14 April 2012, Development - Terrible Teasers
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.
I want to talk about teasers and sale's blurbs for books. I'm not certain how long this will take, but the world needs to hear it.
I've been increasingly disturbed by teasers and book blurbs that will never sell a book. How do I know? I read them all the time on Amazon. If they excite my interest, I go check out the book. Let's talk about teasers and blurbs for a little. First, the point of a teaser or a blurb is to interest a reader in your book. Second, if the reader is interested, they will then go to your book site or to a bookseller and review your book--perhaps read the first chapter or whatever is in the "Look Inside" feature. Third, if they like what they see, they will hopefully purchase a copy. Fourth, they will read your book and like it therefore propelling your book to the bestseller lists.
Notice, if you don't get past step 1, you won't sell a book. I have to tell you, the latest indie teasers I've read have been not just terrible, they have been monumentally terrible. How bad are they? I already told you, I will check out any book whose teaser interests me. I promise. Most of the time, I find the first chapter doesn't propel the work, but hey, that's en entirely (well not entirely entirely) different problem.
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/.