanity. This works. This is a telic flaw, a plot, and a theme. Let’s see. For example, Anne of Green Gables is a quirky protagonist, and Sara Crew is a quirky protagonist. They are slightly strange girls, but they are lovable protagonists. Their quirks aren’t very great, but they are great, and their quirks make them lovable and special. Both of them have similar quirky personalities—they both love to make up stories and they both have fantasy lives which they relate to the other girls. Now, some of you will say that this is the normal mind of the imaginative child—so perhaps these aren’t that great of quirks, but the authors of these novels do present them as quirks.
I have some similar protagonists mostly Shiggy and Essie. They are quirky and they are special in some ways. What about these quirks. Normal quirks could be fantasy and imagination like Sara and Anne. Or what quirks might be normal and interesting for a protagonist. This is a great question: what quirks are great quirks and what are not great quirks?
The most important thing for the scene is developing the entertainment in the scene.
I’ll write more tomorrow.
For more information, you can visit my author site www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
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