17 April 2012, Development - Teaser Example
Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, 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.
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.
The steps in making and using a character in a novel are as follows:
1. Development of the character (history, description, personality, etc.)
2. Revelation of the character (within the novel, show don't tell)
a. Description of the character - introduction
b. Voice of the character
c. Continuing revelation by showing
In a classical plot (and in most of my novels) you have a protagonist, an antagonist, and a protagonist's helper. If you develop these three characters for a novel, the plot will naturally fall out of the development of the characters.
Let's look at teasers for a minute. I really can't help you much if you can't write without telling. You can't write a successful novel by telling, and if you don't know the difference...you're toast. I can try to help you with examples. Let's look at one. This is the official teaser (blurb) for The Fox's Honor.
Notice the way this teaser is written. I've discussed this before with you. It is filled with excitement. There are no "I" (indicative pronoun) statements. The author doesn't appear. It is all telling (that's what you do in a teaser). It tries to get you excited about the characters and the plot.
The first sentence tries to draw you in and gives a setting for the rest of the teaser. After it provides a context for the novel and for the writing, it drives directly into the teaser. The body of the teaser begins: "It was a time of..." Immediately, the teaser draws you in with the characters. It gives you names and tries to tug on your emotions and heart strings--love. At that point we move into the plot. So first, exciting introduction. Second, draw in with the characters. Third, introduce elements of the plot. The point of the teaser is to get the reader excited about the book. It must be short, sweet, mention the main characters, introduce the plot, and did I say short. If your teaser is too long, you will run off your potential readers.
I've been seeing some horrible teasers and blurbs in the indie scene. I'll discuss that tomorrow and get back to introducing the theme in the first scene later.
I'll repeat my published novel websites so you can see more examples: http://www.ldalford.com/, and the individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel.com/, http://www.centurionnovel.com/, http://www.thesecondmission.com/, http://www.theendofhonor.com/, http://www.thefoxshonor.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.