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 my newest novel, Valeska, is this: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed.
Here is my proposed cover for Valeska:
The plot is developed directly from the theme. The first steps are fleshing out the characters (not accomplished in the novel, but before writing the novel) and the setting. The main characters and the setting come directly out of the theme. The characters are revealed through the storyline that is based on the plot. Then how do you get to the plot?
I promised you the scene. Here is the second part. The scene was set in the previous example. Sveta and Heidi had their first confrontation. The end was Heidi taking George away and Daniel pulling Sveta back. Now we get to see the result of the previous confrontation on George and Heidi.
When they were out of earshot, George leaned over and whispered, “What was that all about?”
Heidi didn’t look at him, “I think she realizes what I am.”
“What? Are you kidding?”
“I am completely serious. I think she would have attacked me right there if she could. I am in serious danger here—in this house—and in this city.”
George turned and looked back. Daniel and Sveta were engaged in a heated conversation. Sveta was not looking at them. She pointed back toward them.
Heidi moved to the buffet and picked up a plate.
George whispered, “Why did you have to antagonize her so much. She is my boss’ wife, shouldn’t you try to gain her as an ally?”
Heidi glared at him, “She was antagonizing me first. Does a wolf try to ally itself with the hunter? Or the sheep with the wolf? Right now, I wish to eat her food. It surely isn’t poisoned—not if she fed it to her friends. I also wish to stay in the crowd where she can’t find me alone. When we return to your flat, I will go on foot.”
George took her arm, “You sound like you have been through this before.”
“Never before, but I have not lived this long without learning some degree of caution.”
“I find that hard to believe—you were not living very well when I discovered you.”
Heidi raised her voice, “Your life-blood was eking out of body when I found you.”
George whispered forcefully, “Sveta is my boss’ wife. She runs an office in the organization. You need to mollify her and not antagonize her.”
Heidi stared at him, “You choose her over me.” Her eye twitched.
“I didn’t choose her at all. I just want to keep my job. Where do you think this clothing comes from?”
Heidi threw down her plate, “If that’s the way it is, you may have it back right now. She began to unbutton her dress.”
George took her hands, “Stop that. I didn’t mean it that way.” He continued lamely, “I need this work.”
She stopped, “I understand. I am just not happy about it.”
George buttoned her dress, “Everyone is staring.”
She lowered her head, “I’m sorry, Mr. Mardling.” She kept her head down and glanced up at him with her eyes alone.
“Pick up your plate. You’re lucky it didn’t break.”
She knelt very primly. Harold came up behind her and slipped the plate out of her hands. He placed a glass of wine in it, “I’ll get you a new plate. This one is soiled.”
“Thank you,” she mumbled. She took a sip of the wine, and her face brightened.
Harold came beside her, “What may I select for you from the buffet.”
Heidi answered very sweetly, “Some of the partridge, a bit of cheese, bread, and pudding.”
Harold carried the plate for her. Already the attention began to draw away from her and George. A few watched her as an apparent fifteen year old sipped on a glass of wine. When the glass was empty, Harold replaced it with a full one.
In the previous scene, there was a slight release of tension--Daniel pulled Sveta back and Heidi took George away from the action. In this scene, there is tension between George and Heidi with a release. The next scene is logical--a confrontation between Sveta and Heidi.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: