Announcement: We are in the countdown phase for the publication of my new novels. The date on the internet is 1 September. We will see how close we come, or if the publishers meet the deadline. My Aegypt novels will be titled Ancient Light, and 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. The proposed cover and info can be found at www.ancientlight.com. 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 purpose of a novel is to reveal the protagonist and usually the protagonist's helper, the author needs to place them in circumstance that allows them to reveal themselves. The means can be conversation, exploration, discovery, other's conversation, confession, accidental discovery.
Here is an example of a revelation conversation. It is from my novel Warrior of Darkness, yet unpublished, but part of the Ancient Light novels. I think I'll give it to you in pieces. Here is the first piece.
They studied the menus and Scáth went through the wine list. Niul ordered a steak, Klava broiled char, Scáth asked for a salad. Scáth recommended a white German wine. Klava vetoed it and ordered a Guinness. Niul did too. Scáth pouted for a while in her seat. “The gentleman usually orders…”
Klava beetled her brows, “You promised, Scáth.” Scáth pouted some more.
They didn’t speak together at all. They didn’t say anything after their meals were served. They ate in silence. Scáth pushed around her salad. She didn’t eat or drink a thing.
Finally Scáth rolled her eyes, “I will not instruct, Mr. O’Dwyer. Mistress it is time for you to introduce yourself. If you don’t, I shall.”
Klava brushed her lips with her napkin, “Don’t, Scáth. I will.” She glanced up at him, “Mr. O’Dwyer, my name is Klavdiya Aleksandrovna Diakonov. And you are…”
Niul glanced up from his plate, “You already know who I am.”
Scáth frowned and leaned toward Niul, “This is your chance to start fresh. Tell her your name. It is fitting.”
Niul rolled his eyes he threw his napkin on the table, “I am Niul Ríoghbhardán O'Dwyer.”
Scáth clapped her hands, “The champion bard-king of the dark. That is so very appropriate, My Lady.”
Niul ignored her, “You may call me, Niul. No one uses the rest of my name.”
“Yes, Niul, champion.” Scáth nodded.
Niul pointed with his thumb at Scáth. He leaned toward Klava, “Now about her…”
Scáth sat bolt upright, “You may say it Niul Ríoghbhardán O'Dwyer.”
Niul frowned at her. He spoke directly to Klava, “Klavdiya…” He didn’t say it too poorly.
Klava smiled, “You may address me as Klava.”
“Very well, Klava. I know Scáth is not a living being.”
“And how do you know that, Mr. O’Dwy… Niul?”
“You already know I wield it. The training of it requires a knowledge of death and dying. I can smell death on her. She is not alive.”
Klava frowned, “You have not been using it?”
“You know all my things were spoiled, and you did it.”
“I did it. I will warn you, Niul. The use of it may not be possible for you again. If you try, you may put yourself at great risk.”
“I’ll take that risk. It seems odd to me, that you would tell me to give up magic, when right next to me, your servant is an undead thing.”
“She is not just a thing. She is Scáth. She is my servant. You knew, before you took me to your flat, that I was not entirely what I seem.”
“Yes, you are not. Right now, I can feel the power all around you. That Scáth stinks of your power.”
“It is no stink Niul, not like the stink of magic. It is purifying and perfect.”
He chuckled, “Purifying and perfect. The next thing you will claim is that you are an old earth goddess.”
Scáth started to speak. Klava cut her off, “This is our date. I wish to gradually let you learn about me and me about you. That is the way of such things.”
Niul laughed, “That is the way—usually to get the girl in bed. I’ve had you. You are pleasant. I’d like to bed you again. If your fantasy will lead us there once more, I’m happy to play along. You have to admit though, you aren’t exactly the blushing maiden when you dress entirely in black all the time, come out normally only at night, and have a familiar-like dead creature at your beck and call.”
“If this weren’t the twentieth century I’d think you were a vampire or a goddess of the dead. You have to acknowledge it’s all very odd.”
Scáth cocked her head, “Then why aren’t you afraid, Mr. O’Dwyer. If I am dead that means she is a goddess of the dead.”
Klava put out her hand, “Shut up, Scáth.”
Niul’s brow rose. “Perhaps I am too jaded or foolish. Perhaps I should be afraid. I’ve risked my life many times, but I have never feared a girl I bedded.”
Klava sucked in a deep shuddering breath, “I will start. My mother was born in
America and my father in the Soviet
Union. I won’t tell you how
they met, but they had me. I was born in
. My parents still live there. I have a twin sister and five other bothers
and sisters. My twin and I are the
oldest. She is married to a military
officer. I went to London and studied languages there. I graduated two years ago and moved to Oxford . I’ve lived in Ireland all that time. Now it’s your turn, Niul.” Belfast
Here is the first part of a revelation conversation. The conversation is between Niul, the antagonist, Klava, the protagonist, and Scáth, the protagonist's helper. The point of this example is to let you see how a conversation can result in revelation. In this case, it is much, much more than the simple revelation of the last paragraph. This paragraph is one of the points we are working toward in the conversation, but there is much more revealed than this simple statement.
There is also the question of truth. I will tell you now, if you didn't already figure it out, the final paragraph is all true, but it is not the complete truth. It is not even close to the complete truth. The reader should take the information and process it. The reader should process it in the same way they might process the information they could get from a new acquaintance at dinner. As I said, the statement is not a lie, it is just not the whole truth. The reader should get that from the rest of the conversation. Young women, like Klava don't usually hang around with undead girls--this is a big giveaway in the conversation. Additionally, most conversations are not about magic, the undead, and horrible deeds done in the name of a terrorist organization. The point of Warrior of Darkness, the novel, is to reveal Klava, Niul, and Scáth. This provides the entertainment in the novel.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: