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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 51, Themes, Developing Characters Rising Action

31 May 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 51, Themes, Developing Characters 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 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 main point about the character Heidi/Valeska who I developed for my vampire novel is not who she was, but rather who she is now.  The who she is now was developed by her past as a vampire.  Her past made her a vampire, but her life (uh death) as a vampire made her into the character she is during the time of the novel.  Further, the time of the novel shows some change in her place and being.  These changes during the time of the novel bear on the theme of the novel itself.  The question on the table is what during Heidi's time as a vampire changed her from an evil and self absorbed person to one who is gentle and properly perceptive?

If we note that the Heidi before she became a vampire was completely in control.  She controlled those around her and herself.  She made the world change for her.  When she was tired of her lover, she murdered him.  When she was a student, she controlled others through fear and abuse.  We get the feeling that she began to abuse and control her first abusive nanny while she was yet a child.  Heidi controlled her world and the people around her--as a vampire, she was a kept pet.  She was under the control of her master.  She was not allowed to hunt.  She was not allowed the patent pleasures of a vampire--to dine on freshly taken blood during the full moon.  She lived a life of extravagance and study under the finger of her master.  In this sphere, she learned self-control and patience.  She learned for almost two hundred years to put away her desires and wants as the pet of her master.  She had no friends and no one to control.  She became who she is in the novel because of the time she spent as a vampire.  We see she is not seeking--she knows her end.  Vampires can't seek for anything--they are creatures condemned and without redemption.  
 
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, May 30, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 50, in the Past, Developing Characters Rising Action

30 May 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 50, in the Past, Developing Characters 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 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 past I developed for the vampire, Valeska/Heidi and that I reveal in the new novel I'm writing provides an overall view of the life that created Heidi.  Valeska was her Polish name, given and used by her vampire master, while Heidi was her given name.  In Heidi, we see a tortured soul who lived to harm.  She was abandoned to a nanny who abused her and then began abusing other children early in her life.  She caused great harm to others.  She took up sorcery at the seduction of a family friend, a business friend of her father's.  At fifteen, she was a sorceress of some power and the lover of the man who seduced her into sorcery.  She didn't like the way he abused her, so she murdered him.  The murder using sorcery is what brought her to the attention of a coven of vampires.  The sorcery happened during a full moon and the vampires were hunting.  The scent of freshly spilled blood drew them to her, and her beauty and evil drove them to make her one of them.

This is my conjecture concerning vampires--since they can't harm cross-bearers, they seek out evil.  Heidi's own thought is that vampires exist to frighten people from evil.  In any case, she was an evil person who was made a vampire.  Her own actions brought about her experience although she began life like many, she became something entirely different than most.  The focus is on the fact that she was evil and that she freely admits that she was evil.  This revelation, in the novel, comes in time and conversation.  You learn with George Mardling about Heidi the vampire.  This is the point of the revelation of a character and the author's development of the character.  Notice also, I could have written a novel about the vampire, Heidi.  I didn't.  Her past and the revelation of her past is more important in the context of the theme of the novel than a novel about her past.  
 
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, May 29, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 49, more of the Past, Developing Characters Rising Action

29 May 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 49, more of the Past, Developing Characters 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 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. 

What makes a person who they are?  A writer, more than anyone else should be able to pin-point this, because all good writers create characters who appear real.  They are not "real."  They appear real.  What makes a character "real" isn't their looks or what they wear.  What makes a character from a novel or story appear "real" is how they respond to the world around them and how they responded to the world around them.

If I gave you a vampire like Valeska, and she was a bloodsucking murderous vampire, you might shrug your shoulders in response.  Valeska instead is gentle and kind.  She wishes only to read, have good conversation, eat fine foods, and drink sweet wine.  What in the world could make a vampire act like that?  Why would a vampire act like that?  I would argue that if there really were vampires in the world, and especially those defined by my "rules for vampires," they would be cautious, reticent, thoughtful, bloodsucking and violent at the right time, but gentle and studious most of the time.  If you are a vampire who needs food to live and human blood during a full moon, you would tend to be cautious and careful.  If you lived forever, you would want to spend your time in either studious or exciting pursuits.  I suspect that after the first hundred years or so, you would get bored with the excitement, and move toward the intellectual.  The point is the past is what makes a person.  The past is what a character is developed from. 
 
