My Favorites

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Development - more Short Stories and Scenes

31 October 2012, Development - more Short Stories and Scenes

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/.

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.

A scene outline is a means of writing a novel where each scene follows the other with a scene input from the previous scene and a scene output that leads to the next scene. The scenes don't necessarily have to follow directly in time and place, however they generally follow the storyline of the protagonist.

A storyline outline is a means of writing a novel where the author develops a scene outline for more than one character and bases the plot on one or more of these storyline scenes. This allows the scenes to focus on more than the protagonist. This is a very difficult means of writing. There is a strong chance of confusing your readers.

Whether you write with a scene outline or a storyline outline, you must properly develop your scenes. All novels are developed from scenes and each scene has a design similar to a novel. Every successful novel has the following basic parts:

1. The beginning
2. The rising action
3. The Climax
4. The falling action
5. The dénouement

Every scene has these parts:

1. The setting (where, what, who, when, how)
2. The connection (input)
3. The tension development
4. The release
5. The output

A great scene writer can write great short stories or great novels.  George R. R. Martin and Ray Bradbury are examples of great short story authors who put their short stories together into novels.  A great writer must first be able to write scenes.  A writer who has learned to write short stories well has learned to write scenes well.  That doesn't mean a writer must be an expert short story writer.  In fact, some great short story writers aren't good at putting those short stories into a longer piece.

What an author must learn is the use of the above outline to develop scenes.  The point is that correctly written scenes are very similar to a correctly written short story.  In a short story, the input and the output are fully contained in the story.  In a scene, the input and the output connect to the previous and the next scene. 

I'll write more in detail about scenes tomorrow.

My Notes: once you have a theme, you need to begin to visualize your plot, focus your theme, and define your characters. More tomorrow.

I'll move on to basic writing exercises and creativity in the near future.

The following is a question asked by one of my readers. I'm going to address this over time: Please elaborate on scene, theme, plot, character development in a new novel creation....ie, the framework, the development, order if operation, the level of detail, guidelines, rule of thumb, tricks, traps and techniques.

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, http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Development - Short Stories and Scenes

30 October 2012, Development - Short Stories and Scenes

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/.

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.

A scene outline is a means of writing a novel where each scene follows the other with a scene input from the previous scene and a scene output that leads to the next scene. The scenes don't necessarily have to follow directly in time and place, however they generally follow the storyline of the protagonist.

A storyline outline is a means of writing a novel where the author develops a scene outline for more than one character and bases the plot on one or more of these storyline scenes. This allows the scenes to focus on more than the protagonist. This is a very difficult means of writing. There is a strong chance of confusing your readers.

Whether you write with a scene outline or a storyline outline, you must properly develop your scenes.  All novels are developed from scenes and each scene has a design similar to a novel.  Every successful novel has the following basic parts:

1. The beginning
2. The rising action
3. The Climax
4. The falling action
5. The dénouement

Every scene has these parts:

1.  The setting (where, what, who, when, how)
2.  The connection (input)
3.  The tension development
4.  The release
5.  The output

This is the basics of scene development. Every scene must have a setting, characters, and tension and release.  The breakdown of a scene is roughly analogous to a novel and especially to a short story.  Every scene can potentially be made into a short story.  Listen to this very carefully.  I'm not saying that every scene can easily be made into a short story or that they should, but every scene must contain the elements of a short story.  Those elements are the same as the parts of a scene above, and if a short story, they are exactly the elements of a novel.

To be specific, a short story, like a novel, is always self contained.  A scene is not necessarily self contained, but it has the significant elements of any short story.  To turn a scene into a short story just requires the addition of an input and an output.  The input is the connection to the novel (for a short story, the beginning setup).  The output is the dénouement.  In a short story, the beginning (setup) is cohesive and self contained, and the dénouement completes the story.  In a scene, the input connects the scene to the previous scene and the output to the next scene.

Some great authors are short story writers.  I'll write about this tomorrow.

My Notes: once you have a theme, you need to begin to visualize your plot, focus your theme, and define your characters. More tomorrow.

I'll move on to basic writing exercises and creativity in the near future.

The following is a question asked by one of my readers. I'm going to address this over time: Please elaborate on scene, theme, plot, character development in a new novel creation....ie, the framework, the development, order if operation, the level of detail, guidelines, rule of thumb, tricks, traps and techniques.

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, http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Development - Storyline Outlines

29 October 2012, Development - Storyline Outlines

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/.

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.

A scene outline is a means of writing a novel where each scene follows the other with a scene input from the previous scene and a scene output that leads to the next scene.  The scenes don't necessarily have to follow directly in time and place, however they generally follow the storyline of the protagonist.

A storyline outline is a means of writing a novel where the author develops a scene outline for more than one character and bases the plot on one or more of these storyline scenes.  This allows the scenes to focus on more than the protagonist.  This is a very difficult means of writing.  There is a strong chance of confusing your readers. 

If you use a storyline outline, you must be very cautious to write very clear scene markers (time, place, characters) in each scene, and you must develop strong connections between every scene.  I'll write about basic scene construction tomorrow.

This is the basics of scene development. Every scene must have a setting, characters, and tension and release.

My Notes: once you have a theme, you need to begin to visualize your plot, focus your theme, and define your characters. More tomorrow.

I'll move on to basic writing exercises and creativity in the near future.

The following is a question asked by one of my readers. I'm going to address this over time: Please elaborate on scene, theme, plot, character development in a new novel creation....ie, the framework, the development, order if operation, the level of detail, guidelines, rule of thumb, tricks, traps and techniques.

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, http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Development - Don't Confuse

28 October 2012, Development - Don't Confuse

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/.

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.

I advise using a scene outline to write a novel. That isn't the only way to write a novel, but it is the cleanest. It produces the cleanest and clearest direction for the settings, time, and characters. Other methods are possible, but they add complexity. I wrote yesterday about the next simplest method, that is using a storyline outline. I don't usually use this method. It is more difficult and can lead the writer to revealing too much.

One of my rules of writing is number four above: don't show (or tell) everything. You could rewrite this, don't show too much. Or let your readers use their brains.

I think a bad novel is one that confuses your readers. These are the most terrible creations because the readers are confused. Confused readers are unhappy readers. Unhappy readers won't recommend or reread your novel. You definitely don't want your writing to be confusing, so I'll offer you a simple method to ensure your writing is not confusing--use the scene outline method. This also helps to keep your writing at the proper level of revelation. The problem with using storyline outlines is the author must work twice as hard to place scene setting and placement markers in them. I'll write about this tomorrow.

This is the basics of scene development. Every scene must have a setting, characters, and tension and release.

My Notes: once you have a theme, you need to begin to visualize your plot, focus your theme, and define your characters. More tomorrow.

I'll move on to basic writing exercises and creativity in the near future.

The following is a question asked by one of my readers. I'm going to address this over time: Please elaborate on scene, theme, plot, character development in a new novel creation....ie, the framework, the development, order if operation, the level of detail, guidelines, rule of thumb, tricks, traps and techniques.

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, http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Development - Storyline Outline

27 October 2012, Development - Storyline Outline

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/.

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.

You create a storyline outline by following the storyline of the major characters and interweave them when it makes sense in the plot.  For example, In Aksinya, I could have followed the demon when he was away from Aksinya and produced some scenes where he was the major actor in a scene without Aksinya.

I would have produced this kind of plot by outlining Aksinya's storyline and the demon's storyline separately and them putting them together in the plot.  I could have had two scenes that moved at the same time, but in different places.  As I mentioned, this is not my preferred method of writing a novel.  I feel that this type of writing can too easily confuse your readers.  It also, in my mind, reveals too much to the reader.  Part of the power of a novel, like Aksinya, is the uncertainty in the mind of the reader about the actions of the demon (and the actions of Natalya) when they are off screen.  The power of a novel is as much in what you don't reveal as what you reveal.

The other problem with using storyline outlines is the author must work twice as hard to place scene setting and placement markers in them.  I'll write about this tomorrow.

This is the basics of scene development. Every scene must have a setting, characters, and tension and release.

My Notes: once you have a theme, you need to begin to visualize your plot, focus your theme, and define your characters. More tomorrow.

I'll move on to basic writing exercises and creativity in the near future.

The following is a question asked by one of my readers. I'm going to address this over time: Please elaborate on scene, theme, plot, character development in a new novel creation....ie, the framework, the development, order if operation, the level of detail, guidelines, rule of thumb, tricks, traps and techniques.

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, http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Development - Scene Outline

26 October 2012, Development - Scene Outline

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/.

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.

Additionally, every scene must have an input and an output. I'm not a fan of scenes that don't follow one another in time sequence. That isn't to say that these types of disconnected scenes don't have a purpose, but if you use this, you must be cautious not to confuse your readers. In a normal scene outline, the scenes all have an input with an output that follows from scene to scene. For example, in Aksinya, the first scene's input is the background for Aksinya and the demon. This is the implied input. The output is the movement of Aksinya and the demon to save Aksinya's family.

The input of this next scene is the discovery of the death of Aksinya's family, the output is when Aksinya sends the demon out to get revenge. The input of the next scene is the return of the demon...and so on. You can easily write and outline an entire novel this way.

It is also possible to write a scene outline were the scenes don't follow directly one after the other. The means to do this is through a storyline outline.

This is the basics of scene development. Every scene must have a setting, characters, and tension and release.

My Notes: once you have a theme, you need to begin to visualize your plot, focus your theme, and define your characters. More tomorrow.

I'll move on to basic writing exercises and creativity in the near future.

The following is a question asked by one of my readers. I'm going to address this over time: Please elaborate on scene, theme, plot, character development in a new novel creation....ie, the framework, the development, order if operation, the level of detail, guidelines, rule of thumb, tricks, traps and techniques.

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, http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Development - more Tension and Release

25 October 2012, Development - more Tension and Release

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/.

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.

If you have been following this blog, you knew I would get to this point eventually. If you have a focused theme, developed characters (with some storyline development), a setting, and a beginning, you have enough information to write the initial scene of the novel.

To develop the first scene, you set the scene, set the characters, then set them loose with tension and release.  Every scene must have a tension developer.  In my other blog at www.novelscene.wordpress.com, I showed many types of tension developers and how to use them.  The main point here is that the plot of the first scene must envelope tension and release.

Aksinya is a great example of this.  The tension developer in the first scene of Aksinya is the calling of the demon.  Within that action is an element of danger.  The scene development focuses on the danger to Aksinya's life and soul by calling the demon.  This is the tension. 

Initially, the reader isn't certain Aksinya will conjure anything.  When she does, the reader now is fearful that the demon will harm Aksinya.  The release occurs when Aksinya is able to contract with the demon, and he appears to follow her orders. 

This is the basics of scene development.  Every scene must have a setting, characters, and tension and release.

My Notes: once you have a theme, you need to begin to visualize your plot, focus your theme, and define your characters. More tomorrow.

I'll move on to basic writing exercises and creativity in the near future.

The following is a question asked by one of my readers. I'm going to address this over time: Please elaborate on scene, theme, plot, character development in a new novel creation....ie, the framework, the development, order if operation, the level of detail, guidelines, rule of thumb, tricks, traps and techniques.

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, http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Development - Tension and Release

24 October 2012, Development - Tension and Release

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/.

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.

If you have been following this blog, you knew I would get to this point eventually. If you have a focused theme, developed characters (with some storyline development), a setting, and a beginning, you have enough information to write the initial scene of the novel.

Now is the time to write the initial scene.  You have the setting, characters, and theme.  Take the point at which the storylines of the major characters intersect and write the scene.  Every scene has a setting, an input (beginning), characters, tension building (rising action), tension release (climax), and output (dénouement).  Each scene is something like a mini-novel or a short story.  Your input is the intersection of the storylines, the setting is the novel setting, the characters are your major characters, the tension building...there is the problem with writing any scene.

When you write a scene, you must create it with tension building and release in mind.  I've written extensively about this in my blog at www.novelscene.wordpress.com.  I'll give some basics here.  An entertaining scene is just like an entertaining novel or short story.  Novels, short stories, and scenes are entertaining because of tension building and release.

To build tension, the author sets up a situation that requires some resolution.  The tension development is the tension within the plot which is conveyed to the reader.  The resolution is when the issue that causes the tension is resolved.  This is the most important concept on writing a scene.  I'll discuss more tomorrow.

My Notes: once you have a theme, you need to begin to visualize your plot, focus your theme, and define your characters. More tomorrow.

I'll move on to basic writing exercises and creativity in the near future.

The following is a question asked by one of my readers. I'm going to address this over time: Please elaborate on scene, theme, plot, character development in a new novel creation....ie, the framework, the development, order if operation, the level of detail, guidelines, rule of thumb, tricks, traps and techniques.

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, http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Development - Initial Scene

23 October 2012, Development - Initial Scene

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/.

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.

If you have been following this blog, you knew I would get to this point eventually.  If you have a focused theme, developed characters (with some storyline development), a setting, and a beginning, you have enough information to write the initial scene of the novel. 

If you have that information and can write an initial scene, you can develop the plot of a novel.  These are all easy pieces.  I showed you how to get a cretive idea--I even gave you an exercise in doing it.  I showed you how to turn that idea into a theme, then a focused theme.  I told you how to define and develop your major characters.  I told you how to determine a setting.  Finally, I gave you an exercise in how to determine an initial scene.

The next step is to begin a scene outline.  I will go into detail on how to make a scene outline.  This is the way I write novels.  There are other methods, but in my humble opinion, every method of writing eventually gets to a scene outline.  Therefore, if you know how to write one, you can write a novel.

I'll write more about this tomorrow, but the theme should define the major characters which defines the potential settings of the novel. That is especially evident from the examples of my science fiction novels.

My Notes: once you have a theme, you need to begin to visualize your plot, focus your theme, and define your characters. More tomorrow.

I'll move on to basic writing exercises and creativity in the near future.

