Announcement: My new novels should be available from any webseller or can be ordered from any brick and mortar bookstore. Information can be found at www.ancientlight.com. Check out my novels--I think you'll really enjoy them.
Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.
I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way.
The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:
1. Don't confuse your readers.
2. Entertain your readers.
3. Ground your readers in the writing.
4. Don't show (or tell) everything.
5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.
All novels have five discrete parts:
1. The initial scene (the beginning)
2. The rising action
3. The climax
4. The falling action
5. The dénouement
The theme statement of my 25th novel, working title, Escape, is this: a girl in a fascist island nation will do anything to escape--a young cargo ferry pilot not following the rules crashes on the island.
I'll make a slight digression because I'm developing advertising and publisher materials for my newest completed novel, Lilly. Here is the cover proposal for Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer.
1. It needs to be pithy.
2. It needs to be marketable. As writers, you and I don't fully comprehend what is marketable--we write. Publisher spend an inordinate amount of their work and free time trying to discover what is marketable. They want marketable writing--that's why unique and entertaining are the watchwords. In a title, they want one that will draw a potential reader to pick up the book or at least thumb through the electronic or physical copy. I your title (and cover) can do that, you may have a marketable piece of literature. The number one pull is the cover and the title and titles have become much more important in the internet world.
There really are marketable and unmarketable titles. There really are styles and fads of cover and titles. Titles luckily have better staying power, but if you look at the covers of my novels published in 2008 and the new proposed covers, you can see a difference. The older covers look slightly dated. The styles of covers have changes slightly in less than ten years. As I wrote, titles don't have that kind of shelf life, but some titles and styles of titles do sound dated. For example, Oliver Twist, is subtitled The Parish Boy's Progress. I don't care who you are, you aren't going far with a novel named after a person with that kind of subtitle. It ain't gonna happen--not today. My enchantment novels might not get the proper attention because subtitled novels today are usually YA or Juvenile fare--especially those with a single woman's name. They would have to go with the subtitle or with an entirely different title.
That is not to say a single word title can't give good play to a novel. Both of my novels with single word titles, Aegypt and Centurion, have done well. My publisher looked at having all single word titles for my other novels as well. Again, the point is marketable and the measure is always this: will a reader pick up the novel and thumb through it based on the title (and cover).
3. It needs to be short, but not too simple.
4. It needs to be unique, but not too unique.
There is more and more to being pithy.
At this point everything I'm doing with and for this work is about marketing to a publisher and building a website.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: