1 May 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 21, The Initial Scene
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 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.
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 ways to submarine your initial scene are a prologue, a non-action initial scene, an initial scene that is backstory.
In my vampire novel, the obvious initial scene is the meeting between the protagonist and the protagonist's helper (the agent and the vampire). As I mentioned before, the protagonist is a British agent from the organization and the protagonist's helper is a vampire. In accordance with my definitions for a vampire, the vampire, Valeska is out hunting on a night with a full moon. She isn't a very good hunter because her master previously had hunted for her. She was kept like a pet because of her unnatural beauty. She was made a vampire because of her beauty and her evil.
All this is backstory. You don't get any of it in the initial scene. What you see in the initial scene is a girl who looks fifteen who is wearing a horribly dirty white and pink party dress. The dress has blood spatters and years worth of graves and dirt ground into it. The girl is a malnourished vampire. She isn't malnourished because she is trying to save humans--she is malnourished because she is a poor hunter and she has no money. Part of the backstory, that you learn later in the novel, is that her vampire master failed to return to his home and that left her and the other vampires with a problem. When the house went up for sale, they had no place to go. She was the least proficient and more coddled vampire and has not succeeded well on the street.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: