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Monday, June 30, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 81, more Theme Statement, Developing Storyline Rising Action

30 June 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 81, more Theme Statement, Developing Storyline Rising Action

Announcement: There is action on my new novels.  The publisher renamed the series--they are still working on the name.  I provided suggestions as did one of my prepub readers. Now the individual books will be given single names: Leora, Leila, Russia, Lumiere', China, Sveta, and Klava--at least these are some of the suggestions.  They are also working on a single theme for the covers.  I'll keep you updated.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with 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 my newest novel, Valeska, is this: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed.

Here is my proposed cover for Valeska:
I decided on a white cover style.  You can see more at www.GoddessofDarkness.com.

I'm deconstructing the theme statement for Valeska (above) and noting how it was developed to be entertaining and unique.  I wrote yesterday that the protagonist was stated as an entertaining character.  The same is true for the protagonist's helper.  There are two action statements (verbs) in the theme statement--the first is "involved" and the second is "redeemed." 

In my personal opinion, "involved" can be both unique and entertaining.  For example, if I wrote ...turned into a vampire... or ... attacked by a vampire... instead of "involved," you would say ho hum.  Vampires are written about all the time attacking, killing, turning people into vampires.  On the other hand, involvement implies a new or different kind of human and vampire interaction and arrangement.  If I wrote...fell in love...instead of "involved," you'd think Twilight (along with a host of other vampire knock-offs).  Believe you me, Twilight is only one of many vampire in love novel and book themes.  The Japanese have been using this (vampire in love) as a theme for years.  So, for these reasons, involved is intended to be entertaining and different.  

The second verb is "redeemed."  For an evil human, for example, a criminal or a prostitute, the idea of redemption is common (almost trite); however, for a vampire, redemption is supposed to be impossible.  There is the core of a unique and hopefully an entertaining theme.  The main point is that if you start with a theme statement that is entertaining, you might have some strong chance of writing an entertaining novel.  Additionally, if the novel is somewhat unique, you might have a chance at selling it.    

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, June 29, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 80, Theme Statement, Developing Storyline Rising Action

29 June 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 80, Theme Statement, Developing Storyline Rising Action

Announcement: There is action on my new novels.  The publisher renamed the series--they are still working on the name.  I provided suggestions as did one of my prepub readers. Now the individual books will be given single names: Leora, Leila, Russia, Lumiere', China, Sveta, and Klava--at least these are some of the suggestions.  They are also working on a single theme for the covers.  I'll keep you updated.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with 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.

Here is my proposed cover for Valeska:
I decided on a white cover style.  You can see more at www.GoddessofDarkness.com.

I wrote before that your theme should be unique--the reason was primarily to focus your writing on something new that is sellable.  Ultimately, unique can also mean entertaining.  Let's think about this.  People are looking for something new and interesting.  New can interesting is generally unique.  New and interesting can mean entertaining.  Many, if not most, of the writing ideas I pass on to you are for the specific purpose of allowing you to produce an entertaining result.  For example, I use and advise the use of unique themes because they can be the most entertaining.  I advise and use pathetic characters (characters who produce emotion in your readers) because people generally find them to be the most entertaining characters.  I advise and use unusual characters because they are generally entertaining characters.  I suggest a revelation approach to characters and the storyline because everyone likes a little mystery. 

Literally everything I discuss here goes back to entertainment--because novels are all about entertainment.  So when I write that you should make an entertaining theme, what does that mean?  Let's look at the theme for my latest novel, Valeska.  The theme statement is written above. 

The first character and the protagonist (usually the protagonist should be the subject of your theme statement) is an "agent for the organization."  An agent is an exciting and therefore a potentially entertaining type of character.  The character and the organization are both mysterious and will require some degree of revelation.  Compare that to this protagonist: a businessman who works for a national bank...  I'm not telling you that "a businessman who works for a national bank," can't be an entertaining character, but it ain't very unique and it ain't very exciting to begin with.  You better get the rest of the theme statement moving for such a character.  You can imagine other bland or exciting protagonists.  I'm just advising you, that if you start with an exciting protagonist, you will help to make a potentially entertaining theme statement.

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, June 28, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 79, more truth, Developing Storyline Rising Action

28 June 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 79, more truth, Developing Storyline Rising Action

Announcement: There is action on my new novels.  The publisher renamed the series--they are still working on the name.  I provided suggestions as did one of my prepub readers. Now the individual books will be given single names: Leora, Leila, Russia, Lumiere', China, Sveta, and Klava--at least these are some of the suggestions.  They are also working on a single theme for the covers.  I'll keep you updated.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with 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.

Here is my proposed cover for Valeska:
I decided on a white cover style.  You can see more at www.GoddessofDarkness.com.

Just remember, the purpose of novel writing is to entertain.  It isn't therapy.  It isn't communication.  It isn't philosophy.  It isn't theology.  It isn't to teach.  If you want to do any of these other things, you need to use a different type of literature.  So, focus on this, the theme focus for a novel, to excite and entertain.  (It really is just to entertain, but I like to include the excitement part)  So, just as conversation in a novel is the essence of a perfectly entertaining conversation (not a perfect conversation, but a perfectly entertaining conversation), a novel is the essence of a perfectly entertaining theme statement. 

I wrote before, you can start with an overused theme statement, but you better be a really good writer.  For example, a vampire and a human fall in love.  That is a pretty trite theme statement.  Note that it has all the features of a good theme statement--it's just a pretty trite, and today, overused one.  Here is a really overused theme statement: a boy and girl fall in love.  You can expand this to: a boy and girl whose families hate each other fall in love.  That's the theme for Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story, just to name a couple.  Notice that love is the focus of the theme in both these examples.  Every adult novel should include love especially romantic love, however, there is nothing wrong with including it as a sub theme.

Every complete theme statement is perfect.  This is the embodiment of the essence of perfect entertainment in a novel.  So, if every complete theme statement is perfect, this is like beginning with the essence of a conversation.  The trick is to make the result of expanding the theme statement be perfectly entertaining.  This, as you can guess is the difficulty in writing a novel.  Just for grins, I will approach the beginning of the novel again and attempt to focus more on the entertainment aspect of the writing.

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, June 27, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 78, truth, Developing Storyline Rising Action

27 June 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 78, truth, Developing Storyline Rising Action

Announcement: There is action on my new novels.  The publisher renamed the series--they are still working on the name.  I provided suggestions as did one of my prepub readers. Now the individual books will be given single names: Leora, Leila, Russia, Lumiere', China, Sveta, and Klava--at least these are some of the suggestions.  They are also working on a single theme for the covers.  I'll keep you updated.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with 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.

Here is my proposed cover for Valeska:
I decided on a white cover style.  You can see more at www.GoddessofDarkness.com.

Truth in a novel is like conversation in a novel.  No conversation in any novel reflects any real conversation.  If you are familiar with the transcripts of conversations, you will know that very few speakers speak in complete sentences and that most conversation is filled with non-verbal sounds and extraneous words.  A real conversation in a transcript is many times not completely understandable and sometimes a speaker whose conversation is completely understandable in person is impossible to understand in a transcript.

Novels and conversation in novels are the exact opposite of a transcript.  In conversation in a novel, the author writes the conversation to read like a real conversation, but in reality it could never be a real conversation (not unless two actors were reading it directly).  You could not take the transcript of a real conversation and include it in a novel (not unless the transcript itself were the focus of the novel).  Likewise, the author takes conversation and makes it seem real to the reader.  The conversation in a novel is what we conceive a conversation to be.  A conversation in a novel could never reflect the truth of a conversation in the "real" world.  On the other hand, the transcript of the most interesting conversation in the world would never make it in a novel.  A novel's purpose is to entertain.  The purpose of a conversation is to communicate. 

The conversation in a novel is not "truth" in the sense of the real world--it is "truth" only in the world of the novel.  It is also truth that is boiled down to the essence of purity to entertain.  In this way, the truth in a novel is like conversation in a novel.  The author provides a perfect and entertaining view of the world by perfecting something, like conversation, that is very imperfect in the "real" world.

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, June 26, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 77, revelation, Developing Storyline Rising Action

26 June 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 77, revelation, Developing Storyline Rising Action

Announcement: There is action on my new novels.  The publisher renamed the series--they are still working on the name.  I provided suggestions as did one of my prepub readers. Now the individual books will be given single names: Leora, Leila, Russia, Lumiere', China, Sveta, and Klava--at least these are some of the suggestions.  They are also working on a single theme for the covers.  I'll keep you updated.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with 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.

Here is my proposed cover for Valeska:
I decided on a white cover style.  You can see more at www.GoddessofDarkness.com.

In real life, where is truth?  This is usually a very difficult idea to evaluate.  Anyone who has lived very long knows that there is truth, but especially today in a pluralistic society, it is very difficult to define truth that gets more than a 50-50 agreement.  There are some things that do hit very high.  For example, if you ask people if they believe in God--that gets in the 90s.  If you ask people if there is truth, you might get in the 50s.  I'm really not trying to give you a philosophical or a theological conundrum--I do believe there if truth, and I believe people can know it.  The problem is the expression of truth (what is truth) and the proof (how can I know it is true).  This is a similar problem in writing.

Some might imagine that writing is about telling or revealing or showing truth.  That isn't what writing is about at all--writing is about entertaining.   If a little truth gets sprinkled along the way so much the better.  The problem is abut truth and about truth in the writing itself.  In many of my novels, I don't want the reader to know the entire truth about a character or an event--the novel is shrouded in mystery because it is supposed to be a mystery.  As I mentioned before, in writing almost all novels are or should be character revelation (the revelation of a developed character).  This entire idea assumes the reader doesn't know everything about a character and the character is slowly revealed during the novel.  The same is true for the events of the novel.  If I gave a synopsis at the beginning, and you knew the outcome at the end, would you read the novel?   Novels themselves are a revelation of both the characters and the events.  This is the "truth" of the novel--if you like.  This truth is what the author revels through the writing.  Like truth in the world, the world of the novel becomes real and is powerful through the design of the revelation.

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, June 25, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 76, more ah ha resolution, Developing Storyline Rising Action

25 June 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 76, more ah ha resolution, Developing Storyline Rising Action

Announcement: There is action on my new novels.  The publisher renamed the series--they are still working on the name.  I provided suggestions as did one of my prepub readers. Now the individual books will be given single names: Leora, Leila, Russia, Lumiere', China, Sveta, and Klava--at least these are some of the suggestions.  They are also working on a single theme for the covers.  I'll keep you updated.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with 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.

Here is my proposed cover for Valeska:
I decided on a white cover style.  You can see more at www.GoddessofDarkness.com.

An ah ha moment is a concept in showing.  For example, if I show you a blush, or tears, or an embarrassed chuckle, you might guess a character is in love.  A wise author doesn't tell us that he loves her, a wise author shows us that he loves her.  You might throw in a well placed confession of love, but that is simply gravy for those who couldn't get the point of every other indicator.  However, if a character shows absolutely not indications of love and suddenly confesses love--the author has sent a very powerful signal. 

Showing means there is consistent actions and words throughout a novel.  Words that are not consistent with actions or indications mean something is really wrong.  An author who is writing in the groove knows this and uses this.  On the other hand, if you tell us he loves her and there is no indications and no words, what does your statement mean.  Does it mean anything at all.  In fact, when an author moves into the omniscient and tell us something, that is truth--isn't it?  I mean, that is like the hand of God stepping in to deliver a truth to the world of the writing.  It also means the world of the writing has turned into pure fantasy. 

If I show you a blush and a tear and an embarrassed chuckle, I might have shown you love.  When the character states, "I love you," he might be telling the truth--perhaps not.  The ah ha moment is when the reader realizes that the character is lying--or not.

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, June 24, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 75, ah ha resolution, Developing Storyline Rising Action

24 June 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 75, ah ha resolution, Developing Storyline Rising Action

Announcement: There is action on my new novels.  The publisher renamed the series--they are still working on the name.  I provided suggestions as did one of my prepub readers. Now the individual books will be given single names: Leora, Leila, Russia, Lumiere', China, Sveta, and Klava--at least these are some of the suggestions.  They are also working on a single theme for the covers.  I'll keep you updated.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with 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.

Here is my proposed cover for Valeska:
I decided on a white cover style.  You can see more at www.GoddessofDarkness.com.

I am an educator and one of my most powerful tools is an ah ha moment.  An ah ha moment is where a teacher gives the students just enough information so that they can draw a correct conclusion on their own.  When I develop a lesson, I build in many ah ha moments for my students--I do the same in my writing.

One of the most powerful tools an author has is this kind of reader self discovery.  This is what is meant by showing where the reader draws inferences that leads to a deeper understanding of the writing.  Many times my readers ask me: aren't you worried that some of your readers won't get all the wonderful things you include in your writing?  I am not worried at all.  I know that the astute reader will get most of everything in the writing.  Those who are not as well versed may not, but that's okay--if they read the novel again, they will get more and more.  Each reading will be like a new experience for them.  This is my goal.

The point is to place markers in the writing that a person of good education, strong language skills, and strong reading experience will understand.  These points should not be so necessary to the writing that if they are missed the reader doesn't get the writing, but they should be additive to the overall plot and theme 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

Monday, June 23, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 74, tags Narrative Tension, Developing Storyline Rising Action

23 June 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 74, tags Narrative Tension, Developing Storyline Rising Action

Announcement: There is action on my new novels.  The publisher renamed the series--they are still working on the name.  I provided suggestions as did one of my prepub readers. Now the individual books will be given single names: Leora, Leila, Russia, Lumiere', China, Sveta, and Klava--at least these are some of the suggestions.  They are also working on a single theme for the covers.  I'll keep you updated.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with 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.

Here is my proposed cover for Valeska:
I decided on a white cover style.  You can see more at www.GoddessofDarkness.com.

The use of tags in the narrative can also be a powerful identifier as well as a clue to your readers.  For example, I mentioned that a sign of nervousness in one of my characters in my unpublished novel, Khione was to draw his finger through his hair.  If, in the narrative, he pulls his finger through his hair, the readers know he is nervous.  This is part of the showing in description and action that I was writing about before.  Your entire purpose as a writer is to show and not tell.  Using a tag such as this in narrative shows your readers a lot about your character's frame of mind without telling anything.

This is what I mean about showing and not telling.  This is also a classic writing trick of expressing the feelings of a character without telling the readers what is in the character's mind.  I also want to relate all of this back to tension and release.  If you tell me a character is scared--who cares.  On the other hand, if the character shows signs of nervousness, if his hands are sweating, if his teeth are chattering, shazam, the character might just be scared.  How much more power is there in description that leads the reader to a conclusion as opposed to telling the reader the conclusion.  This is what I call an ah ha moment--this is obviously a small ah ha moment, but a natural one.  There is much more that the author can do to develop such moments.  

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, June 22, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 73, tags Conversation Tension, Developing Storyline Rising Action

22 June 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 73, tags Conversation Tension, Developing Storyline Rising Action

Announcement: There is action on my new novels.  The publisher renamed the series--they are still working on the name.  I provided suggestions as did one of my prepub readers. Now the individual books will be given single names: Leora, Leila, Russia, Lumiere', China, Sveta, and Klava--at least these are some of the suggestions.  They are also working on a single theme for the covers.  I'll keep you updated.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with 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.

