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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Writing Ideas - Characters (Vampire), part 12, Setting

22 April 2014, Writing Ideas - Characters (Vampire), part 12, Setting

Announcement: There is action on my new novels.  The publisher renamed the series--they are still working on the name.  I provided suggestions as did one of my prepub readers. Now the individual books will be given single names: Leora, Leila, Russia, Lumiere', China, Sveta, and Klava--at least these are some of the suggestions.  They are also working on a single theme for the covers.  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

The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:

1. Don't confuse your readers.
2. Entertain your readers.
3. Ground your readers in the writing.
4. Don't show (or tell) everything.
5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

All novels have five discrete parts:
1.  The initial scene (the beginning)
2.  The rising action
3.  The climax
4.  The falling action
5.  The dénouement

The theme statement of this new novel is: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed. 

The setting of all novels is critical and flows out of the theme.  Note, the protagonist is an agent and the protagonist's helper is a vampire.  I needed a place where those two could come together naturally.  I also wanted a strong back story.  George Mardling's expertise is in German, Polish, Russian, and other eastern European languages.  That means, in my mind, the vampire should come out of those cultures.  You might ask, did the language expertise come out of the setting or the setting come out of the languages.  Let's say everything came together in a place.  For example, where would you have a vampire come from.  Let's say Transylvania.  That's the old Dracula setting.  Let's break this down a little.  You might find a vampire in an old world east European venue.  I wanted my agent to have a purpose in such an area.  The only city with a high degree of embassies, not in the capital, and that have high British interest, is Gdansk.  Gdansk is important as a city because it has been German and Prussian longer than it has been Polish.  I wanted my vampire to be a girl out of place in the modern world and out of place culturally.  There are reasons for this.  Gdansk is a great old and new city.  There are parts that are ancient and parts that are very modern.  There are German and Polish and Russian influences.  Gdansk, to me, seems like the perfect place for a vampire to accidentally meet an agent.

There...I gave you the setting of the beginning of the novel--Gdansk, Poland.  It was also known as Dansig.  More about the characters and the setting, tomorrow.

With this theme statement I am ready to tackle the novel.  The next step was to flesh out the characters and the setting.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site, and my individual novel websites:

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