22 June 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 73, tags Conversation Tension, Developing Storyline Rising Action
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.
Just as handles are used to physically identify and reintroduce a character in a novel, a tag is used in conversation to identify and intellectually identify a character. Tags can be as simple as a tagline such as "I said too much," in all its variations. I use this tagline to identify Leila in Valeska. Leila is a character who has been alone too much and many times gives too much information to others when she doesn't mean to. This becomes a running joke in the conversation of the novel. A tagline is not unique for a character or a novel, but unless it is a joke, it can be over done.
A tag is more normal and is a characteristic that is usually used to identify a character in conversation. For example, in Khione, the protagonist's helpers tag was to run his fingers through his short hair--it was a nervous habit. The character's mother did the same. The tag was a means of identifying the character's and his mother's nervousness.
Classic tags that I have used are lighting a cigarette or a cigar, drinking certain types of liquor, facial habits or quirks, scratching parts of the face, etc. There are many ways to differentiate characters and to display their emotions during conversations. These types of details can quickly identify and bring out the character of your characters--especially in conversation, but also in the narrative.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: