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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 20, and even more Submarining Your Initial Scene

30 April 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 20, and even more Submarining Your Initial Scene

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

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 this new novel is: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed. 

The ways to submarine your initial scene are a prologue, a non-action initial scene, an initial scene that is backstory. 

The easiest way to kill the action in an initial scene is to include too much backstory.  The initial scene s no place for backstory.  You should always leap into the novel with both feet and start with setting and action.  The action can include conversation, but not too much.  In your action and setting, you can place some little tidbits of backstory, but even then, I think it is back story telling technique to put in too much backstory at all.  You should be able to make the entire storyline, including the backstory, come alive in the conversation of the characters.

With solitary characters, it is possible to have them reminisce during breakfast or to contemplate the past at dinner.  But do it in the second and later scenes.  I made the mistake of putting too much backstory in the initial scene of my novel, Aegypt.  I was following the advice of my mentor, but I should have left the novel as it is with the backstory in the later scenes.  My mentor in writing novels liked to write in an older style and wanted to put the full character setting and description at the beginning. I can go for character description, but not backstory.  From experience, I can assure you, you can put all the elements of the backstory you wish in the rising action.  So, don't put much backstory in your initial scene.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 19, even more Submarining Your Initial Scene

29 April 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 19, even more Submarining Your Initial Scene

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

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 this new novel is: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed. 

The ways to submarine your initial scene are a prologue, a non-action initial scene, an initial scene that is backstory. 

Action equals energy in my book.  There is no novel that has no action.  Even the most intellectual novel will have some degree of action.  Action propels every novel.  Without some action or threat of action, there is no reason for a novel.  I'm trying to think of novels without any or much action--I can't think of any.  I'm trying to think of examples of low grade action in novels--I can't think of any.  Action of some kind envelops and infuses every novel.  A novel like the history The Diary of Anne Frank is defined by suppressed action and the climax is the action of an attack.  Suppressed action defines such a book and gives wings to the intellectual parts of it.  In a similar novel, The Book Thief, the action is the novel and defines the novel.  There is no relief from the driving beat of warfare and threat of death.  Most novels are similar to this.  I would argue that most novels are propelled by some degree of action and that action must propel and define the initial scene.

Action will also define and propel the climax, but if you had no other action in your novel, it should be in the initial scene and the climax.  These two parts are never intellectual.  If you find a great novel where they are, I'd like to see it.  Action must define these two parts.  In most novels, you will find that action propels the entire novel and especially the rising action.  Just think of most novels, the movement and actions of the characters is what moves the rising action.  In the rising action, the action builds to the climax.  But the two highest action points of the novel are the initial scene and the climax.  The point is this, make certain your initial scene is high action.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Monday, April 28, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 18, yet more Submarining Your Initial Scene

28 April 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 18, yet more Submarining Your Initial Scene

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

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 this new novel is: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed. 

The ways to submarine your initial scene are a prologue, a non-action initial scene, an initial scene that is backstory. 

What you want from your initial scene is to set the novel, to introduce the main characters, to introduce the theme, and to bring the reader directly into the action (plot and storyline).  I can still achieve this and submarine my initial scene by not making it a powerful scene.  There are potentially many reasons for this.  The first is picking a point outside the action.  I made this mistake in The End of Honor.  I've already confessed the problems of the initial scenes of some of my published novels.  I made the mistake of not having this as an action scene and by brining in backstory.  The novel also has a prologue.  So I'm breaking all my recommendations to you.  You might ask how the novel was published--the novel has redeeming characteristics, but it was one of the first novels I wrote.  It is a good novel, but I've grown as a writer and a novelist.  The quality and understanding of writing you have at your twenty-third novel is much different than at your third novel.  I have improved as a novelist and as a writer.  My earlier novels as still good novels, but I've learned even better how to write and how to put together a great novel.

Now, as to action.  If you bring the protagonist and the antagonist together or the protagonist and the protagonist's helper, you will have action.  It is possible to have intellectual action, but I'm not into novels like that.  You should have some degree of real action.  When we get to it, I'll use my vampire novel as an example of the action in the initial scene.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 17, more Submarining Your Initial Scene

27 April 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 17, more Submarining Your Initial Scene

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

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 this new novel is: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed. 

The ways to submarine your initial scene are a prologue, a non-action initial scene, an initial scene that is backstory. 

What you want from your initial scene is to set the novel, to introduce the main characters, to introduce the theme, and to bring the reader directly into the action (plot and storyline).  A prologue doesn't prevent any of this, but it piecemeals the initial scene so part of it is not at the beginning.  For example, if you have a prologue, you can't set the novel (and if you do in the prologue, why have a prologue).  You can't introduce the main characters (if you do, why have a prologue).  You can't introduce the theme (if you do, why have a prologue)...you get the picture.  The point is that a prologue, by definition, describes something outside the sphere of the novel, but related to the novel, to give additional information to the reader that makes the novel (plot and storyline understandable).  Usually, a prologue happens prior to the novel and puts the entire novel in context of time or place.

Ah, you might say, what is wrong with that?  Then why doesn't every novel have a prologue?  A good writer can place the reader in the context of the time and place of the novel without a whole chapter of explanation.  As I mentioned, most readers don't read the prologue.  Most publishers don't like prologues.  Prologues blunt the power of the initial scene.  Let's set it at that--the main problem with a prologue is that it blunts the power of the first scene, and the first scene is the critical scene where the author captures the reader and drags him/her into the world of the novel.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 16, Submarining Your Initial Scene

26 April 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 16, Submarining Your Initial Scene

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

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 this new novel is: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed. 

The ways to submarine your initial scene are a prologue, a non-action initial scene, an initial scene that is backstory. 

So, dump the prologs.  I don't like prologues, readers ignore prologues (they don't read them), and publishers don't like prologues.  If you put in a prologue, the chances are great that you will have a novel that is unpublishable.  In fact, if you speak to many writers (with a publishable work) who initially had a prologue in their novel and pulled it out--they found the novel was acceptable to a publisher. 

The problem with prologues is that they blunt the power of the initial scene.  Now, full disclosure, I have three novels with an introduction--they are called prologues in the novels.  They really aren't prologues, they are really introductions that are intended to be both funny and to give the reader information that is not otherwise available in the novels.  The question is this--just what is a prologue.  A prologue is a part of the action or narrative that is written to allow the reader to understand the novel.  The reader doesn't need to read my prologues to understand the story.  I included them to give a feeling to the novel and not to provide information the reader required to understand the novel.  I will admit, my introductions do give the reader some insight to the culture of the novel, but they are not required.  You might ask, then why include a prologue at all--that is the right answer.  I really shouldn't have included the prologues at all.  I was trying to follow in the footsteps of Jack Vance who provided this type of information in his novels.  The reason I left in the prologues is that my publisher liked them.  Since I've confessed, I can move ahead with explaining why prologues are not a good idea.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Friday, April 25, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 15, more Initial Scene

25 April 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 15, more Initial Scene

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

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 this new novel is: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed. 

Really, messing up the initial scene is a classic failure in newbie writers.  Many of the big failings are: a prolog, a non-action initial scene, an initial scene that is backstory.  Almost any guide to writing will tell you, the first scene--the initial scene in any novel must be action packed and interesting.  The best way to do this is the straight protagonist meets antagonist or protagonist meets protagonist's helper.  That is you lift the initial scene directly from the theme statement.  If your initial scene is not filled with action and adventure (or at least excitement), don't write the novel.  I can assure you, a novel that is driven using a weak theme statement isn't worth writing or reading.

By definition, if the initial scene isn't exciting and doesn't relate the theme to the protagonist and antagonist or protagonist's helper, then the theme is likely not strong enough to support a novel.  It is also possible for a writer to submarine her/his own initial scene.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 14, Initial Scene

24 April 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 14, Initial Scene

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

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 this new novel is: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed. 

From the theme statement, the obvious initial scene is when the vampire meets the agent.  In most novels, the obvious initial scene is either the meeting between the protagonist and the antagonist or the meeting between the protagonist and the protagonist's helper.  In this case, the protagonist is the agent and the protagonist's helper is the vampire. 

The protagonist could equally be the vampire, but I chose differently for a couple of reasons.  The first is that a vampire should be mysterious.  You can't really have a mysterious protagonist.  Second, I wanted the agent to be the protagonist.  Ah, the astute reader will say, then the vampire doesn't change and the agent does.  Bingo.  The identification of the protagonist is that the character has a telic change during the novel.  The vampire can't have a telic change, the agent must.  I did this trick in Khione.  The protagonist's helper, Khione had a telic change, but so did the protagonist.  This might be a little modern for some purists, but this is how many novels with a strong redemption theme work.  The main character is not the only one redeemed.

In almost every novel, the initial meeting of the protagonist and the protagonist's helper or the antagonist makes the best initial scene.  Now, imagine other scenes as a contrast.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Writing Ideas - Characters (Vampire), part 13, more Setting

23 April 2014, Writing Ideas - Characters (Vampire), part 13, more Setting

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

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 this new novel is: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed. 

Part of the reason to select Gdansk, Poland was personal.  I know the culture, and I know the general area.  I know about the history.  This makes the setting much easier to write about.  The setting is also slightly mysterious and romantic. 

Gdansk is a city on the coast with a strong maritime history.  It also, as I mentioned before, has many important embassies that were established their because of Prussia and because of the Polish reunification following World War Two.  The setting is perfect for an accidental meeting.  It is an old city with the modern mixed in.  It is an important city, but little known by many of my readers.  The lack of familiarity gives it an even greater mysterious flavor.  The city itself has a flavor of the east and a flavor of the west.  It is a kind of crossroads.

I liked the feel of the city and of the environment.  There are other reasons for this place as the initial setting, but that will come out as I describe the novel in more detail. 

With the main characters and the setting, we can begin the novel.  The first step is to develop the initial scene.  The initial scene must be an action oriented scene that grabs the reader and propels them into the novel.

With this theme statement I am ready to tackle the novel.  The next step was to flesh out the characters and the setting.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Writing Ideas - Characters (Vampire), part 12, Setting

22 April 2014, Writing Ideas - Characters (Vampire), part 12, Setting

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

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 this new novel is: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed. 

The setting of all novels is critical and flows out of the theme.  Note, the protagonist is an agent and the protagonist's helper is a vampire.  I needed a place where those two could come together naturally.  I also wanted a strong back story.  George Mardling's expertise is in German, Polish, Russian, and other eastern European languages.  That means, in my mind, the vampire should come out of those cultures.  You might ask, did the language expertise come out of the setting or the setting come out of the languages.  Let's say everything came together in a place.  For example, where would you have a vampire come from.  Let's say Transylvania.  That's the old Dracula setting.  Let's break this down a little.  You might find a vampire in an old world east European venue.  I wanted my agent to have a purpose in such an area.  The only city with a high degree of embassies, not in the capital, and that have high British interest, is Gdansk.  Gdansk is important as a city because it has been German and Prussian longer than it has been Polish.  I wanted my vampire to be a girl out of place in the modern world and out of place culturally.  There are reasons for this.  Gdansk is a great old and new city.  There are parts that are ancient and parts that are very modern.  There are German and Polish and Russian influences.  Gdansk, to me, seems like the perfect place for a vampire to accidentally meet an agent.

There...I gave you the setting of the beginning of the novel--Gdansk, Poland.  It was also known as Dansig.  More about the characters and the setting, tomorrow.

With this theme statement I am ready to tackle the novel.  The next step was to flesh out the characters and the setting.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Monday, April 21, 2014

Writing Ideas - Characters (Vampire Novel), part 11, yet more Rules for Agents

21 April 2014, Writing Ideas - Characters (Vampire Novel), part 11, yet more Rules for Agents

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

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 this new novel is: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed. 

George Mardling and his partner David Shear are MI-6 shares from "the organization."  Their apparent purpose is to provide muscle (protection as bodyguards) for the ambassador and the ambassadorial secretary (Sir Rolland).  They are actually both language experts.  George's expertise is in German, Polish, Russian, and some other east European languages.  David's expertise is in Mandarin Chinese.  Since the Chinese, Russian, German, and a host of other foreign embassies to Poland are in Gdansk Poland, it is in the best interests of the British to have covert agents who can listen.  That is just what George and David do--they listen.  The point of their listening is to accidentally, intentionally overhear conversations that might have import to British operations and international relations.  They can be successful because...who would suspect a couple of MI-6 muscle to be able to understand Polish or Russian or Chinese?  This is how this type of agent works.  They hide in plain view. 