Just as handles are used to physically identify and reintroduce a character in a novel, a tag is used in conversation to identify and intellectually identify a character.  Tags can be as simple as a tagline such as "I said too much," in all its variations.  I use this tagline to identify Leila in Valeska.  Leila is a character who has been alone too much and many times gives too much information to others when she doesn't mean to.  This becomes a running joke in the conversation of the novel.  A tagline is not unique for a character or a novel, but unless it is a joke, it can be over done.

A tag is more normal and is a characteristic that is usually used to identify a character in conversation.  For example, in Khione, the protagonist's helpers tag was to run his fingers through his short hair--it was a nervous habit.  The character's mother did the same.  The tag was a means of identifying the character's and his mother's nervousness. 

Classic tags that I have used are lighting a cigarette or a cigar, drinking certain types of liquor, facial habits or quirks, scratching parts of the face, etc.  There are many ways to differentiate characters and to display their emotions during conversations.  These types of details can quickly identify and bring out the character of your characters--especially in conversation, but also in the narrative.

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, June 21, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 72, handles Conversation Tension, Developing Storyline Rising Action

21 June 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 72, handles Conversation Tension, Developing Storyline Rising Action

Announcement: There is action on my new novels.  The publisher renamed the series--they are still working on the name.  I provided suggestions as did one of my prepub readers. Now the individual books will be given single names: Leora, Leila, Russia, Lumiere', China, Sveta, and Klava--at least these are some of the suggestions.  They are also working on a single theme for the covers.  I'll keep you updated.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with 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.

Tags and handles are the mean you use to identify characters in conversation and in your novel.  If you introduce a character as wearing bowties, then every time you mention a bowtie, you will make your readers remember this character.  This is a handle.  These are critical to identifying characters especially in conversation.  For example, a very simple handle is "Leila's mother."  If Leila has one mother, then the handle reminds your reader who she is. 

Let me explain why handles are so important.  If I introduce a character, Sveta Long, the reader may or may not recognize this character when I mention her again in the novel.  I must describe the character, Sveta Long (and I mean the description not anything else), and I should give her a handle.  In the case of Valeska, Sveta Long happens to be the head of Stele.  When I reintroduce Sveta, all I have to do is tell you Sveta Long, the director of Stele.  The reader should remember the character immediately.  On the other hand, if I simply mention the name, Sveta Long, the reader may or may not remember the character or the context of the character.

You could compare this to when you meet people you have been introduced to before.  If you meet a person at work, your have a completely different context than if you met them at the grocery store, or if you met them at a party.  When I give the reader (or you as a person) the context of the meeting, you can immediately remember the person.  Many writers don't understand this.  They give us names and then reintroduce the names--most people don't really remember names well, they remember context.  Put a handle on a character and your readers will get it.  What about tags or taglines?
 
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, June 20, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 71, action Conversation Tension, Developing Storyline Rising Action

20 June 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 71, action Conversation Tension, Developing Storyline Rising Action

Announcement: There is action on my new novels.  The publisher renamed the series--they are still working on the name.  I provided suggestions as did one of my prepub readers. Now the individual books will be given single names: Leora, Leila, Russia, Lumiere', China, Sveta, and Klava--at least these are some of the suggestions.  They are also working on a single theme for the covers.  I'll keep you updated.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with 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 mentioned yesterday that conversation can and should drive your action scenes.  Since I am providing (on my website) the first chapter of Valeska, I'll give you an example of action and conversation from it.  George Mardling is dying:
 
He was dying.

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 whimpered, 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 filthy 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 appeared 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.

She raised her eyes to his and spoke.  It wasn’t Polish.  She spoke high German with a strange lilt.  Her voice was low and melodious, “You, mortal man, you are dying.”

George groaned, “I’m dying.  Can you call the police with my phone?”

