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:
In writing a paragraph, begin with a single thought or idea. One idea or thought per paragraph. The paragraph must have an introduction--that is the first sentence in the paragraph is the introduction. You must introduce the idea in the paragraph at that point. Here is the scene setting and initial paragraph from Valeska.
A full moon hung above midnight Gdańsk. The dark medieval streets were wet and filthy. Puddles ringed with oily rainbows covered the cracked cobblestones. The moon shown in each of the puddles, reflected as a milky glow that was grimed with the floating sheen. The scent of saltwater and rotting fish rose with the night time tide, an unavoidable stench this close to the waterfront. At street level, the night was utterly dark. The very few modern lights along the crumbling cobblestone avenue shared little illumination with the ancient alleyways that pierced the darkened buildings on either side of the street.
Notice in this example, the thought or idea is midnight Gdańsk--this is a description of midnight Gdańsk. Therefore, the first sentence of the paragraph tells you what the paragraph is about. The description then moves logically from point to point in the description to bring you to the point--the darkened buildings on either side of the street. Here is another example from Aksinya:
The dank stone room was filled with shadows. Every corner oozed darkness. Within a pentagram that was encompassed by a circle stood a slight young woman. Fat yellow beef-tallow candles marked the points of the pentagram and weakly illuminated only the area around her. A brazier of incense filled the room with the scent of myrrh along with an underlying smell that was indeterminate, but left a taste of blood in the mouth. The woman was dressed in a black gown that was much too large for her. Beautiful hand made lace cascaded down the front of the dress and decorated the sleeves. Thick velvet competed with black satin to form a perfect attire to greet a Tsar, but certainly not a commissar. The gown fell loosely away from the woman’s thin chest and small breasts. It looked odd draped on her body, like a girl playing dress-up from her mother’s closet. But this gown obviously came from the closet of a princess.
The idea or thought described in the paragraph is the dank stone room. It is filled with shadows. The sentences from that point make descriptions in a logical fashion to the character introduction. In this paragraph, I intentionally make the character part of the shadows in the dank stone room.
Not every reader might get this point, but it is a complex one. The main point about a paragraph is very simple--the first sentence must, I repeat must, introduce the main concept of the paragraph. Second, the paragraph should be both entertaining and, if possible, exciting. I think I provided both in these paragraphs. So single idea and entertainment. That makes a great paragraph. Each paragraph you write should have these characteristics.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: