10 October 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.
- 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 Ancient Light has been delayed due to the economy, and it may not be published.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 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.
How do we gain the skills to write well? We began with reading. Reading allows us to gain the skills to write well, but imagination provides the impetus to write and especially to write modern literature.
How do we activate our imagination? How do we get ideas to write? How can we begin to develop such ideas, especially imaginative ideas? Tension and release is the way to go—this is where your imagination must be centered. How do we develop great ideas for scenes?
Here is another example of a realistic confrontation. This is entertaining and comes from my novel Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective:
After a few moments, a couple of large men with greasy hair and wearing dirty coveralls stepped to their table. One bore a large scar across his face, and the other black marks like oil spatters or gunpowder burns down the side of his cheek.
The man with the scar turned Azure a tense smile, “I understand you have a message—from Fancy.”
Azure looked them over, “You aren’t carrying a pouch either. Do you expect me to pass my very important message to you?”
He curled up the side of his mouth in the caricature of a grin, “We can take you to an interested party.”
Azure slipped off her high stool, “Very well. You lead, and we’ll follow.”
The man glanced at Lachlann and then back to Azure. His face twitched, “I’ll lead. Me mate will keep watch behind.”
Lachlann asked, “Where are we going?”
“Not far. Now, lady, if you’ll come along.”
Azure turned Lachlann a slightly black look. She stepped directly behind the man with the scar. Lachlann shrugged and followed close behind her. The man with the black marks fell in behind him.
Azure motioned for Lachlann to lag a bit. She kept very close to the first man. They exited the pub and headed around the pier toward the back. The Golden Caldron Pub sat on the edge of the pier, and an open space, about ten meters wide lay between the building and the dark water of the Thames. The scarred man stopped suddenly and turned. Azure stood directly before him. She stooped in a slight crouch. Her stance was almost undetectable the darkness because of her dark and loose clothing.
Azure asked, “Where is the leader of the Golden Caldron Coven?”
“Lady, we can’t just let anyone come traipsing in here without checking out their possessions and identity.”
“What do you propose?”
He pulled out a large knife, “We’ll be taking your wallets and checking you for weapons.”
Azure shook her head, “You will not be taking our wallets, and you will not lay a hand on either of us.”
He brandished the knife, “My shiv says otherwise.” The man lunged at Azure. Lachlann croaked out a warning.
Azure moved like lightening. She evaded the attack and grasped the arm with the knife. Her motions appeared nearly effortless as she pulled the man forward and shifted her weight. The man with the scar fell to the ground like a bag of cement, and Azure stepped on his head. He didn’t move at all after that.
The man behind Lachlann stood in shock only a moment. He bellowed and rushed at the Wing Commander. Azure’s pistol appeared in her hand, but she didn’t fire it. The man seemed unarmed—he didn’t reveal any weapons. Azure moved very quickly, and reached the man before he arrived at Lachlann. She simply plowed the butt of her automatic into the center of the man’s face. His nose sprouted blood like a flower, and he instantly dropped on his face to the ancient stone pier.
Azure wasn’t breathing hard. She raised her nose in the air, “Caution, there is magic afoot.” She turned to stare at the corner of the pier, “You might as well reveal yourself. I can see your shadows within the fabric of the world—plus I can smell you.”
A man suddenly appeared at the end of the pier. He dressed in modern British finery, an expensive but old grey suit. He wore a tan pouch at his side. The pouch was made of fine leather embossed with strange figures and signs. The man smoked a cigarette. He seemed very at ease. He pulled his hand from the pouch and gave a golf clap while he replied with a heavy Scottish brogue, “Very well done, Lady. I am impressed and that is difficult to do.” He stared beyond Lachlann and Azure, “You two may come out now.”
Around the back of the building slouched a woman and a man. The woman was thin and young. She looked diminutive compared to Lachlann or Azure. She wore a dark leather mini, a red blouse that showed too much of her small décolleté, and patterned black stockings. A leather pouch marked with symbols and runic animals hung around her neck. Her face looked foxy and slightly pointed. Her eyes were dark as was her hair. It was cut short, cropped at her neckline.
The man beside her was short and also bore foxy features. He wore leather clothing and carried a similar leather pouch. He moved with an oily grace. The woman obviously kept her distance from him.
Azure backed and pushed Lachlann with her until she could keep all the newcomers in sight.
The man in the grey suit made a gesture to the short man in leathers. He moved slowly to the two still forms on the pier and examined them, “They’re still breathing.” He jerked on one then the other, then shook the man with the scar.
After a few moments the man with the scar lifted his head and came to his knees. He rubbed the back of his skull and wheezed out, “Let me have a minute with that bitch. I’ll…”
The man in the suit drawled, “You’ll do what? She beat you with a single blow. Get back inside the pub.”
The man with the scar painfully pulled himself to his feet. He made a very ugly face, “You, girly, better keep an eye out of the back of your head.”
He staggered to the other man and helped him to his feet. His face left a wet blood stain on the already dark stone of the pier. They limped together around the side of the building. Azure watched and listened as they shuffled off.
The man in the suit gave another golf clap, “Well done. Since my muscle couldn’t relieve you of your wallets or weapons, we must make our own introductions. My name is Mata Hainsworth. The man over there, “He pointed, “Is Ailean and the woman is Nansaidh.” He waited for Azure and Lachlann to introduce themselves.
Azure raised her chin, “I am Azure Rose and this is Lachlann Calloway.”
Mata nodded his head, “You told, Terry, the barkeep that you had a message for me from Fancy.”
I thought you might like to see an example of a completely open fighting confrontation. There it is. The comparison is more important than the events. I will point out that the smoldering confrontation is more entertaining to me. The fighting confrontation is very action oriented, and there are points at which it is necessary for some novels.
The point is entertainment. In the case of the smoldering confrontation, the characters are motivated by their culture and society to their interaction. In the case of the fighting confrontation, the protagonist felt that an attack was necessary. Other authors and other protagonists might develop a different type of confrontation or resolution. Some authors might have their protagonist let herself be taken—it might be necessary for the plot of the novel. My protagonist would likely say, “Death before dishonor.” This is an appropriate response and fits the novel well.
I’ll write more tomorrow.
For more information, you can visit my author site www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic