19 October 2017, 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
- The Climax
- The falling action
- The dénouement
Announcement: Ancient Light has been delayed due to the economy. 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 the USA.
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.
Now, with these basics: a protagonist, a telic flaw, an antagonist, and optionally, a protagonist’s helper, you can develop a plot. Very simply, the plot is the resolution of the telic flaw of the protagonist. The novel is also the revelation of the protagonist that leads to the telic flaw resolution.
Tension and Release, we have the input of the scene from the previous scene or as the initial scene. Setting, input, output, tension and release, these four elements allow us to write an entertaining and focused scene that takes into consideration the plot and climax of the novel.
Tension and release is the mini-rising action and mini-climax in a scene. A scene may have one or more mini-climaxes. I turn setting elements into creative elements in the scene to build tension and then eventually release. To actually understand tension and release, you must start with the setting elements.
Setting elements are anything that begins the scene on the stage of the novel. I started with three characters and here they are:
Protagonist: a detective in a crime mystery. She is young, smart, tricky, and has a child-like face. Let’s also add that she smokes John Player Specials like a chimney and drinks Guinness at every meal including breakfast. Otherwise, she puts on an act like a dandified Lady.
The Scotland Yard detective who is actually the official on the case is a stuck up Oxford type who does use unorthodox policing methods but would never be caught doing them.
His assistant is a tough middle aged woman who speaks with a relatively high middle class London accent and is a stickler for police and gentlemanly decorum.
Setting: the three are at the scene of a gruesome murder. The sky is overcast, but not raining. It is spring and somewhat warm. The time is late afternoon. The detective is late for tea. They just finished examining the corpse and are discussing the details. The place is a vacant lot near a busy London street. The place is surrounded by typical police tape and all that kind of thing. They are waiting for the ambulance to come and take the body to the morgue.
I used the characteristics of the protagonist compared to the other characters to show how I would develop tension in the scenes; however, the character of the characters and especially the protagonist is just one example of something that can be used to develop tension in the scenes. The setting, setting elements (items), and plot devices (plot elements) can be used to develop tension. Let’s begin with some.
First, the sky is overcast, but not raining.
Second, it is spring and somewhat warm. This setting element also drives clothing choices. Did I forget to mention that clothing choices is one of the major things you should describe about your characters? The fact that it is spring also moderates the rain—to a degree. You can still have a torrential downpour, but the latitude for the writer increases naturally.
The temperature is warm, and here is the real tension developer. If you remember, they are all dressed in overcoats. Each of them have a great reason to get in doors where they can take off their rain and overcoats. This tension pushes to them to get their work done quickly. The author has a large latitude here too. The tension development about temperature can be very pressing to less pressing.
The emotional pressure can also be pushed to a breaking point. When people get too warm, they get grumpy. They become short with each other. These characters have little reason to be too civil with each other, but in this case, they can be pressed to an extreme. Remember, the assistant doesn’t like the fact that the lady detective smokes. If she lights up, there is a strong potential for an slight altercation. The temperature makes the situation and the potential tension even greater—it just depends on the intention of the author.
The next step will be settings, items, and finally plot devices.
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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