The following is a question asked by one of my readers. I'm going to address this over time: Please elaborate on scene, theme, plot, character development in a new novel creation....ie, the framework, the development, order if operation, the level of detail, guidelines, rule of thumb, tricks, traps and techniques.

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, http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Development - more Initial Beginnings

22 October 2012, Development - more Initial Beginnings

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/.

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.

Here is an exercise in writing.  Look at the development of your major characters.  Build their basic storylines.  Now see where the storylines intersect.  That intersection is a potential beginning for your novel. 

This isn't true of all novels.  For example, my published novel, Centurion, starts with a secondary character, and the beginning scene doesn't include the protagonist, antagonist, or antagonist's helper.  Some rare novels are like that.  As I've written before, unless you get a shot out of the blue that sets a great plot and theme in motion, don't be haphazard about your novel development.  I'll tell you plainly that the development of the beginning of Centurion was not haphazard, but it was a modification of the method I'm writing about here.  I plan to get to these special cases eventually.

Let's look at another novel that fits this measured model.  In The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox, the second novel is The Fox's Honor.  The protagonist is Prince Devon Rathenberg.  The protagonist's helper is Tamar Falkeep.  Their storylines come together a couple of times before the beginning of the novel, but Tamar doesn't remember those occasions.  The first cognizant intersection of their lives is when Devon comes to Tamar father's ball and confesses his love for her.  He also plans to die in a duel on that night.  This intersection is the obvious and most important point where the protagonist and the protagonist helper come together.  Therefore, this is a great point to begin the first scene.  Scenes are the beginning of the plot.
I'll write more about this tomorrow, but the theme should define the major characters which defines the potential settings of the novel. That is especially evident from the examples of my science fiction novels.

My Notes: once you have a theme, you need to begin to visualize your plot, focus your theme, and define your characters. More tomorrow.

I'll move on to basic writing exercises and creativity in the near future.

The following is a question asked by one of my readers. I'm going to address this over time: Please elaborate on scene, theme, plot, character development in a new novel creation....ie, the framework, the development, order if operation, the level of detail, guidelines, rule of thumb, tricks, traps and techniques.

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, http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Development - Initial Beginnings

21 October 2012, Development - Initial Beginnings

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/.

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.

From creative idea to theme to focused theme, these define the major characters.  The development of the major characters produces storylines and potential settings for the novel.  The initial intersection of the storylines gives possible beginning points for the novel. 

Aksinya is the perfect example of this.  The theme of Akisnya is about a woman who is redeemed from sorcery and the demon she called.  The demon, Asmodeus, was created at some point in the existence of the world.  Aksinya was born in 1900.  The first intersection of their storylines (lives) occurs when Aksinya calls Asmodeus and makes a contract with him.  The setting is Aksinya's family estate in Russia.  The time is set by the incidents in Aksinya's life.  The exact place is set by Aksinya's sorcery and isolation.  The event is the sorcery Aksinya accomplishes to call and contract Asmodeus. 

You couldn't ask for a much better first scene--you have the protagonist and the antagonist together for the first time.  You have mystery and excitement.  You have sorcery and danger.  Not all novels lend themselves to such luscious and powerful initial scenes, but if you use this technique, you can build the initial scene and begin the plot of the novel on a strong footing.

Note that I still haven't written about the plot or outlining the plot or anything like that at all.  We only have an amorphous theme, major characters, a setting, and a beginning.  I'll get to the plot eventually, but plot ain't everything.  If you notice, we've put together the main focus of a novel without touching the plot at all.

I'll write more about this tomorrow, but the theme should define the major characters which defines the potential settings of the novel. That is especially evident from the examples of my science fiction novels.

My Notes: once you have a theme, you need to begin to visualize your plot, focus your theme, and define your characters. More tomorrow.

I'll move on to basic writing exercises and creativity in the near future.

The following is a question asked by one of my readers. I'm going to address this over time: Please elaborate on scene, theme, plot, character development in a new novel creation....ie, the framework, the development, order if operation, the level of detail, guidelines, rule of thumb, tricks, traps and techniques.

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, http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Development - Initial Settings

20 October 2012, Development - Initial Settings

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/.

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.

You have a creative idea which you turned into a theme.  You focused that theme and defined characters from it.  From the development of the characters, you defined the initial setting of the novel.  Let's look at the last in terms of an exercise and a means of developing the first scene.

Notice, I haven't really said much about the plot yet.  The development (definition) of your major characters (protagonist, antagonist, and protagonist's helper) gives you potential settings and beginning storylines.  From the theme for Aksinya, the initial point where the protagonist's and the antagonist's storylines intersect is the perfect point to begin the novel.  The setting is provided from Aksinya's storyline.

Let me refresh you on storylines.  Every character has a storyline that runs from the beginning of their life until the end of their life.  In most novels, the protagonist's storyline is also the plot.  The intersections of the other character's storylines with the protagonist is the overall plot.  Those storylines are occurring in the background all the time, they run in parallel even when they don't intersect with the storyline of the protagonist. 

In Aksinya, the storyline of the demon begins at some point when he was created.  The storyline of Aksinya begins with her birth.  Everything from the point of the demon's creation and from Aksinya's birth are undoubtedly interesting, but won't necessarily make a great novel.  The initial intersection of their storylines is the point where Aksinya calls the demon.  From her storyline, this is also in the guesthouse of her family's estate.  I could have selected another setting and beginning, but that wouldn't have resulted in as powerful a novel.

As an exercise, outline the storylines of your major characters from birth to death (or some point in the novel).  Note where the storylines first intersect.  That will usually give you a good beginning for your setting and plot.
I'll write more about this tomorrow, but the theme should define the major characters which defines the potential settings of the novel. That is especially evident from the examples of my science fiction novels.

More on turning your themes into plots tomorrow.

My Notes: once you have a theme, you need to begin to visualize your plot, focus your theme, and define your characters. More tomorrow.

I'll move on to basic writing exercises and creativity in the near future.

The following is a question asked by one of my readers. I'm going to address this over time: Please elaborate on scene, theme, plot, character development in a new novel creation....ie, the framework, the development, order if operation, the level of detail, guidelines, rule of thumb, tricks, traps and techniques.

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, http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Development - more Character to Place

19 October 2012, Development - more Character to Place

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/.

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.

I would guess that most people just set their novel.  I mean by that, they get an idea that includes the location they intend to use for the beginning and scene setting of the novel.  I'm telling you, this is a very bad idea.  Just as the characters must support the theme and the plot must support the theme, the setting of the novel must support the theme.  This means the theme always comes first.

I will concede that if you get a fantastic idea for a plot with characters, setting, and storylines, then back into the theme, you can produce a great novel--it's just harder to do.  If you notice, in starting with the theme, that builds the characters when builds the setting.

In my published novel, Aegypt, the protagonist, Paul Bolang, is a French Lieutenant in the Foreign Legion.  He is stationed in Tunisia--where the novel starts.  In this case, again, the theme defines the protagonist and the protagonist defines the setting.  The novel begins in Tunisia.

In my published novels, The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox, in the first novel, The End of Honor, the theme defines the characters, specifically the protagonist's helper, which defines the setting, the planet, Neuterra, and this is the setting for the beginning of the novel.  In the second novel, The Fox's Honor, again the protagonist's helper define the setting, the planet, Falkeep, which is the setting for the beginning of the novel.  In the third novel, A Season of Honor, the protagonist's helper, again, defines the setting for the beginning of the novel, the planet, Acier.

I'll write more about this tomorrow, but the theme should define the major characters which defines the potential settings of the novel.  That is especially evident from the examples of my science fiction novels.

More on turning your themes into plots tomorrow.

My Notes: once you have a theme, you need to begin to visualize your plot, focus your theme, and define your characters. More tomorrow.

I'll move on to basic writing exercises and creativity in the near future.

The following is a question asked by one of my readers. I'm going to address this over time: Please elaborate on scene, theme, plot, character development in a new novel creation....ie, the framework, the development, order if operation, the level of detail, guidelines, rule of thumb, tricks, traps and techniques.

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, http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Development - Character to Place

18 October 2012, Development - Character to Place

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/.

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.

The development of the characters in a novel begin the scene and novel setting.  I've been through this before, but I might as well hit it again.  The fact that Aksinya is a Russian and Russian nobility begins the placement of the novel.  The novel didn't have to be placed in Russia to begin with, but the origin of the protagonist made this a simple choice. 

The Centurion Abenadar was born in the Galil in Nazeret, therefore, the setting and beginning of the novel is in Nazeret in the Galil.  Alan Fisher, the protagonist of my published novel, The Second Mission, lives in Alamogordo, New Mexico--so the novel begins in Alamogordo, in retrospect, (it doesn't stay there very long) and actually the first scene begins in ancient Greece near Athens.  I know this is confusing.  The Second Mission is about the second mission into time.  The novel begins where the protagonist's helper and the main subject of the novel is--Athens in ancient Greece.  I hope that is clearer.  In this case, the place of travel, subject of the novel (Socrates), and the main point of the theme focuses the place and beginning.  I'll give you more, tomorrow.

More on turning your themes into plots tomorrow.

My Notes: once you have a theme, you need to begin to visualize your plot, focus your theme, and define your characters. More tomorrow.

I'll move on to basic writing exercises and creativity in the near future.

The following is a question asked by one of my readers. I'm going to address this over time: Please elaborate on scene, theme, plot, character development in a new novel creation....ie, the framework, the development, order if operation, the level of detail, guidelines, rule of thumb, tricks, traps and techniques.

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, http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Development - even more Character to Plots

17 October 2012, Development - even more Character to Plots

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/.

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.

First the theme, then the character(s), then the plot.  These are the steps in the creative process for writing a novel.  We are at developing the characters.  I already wrote about this subject in great detail, but I might as well synopsize these concepts a little.

First, you reveal your characters through the plot.  You develop your characters at this stage.  The development should be complete before you begin to write.  The revelation begins with the first page.  The point is the revelation of your "already" developed characters.  This is a critical step.  The development of the characters begins to set the scene.  It begins to develop the plot.  It begins to gel the novel. 

You write a novel based on the theme and the characters.  The plot is an outgrowth of these two things.  It may be possible to write something in another way, but I wouldn't recommend it.  A plot without a theme is meaningless.  A plot without defined and developed characters is nothing.

Surely, you've read a novel that seemed poorly written and conceived.  It is possible the author missed these two basic steps.  If the characters are deficient and/or there seems no point in the novel, it is very likely the author did not start with the theme and developed characters.

More on turning your themes into plots tomorrow.

My Notes: once you have a theme, you need to begin to visualize your plot, focus your theme, and define your characters. More tomorrow.

I'll move on to basic writing exercises and creativity in the near future.

The following is a question asked by one of my readers. I'm going to address this over time: Please elaborate on scene, theme, plot, character development in a new novel creation....ie, the framework, the development, order if operation, the level of detail, guidelines, rule of thumb, tricks, traps and techniques.

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, http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Development - more Character to Plots

16 October 2012, Development - more Character to Plots

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/.

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.

The exercise is then to take your focused theme and begin to identify characters.  Just find the major characters and begin to develop them a little.  The actual development of a character is a very detailed and extensive process.  I showed you this process for Aksinya and for Centurion Abenadar.

In the process of creating a novel, the first step is the idea which becomes a theme, the theme is focused, that focused theme defines the major characters, and that is the point where the novel really takes off.

If you are really writing a novel, at this point, you must develop your major characters.  The minor characters can usually wait; however, for some novels, you must define some of them too.  An example is my published novel, Aegypt.  The theme is rather complex, but deals with the views of three minor character and the protagonist in regard to the circumstances of the theme.  The theme of Aegypt is: If a real goddess who was revered in the ancient world came into the modern age how would she be viewed by modern people and what could she tell us about history. This is loosely the theme of my published novel, Aegypt. Note that one character (the protagonist's helper) is defined.  The rest of the characters are implied with the statement "how would she be viewed by modern people."  I expanded this to the protagonist and three minor characters.  Each of the characters approach the world differently.  Their views of the goddess in the novel are part of the theme.

The point is that at this point, you begin to develop the characters in the novel.  Out of this character development, in conjunction with the theme, comes the plot.
More on turning your themes into plots tomorrow.

My Notes: once you have a theme, you need to begin to visualize your plot, focus your theme, and define your characters. More tomorrow.

I'll move on to basic writing exercises and creativity in the near future.

The following is a question asked by one of my readers. I'm going to address this over time: Please elaborate on scene, theme, plot, character development in a new novel creation....ie, the framework, the development, order if operation, the level of detail, guidelines, rule of thumb, tricks, traps and techniques.

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, http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Development - Character to Plots

15 October 2012, Development - Character to Plots

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/.

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.

If you are willing to let a little creativity flow, the creation of a theme, focusing the theme, and visualizing a plot will pretty much begin the development of your novel.  I mentioned yesterday, that a focused theme begins to give you characters.  The example is the theme of Aksinya.  The theme of Aksinya is: the woman Akinsya is redeemed from the demon she called and from sorcery.  This theme gives us a protagonist, Aksinya, and an antagonist, the demon.

I already delved deeply for you in showing how I developed Aksinya's character.  I have also shown you how I developed the demon's character.  I won't repeat much of that analysis, but let's note the definition of Aksinya's character sets the initial scene for the novel.  If you will remember (if you don't, look back through this blog), Aksinya is a child of nobility who was left too much to her own devices.  Her family was noble from Russian (her step-father was a Russian Count) and from Germany (her mother was a German Duke's daughter).  There was much more to this because Aksinya was also the daughter of a Romanov Prince, which made her a Princess by birth.

Aksinya was a child who longed for affection, and who, for some reason, never received much of it.  She was solitary and imagined herself ugly.  She likely thought her lack of affection was due to her ugliness.  In any case, Aksinya took up sorcery to relieve her solitude and her feelings.  She called the demon to protect her family, so in spite of her feelings, she still loved them enough to give her soul for them.

If you have been observant, the very development of the character, Aksinya, has begun to build the scene and the initial plot.

More on turning your themes into plots tomorrow.

My Notes: once you have a theme, you need to begin to visualize your plot, focus your theme, and define your characters. More tomorrow.

I'll move on to basic writing exercises and creativity in the near future.

The following is a question asked by one of my readers. I'm going to address this over time: Please elaborate on scene, theme, plot, character development in a new novel creation....ie, the framework, the development, order if operation, the level of detail, guidelines, rule of thumb, tricks, traps and techniques.

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, http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Development - more Theme to Plots

14 October 2012, Development - more Theme to Plots

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/.

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.

A focused theme is one that begins to define characters.  A theme can be general enough that it doesn't necessarily define any characters, but a focused them does.  I noted that the theme of Aksinya is: the redemption of Aksinya from the demon she called and from sorcery.  This is a relatively simple theme to write down.  I could and did start more generally as: the redemption of a person from the demon he called and from sorcery.  This general theme has a presumption of a protagonist and an antagonist.  I could be more generic with simply redemption, but that is an entirely unfocused theme.

As an exercise, you might try taking an entirely unfocused theme such as: redemption, love, family, hate, fear, death, and see if you can turn them into focused themes.  I did that with honor for The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox.

Note, that once you have a focused theme, you can begin to define your characters.  I'm not necessarily giving you a rote method to write, but I'm trying to get you to see the intellectual steps in developing a novel.  The first step is the theme.  Second, a focused theme.  From the focused theme comes the main characters.  Next you define the characters.  Next is scene setting (visualizing the plot).
More on turning your themes into plots tomorrow.

My Notes: once you have a theme, you need to begin to visualize your plot, focus your theme, and define your characters. More tomorrow.

I'll move on to basic writing exercises and creativity in the near future.

The following is a question asked by one of my readers. I'm going to address this over time: Please elaborate on scene, theme, plot, character development in a new novel creation....ie, the framework, the development, order if operation, the level of detail, guidelines, rule of thumb, tricks, traps and techniques.

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, http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Development - Theme to Plots

13 October 2012, Development - Theme to Plots

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/.

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.

If you have a focused theme, you have begun to define characters.  For example, the theme of my published novel, Centurion, is: What led the Centurion Abenadar to state "Surely this was the (a) son of God." The theme of Centurion lists the protagonist.  The theme of Aksinya is: The young woman Aksinya is redeemed from a demon she called and sorcery.  The theme of Aksinya defines the antagonist and protagonist.  The theme of Aegypt is: If a real goddess who was revered in the ancient world came into the modern age how would she be viewed by modern people and what could she tell us about history.  This is loosely the theme of my published novel, Aegypt.  Note that one character (the protagonist's helper) is defined.  The other characters need to be developed. 

Let's look at the themes of my other novels and see how they fit in this scheme of novel creation.  The theme of my published novel, The Second Mission is: What would happen if a modern man were accidentally drawn into the second human mission into time--what would that mission be and how would the real time traveler handle the intrusion.  That is the theme of The Second Mission.  The plot concerns the time traveler's observation of Socrates and ancient Athens.

My science fiction novels are all based on honor themes.  They are called The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox.  The first novel is The End of Honor.  The theme of The End of Honor is: when love intrudes in political events and leads to war, what actions must the leaders take to bring back honor and peace.  This is a pretty deep theme especially for a breezy and fun science fiction novel.  The theme implies a protagonist and protagonist's helper (love) plus an implied antagonist (war).  The second novel of The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox is The Fox's Honor.  The theme of The Fox's Honor is: what would cause a man to be willing to intentionally give his life for his nation and what would happen if the woman who loved him gave him his life back.  Again, we have implied characters protagonist helper, protagonist, and a general antagonist.  The last novel in The Chronicles is A Season of Honor.  The theme of A Season of Honor is: what would motivate a man of honor to compromise everything: peace for himself or peace for his people.  This theme obviously needs characters and a plot.  There is an implied protagonist.

More on turning your themes into plots tomorrow.
My Notes: once you have a theme, you need to begin to visualize your plot, stabilize your theme, and focus your characters. More tomorrow.

I'll move on to basic writing exercises and creativity in the near future.

The following is a question asked by one of my readers. I'm going to address this over time: Please elaborate on scene, theme, plot, character development in a new novel creation....ie, the framework, the development, order if operation, the level of detail, guidelines, rule of thumb, tricks, traps and techniques.

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, http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Development - Ideas to Theme to Plots

12 October 2012, Development - Ideas to Theme to Plots

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/.

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.

Make your idea and theme list and keep it up.  Every time you get an new idea, add it to the list.  This will keep your brain and ideas primed.  Now, all you have to do is select one of the themes/ideas from the list.  I state themes/ideas because you might have an idea for a plot or story that requires the theme to be focused--that's okay, although the theme is the most important point in developing a novel, it doesn't have to be concrete.  In fact, most themes are not as concrete as you might imagine.  They must be explainable, and I contend, you need to be able to write it out, but themes, by their nature, are slightly amorphous.  For example, the simplest expression of the theme of Aksinya is one of redemption.  A more descriptive explanation of the theme is: the redemption of Aksinya from a demon and sorcery.  That is a very focused theme.

Perhaps the first step then is to take the idea and turn it into a theme--or to take your theme and turn it into an idea.  If you note, the expanded theme for Aksinya stated above already includes the protagonist and the antagonist.  Theme, more than anything must begin to point to the major characters in your novel.

The theme for Centurion is: the reason the Centurion Abenadar would state "Surely this was the (a) son of God."  This is the full theme of the novel, and I've gone in great detail to show how I arrived at this theme.  I'll continue on ideas to themes then themes to plots tomorrow.

My Notes: once you have a theme, you need to begin to visualize your plot, stabilize your theme, and focus your characters. More tomorrow.

I'll move on to basic writing exercises and creativity in the near future.

The following is a question asked by one of my readers. I'm going to address this over time: Please elaborate on scene, theme, plot, character development in a new novel creation....ie, the framework, the development, order if operation, the level of detail, guidelines, rule of thumb, tricks, traps and techniques.

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, http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Development - a Theme List

11 October 2012, Development - a Theme List

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/.

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.

I really haven't written enough about themes.  I'm not sure all the worlds books could hold everything there is to say about themes.  The theme is the beginning of all art and especially all writing.  A theme is actually a tellic association (the beginning and the end) in literature, but that's an ancient Greek concept.

I started not long ago with trying to help focus creativity to write.  The focusing creativity became the development of a theme.  I've been trying to show through example and through explanation how to get a creative idea and turn it into a unique theme.  If you have a creative idea, you can turn it into a unique theme.  I like the idea of a unique theme because I don't want you writing novels that have no chance of publication (or entertaining people).

Here is an exercise that might help you develop ideas and themes.  Sit down and begin to brainstorm ideas and themes.  Write whatever comes to mind and write down as many as you can think of.  I've done this with ideas for writing from my aviation experiences.  I started a list about 20 years ago and I keep adding to the list.  The list is about 200 ideas long and growing.  I've written many of them into essays and stories.  Your first list might be just to get your idea maker primed, or you might just use this as the beginning of your idea list.  I keep a novel idea list and write down ideas as they come to me.

Once you have a unique theme, you can turn it into a plot.  I turn a theme into a plot by visualization.  I basically visualize the theme playing out and write it down.  To do this, you need to stabilize the theme and develop characters.  We'll move off from there tomorrow.

My Notes: once you have a theme, you need to begin to visualize your plot, stabilize your theme, and focus your characters. More tomorrow.

I'll move on to basic writing exercises and creativity in the near future.

The following is a question asked by one of my readers. I'm going to address this over time: Please elaborate on scene, theme, plot, character development in a new novel creation....ie, the framework, the development, order if operation, the level of detail, guidelines, rule of thumb, tricks, traps and techniques.

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, http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Development - and more Unique Theme Ideas

10 October 2012, Development - and more Unique Theme Ideas

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/.

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.

When you think of theme, think of all the great novels prior to the last half of the twentieth century.  I know of a couple of golden age cataclysm novels, but at the time they were avaunt guard.  They were new ideas for the new century.  The idea of the end of the world is an overworked theme. 

Instead of "end of the world" or "the greatest human catastrophe" or "the worst human event," think of human interaction.  In my mind, a great love story is more poignant than any world threatening theme.  I want to see and feel real human thoughts and interaction.  I want to see new human ideas explored and brought to the forefront. 

In my mind, the purpose of great literature is first to entertain and second, to put up a mirror to human thoughts and ideas to show them to the reader.  I want to read about human predicaments.  I would like to say, I want to read about real human predicaments, but think about Aksinya.  In that novel, there are real human events that are brought to the forefront by a demon.  That is just what I mean by the use of a theme to bring out human ideas. 

Even science fiction themes can provide a reflection of human thoughts.  Look at my Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox novels.  In these novels, the science fiction brings human reality to the forefront.  The theme is human honor.  The mode of revelation is science fiction.

In building your themes use real human interaction and emotions.  Build your themes on human interaction and not on grandiose but unlikely events.
Once you have a theme, you need to begin to visualize your plot, stabilize your theme, and focus your characters. More tomorrow.

I'll move on to basic writing exercises and creativity in the near future.

The following is a question asked by one of my readers. I'm going to address this over time: Please elaborate on scene, theme, plot, character development in a new novel creation....ie, the framework, the development, order if operation, the level of detail, guidelines, rule of thumb, tricks, traps and techniques.

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, http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.