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.
When I described George Mardling, the agent and protagonist of my vampire novel, I used his first name as a tag. The actual introduction to the overall name comes later when I introduce the vampire during dialog. This is at the end of the first scene:
George smiled, “There is no need. I had no more need of my blood. I know I am dying.”
“I’m sure it is a sin, but do you wish to live?”
“I don’t want to be a vampire.”
The girl’s voice was very sad, “That is certainly no gift. I can give you back your life. It is all I can do for you, mortal man.”
George raised his hand, “Not as a vampire.”
“I thought you didn’t believe in vampires.”
The girl bit her tongue and pressed her lips against his. He tasted her blood in his mouth. He had been tasting blood since he was shot, but this was different. The taste was different, and he felt something burning in his body. He felt her lips form a smile and pull back. She licked her lips with that oddly pointed tongue of hers, “That is all I can do for you.”
George was more groggy than before—perhaps he was finally dying. He stared at the girl, “My name is George Mardling.”
The girl stood over him, “I was called, Valeska by my master, but my given name is Heidi.”
“Heidi is the name of a vampire?”
She frowned, “You don’t believe in vampires.”
“No, I don’t.” George’s head fell to the side and he was suddenly unaware of anything.
In this dialog, we discover the name of the vampire. The reason the vampire has two names, Heidi and Valeska, is simple. The culture of Gdansk is Polish and German. People from certain periods had both Polish and German names. I chose Valeska as the name of the vampire because it means "Glorious Ruler" in Polish and "vitality" in Latin. I also chose Heidi as the German name because it is a diminutive of Adelheid that means "Noble and Honorable" in German. The name Heidi and Valeska mean essentially the same thing. Also, I asked my wife, what name would you least expect a vampire to have--she answered: Heidi. This was an alignment of the stars. I picked the name Heidi for these reasons and the name Valeska because of its meanings and it fits a vampire. The point here is that the names of the main characters all fit the characters. They are bestowed on the characters for a specific reason and they sound right. Valeska fits a vampire princess. Heidi fits a child who became a vampire. Heidi was not innocent by any measure--she richly deserved her new name: Valeska, but that is for another time.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: