Creativity – Pathos and Telic Flaw to Plot

31 December 2015, 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 creativity.

1. The beginning
2. The rising action
3. The Climax
4. The falling action
5. 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  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.

Here are my rules of writing:

1. Entertain your readers.
2. Don’t confuse 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.

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 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)

The pathos of a character is usually related to their telic flaw. This means the correction of the telic flaw will fix their pathos. In the most simple example, if a character is poor and hungry (telic flaw), their achieving a job and some success results in money and food. Their pathos is gone and so is their telic flaw.

I’ve mentioned before, the telic flaw of, for example, Anne of Green Gables was that she had no parents—she was an orphan. She is a pathetic character because she had no one at all. The entire novel to the climax is written to show how Anne’s keepers slowly become her parents. I think it is horrible that the death of her adoptive parent is required to make this clear to everyone, but that was a different era. I’m not sure if, in today’s world, Anne isn’t more pathetic because it takes the death of her adoptive father to prove that she is finally a part of this family—oh well.

I mentioned Lilly yesterday. Many of my characters are written and developed as pathetic characters whose telic flaws are corrected in one way or another. Most of them have very complex telic flaws that are or cause the secondary effects of their pathos. For example, in Essie, Essie’s pathos is derived from who she is and how she is treated by all the fae and the deities of Great Britain. It isn’t enough to rescue her from hunger, abuse, and captivity, Essie requires a major intervention that leads to the climax and the resolution of the novel. The complexity of resolving this kind of pathos requires over 100,000 words.

I’ll write more tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site, and my individual novel websites:

About L.D. Alford

L. D. Alford is a novelist whose writing explores with originality those cultures and societies we think we already know. His writing distinctively develops the connections between present events and history—he combines them with threads of reality that bring the past alive. L. D. Alford is familiar with technology and cultures—he is widely traveled and earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Pacific Lutheran University, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University, a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from The University of Dayton, and is a graduate of Air War College, Air Command and Staff College, and the USAF Test Pilot School. L. D. Alford is an author who combines intimate scientific and cultural knowledge into fiction worlds that breathe reality. He is the author of three historical fiction novels: Centurion, Aegypt, and The Second Mission, and three science fiction novels: The End of Honor, The Fox’s Honor, and A Season of Honor.
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