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, May 28, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 48, more Past, Developing Characters Rising Action

28 May 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 48, more Past, Developing Characters 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 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 reliance on the history of a character to develop a character is why, for me, series novels are the easiest to write.  In my Ancient Light novels that started with the published novel Aegypt, the characters developed over time--many were literally born into the novels.  If you have this kind of history on a character, the character development and the depth of the character is a cinch.  Likewise for characters out of history.  If you already know something about their life and times, the development of their character becomes easy--al least for me.

Let's look at Valeska/Heidi, the vampire from the novel I am writing.  Here is a marvelous character because she has historical antecedents and a powerful past.  I make it very clear in the novel that only evil people can become vampires--you might have guessed this from what you know about vampires.  Heidi was abused and was an abuser as a child.  She became enamored of sorcery, and took a lover at fifteen who taught it to her.  She murdered her lover using sorcery.  She, herself, confessed to George Mardling what she was before she was a vampire and the picture isn't pretty.  At the same time, she lived through the many wars that encompassed Gdansk and Danzig.  The city was Prussian, German, and Polish.  Talk about history encapsulated in a person.
 
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, May 27, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 47, Past, Developing Characters Rising Action

27 May 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 47, Past, Developing Characters 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 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 you have a name and a description, you might imagine you can then begin to flesh out the character of your character--that is the furthest from the truth.  What makes your character a "real" character isn't necessarily how they might think or how they might act.  What makes a character "real' is the same thing that makes a person real--their past.  I don't develop characters by writing, Heidi is a vampire who has a poker-faced personality and is sarcastic.  Don't get me wrong, you can develop a character using that type of description, but I think that makes a limited character--is the character always sarcastic and poker-faced?  Of course not.  What makes great character development is the actual past of the character.  This, by the way, is the part that is your goal to reveal in the novel.  You want to reveal the past of your characters.  Usually, you focus mainly on the primary characters, but their revelation is what makes their reactions seem real. 

For example, a poker-faced vampire who is sarcastic--why is she sarcastic?  Why is she poker-faced.  The reason must come from her past.  If fact, Heidi is neither poker-faced and usually not sarcastic.  She is polite and generally capable.  She thinks of others and is very patient.  You might ask, how can a vampire be like that?  All the vampires you might have read about are animal-like or driven by evil--or normal high schoolers who drink blood.  In any case, the reason they are the way they are is based in their past.  That is what you must explore when you develop a character. 
 
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, May 26, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 46, more Naming Developing Characters Rising Action

26 May 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 46, more Naming Developing Characters 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 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. 

When I described George Mardling, the agent and protagonist of my vampire novel, I used his first name as a tag.  The actual introduction to the overall name comes later when I introduce the vampire during dialog.  This is at the end of the first scene:

George smiled, “There is no need.  I had no more need of my blood.  I know I am dying.”

“I’m sure it is a sin, but do you wish to live?”

“I don’t want to be a vampire.”

The girl’s voice was very sad, “That is certainly no gift.  I can give you back your life.  It is all I can do for you, mortal man.”

George raised his hand, “Not as a vampire.”

“I thought you didn’t believe in vampires.”

“I don’t.”

The girl bit her tongue and pressed her lips against his.  He tasted her blood in his mouth.  He had been tasting blood since he was shot, but this was different.  The taste was different, and he felt something burning in his body.  He felt her lips form a smile and pull back.  She licked her lips with that oddly pointed tongue of hers, “That is all I can do for you.”

George was more groggy than before—perhaps he was finally dying.  He stared at the girl, “My name is George Mardling.”

The girl stood over him, “I was called, Valeska by my master, but my given name is Heidi.”

“Heidi is the name of a vampire?”

She frowned, “You don’t believe in vampires.”

“No, I don’t.”  George’s head fell to the side and he was suddenly unaware of anything.

In this dialog, we discover the name of the vampire.  The reason the vampire has two names, Heidi and Valeska, is simple.  The culture of Gdansk is Polish and German.  People from certain periods had both Polish and German names.  I chose Valeska as the name of the vampire because it means "Glorious Ruler" in Polish and "vitality" in Latin.  I also chose Heidi as the German name because it is a diminutive of Adelheid that means "Noble and Honorable" in German.  The name Heidi and Valeska mean essentially the same thing.  Also, I asked my wife, what name would you least expect a vampire to have--she answered: Heidi.  This was an alignment of the stars.  I picked the name Heidi for these reasons and the name Valeska because of its meanings and it fits a vampire.  The point here is that the names of the main characters all fit the characters.  They are bestowed on the characters for a specific reason and they sound right.  Valeska fits a vampire princess.  Heidi fits a child who became a vampire.  Heidi was not innocent by any measure--she richly deserved her new name: Valeska, but that is for another time.
 
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, May 25, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 45, Naming Developing Characters Rising Action

25 May 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 45, Naming Developing Characters 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 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. 

Do not choose the names for your characters haphazardly or randomly.  Match the names to the characters.  I would go so far as to advise you to make the names have meanings within the context of the theme of the novel.  Why not?  Great authors from the past did exactly this.  They didn't want their educated readers to miss the theme points.  A great sounding and fitting name that has further meaning provides a powerful pointer to the theme of the novel.  I agree the theme should be more obvious than that, but why not make the overall novel fit the theme--including the names of the main characters.  It is an important point to make certain your character names fit the context of your novel.  I written about this before.  So, how do you go about matching a character and a name? 

I mentioned yesterday, that I picked the name George because it is strongly British and has associations with the British Saint and the Knights of the Red Cross.  I chose Mardling because it is also uniquely British and tied strongly to the land of Britain--it comes from a place name and from the female Madeline.  This sets George Mardling strongly tied to Britain and the British lands--and that's my point.  It does have to do with the theme.  I promised another example, but that will have to wait.
 
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, May 24, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 44, Naming Developing Characters Rising Action

24 May 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 44, Naming Developing Characters 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 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. 

When you first develop and introduce a character, you need a physical description.  I agree with Arlo Guthrie Jr., the physical description of a main character should be 300 or more words--period.  In the initial description of the vampire, I have about 216 words, the rest are taken up in further description in the dialog.  I prefer not to just set a description indiscriminately--I like to intermix with the conversation or action when possible.  Part of the physical description is the name.  However, the name can only come out with conversation or specific description.  In POV (point of view) it is possible to give a name in description.  Thus from the beginning of the new novel I'm writing:

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 them, reflected as a milky glow that was grimed with the floating sheen.  The scent of saltwater and rotten 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.  George Mardling stepped gingerly to the alley beside an old shop and glanced down it.  His eyes were already adjusted to the dark.  Still he flipped the night vision goggle over his left eye and scanned the alley.  It was clear.

The late fall night was cold--George wore a suit and over it a black overcoat.  He had a dark felt fedora on his head.  That helped conceal the night vision goggle.  The night vision equipment was very modern and compact.  The organization had issued it to the field last month.  The point was to get a lot of night visibility out of a very small package—it worked well, but the battery life was limited.

George was a tall and thin man.  He liked to think his physique was like a body builders’, but he knew he was too thin.  He also knew his face looked too young and too serious.  More like a student or a professor than an agent.  That was probably good for the organization. 

George carried a Beretta nine millimeter in his jacket and a Beretta nine millimeter kurz in his waistband, he hadn’t unholstered either weapon—yet.  According to headquarters, his target wasn’t supposed to be armed.  According to his orders, this wasn’t an attack or an arrest—he was making a reconnaissance, a surveillance with a contact.  If he could identify the mark, all the better.

