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 left up the example for the first scene plot outline from yesterday. This outline is how I develop a scene in my mind. Once I have the scene outline, I can write the storyline. If you note, the plot outline comes directly out of the theme and the storyline comes directly out of the plot outline. So here is the outline--then how do you write the storyline?
Scene 1 (for this example): Christmas party at Lyons House 19 December 2014, damp night
George and Heidi arrive late
George and Heidi meet Sveta and Daniel
Heidi and Sveta have a confrontation based on contact (tension builder)
Heidi seeks a way to break off the confrontation
Daniel restrains Sveta, Heidi removes George (release)
First, let me explain, to me, the storyline is the actual writing. If you take the storyline in steps, it is easy to write a scene. First, set the scene. In the plot outline, I gave a setting, the job of the writer is now to set the scene. Here is the setting:
At 1900 on Friday, 19 December George and Heidi stood in front of the Lyons House. Two new stone lions sat at either side of the very large oak door. The house the door fronted was large and beautiful. Its facing was stone and brick in the emperor style. It looked very old. George wore a suit and an inexpensive Christmas tie. Heidi wore a very frilly white dress that had red and green panels on the skirt and the top. She wore a jaunty beret that was made of the same white lace, red, and green material as the dress. It was a warm enough evening that they didn’t require their coats. The ground was wet, but the rain had stopped earlier in the afternoon.
This is easy peasy stuff. This is the kind of creative writing your teachers hopefully beat into you. Describe the place, the time, the weather, the characters. Give us some information so the reader can picture the setting and the scene. You are placing the scene in the mind of your readers. Then move your characters into the scene.
A young looking butler opened the door to them, “Good evening. I’m Harold, the butler. May I announce you?”
George proffered his invitation, “George Mardling and my niece Heidi Mardling.”
The butler smiled, “The receiving line just ended. Please follow me.”
They stepped through the door and the butler closed it after them. Harold stepped ahead of them. Heidi whispered to George, “Did you time our arrival to intentionally miss the receiving line?”
George grinned behind his hand, “I don’t have to give up all my trade secrets, do I?”
The butler led them down the hallway off the foyer. It opened into a classical large ballroom with twin staircases at the back. The interior was made of dark and ancient wood. The rugs were Turkish and slightly ragged. Heidi cocked her head, “A very wealthy and old family.”George smiled back, “Perhaps.”
Here is more scene setting and movement of the characters into the place. Of course a fancy house like this has a butler. Of course the butler will expect you to have a card and be announced. I also put in a little banter between Heidi and George. George is a real expert at these kinds of parties, he times the receiving line. I also put in some very delicate description about the scene. If you don't get it, that's okay. An old and wealthy family will have old and ragged rugs. They have been in the family a long time. George knows this is not true, but unless the reader has read my other books, she won't know about this house. The Lyons house was a named Tudor house that belongs to the organization. It originally belonged to Lord and Lady Hastings, but they gave the house to Bruce and Matilda Lyons when they married. Matilda Lyons was originally Matilda Hastings. When Bruce and Matilda died, they gifted the house to the organization and now the current head, Daniel Long lives there with Sveta Long. All this is back story, the reader doesn't need to know this, but I'm sharing it with you. The next step is to bring in the next set of characters.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: