Writing—So You Want to be a Writer, How is a Novel Written? Novel Writing Plan, Rising Action, more Deus ex Machina, and Sequential Scenes

20 July 2018, 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.

  1. The initial scene
  2. The rising action
  3. The Climax
  4. The falling action
  5. The dénouement

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  Ancient Light has been delayed due to the economy, and it may not be published.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 the USA.

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.

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

  1. 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:

Here is the beginning of the scene development method from the outline:

 

  1. Scene input (comes from the previous scene output or is an initial scene)
  2. Write the scene setting (place, time, stuff, and characters)
  3. Imagine the output, creative elements, plot, telic flaw resolution (climax) and develop the tension and release.
  4. Write the scene using the output and creative elements to build the tension.
  5. Write the release
  6. 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.

 

How do we gain the skills to write well?  Let’s begin with reading.  Reading allows us to understand the following:

 

  1. What a novel is.
  2. How a novel is constructed.
  3. How a novel is entertaining.
  4. How a novel is written.
  5. How novels have evolved.
  6. Different genre in novels.

 

If we understand what makes a novel entertaining, we can move on to how a novel is written.

 

This idea incorporates significant concepts about writing.  First of all, the author must be a skilled reader.  Second, the author must be a skilled writer.  Third, the author must have an idea.  Forth, the author must have the discipline to write a novel.

 

The next step is the discipline to write.  Part of that is motivation to write.  My motivation comes with a creative idea.

 

So, this is what I need to write about again for you: scenes and the writing plan for a novel.  Novels are written in scenes.  Therefore, if you want to write a novel, you need to be able to write good scenes, and you need a plan to write your novel’s scenes.

 

This is a scene outline:

  1. The initial scene.
  2. The rising action scenes.
  3. The climax scene.
  4. The falling action scene(s).
  5. The dénouement scene(s).

 

If you fully realize, the rising action scenes provide the necessary revelation of the protagonist and specifically the resolution of each element that leads to the telic flaw resolution.  This gets very complicated—let’s try to figure out how this might work.

 

I write and I recommend writing using sequential scenes.  I’ll use Blue Rose Enchantment and the Detective as an example.

 

  1. Has your protagonist ever needed a certain skill to solve a particularly difficult plot problem?
  2. Have you needed a critical connection or an important event to precede another event in the plot?
  3. How about a particularly fateful encounter or meeting to prevent a Deus ex Machina.
  4. In fact, how about them Deus ex—ever had a situation appear to be one or tried to get rid of one?

 

A Deus ex Machina refers to any improbable or nearly impossible event, meeting, circumstance, or happenstance that occurs to resolve any plot issue or dilemma.  As a general rule, almost every novel begins with a Deus ex Machina, but that should be it—none thereafter and definitely none in the resolution of the climax (telic flaw).

 

You see the use of the Deus ex Machina many times tickling the edge of the climax.  For example, at the climax of the novel, the protagonist finally discovers the power within to face and conquer the antagonist.  Think Star Bores.  At the bitter end, Puke uses the force to hit the target and resolve the problem of the Death Star.  That is a huge Deus ex, not to mention how does a wimpy farm boy get to fly a multimillion credit x-wing fighter without any real training?  I flight test, fly, and train people in fighter aircraft for a living.  You don’t just pick up the skills by reading.  It takes years and years of training and experience to become one with your jet.  The future might be wonderful, but it ain’t as simple as using your iPhone—any how long did it take you to master an iPhone?

 

In any case, the stupid Deus ex of Puke Skudwater is balanced by a little literary technique which we will study.  The force Deus ex doesn’t look so much like a Deus ex because the writers foreshadowed its use and a Jedi provided clueless Puke some training.  That’s basically how you solve all these slippery Deus ex issues.

 

For example, on a simpler level, if your protagonist needs to use a lock picking skill at any time, but especially in the climax, all you need is a scene, or more, earlier in the novel where the protagonist learns to or picks locks.  One of the most satisfying finishes to any novel is to see the skills accumulated by the protagonist used to resolve the telic flaw and thus the novel.

 

This is why, by the way, although Star Bores is a cheesy terrible Deus ex, most viewers accept and cheer for the end—Puke as able, through a miracle, to save the day.  I advise you to not end novels this way—it works for cheesy B-grade movies, but it doesn’t work for real literature.

 

I’ll write more tomorrow.

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

http://www.ancientlight.com

www.aegyptnovel.com

http://www.sisteroflight.com

http://www.sisterofdarkness.com

www.centurionnovel.com

www.thesecondmission.com

www.theendofhonor.com

www.thefoxshonor.com

www.aseasonofhonor.com

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

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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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