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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 94, advice on Entertaining, Developing Storyline Rising Action

13 July 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 94, advice on Entertaining, 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

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website and select "production schedule," you will be sent to

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:
I decided on a white cover style.  You can see more at

Look at my rules three through five:
3. Ground your readers in the writing.
4. Don't show (or tell) everything.
5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

Maybe it's time to write a little about novel length.  I consider a great goal for novel writing to be around 100,000 words.  More than that and I'm not sure what you have.  You will have problems getting a publisher to accept it, and very likely, the novel is not well written.  There is some leeway.  In fact the general leeway with novels is from about 75,000 to 125,000 words.  I've had novels my publisher put on contract that were in the 62,000 word realm.  The latest novel I wrote, Valeska, weighed in at 132,000 words.  My shortest novel is 60,400 words--it is not published, yet.

So, somewhere between 75,000 to 125,000 words is about right for a novel.  What this can tell us is that much shorter than this is not necessarily good and much longer than this is not necessarily good.  Can you produce a great novel with 50,000 or less words--Jonathan Livingston Seagull is a pretty short novel and won much acclaim a the time.  There isn't much to it, but it is a great short novel.  Novellas are a specific class of novel.  Generally, they aren't considered as well developed as a full blown novel.  My point is this, if your novel is short, that may be okay as long as you have a good cohesive plot and theme.  Publishers seem happy in the 50,000 to 75,000 word length.  If you are there, you may have a winner.

The 100,000 word length area seems to be a sweet spot for a well written mature novel.  Still, length itself isn't the primary factor.

What is a problem is works that are excessively longer than the mean.  I mentioned 150,000 words as too long.  I read a self published review where the writer claimed to write a 300,000 word novel.  A 300,000 word novel is 200,000 words too long.  It either needs to be edited severely or broken into smaller novels.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site, and my individual novel websites:

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