1 June 2020, 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 Ancient Light has been delayed due to the economy, and it may not be published.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: In Kansas.
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.
I’m currently writing a novel that is a little difficult to explain. It’s a reflected worldview novel so it includes fairy creatures, British mythical beings and gods, and a vampire. It is an adult novel, but is set in a girl’s boarding school in Saint Malo France. The initial scene was based on another novel titled Deidre: Enchantment and the School.
What I’ll do now is focus on the details of words, sentences, paragraphs, and scenes on entertainment. I can assure you if these are right, the other parts will be too.
I’ve been looking at scenes and especially themes for scenes and themes for novels. The point of all of this is entertainment. The question now is how to develop a novel length idea—this is the ultimate question I’ve been trying to help you with.
Below is the question for the current novel I’m writing.
What would happen if a royal heir was banished from England for having a supernatural heritage and kept imprisoned in a convent was released in the modern era?
Here is the theme statement:
Deirdre and Sorcha are redirected to French finishing school where they discover difficult mysteries, people, and events.
You can see there are real differences between the question and the theme statement. I really can’t show you how to write a question per se. The question is just a question. It’s directly related to the plot. I can show you how to write a theme statement.
The theme statement sets you up to write the initial scene, but here is where real creativity must prevail. The initial scene more than any other scene in a novel is the most important and creative. I always start the creation of my novels, now, with an initial scene.
I want to move back to writing about showing and not telling. The reason is that a friend asked me to review a novel another friend had given him. The first party had written a novel, likely his first, and had published it, obviously self-published, and wanted reviews. This is all well and good. The second party, started the novel, but found it “not his cup of tea.” I like reviewing novels and said I would. I want to pass on to you what I found. I will not mention the novel or the author, and I will not reveal anything that might give away the novel or its author.
Show and don’t tell.
Omniscient voice is poop.
Only write what the characters saw, tasted, felt, smelled, heard, said, or any action.
Identity is a problem.
It’s all about dialog.
Perfect tense can be a problem.
It’s all about the senses.
Don’t be boring.
Eating is living and dialog.
Creativity and senses.
Start with scene setting.
Make it sense setting.
If you visualize and use your imagination, this will help you to show and will prevent you from stupidity. In fact, your readers are using their imaginations—that’s why they will catch your telling and mistakes because they do want and expect the suspension of disbelief.
Next, you need to give us some action. Action narrative is what fiction is all about—other than dialog. How would you write about your day? There are really two distinct ways. You can show us, and you can tell us. If you write:
I got out of bed at 0600 ate breakfast, dressed, showered, and went to work. You are telling. On the other hand, if you write:
I woke up at 0600 and rolled out of bed. I put on my bathrobe and house shoes, and ran down the steps to the front door. I went outside and picked up the paper. I came back in, put the paper on the kitchen table, and started to make coffee. I made breakfast then sat down at the table and ate while reading the morning paper. When I finished breakfast and the paper, I picked up everything, put it in the sink, and went to take a shower. And so on. This is telling. I like using third person because first person makes you tell too much, but I hope you get the idea. The details and especially, the action details are in showing. As I noted, first person isn’t the best means of showing. Then there is dialog.
The point is show and don’t tell.
The most important thing for the scene is developing the entertainment in the scene.
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