28 March 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 on the tarmac 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.
- Scene input (easy)
- Scene output (a little harder)
- Scene setting (basic stuff)
- Creativity (creative elements of the scene: transition from input to output focused on the telic flaw resolution)
- Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)
- Release (climax of creative elements)
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.
Here is the list of the basic and my adds to the list of plot devices. The list came from the source which should not be named. I added a bunch of plot devices, and I think there are more. I’ll keep adding to the list as I think of them. In each case, I’ll define the plot device and give an example. If you want an extended example from my writing, you’ll have to check out: The Zen of Writing at http://pilotlion.blogspot.com/. Here’s the list:
Deus ex machina (a machination, or act of god; lit. “god out of the machine”)
Flashback (or analeptic reference)
Frame story, or a story within a story
In medias res
Story within a story (Hypodiegesis)
Ticking clock scenario – Current discussion.
Two way love
Three way love (love rival)
Celebrity (Rise to fame)
Rise to riches
Military (Device or Organization manipulation)
School (Training) (Skill Development)
Fantasy Land (Time Travel, Space Travel)
End of the — (World, Culture, Society)
Augmented Human (Robot) (Society)
Mind Switching (Soul Switching)
“Deus ex machina (Latin: [ˈdeʊs ɛks ˈmaː.kʰɪ.naː]: /ˈdeɪ.əs ɛks ˈmɑːkiːnə/ or /ˈdiːəs ɛks ˈmækᵻnə/; plural: dei ex machina) is a Latin calque from Greek ἀπὸ μηχανῆς θεός (apò mēkhanês theós), meaning “god from the machine”. The term has evolved to mean a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly resolved by the inspired and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability or object. Depending on how it is done, it can be intended to allow a story to continue when the writer has “painted himself into a corner” and sees no other way out, to surprise the audience, to bring the tale to a happy ending, or as a comedic device.”
A deus ex machina is a true plot device, but it is a terrible plot device. If you use this type of plot device, you are telling the world (and your readers) that you have run out of ideas and have not planned your plot out at all. You can fix any deus ex machina by using foreshadowing. I’m not moving on to another plot device yet, but I’m of the opinion that foreshadowing is a plot characteristic and not a plot device. For example, an author can always fix a problem plot by either thinking up a solution, using foreshadowing to build a solution path, or by rewriting.
All I can tell you is don’t use the deus ex machina. This is not a good type of plot device. It was one of the earliest plot devices and likely a comedy plot device used by the Greeks. You can see they had an odd sense of humor. Don’t use it. If you really think you have a problem like this, just ask me—I can always tell you how to provide a solution or foreshadow a solution.
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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