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Saturday, November 17, 2018

Writing - part x680, Off to Japan

17 November 2018, Writing - part x680, Off to Japan

Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but my primary publisher has gone out of business—they couldn’t succeed in the past business and publishing environment.  I'll keep you informed, but I need a new publisher.  More information can be found at www.ancientlight.com.  Check out my novels--I think you'll really enjoy them.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.

I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.
The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:
1. Don't confuse your readers.
2. Entertain 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.
These are the steps I use to write a novel including the five discrete parts of a novel:

1.      Design the initial scene
2.      Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
a.       Research as required
b.      Develop the initial setting
c.       Develop the characters
d.      Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
3.      Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
4.      Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
5.      Write the climax scene
6.      Write the falling action scene(s)
7.      Write the dénouement scene
I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential title Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.  The theme statement is: Lady Azure Rose Wishart, the Chancellor of the Fae, supernatural detective, and all around dangerous girl, finds love, solves cases, breaks heads, and plays golf.  
Here is the cover proposal for Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective
Cover Proposal
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I am continuing to write on my 30th novel, working title Red Sonja.  I finished my 29th novel, working title Detective.  I’m planning to start on number 31, working title Shifter
How to begin a novel.  Number one thought, we need an entertaining idea.  I usually encapsulate such an idea with a theme statement.  Since I’m writing a new novel, we need a new theme statement.  Here is an initial cut.

For novel 30:  Red Sonja, a Soviet spy, infiltrates the X-plane programs at Edwards AFB as a test pilot’s administrative clerk, learns about freedom, and is redeemed.

For novel 31:  TBD 

Here is the scene development 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
          
Today:  I’m off to Japan and actually Tokyo again.  This time I’m going to see my son and daughter-in-law again, but with the addition of a brand new grandchild Rinley.

What a great name for a little girl.  Rin is Japanese and means honorable.  The –ley anglicizes it and makes it easier from an English standpoint. 

We started our travel at 0145 and a pick up at 0230.  The airline desk didn’t open until 0300 and we were early—of course we were, there is no traffic at 0230.  Check-in was fast, but TSA didn’t open until after 0400.  The efficiency is astounding (irony).  They weren’t too bad, but every time I go through the illegal body and baggage search by the feds, it reminds me that the fourth amendment to the Constitution completely disallows this activity.  If I weren’t fighting for property rights already, I think I’d take this one on.

Finally, illegally searched and seized, we had a little bite and coffee and headed to the gate.  I really should have flown us myself.  It adds complexity, but hey, less intrusion. 

We ate again in Dallas and found some electricity.  My iPhone is slowly dying a battery death.  In the beginning, it would last an entire day—now, it barely lasts four hours.  My laptop after five years last longer.  Whatever.  Now I’m sitting and writing and charging everything. 

Because I’ll be busy with travel, Japan, and family, I’ll keep you updated about travel and Japan.  When I return, I’ll give you more about submissions.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://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

Friday, November 16, 2018

Writing - part x679, Submissions, Query Letter, Mini-Bio

16 November 2018, Writing - part x679, Submissions, Query Letter, Mini-Bio

Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but my primary publisher has gone out of business—they couldn’t succeed in the past business and publishing environment.  I'll keep you informed, but I need a new publisher.  More information can be found at www.ancientlight.com.  Check out my novels--I think you'll really enjoy them.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.

I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.
The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:
1. Don't confuse your readers.
2. Entertain 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.
These are the steps I use to write a novel including the five discrete parts of a novel:

1.      Design the initial scene
2.      Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
a.       Research as required
b.      Develop the initial setting
c.       Develop the characters
d.      Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
3.      Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
4.      Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
5.      Write the climax scene
6.      Write the falling action scene(s)
7.      Write the dénouement scene
I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential title Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.  The theme statement is: Lady Azure Rose Wishart, the Chancellor of the Fae, supernatural detective, and all around dangerous girl, finds love, solves cases, breaks heads, and plays golf.  
Here is the cover proposal for Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective
Cover Proposal
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I am continuing to write on my 30th novel, working title Red Sonja.  I finished my 29th novel, working title Detective.  I’m planning to start on number 31, working title Shifter
How to begin a novel.  Number one thought, we need an entertaining idea.  I usually encapsulate such an idea with a theme statement.  Since I’m writing a new novel, we need a new theme statement.  Here is an initial cut.

For novel 30:  Red Sonja, a Soviet spy, infiltrates the X-plane programs at Edwards AFB as a test pilot’s administrative clerk, learns about freedom, and is redeemed.

For novel 31:  TBD 

Here is the scene development 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
          
Today:  With your marketing materials including a 500, 200, and potentially a 2 page synopsis, you should be ready to produce a query letter.  Almost every publisher wants a query letter for each submission.  I’ll make that stronger, I have never made a submission with a query letter.

You should look on the internet for examples of query letters, but I’ll try to provide you a good example.  The query letter is a typical letter whose body includes a hook, a mini-synopsis, a description of the novel with the word count, and a short publishing biography.  Here’s an example:

DAW

Submission’s Editor,

Valeska is pretty nice girl for a blood-sucking vampire—she wants friendship and to read her books, unfortunately, she has become embroiled in events that might ruin everything and everyone she has come to love and desire.  Valeska: Enchantment and the Vampire is a 124,890 word fantasy suspense novel.  A short synopsis follows: 

George Mardling was dying.  His failed mission also spoiled the hunt of a destitute vampire, Valeska.  It was the full moon—when vampires hunt human blood or become immaterial.  He granted his blood to her; however, because George was a cross-bearer, she couldn’t just take it—his permission was required.  George allowed her to feed.  It didn’t make him a vampire—she gave him back his life, and somehow, his blood made her dependent on him. 
George was an agent for the Crown—he went about his work again thankful for life.  With the next full moon, Valeska hunted George—she could not do otherwise.  They began a strange symbiotic relationship.
When George was recalled to England, he brought Valeska with him.  The organization George worked for possessed a branch called Stele that protected Britain from the supernatural.  Stele wanted to know what Valeska was and if she posed a threat to Britain.  That’s when Leila and Scáth, agents of Stele became involved.  Scáth was a being similar to Heidi, and Leila was something else altogether. 
George must prove Heidi is no threat to Britain and Stele.  The existence of Heidi, and the safety of the British people are now dependent on him.

I have three published historical fiction novels: Centurion, Aegypt, and The Second Mission, and three published science fiction novels: The End of Honor, The Fox’s Honor, and A Season of Honor.  I have over sixty internationally published technical papers and a number of aviation based short stories published on www.wingsoverkansas.com.  I write three blogs on writing.  You can find out more about my writing and blogs at www.LDAlford.com
  
Here we have a hook, description, mini-synopsis, and mini-biography.  I’ll describe each in more detail.  By the way, this is the improved letter I am trying.

The mini-bio is your writing biography.  What have you published?  If the answer is nothing, just don’t answer.  You don’t have to say, I haven’t had anything published.  You should write, this will be my debut novel.  Many publisher want to know this anyway.  You might write about college or high school publications, but that is just sad.  What moves publishers is actual published works.  I’m not sure they care about any self-published works either.  In fact, self-published would not be a positive. 

You need to either say this is your debut novel or give your publishing history.  Publishers usually want to also know about any awards you might have won for your writing.  I’m not sure how important this is either.  It is always a standout for your writing, but unless you’ve won a Caldecott or a Pulitzer, most other writing awards don’t mean a lot.  In any case, any awards you’ve won or your publications are good.

I’ve heard that writing about your blogs and your web-presence is a good idea.  This might be good.  If you notice, I mention my published works, my technical works, my web-published works, my blogs, and where to find info about me on the web.  This should be sufficient, and I think this is the extent of information you should share about writing.

If you have a direct connection to your writing, you might mention this.  This is especially true if you don’t have any publications.  For example, if you are an expert on military affairs and you wrote a novel about military affairs, you might mention this.  This will give you automatic authority and fill the space for your publishing mini-bio.

The publisher wants to know about you as a writer.  This is the means to tell them.  They want to know about your publications—if you don’t have this, connection to your novel will work.  Tell the publisher about your publication history or your authority to write your novel.  This connects to the publisher and gives you standing to help promote your novel.    

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://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

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Writing - part x678, Submissions, Query Letter, Mini-Synopsis

15 November 2018, Writing - part x678, Submissions, Query Letter, Mini-Synopsis

Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but my primary publisher has gone out of business—they couldn’t succeed in the past business and publishing environment.  I'll keep you informed, but I need a new publisher.  More information can be found at www.ancientlight.com.  Check out my novels--I think you'll really enjoy them.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.

I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.
The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:
1. Don't confuse your readers.
2. Entertain 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.
These are the steps I use to write a novel including the five discrete parts of a novel:

1.      Design the initial scene
2.      Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
a.       Research as required
b.      Develop the initial setting
c.       Develop the characters
d.      Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
3.      Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
4.      Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
5.      Write the climax scene
6.      Write the falling action scene(s)
7.      Write the dénouement scene
I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential title Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.  The theme statement is: Lady Azure Rose Wishart, the Chancellor of the Fae, supernatural detective, and all around dangerous girl, finds love, solves cases, breaks heads, and plays golf.  
Here is the cover proposal for Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective
Cover Proposal
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I am continuing to write on my 30th novel, working title Red Sonja.  I finished my 29th novel, working title Detective.  I’m planning to start on number 31, working title Shifter
How to begin a novel.  Number one thought, we need an entertaining idea.  I usually encapsulate such an idea with a theme statement.  Since I’m writing a new novel, we need a new theme statement.  Here is an initial cut.

For novel 30:  Red Sonja, a Soviet spy, infiltrates the X-plane programs at Edwards AFB as a test pilot’s administrative clerk, learns about freedom, and is redeemed.

For novel 31:  TBD 

Here is the scene development 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
          
Today:  With your marketing materials including a 500, 200, and potentially a 2 page synopsis, you should be ready to produce a query letter.  Almost every publisher wants a query letter for each submission.  I’ll make that stronger, I have never made a submission with a query letter.

You should look on the internet for examples of query letters, but I’ll try to provide you a good example.  The query letter is a typical letter whose body includes a hook, a mini-synopsis, a description of the novel with the word count, and a short publishing biography.  Here’s an example:

DAW

Submission’s Editor,

Valeska is pretty nice girl for a blood-sucking vampire—she wants friendship and to read her books, unfortunately, she has become embroiled in events that might ruin everything and everyone she has come to love and desire.  Valeska: Enchantment and the Vampire is a 124,890 word fantasy suspense novel.  A short synopsis follows: 

George Mardling was dying.  His failed mission also spoiled the hunt of a destitute vampire, Valeska.  It was the full moon—when vampires hunt human blood or become immaterial.  He granted his blood to her; however, because George was a cross-bearer, she couldn’t just take it—his permission was required.  George allowed her to feed.  It didn’t make him a vampire—she gave him back his life, and somehow, his blood made her dependent on him. 
George was an agent for the Crown—he went about his work again thankful for life.  With the next full moon, Valeska hunted George—she could not do otherwise.  They began a strange symbiotic relationship.
When George was recalled to England, he brought Valeska with him.  The organization George worked for possessed a branch called Stele that protected Britain from the supernatural.  Stele wanted to know what Valeska was and if she posed a threat to Britain.  That’s when Leila and Scáth, agents of Stele became involved.  Scáth was a being similar to Heidi, and Leila was something else altogether. 
George must prove Heidi is no threat to Britain and Stele.  The existence of Heidi, and the safety of the British people are now dependent on him.

I have three published historical fiction novels: Centurion, Aegypt, and The Second Mission, and three published science fiction novels: The End of Honor, The Fox’s Honor, and A Season of Honor.  I have over sixty internationally published technical papers and a number of aviation based short stories published on www.wingsoverkansas.com.  I write three blogs on writing.  You can find out more about my writing and blogs at www.LDAlford.com
  
Here we have a hook, description, mini-synopsis, and mini-biography.  I’ll describe each in more detail.  By the way, this is the improved letter I am trying.

Then comes the mini-synopsis.  If you have your marketing materials, you already have a great mini-synopsis—just throw in your 200 word synopsis.  This mini-synopsis likely needs a little work.  The end needs to reflect the ending of the novel a little more.  The problem is exactly what the mini-synopsis is supposed to achieve.

That’s what I’m still trying to figure out.  From my understanding of the submission process, the purpose of the mini-synopsis is to get your potential publisher to read your manuscript.  If the mini-synopsis achieves this, then you have succeeded.  The problem is that you usually don’t get the right kind of feedback.  It would be nice if with each rejection, the publisher would actually tell you why they didn’t like your novel.  For example, read your query letter and to be frank, your genre or overall novel idea didn’t excite us.  Or, we read your query letter with excitement.  Your idea really appealed to us, but your novel didn’t meet up to our expectations from your letter.  I mean, they don’t have to provide details, but just a little feedback to see how far the novel got would be helpful.  Most of the time, you just get a rejection.

A little detail would be helpful to let you know if you have even picked the right publisher to submit to.  I understand that they want to keep their options open.  The best we can do is to look at the examples we have from publishers in their blogs and their ideas of query letters.  That’s why I provided this link before http://casablancaauthors.blogspot.com/2010/05/pitching-originality-and-hook-hook-hook.html.  There are likely more gems to be found in this blog about what publishers want and are looking for.  Also, http://www.authorspublish.com/welcome-to-authors-publish/ is a good site for information on publishers and on submissions.  They should give me a commission for advertising.  This site offered a free book on submissions with timely information of publishers accepting unsolicited manuscripts and submissions.  I recommend you use these types of resources.

Back to the mini-synopsis.  I’m trying to excite a potential publisher and a potential reader.  This is the purpose of my mini-synopsis and the query letter.  Some seem to be more successful than others.  As I noted, feedback, any feedback is very helpful.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://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