There...I gave you the setting of the beginning of the novel--Gdansk, Poland.  It was also known as Dansig.  More about the characters and the setting, tomorrow. 

With this theme statement I am ready to tackle the novel.  The next step was to flesh out the characters and the setting.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Writing Ideas - Characters (Vampire Novel), part 10, more Rules for Agents

20 April 2014, Writing Ideas - Characters (Vampire Novel), part 10, more Rules for Agents

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

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 this new novel is: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed. 

The agent character starts with an idea.  The agent is a covert agent.  I already have an organization and a protocol for this type of agent.  I've used them and the organization in many of my novels.  So, for this particular agent, I used "the organization."  I already described this agency of the British government and explained that it came from MI-19 after WWII.  My agent is a covert agent who is also a share to MI-6.  MI-6 is the British equivalent to the CIA.  They accomplish spying and work on foreign shores.  James Bond is an MI-6 agent. 

I started with a name for the agent.  I put it together the way I do most of my novels.  I needed a good British name and one I haven't used for a major character before.  I chose George.  For the last name, I chose to use an unusual British name and selected Mardling.  I didn't intend for the name to mean much--it is an nondescript British name.  The character is supposed to be nondescript and at the same time, the protagonist. 

Mr. Mardling was an agent share to MI-6 and with his partner David Shear, they work as muscle (embassy protection) for Sir Rolland.  Sir Rolland is the secretary to the British ambassador in Poland.  That doesn't mean he takes notes, it means that he represents the British ambassador in the more tedious and important behind the scenes meetings.

With this theme statement I am ready to tackle the novel.  The next step was to flesh out the characters and the setting.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Writing Ideas - Characters (Vampire Novel), part 9, Rules for Agents

19 April 2014, Writing Ideas - Characters (Vampire Novel), part 9, Rules for Agents

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

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 this new novel is: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed. 

Covert operations are those that no one knows you are doing.  Overt operations are those that everyone can guess you are doing.  An overt agent is like James Bond.  James Bond was originally developed as a covert agent, but he really became overt--any agent who is recognized in any way by the enemy has a blown cover.  Most MI agents are overt.  They don't care if the enemy knows who they are.  Their operations don't necessarily depend on them being completely under the radar, but still in the open.  This is true for CIA and FBI agents.  Usually, we refer to covert agents as undercover agents.  The amount of undercover can vary.  For example, the most covert of agents are those who are assigned to embassy staffs to listen and report.  They may be a secretary or a go to boy.  They have a job, that ensures they are near the ambassador or an ambassadorial secretary, but it is unknown that their actual role is intelligence gathering.  They gather information on the words spoken by the target not translated to the ambassador, etc.  They are able to gather information because no one realizes that they understand the language or that their job is intelligence gathering.

This kind of work isn't that exciting, but it is critical.  The other type of covert agent is those who infiltrate an enemy organization or group.  There isn't as much scope in writing about such agents except in very specific circumstances or novels.  For example, if you want to write about the covert operations of the British, your infiltrating agent is either a British citizen from the culture in question or is a turncoat from the other culture, society, or government.  The problem of being a British citizen from the culture in question, from a covert standpoint, is that it is too easy for the enemy to discover.  From the other standpoint, a turncoat is difficult to develop as a pathetic character.  People are not attracted to that type of character.

With this theme statement I am ready to tackle the novel.  The next step was to flesh out the characters and the setting.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Friday, April 18, 2014

Writing Ideas - Characters (Vampire Novel), part 8, Rules of Agents

18 April 2014, Writing Ideas - Characters (Vampire Novel), part 8, Rules of Agents

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

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 this new novel is: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed. 

Once we are clear on the rules for the vampire character, we may move to the agent character.  The vampire is a regular vampire--the rules are the classical rules for vampires.  There are some clarifications, but that is about it.  Now, an agent is a different type of character.

In general, there are two types of agents: covert and overt.  Most people are familiar with James Bond as an agent character--James Bond is an overt agent and not a covert agent.  A covert agent is never revealed and no one knows she is there.  An overt agent is obvious and may even carry an ID.  For example an MI-6 or MI-5 agent from Britain or a CIA or OSI agent from the USA.  A covert agent is not known to other agents or other members of a group.

In my novels, I have gone to a lot of trouble to design a British covert agency that I named "the Organization."  It is loosely based on MI-19 which was the foreign language and interrogation branch of the MI structures in World War II.  The organization is a true covert group who provides covert shares to MI-6 and MI-5.  In the organization, there are operatives and agents.  The operatives support the agents and usually don't go on missions.  The agents are always covert and go on missions.  Since I developed this group for my novels, I used it in this vampire novel too.  I'll get into more details.

With this theme statement I am ready to tackle the novel.  The next step was to flesh out the characters and the setting.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Writing Ideas - Characters (Vampire Novel), part 7, more Rules of Vampires

17 April 2014, Writing Ideas - Characters (Vampire Novel), part 7, more Rules of Vampires

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

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 this new novel is: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed. 

The point is this, if a vampire is to be a vampire, it must follow the basic characteristics of a vampire.  It doesn't matter if the author wants the characteristics of the vampire to be different than a classic vampire--a vampire is a vampire or it is something else.  An author may clarify the details about a vampire that are not explained in about a classic vampire.

In my vampire novel, I posit that vampires can eat and drink (something other than blood).  In fact, I specify that they only need to hunt for human blood when the moon is full.  During other nights, they eat normal human food.  I further clarify that they are not sexual beings.  This should be obvious, but for some reason the modern and common view of a vampire is that they are sexual beings.  If vampires reproduce through drinking blood, there is not reason for them to have sex.  In my novel, my vampire explains that although they have the plumbing, there is no desire.  Nor should there be.

The reproduction part also needs clarification.  In popular folklore, a vampire just needs to bite a person once to make them a vampire.  If this were true, we'd be up to our ears in vampires.  I clarify that to make a vampire, a vampire must first kill the person by drinking their blood (usually takes more than one vampire or over time), then the vampire provides some of their blood in the veins of the one to be made a vampire.  This gives them a kind of life after death.  It is not a true life, but rather a false life that is missing a key human component.

Notice that all my clarifications don't change or harm the idea of a classical vampire, but that they rather define a vampire and answer some basic questions about vampires.  They also flow from logic about vampires.  For example, you only need sexual desire if you reproduce sexually.  A vampire may have a desire to leave other vampires, but with a creature that lives a very long time without hope, there would be very little reason (other than companionship) for a vampire to reproduce.  In fact, my vampire was made a vampire to be a pet for a master vampire.  That's the backstory setup.

With this theme statement I am ready to tackle the novel.  The next step was to flesh out the characters and the setting.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Writing Ideas - Characters (Vampire Novel), part 6, Rules of Vampires

16 April 2014, Writing Ideas - Characters (Vampire Novel), part 6, Rules of Vampires

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

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 this new novel is: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed. 

The rules of vampires are those ideas that have flowed down mainly through Bram Stoker's novel, Dracula.  This novel is the basis for the "Rules of Vampires."  A classical vampire must follow these rules or they are not a vampire.  If they don't follow the basic rules of a vampire, they really can't be a vampire.  Now, a novelist is able to change the rules for a certain vampire or perhaps a group, but the problem always exists that they will destroy the character of the vampire.  If a vampire does not drink human blood to survive, what is it?  If a vampire is not destroyed by sunlight, what is it?  If a vampire is not evil in some way, what is it?  If a vampire is not killed by a stake through the heart, what is it?  If a vampire is not repelled by a cross and silver, what is it?  Some modification to the vampire, mostly additions or qualifications, are certainly acceptable, but changes to these rules make the character something else than a vampire.  One could assume Bram Stoker go it wrong, but he invented the classical vampire, so he is the only person with the authority to change the concept of a vampire.

Valeska, in my novel is a classical vampire.  I did make some clarifications to the idea of a vampire.  I specified that a vampire may not attack a cross bearer.  This is an extension of the idea of the cross repelling a vampire.  In a Christian, the cross is invisible, but marked on her forehead and heart.  Therefore, a Christian must be able to repel a vampire.  Further, in my novel, I present the idea that a Christian may give a vampire permission to take his blood, but when that happens, the vampire can't drink any other human's blood.  Okay, this is an obvious plot device, but no one has examined this part about vampires much.  This is the latitude I have as an author--if I can convince my audience to accept this characteristic of vampires, I have achieved my goals.

With this theme statement I am ready to tackle the novel.  The next step was to flesh out the characters and the setting.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Writing Ideas - Characters (Vampire Novel), part 5

15 April 2014, Writing Ideas - Characters (Vampire Novel), part 5

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

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 this new novel is: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed. 

At the same time, we are talking about a real vampire here.  In my novel, I flesh out the ideas that Stoker didn't fully explain.  In the novel I am writing, vampires were already damned before they became vampires.  I explain that a vampire can't attack a "cross-bearer," a Christian.  This is consistent with ideas about vampires and the Bible.  In my novel, a vampire can only attack (hunt and dine on) those who are not Christians.  They can only make vampires those who are unredeemed and already damned. 

My character Valeska/Heidi was a young woman who traded sex for sorcery.  She abused other students in her school.  She was self absorbed and evil.  She murdered her middle-aged lover using sorcery and that is what drew the other vampires.  To make a vampire, a vampire must kill his prey by drinking all the blood and then replace some of the blood with vampire's blood.  The taking of the blood, kills the person--they are dead.  The replacing with vampire's blood puts in a powerful piece of evil that sustains the vampire.  In my novel, a vampire is a creature without a pneuma--a spirit.  They have lost their spirit and therefore the sunlight turns them into dust.

With this theme statement I am ready to tackle the novel.  The next step was to flesh out the characters and the setting.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Monday, April 14, 2014

Writing Ideas - Characters (Vampire Novel), part 4

14 April 2014, Writing Ideas - Characters (Vampire Novel), part 4

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

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 this new novel is: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed. 

This discussion about vampires is to show how you flesh out a character.  In this case, a vampire's character.  In this novel, I wanted to make the vampire the protagonist's helper, and the protagonist the agent.  I wanted a classical vampire.  A classical vampire is one who meets all the criteria of Bram Stoker's Dracula.  A non-classical vampire is a vampire who does not have the characteristics of the monster Bram Stoker created.  A vampire should not be a hero, but it might have some heroic characteristics.  This is the point of redemption.  A vampire is a character that is a damned human on the earth.  To achieve redemption, the character would have to do something special and redemptive.  That has more to do with the plot development than the development of the character.

So, take the classical vampire and make it a modern character.  Many have done this well.  I wanted a character that could deliver pathos (emotion), therefore, I chose a character who would immediately deliver even if they were evil.  The obvious best pathos type character is a beautiful girl.  Place her in rags, make her hungry, and put her out on the streets--that is an immediate means to make male and female readers feel sorry for your vampire. 

Better yet, if she was or is abused then that increases the level of pathos.  The point is to immediately get my readers to feel positive emotion about the protagonist helper.  The means to do this is by applying certain characteristic to that character.  All this is in the fleshing out or development of the character before the novel is written.

With this theme statement I am ready to tackle the novel.  The next step was to flesh out the characters and the setting.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Writing Ideas - Themes (Vampire Novel), part 3

13 April 2014, Writing Ideas - Themes (Vampire Novel), part 3

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

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 this new novel is: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed. 

The point I am trying to make to you is this: the theme is a critical aspect of any novel.  The development of the theme is the meaning of authorship.  Your themes need to be somewhat unique.  The reason I am using a vampire in a novel is not to catch the wave of vampire based books, but rather because I was inspired by the idea of the possibility of redeeming a vampire and the idea of a vampire that was dependent on a human. 

The second part is kind of simple.  All vampires are dependent on humans--that is they must hunt and drink the blood of humans for survival.  Here is part of the fleshing out of the vampire character and development.  First, vampires in history and literature are defined by Bram Stoker's vampire Dracula.  Bram Stoker invented, not the idea of the vampire, but rather the literary idea of the vampire. 

Bram Stoker's vampires could not come out during the day. They drank human blood.  They were seduced first by the vampire and then they were turned into a vampire by that seduction.  They were immortal beings and they were spiritual beings.  I used all the ideas from Bram Stoker's classical vampire to develop my vampire.  I also clarified some points about vampires to develop my plot and the idea of dependency on a human rather than on humans in general. 

With this theme statement I am ready to tackle the novel.  The next step was to flesh out the characters and the setting.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com