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.
The next step is to build the marketing information you will use to present your novel to publishers and to the public. Here is an outline:
Title of Work:
Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer
L. D. Alford
Type: Either Screenplay or Book
Length: Either # of words for books, or # of pages for screenplays
Keywords and Market Focus:
Fiction, Washington State, Tacoma, Spanaway, Seattle, Computer, Pacific Lutheran University, Hacker, goddess, sushi, Redemption, kami, Japan, Shinto, torii, Shrine, engineering, math; will fascinate anyone interested in the spiritual, mystery, and suspense—will appeal particularly to those who enjoy historical mystery and suspense novels.
Synopsis: Approximately 500 Words
Concept of the Work: Approximately 250 Words
Registration: WGA, ISBN, or Library of Congress, Write the number.
Other Information: If you have more work, a website, anything interesting and professional, especially any awards or recognition.
I'll get to pen names next. The name is my pen-name. It isn't much of a change from my regular name, but I thought a log time about what name should go on the front of my novels.
At this point let's look at the key words and market focus. The market focus above isn't very creative. Usually, I put a little more in this part. This is really a huge part of what a publisher is looking for--what audience will the novel appeal to. If you don't have a novel that will appeal to a large potion of the publisher's audience, they won't read any further. For example, if you have a book that appeals to a Christian audience and you send it to an erotic romance publisher, you aren't going anywhere with that publisher. Likewise, if you write homoerotic literature, and you send it to an inspirational publisher, you aren't going anywhere. Don't doll it up, but don't be stupid. Many works fit in between--and especially the unique works of today.
My works are very difficult to fit into a genre. The specific genre is changed by my publisher depending on the market and the emphasis they want to place on the work. Is Aegypt historical, suspense, horror, military fiction, fantasy...it is very hard to place. The websites generally call it suspense or historical suspense--that's great. The trick is to appropriately place your work, but align it with your potential publisher. If it's too far out, you won't get anywhere--if it is close or close enough, the publisher might read further. That's the point, to get a publisher to read further.
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: