5 July 2013, Writing Ideas - How I Start a Novel Part 1
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.
I wish I could spend every moment writing on novels. The problem is that I
can't physically or mentally do that. I begin to write a novel when I have a
novel length inspiration. They come about once every six months now, so I can
potentially expect to write a novel every six months or two a year. My usual
inspiration is an opening scene or a developed scene. These usually manifest
themselves as a theme question. You can see some of these theme questions in
the novel secret pages at www.ldalford.com. In the case of the newest
novel I wrote, the scene was a girl being beaten and a young man rescuing her.
The first question is what could drive such a scene. My answer isn't as simple as you would think. It doesn't, at first, seem contected to the incident at all. The ultimate plot question I derived from this scene is what incidents would drive the circumstance of an Anglo-Saxon
maiden in the modern world. That's the plot statement of the novel. Once I had
a plot statement and an opening scene, I could begin on the novel. The novel
called for me to write it. I couldn't stop the flow of ideas. Once I fleshed
out the major characters in the first chapter, I began to outline the novel. I
usually outline very loosely by scene. I add scenes and develop plot details by
chapter. When I am writing, I write daily from about 7:00 am to 9:00 pm. I
usually write a chapter a day about 6000 words or 20 pages. I aim for a novel
of around 100,000 words. About 20 chapters. I finish a novel after about one
month. Tomorrow, I'll give you more details on writing my latest novel and
generally about how I go about writing a novel.
See more writing secrets at www.ldalford.com.
For more information, you can visit my author site www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel, http://www.centurionnovel.com, www.thesecondmission.com/, http://www.theendofhonor.com/, thefoxshonor, aseasonofhonor.