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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.
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
The concept behind Lilly is to present an intercultural message about spiritual ideas especially forgiveness. Lilly and Dane are both Christians. Lilly is stronger than Dane. They encounter a miraculous situation where a Japanese kami, god, endues Lilly with his power. The kami knows and worships God (Kami-sama in Japanese terms). The concept of the world is that the gods of the past still exist and they have either chosen to accept God and His Son or reject God and His Son.
The primary theme is that God uses a culture’s own ideas about the spiritual to enact his power and will—thus a church in Japan and a church in Britain use different symbols and cultural concepts to worship the same God. This is extrapolated through Shintoism. The novel also depicts Japanese cultural concepts.
A secondary theme is forgiveness. Lilly has an abusive mother and no father. One of the primary ideas is reconciliation concerning a person who is not repentant. Lilly broke laws and stole to survive—she finds ways to repent and reconcile. Lilly and Dane are physically attacked—Lilly insists the attackers repent and reconcile before they are forgiven.
Another secondary theme is marriage and sex before marriage. Lilly’s change to the mind of a kami comes with ancient baggage. She desires Dane. The novel shows the man acting in a responsible way to seductive enticements.
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 have never written a "concept of the work" section for a novel before. I don't think I would share this with a publisher--I do put this kind of information on my "secrets" pages for a novel. Why share it here? I thought you might be interested. This is really an expanded theme statement that says what the author really wanted to convey in the novel. I thought that this (when the marketing materials were written) would be a good time to put the concept of the work on paper.
This really is secret information. There is no reason for the reader or the publisher to know it. In the novel, the ideas of contrasting the Christian concept of God and the Japanese concept of Kami and Kami-sama are at the forefront. They are treated in a direct but subtle way. Why wouldn't two Catholics wonder about the concepts of the Kami when one of them becomes a kami and the other a kannushi (Shinto priest). About 80% of USA Americans and a higher percentage of other Americans are Christian or believe in God. Most of those are Christians. The fact that most authors ignore religions and especially Christianity is silly to me. How can you ignore something that is important to 80% of your audience? Spiritual concepts and ideas are important to people--just look at how they flocked to Harry Potter or to the numerous shiny Vampire novels. These are fundamentally about the spiritual and intentionally exclude religion. Kinda strange, isn't it?
I decided I would write about the concept of the work while it was fresh in my mind. This isn't necessary and it isn't needed--except for your secret pages or your readers information-- not in the novel. I just thought you might like to see it. I used in in putting together my webpages.
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: