Announcement: My novels Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness are about to be published. I write this blog about 2 months prior to its publication. I just heard that the proofs will be here soon--likely before the end of the week. My publisher also wants to put the entire set of novels based on Aegypt on contract--that's 5 more novels for 8 total. They also want to put my other novels on contract. The release schedule should be one novel every 2 months. I'll keep you updated.
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.
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
There are many approaches to scene setting. That means there are about a million plus ways you can set a scene. The main point is you have to clearly get across the where, when, who, what, and how.
Here is another example of scene setting from the novel, Aksinya. I'm giving you examples from the book so you can see different ways of introducing and writing a scene. In each snippet, you get the scene setting, the tension and release, and the input and output. This isn't true of every example, but the pieces should be there, and I've been trying to identify for you when all the pieces aren't evident. You can use these ideas to guide your own writing. Make sure you set the scene properly, then make everything come to life through the narration and conversation.
When you solve a problem in a novel (which is what tension and release is all about), you are best served if you connect everything back to some clue or idea at the beginning. This is especially true of the big connections or solutions at the end of the novel. In this case, the surety the demon gave Aksinya is the tie back to the beginning that Dobrushin proposes as the solution to Aksinya's problem. There is much more to this solution--this all ties to the Book of Tobit. Your readers will read the suggested solution or the solution and recognize the elements from earlier in the novel. This will give them the impression that they could or did solve the problem along with the characters. Some very few readers will solve the problem--they will see the intricacies of the novel as you proposed them. Most readers will not put together everything, but they will feel like they did with the characters, and they will associate this way with the characters.
“Do you realize what could happen to you if what you propose doesn’t work?”
“I do realize the danger.”
She gave him a sly look, “How will you chase off the demon? Do you have the special parts of a fish?”
“I have this,” Father Dobrushin stuck his hand in his pocket and pulled out a heart shaped necklace. “Is this the surety the demon gave you?”
Aksinya’s mouth fell open. She squeaked, “That is it. Where did you find it?”
“It was inside your jewelry box just as you described it.”
“You bought it back?”
“I did indeed. All the merchants to whom your goods were sold were listed in the court documents. When I paid off the claims against you, I found the jeweler who bought your jewelry. If you notice…” Father Dobrushin scooted his chair closer to her and Aksinya leaned her head toward his, “If you notice, there is the design of a fish on the pendant.”
Aksinya was acutely aware of the man beside her. She licked her lips, “So what must we do?”
“We must be married then, before we come together, we must burn this with incense, and pray. Finally, we must like Tobias and Sarah consummate the marriage.”
“If it is not done in the proper way, the demon will kill you. If this doesn’t work…”
“I’ll be dead, and you will still be under the contract of Asmodeus.”
“And still a virgin,” Aksinya murmured.
“What did you say?”
She smiled, “I would like to try this, but now, more than ever, I don’t wish to lose you.”
“I don’t want to die either.”
The following is a question asked by one of my readers. I'm going to address this over time: I am awaiting for you to write a detailed installment on identifying, and targeting your audience, or audiences...ie, multi-layered story, for various audiences...like CS Lewis did. JustTake care, and keep up the writing; I am enjoying it, and learning a lot.For more information, you can visit my author sitewww.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel.com/, http://www.centurionnovel.com, www.thesecondmission.com/, http://www.theendofhonor.com/, thefoxshonor, aseasonofhonor.