Notice, George Mardling is named in the description.  Heidi is not.  I'll give you that example tomorrow.  For now, let's look at naming.  I choose the names of my characters based first on their character.  The point is to have a name that connotes meaning in the novel and for the theme.  In the case of George Mardling, I meant for his name to be strongly British, different from my other main male characters, and to refer to a redeeming spirit.  George is strongly British and connotes George the Dragon killer and a Red Cross Knight.  The Red Cross Knight is a knight who is willing to give all for his country and others.  George is obviously this kind of character--the reader shouldn't miss this about his personality and character.
 
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, May 23, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 43, Description Developing Characters Rising Action

23 May 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 43, Description Developing Characters 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 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. 

In developing a character, create the physical description.  This can be first or it can be at the same time as you develop the other characteristics.  I take a holistic approach to character development, but in setting the character, as you set the scene, description is the first step and the simplest step.  The first thing you see about any person is the physical.  This physical should not be at odds with the personality of a character.  I don't mean you should completely stereotype you characters, but many physical descriptions will drive your reader's perceptions and can destroy what you are trying to do with your characters.  For example, if I describe a character in completely negative terms, I likely have prejudiced my readers against that characters.  If you don't intend this, don't use such negative terms.  In the case of the vampire, I wanted to create a pathetic character (one who invokes emotion).  Here is my description:

"A movement caught him by surprise.  It came from the dark alleyway away from the street.  A small person moved very quickly from the opening to stand right in front of him.  It stopped suddenly and moaned, then sat on its haunches.  It squatted outside of his reach and watched him.  Its face was thin and pale.  The face barely showed in his night vision goggle.  That, in itself was surprising.  It wore clothing that seemed exceedingly fine, but they were filthy and damp.  It had on the remains of a girl’s party dress.  The dress had once been white with red or pink ribbons, but now it was torn and bedraggled.  The ribbons blended with the stains on the dress.  The stains seemed like long dried blood and not just the dirt of the streets. 

The girl, it was a girl, stared at him with bright eyes that seemed tinged with silver.  They seemed slightly dull in the night vision goggle.  Her hair was black and matted.  It reached almost to the cobbles of the alleyway where she squatted.  Her face was finely etched and hard looking.  She let her tongue slip out of her mouth.  She licked her lips.  Her tongue was slightly pointed, and George could swear, her teeth were pointed like fangs." 

Not so beautiful in this description--mainly because she is dirty and neglected.  She becomes beautiful with attention and a good bath.  This is her setting and the setting of the character description for the beginning of the novel and the introduction of the character.  The first step is a physical description.  If you note, this description is neutral and from the POV (point of view) of George Mardling.
 
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, May 22, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 42, more Developing Characters Rising Action

22 May 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 42, more Developing Characters 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 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. 

In developing physical characteristics in a character, I look for a couple of things.  First, I use real people, but I don't use usual people.  I use unusual people.  I look for the unique.  One of my favorite examples is the pony faced girl in my novel Hestia (unpublished). I really saw such a girl.  I don't know what her personality or character was like--I don't care.  I took the physical and put it whole in my novel.

This is the point about the physical.  You want to take unique and interesting people and depict them in your novels.  The readers will usually turn them into what they want and imagine, so when you develop a character, you need to make them have characteristics that can't be mistaken, and depending on the type of character, you need to make their physical attributes marry the novel theme, plot, and storyline.

What about the vampire?  I made the vampire be a wonderfully beautiful girl.  She is so beautiful that many think she is the most beautiful person they have seen.  At the same time, she has a pointed long tongue and fangs.  In pure vampire mode, she is even less beautiful.  You can see the point here, I hope.  The character is notably beautiful, but has characteristics that few humans could call beautiful.  This is an important factor because such descriptions drive your readers imagination.  A character who is beautiful is just another character.  A character who is beautiful with fangs and a pointed tongue is something else entirely. 
 
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, May 21, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 41, Developing Characters Rising Action

21 May 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 41, Developing Characters 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 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. 

Real people are complex beings, but they rarely are the material for a good novel.  Just like I wrote yesterday.  Well developed characters are about as real as conversation in a novel.  Conversation is never real--it is made more than real by the writer.  Likewise, characters in a novel are not real--they, like conversation have to go through a transformation.  That transformation merges, clarifies, and distills the essence of the character to allow the author the scope to reveal them in a 100,000 word novel.  Look, if you tried to reveal the nuances and true expression of a real person, it would definitely take more than 100,000 words--plus, for most people, it would be boring.  The best characters are not those that are like real people, but rather those that are unique, but appear to be real people.  Perhaps a better way of saying this is that they are unique, but appeal and seem like a real person to the reader.  They are what the reader wants to be in a person. 

This is why I don't write myself into my novels (and no author should write themselves as a character).  This is why I don't use singular people as a model for a character.  Every character must be boiled down to an essence and yet given complexity and resonance so they are real in the eye of the reader.  To develop (build) such a character, you must start with the physical characteristics.
 
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, May 20, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 40, more Characters Rising Action

20 May 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 40, more Characters 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 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. 

Let's look at developing characters.  Characters in novels are about as real as conversation in novels.  Whoa--how can that be and what does that mean?  First, have you ever read a transcript of a conversation--any conversation?  A court reporter or an official transcript is always filled with incomplete sentences, filler words (uhm, like, uh, you know, etc.), filler sounds (smacking lips, clicking teeth, sighs, etc.), unfinished thoughts, unfinished sentences, you name it.  When an author sits down to write a conversation, they don't write a real conversation, they write the mind's eye idea of a conversation.  In a real conversation, the body language and facial expressions, the nonverbal and the verbal language and vocal expressions all produce the communication--or lack of communication.  You can't do that in a novel.  You have great tools--these are tools you learn to use well as an author, but they cannot convey a real conversation in any way shape or form. 

An author doesn't write a real conversation--an author writes a conversation on paper that appears to be a real conversation.  Now, technically, if you acted out the author's conversation, you should have a very nice cohesive piece of a play or a human interaction that passes for real, but that's the trick.  It isn't real--it's a cohesive, developed, hopefully intellectual, play that furthers the theme, plot, and storyline, but that isn't real.  It should sound real, it should read like real, it should seem like it is real, but we all know real people can't converse that way.  The same applies to character development.
 
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, May 19, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 39, Characters Rising Action

19 May 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 39, Characters 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 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. 

I've learned a lot about developing and revealing characters while writing 23 novels.  One of the main ones is that I don't write about myself.  I don't place myself in novels the way Normal Rockwell drew himself into his paintings (although that might be a fun thing to do in some novel).  There are a couple of reasons for this.  The first is that each individual character in a novel should be individual and unique.  In other words, we don't need Edgar Rice Burroughs main characters.  Although I really appreciate ERB's writing--his main characters and many of his supporting characters are all the same. It was like John Carter of Mars and Tarzan were the same actor set in different novels.  This is definitely something I don't want in my writing.  I go to very great lengths to get away from this.  For example, although the main female characters in my Aegypt (Ancient Light) novels all look similar (this is a family characteristic I use in the novels), their characters are significantly different.

In the beginning of Aegypt (Ancient Light), the main female characters look exactly the same except one has a smile and the other a frown.  In later novels in this series, the daughters and granddaughters who follow in time, look similar, but have absolutely different personalities.  This is part of my own development of concepts in the novels--that characters who look the same can be absolutely different.  I'd go so far as to say uniquely different.  I intentionally develop characters who are not so foreign to us, but who are complex and many times perplexed about how they should act and what they should do in the world.  In my ideas, this is what the development and revelation of characters in a novel is all about.
 
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, May 18, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 38, more Vampire Conversation Rising Action

18 May 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 38, more Vampire Conversation 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 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. 

What people want from your novels isn't really the action or the adventure.  They want the action and adventure along with the wonderful characters your develop and then reveal in the novel.  What is the novel, Oliver Twist without Oliver Twist?  The novel is a revelation of the characters--that revelation will just naturally include some degree of action and adventure.  Put Bob Sykes in the place of Oliver Twist and you will get what I mean.  No one would care if Bob Sykes lives or dies--well actually many people would hope he would die.  In the novel, Bob Sykes wouldn't ask for another bowl of soup--he would demand it, or he would steal it from another child.  Bob Sykes is a character people hate.  On the other hand, Oliver Twist is a character people love.  He is a character they would like to see themselves like.

I'm not sure adults reflect on themselves in the role of the characters they read about.  Many children do--adults, not so much.  Writers should never see themselves in the role of one of the characters they develop.  There is much to this.
 
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, May 17, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 37, Vampire Conversation Rising Action

17 May 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 37, Vampire Conversation 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 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. 

Did you get it already?  One of the most powerful tools to the writer is conversation--not yelling, or argument, although they do have their uses.  If you can get your main characters into a position of calm conversation, you have the seeds of revelation.  In the most action oriented novel, there are always halts in the action.  The narrative has to bow at some point to conversation.  To me, conversation (dialog) in a novel is the most important and powerful part of the novel.  In the conversation (dialog), I can begin to revel the inmost thoughts of the characters. 

Let's imagine a secret agent, like George Mardling in the book I'm writing now, you see his actions--don't you wonder about his motivations.  Doesn't he wonder about his motivations?  Do you wonder about your own motivations?  In the action narrative, I can show you an agent in action, but what makes him an interesting character isn't his actions, but rather his mind.  The thoughts of your character make them who they are--not necessarily their actions.  I still acknowledge the adage, you are what you do, but I realize something much deeper in this statement.  You may be "what you do," but you are then "what you think."  For example, a secret agent character who does so for money is pretty low on the good registry.  One who is a secret agent for the excitement is a little higher.  One who does it for patriotism is higher.  The secret agent who does her work to better the world is higher.  The one who acts to rid the world of evil might be higher or lower depending on how they go about their work.  None of this can be brought out in the action narrative--all of it must come through conversation (dialog)--unless you tell.  Don't tell.
 
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, May 16, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 36, even more Vampire Revelation Rising Action

16 May 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 36, even more Vampire Revelation 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 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 the vampire and the agent can sit for conversation, the real revelation can begin.  In any novel, the novel can't propel itself totally through action and description.  The revelation of the characters come not only from what they do, but from what they say and how they say it.  Imagine what questions you would like to ask a vampire and specifically this vampire.  The first might be, how did you become a vampire.  Another might be, how  do you like being a vampire.  Perhaps, what is you daily life like as a vampire.  Of course, it is unlikely your characters would ask these questions so directly, but the answers should come out of the conversation.  The question of life as a vampire is natural.  Where do you sleep?  What do eat?  Do you dream? 

The answers and how they are said reveal the character and person to the reader.  The author reveals the character to the reader because the character is important and interesting.  Unique.  Additionally, through the conversation, the author reveals the other character--that is the agent.  Character and thoughts are revealed by the questions that are asked and by the response.  In addition, the vampire gets to ask questions or the agent must state certain facts to help the vampire.  For example, the agent's work and work schedule.
 
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, May 15, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 35, yet more Vampire Revelation Rising Action

15 May 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 35, yet more Vampire Revelation 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 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. 

When I first started writing, I wrote like the older classical novels I grew up with.  I learned, after writing many novels, that isn't the most powerful way to write.  You can write a good novel using that method, but it really is telling.  Don't tell.  This is the problem I see all the time.  Most writers know the dictum, "Show don't tell," but they really don't understand what that means.  For example, sorry to break this to you, if you didn't already know it, but Tolkien did a lot more telling than showing.  His worlds of Middle Earth are wonderful, but he really could have done a better job with his writing.  This is why his books make such wonderful movies.  Movies mostly show everything--when Tolkien is shown, the stories become much more powerful.

In fact, I'll disagree with the famous myth that the best novels are difficult to make into movies.  The best novels are entirely description and conversation.  If a screenplay writer can't make a great screenplay from description and conversation, he isn't much of a writer.  The best novels reveal everything through description and conversation--that is showing.  Instead of telling what is happening in the world, nation, city, place, a great author has the characters converse about it--or she shows it to the reader (descriptive 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