Writing—So You Want to be a Writer, Current Novel, What Readers Don’t Want, Where Skills Come From

2 May 2021, 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 scenes
  3. The climax scene
  4. The falling action scene(s)
  5. 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  Ancient Light has been delayed due to the economy, and it may not be published.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 Wichita. 

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.

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:

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.

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 completed an entire section about showing and not telling.  Remember show and don’t tell.  That makes me feel better.  At the moment, I’ve personally been focusing on writing a very complex non-fiction book length work, finding a publisher for my novels, and trying to write cohesively about showing instead of telling.  I think I have this part down well in my novels, and I’m constantly trying to discover ways to help others figure this out too. 

Today:

The most important point about the telic flaw and the protagonist is that we need to develop a great protagonist.  That protagonist must bring us a telic flaw.  That’s the main point about the telic flaw and the protagonist.

The problem of the protagonist is the telic flaw of the novel.  If you approach the development of the protagonist with this in mind, you can build a wonderful protagonist and telic flaw. 

What qualities make a protagonist more likely to be marketable and publishable.  That’s what I want to know.

What do all readers have in common.  These are characteristics that must endear readers to a protagonist.  Here is what we have determined:

  1. A reader.
  2. Competent because they read.
  3. Reading and writing is important.  Study through reading is important.
  4. Skills come through reading and study.
  5. Moral within the context of the event horizon and the culture. 
  6. Caution using ideas and words that alienate your readers.
  7. Pathos: emotions felt by the reader.
  8. Suspension of disbelief.
  9. A great Romantic plot with a comedy
  10. A protagonist that the reader eventually likes.
  11. Protagonists who are endearing because of who they are or their needs or both.
  12. Protagonists with a unique or endearing skill.
  13. Protagonists who achieve
  14. Heroes

Above, I have a list of what readers what in a protagonist and generally, in a novel.  We might then ask, what do readers not want in a protagonist?  I think that is a great question, but it’s a little harder to define and write about. 

Where do skills come from?  We know readers are really willing to accept a lot about skills.  For example, Harry Potty just suddenly has magic.  This is the typical magical motif, the protagonist discovers the magic skill and then perfects it.  The question of perfection or how to perfect it comes into play for the reader.  Readers really don’t mind a lot of physical effort to perfect a skill.  For example, the protagonist who needs to develop a fighting skills.  Obviously, the character isn’t going to perfect this skill by just reading books, but there should be some bookish component to it.  I’m just warning you. 

How you write the skill development is important.  Readers have no problem with reality—people improve their physical prowess with effort, but they really want to see that effort.  Harry’s schedule doesn’t seem to have time for practice at all.  Here is where I would have put in references to Harry’s Quiddich practice over and over.  In addition, I would have had him beat up all the time because of it.  I can’t remember a single reference to Quiddich practice in any of the novels.  We know there wasn’t a backup team or even backup players. 

Anyone out there who was ever on an team sport and not have backup players and players to practice against?  Harry walks in the door.  What happened to the other seeker?  Why is there only one seeker.  How does the team practice?  Rowling was obviously a person who never played sports or the readers are just slow.  I can’t tell.  Most readers really don’t care much about team sports maybe they just accept this little spree of illogical skill development and sports development.  I can buy that.  We want a bit more fidelity in out writing.

Therefore, when your protagonist develops skills, ensure they really develop skills.  Make it plausible and don’t for get the study and reading part of it.  Even if it is all about the physical.  How much better a novel Harry Potty would be if he went to the library and studied all the seeker techniques Quiddich and applied them?

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:

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

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.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s