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.
If you haven't guessed yet, I've left this up because I plan to use it in the future as we move through development. 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've been going over teasers, trying to show good examples with my teasers which were developed along with my publisher. I've also tried to point out what makes a bad teaser. Let me go ahead with today's example. I think this is the last I'll give you. This teaser is for A Season of Honor:
The fragile peace of the Human Galactic Empire hangs in the balance. Book Three, The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox. Don't miss Book One, The End of Honor or Book Two, The Fox's Honor. By L.D. Alford, the author of the suspense-thriller, Aegypt, Centurion, and The Second Mission. Baron Shawn du Locke must choose between honor and desire. Shorn of his lands, regency, title, father, lady, and name, the only thing left to the Baron Shawn du Locke is his honor. Nothing in the past has shaken it and nothing would cause him to compromise it--until he meets the Lady Elina Acier, the last hope of the Noble Houses of the Human Galactic Empire. To protect the planet Acier from the Emperor, she must marry a Duke's son. Shawn must safely deliver Elina to the Imperial capital before the Emperor discovers and kills Elina, and before her presence drives him insane...or he falls in love.
Excitement, excitement, excitement! If there is anything that I can write about teasers and blurbs is to keep the excitement level high. Look at the beginning of this teaser (and all the teasers I've shown you for my books). The first sentence is crafted to intrigue and excite. There is a portion that mentions my other novels. Then, wham, right into the plot and the characters. In every teaser I've shown you, first there is the opening sentence--it is filled with excitement. Then there is the intro to the plot. Finally, we get the characters. Everything in the teaser is meant to get the reader excited about the novel and interested in checking it out. There is nothing extraneous. There are no explanations. There is little detail--short, sweet, plot, and characters.
Let me give a little detail on what not to do. I'll do this generically. I'll use one of my novels--so don't quote this as a real teaser. Here is a terrible trailer I just made up from one I saw today:
***This is not a real teaser for my novel. This is an intentional bad example***The date is 10,000 AD. The times are unknown. This is a great science fiction novel in the style of Frank Herbert. Baron Shawn du Locke is a man whose brother, the Emperor banished him for ten years. Now the Baron must take a lady from the planet Acier to the Imperial Capital to wed. Acier is a planet under Imperial ban, but it's a wealthy planet. Acier is kind of like the planet Dune except it has radioactives instead of spice. Because of Acier's wealth, the Emperor wants to take control of the planet. He intends to murder the woman, Elina Acier, whom Shawn is taking to the Imperial Capital...***This is not a real teaser for my novel. This is an intentional bad example***
I could go one and on, but I think you get the picture. I took my novel and wrote a terrible teaser. No excitement, little on the plot, you can't care much about the characters, too much detail, messy comparisons, comparisons with other novels, statements about how good the novel is. I didn't put in all the bad stuff I could have. This is not the way to write a trailer
The ultimate point is so you will have advertising that will drive people to your novel. Then the novel has to catch their attention. I'm going to move in that direction tomorrow.
I'll get back to introducing the theme in the first scene.
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/.