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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Writing Ideas - How I Start a Novel Part 2

6 July 2013, Writing Ideas - How I Start a Novel Part 2

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

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 and select "production schedule," you will be sent to

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 write in scenes. This is why all my novels are centered on a scene and a theme or plot question that then develops into the overall plot and storyline. The scene in my latest novel Dana-ana (working title Diana--still searching for a title) that started everything is the first one. In it, Dana-ana is being "beat up" by a couple of boys for stealing their girlfriends' lunches. The main male character Byron intervenes but not before Dana is knocked out and partially pantsed. The descriptions of the scene and Dana propel the narrative into the next scene. Dana will not speak. Her name is odd. Her actions are odd. The teachers intentionally allow her to be beaten--to teach her a lesson. The next scene flows logically from the first--Byron takes her to the infirmary. The nurse doesn't want Dana there. She refuses to treat her. When Dana finally wakes, her actions are odd and she still doesn't speak. That flows to the next scene--Byron escorts her home. Her home is a tarpaper shack and that flows to the next scene, etc. etc. (you can read the first chapter at The scenes drive the entire novel. Most of the scenes are conversational interaction bracketed by description. The scenes drive the storyline and the plot. The storyline is encapsulated in the scenes that together become the plot. Each of the scenes drive the plot, and the theme is held together by that overall question. As I mentioned before, the question in Diana is about an Anglo-Saxon maiden in the modern world.  This is a plot statement or question.  It really isn't the full theme question or statement. 

So this is how I write a novel. It is certainly not how everyone approaches novel writing, but let me synopsize my approach. I start with a scene and build from it. I use an outline based on scenes. I write each scene in order to build the storyline and the plot. The scenes together turn into chapters which becomes a novel. From such a tiny seed grows a 100,000 word work. Tomorrow, I'll talk about writing a scene.

See more writing secrets at

For more information, you can visit my author site, and my individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel,,,, thefoxshonor, aseasonofhonor.

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