She eyed him strangely, “I don’t have a phone here—what good would it do?”

“My phone.  It fell at my side.”

She shrugged, “I don’t know what that is.  I wouldn’t be able to use it.  You are dying.”

“I am dying.  Can you help me?”

The girl stared at him, “You are dying.  It is a full moon—I am starving.”
You obviously can't do every action scene and every action sequence with conversation.  In this short example, note that there is space for setting (description) and narrative.  However, the tension in the scene is purely action based--George Mardling, the agent, is dying.  The vampire was hunting.  George ruined her hunt.  That comes out in further conversation.  The tension in the scene moves from George dying to the vampire's hunting and needs.  George is still dying, but the tension in the scene has suddenly changed.  This is the power of conversation and the power of showing.  Notice that everything here is showing.  There is no telling.  You learn everything from description and conversation. 

Note also some other details in the writing.  As I've written before, use 100 to 300 words to describe major characters when you introduce them.  Introduce handles and tags with the characters.  A consistent tag with the vampire is her tongue and fangs.  It is also her choice in clothing.  She likes to wear pink and white especially with lace and ribbons.  These kinds of tags will allow you to bring the character into character in your writing.  Perhaps I should discuss this next.
 
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, June 19, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 70, tone Conversation Tension, Developing Storyline Rising Action

19 June 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 70, tone Conversation Tension, Developing Storyline Rising Action

Announcement: There is action on my new novels.  The publisher renamed the series--they are still working on the name.  I provided suggestions as did one of my prepub readers. Now the individual books will be given single names: Leora, Leila, Russia, Lumiere', China, Sveta, and Klava--at least these are some of the suggestions.  They are also working on a single theme for the covers.  I'll keep you updated.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with 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.

Conversation should drive your novels.  Even in the action sequences...have you noticed that in many more seasoned movies, the banter in the fighting and action sequences move them.  Or perhaps you were forced to read Shakespeare--I love Shakespeare.  In every action and fighting scene, the combatants trade barbs along with blows.  This is the model of action and conversation. 

In my conversational scenes (90%+ in my novels), I first determine the information I want to convey.  Many times it isn't what you think. Second, I determine the tension development in the scene.  Third, I write the scene as if it is a scene of intellectual action. 

Conversation can be a type of combat, and the undercurrents of the scene are as important as the conversation.  I mentioned that the information you want to convey may have nothing to do with the scene as hand.  The example below is exactly what I am writing about.  This comes from Valeska (the vampire novel).  The conversation is between the protagonist, George Mardling, and another important character, Leila.  The point of the conversation is to get to know one another and to prepare for a mission.  My purpose in the conversation is to tell the reader about Leila and to reveal bits about her character.  One of her handles (tag lines) in the novel is "I said too much."

George moved his chair around the table so he had a direct path to the exit.  Leila moved her chair so it was directly across from his.  They both had a clear path to the opening.

Leila sat.  George sat.

She didn’t know what to say next.

Finally George cocked his head.  He was still smiling, “I see you have my dossier, but I’m at a distinct disadvantage—I don’t have yours.”

Leila hadn’t thought of that.  She stammered, “Um, I…I um.”

“If you can share an expurgated version, I can get it later…”

“I’ll just tell you about myself for now.”

“That would be good.”

“I’m an agent.  I joined the organization…”  She paused.  She would have to be very careful about what she said, “I went to university at Trinity College Dublin…”

“And studied linguistics.”

“Actually, engineering.”

George’s jaw dropped, “You’re not kidding.”

Leila turned her face a little and puckered the side of her face, “I’m a bit of a rebel.  My parents weren’t keen, but I studied engineering to Masters level.”

“Why didn’t you continue?”

She bowed her head, “They said they needed me in the organization more than the university or the country needed engineers.”

“I see.”  And he really did.  “I wanted to study engineering.  At Sandhurst, I focused on combat engineering, but I haven’t used those skills as much as I would have liked.  What kind of engineering?”

“Design and mechanical.”

“You must be good at math…”

She smiled slightly, “Excellent, actually…I like to do advanced problems for entertainment.  I’m doing one right now for a pistol design.”

“Just for fun?”

“Just for fun.  I don’t have many friends and my family isn’t so happy to have me around—that’s why I’m here.”  She looked up and put her hands over her mouth.

“Said too much.”

“Yeah, said too much.”

“That means you aren’t part of interrogation…why meet here?”

“It’s convenient…and close?”

“Close to what?” He purred.

“Said too much.”

“Okay, I won’t ask any more about that.  What do you like to do—other than advanced math that is?”

“I like to read…read all the time.”  She put her hands on the table and twiddled her fingers, “That’s enough about me.  Why don’t we go over the mission?”

George smiled, “That might be a good idea.  Although, I’d like to hear more about you sometime.”

Leila raised her eyes to his.  Her mouth was wide open, “Really.  Most men run screaming the moment I tell them I’m an engineer.  The remainder are gone when I tell them I like to do advance math for fun.  Anyone left over, leave after I tell them I like to read.”

George’s smile broadened, “You probably said too much again.”
“Yeah, said too much.”

If you notice, although the conversation is supposed to be about the mission, they haven't said anything about the mission yet at all.  The conversation shows you a lot about Leila and something about George.  The entire point is to show the reader about Leila.  I don't tell you about Leila, I show you Leila through her own words.  The conversation is focused on the mission, but the purpose, my purpose is to show you Leila.  There is much more involved--especially from an entertainment and excitement perspective.  Isn't the conversation fun?  Don't you feel for Leila?  Don't you want to know more about her?  The tension in the scene is that this is her first time leading a mission.  There are other undercurrents and motives in it.  There is much that is not said that the reader knows but Leila and George don't know--not at this point.  The tension and release are moving on many levels, and the example doesn't begin to touch all of it. 
 
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, June 18, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 69, more Conversation Tension, Developing Storyline Rising Action

18 June 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 69, more Conversation Tension, Developing Storyline Rising Action

Announcement: There is action on my new novels.  The publisher renamed the series--they are still working on the name.  I provided suggestions as did one of my prepub readers. Now the individual books will be given single names: Leora, Leila, Russia, Lumiere', China, Sveta, and Klava--at least these are some of the suggestions.  They are also working on a single theme for the covers.  I'll keep you updated.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with 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.

Excitement and entertainment are the focus of all successful writing.  I mean, really, there might be some literary garbage that won a few awards, but no one will ever read that is neither entertaining or exciting.  If you what your novel to be read and to be successful, it must be both entertaining and exciting.  That's just to start.

The means of making a novel exciting and entertaining is tension and release.  The climax of a novel is just an outgrowth of the tension and release development throughout the entire rising action.  If you can't write strong tension into a scene, there is no way you can write a good climax.  So you might as well start practicing.  Here's how to write a strong tension filled scene.

First, imagine the scene and the interaction of your characters.  Decide on a specific turning point in the scene, a climax of the scene.  For example, if your characters are engaged in a conversation, then the peak of the point of the conversation should be the climax.  So, if the conversation is about making plans, the peak of the conversation should be the completion of the plans.  At the same time, you want to interject some tension into the writing.  This might be a disagreement about he plans.  It could be a second agenda by one of the speakers.  If could be a secret or a hidden point about a character or the plans.  Something should move the scene more than just communicating about plans.  Perhaps the characters are in love, or they are falling out of love.  Maybe they are discovering they are in love, or one is discovering he is in love with the other.  The point is that while you are conveying a conversation about plans, your characters should be involved somehow in a scene that conveys excitement and entertainment.  If you aren't brining out the bongo drums and the hula skirts, then you better figure some means of making a simple planning session an exciting planning session.

The second step is to write the scene with that tension and release throughout.
 
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