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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.
3. It needs to be short, but not too simple. Short or shortable--you can make it short. That's why, for example, Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer is a reasonable title. It is a classic title with a subtitle. The title itself is short Lilly. The subtitle is hip, Enchantment and the Computer. Is it hip and marketable ? Who knows. When the time comes, I'm sure my publisher will want to weigh in.
My novels, Aegypt and Centurion, have short but complex titles. This is exactly what I mean by short but not too simple. The single words, Aegypt and Centurion conjure in your mind a whole set of thoughts and associations. This is and isn't true of other words or titles. For example, you might get away with the title Bowling Ball. Then again, maybe not. If you want to build the picture of bowling alleys and bowling teams in the mind of your potential readers, bowling ball is there. I don't feel any magic in the word or the title.
Aegypt makes you imagine Egypt, the ancient, and exotic circumstances. Centurion makes you imagine the Roman Legions, the ancient world, and warfare. These titles fit their books well. They are short, and they have complex antecedents--they make you imagine much more than many simple single words. That doesn't mean single words are the way to go.
My other published novels are: The Second Mission, The End of Honor, The Fox's Honor, and A Season of Honor. Each of these required a longer title and the title well represents their thematic ideas.
4. It needs to be unique, but not too unique.
5. It should encapsulate some measure of the theme.
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: