Announcement: I heard from my publisher that my Aegypt novels will continued to be titled Ancient Light and that the next two books will be called Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness. These were the original titles. They will be released individually and as a 3 in 1 volume. I saw the proposed cover. 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 storyline?
I left up the example for the first scene plot outline from before. 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 you write the setting--this is the key in any scene. The setting is simply description, so all you have to do is make it a standard creative writing exercise. The next step is the characters. Here's what I did with this scene:
The room was not filled with people, but at least fifteen couples stood in the space. Buffet tables filled with food and drink were under the stairs. A quartet at the left side played Christmas music and classics. Harold, the butler, led Heidi and George toward a handsome middle-aged couple at the side. The man was medium height and shorter than George. His hair was light brown and his features were fine but nondescript. He had a very pleasant face with a few wrinkles--most seemed to grace his eyes and lips as though he was used to smiling.
The woman was slight, petite and exquisitely beautiful. Her skin was the color of cappuccino. Her hair was black, long, and silky. Her eyes, more appropriate on an Egyptian tomb painting were large and brown and exotic. She seemed to have an almost timeless look, but slight wrinkles marked her eyes and lips in almost the same measure as the man—as though they had known many of the same joys and sorrows.The butler stepped to the side, “Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Long, may I present Mr. George Mardling and his niece Ms. Heidi Mardling.”
You get a piece of the scene setting and then the character setting. I don't need to give you any special character setting for George and Heidi, they are already known to the reader. If anything, the description of their clothing, at the very beginning of the scene, is sufficient. The new characters need to be introduced (described). This is also a typical creative writing exercise. That's how you should approach it. Scene setting and character setting. The next step is the introductions. I gave you a bit of it already.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: