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 entertainment (and excitement) should start with the first sentence and paragraph and grow to envelope the first scene. Let's compare the excitement and entertainment I'm recommending with some of my published novels. Here is the first paragraph from the second Ancient Light novel Sister of Light.
Leora Bolang sat at a small table outside the cafe and sipped delicately at a cup of coffee au latte. She wrinkled her nose with each sip. She was still not used to its bitterness, but the hot liquid helped reduce her nervousness. Paul was late. He should have been back from his interview almost three quarters of an hour ago.
Now, this initial paragraph is what I'm talking about--it jumps directly into the action. It provides some level of character description--it introduces two characters. It is pithy--artistic and subtle. Is it filled with enough excitement and entertainment to excite a publisher and a prospective reader. Well, the book is supposed to be published this year and has been on contract for a while. It captured the interest of a publisher. We'll see if readers go for it.
This is an example of the type of initial paragraph that I think readers and publishers go for in a novel. The only thing it is lacking is strong action and lack of direct scene setting. You can see indirect scene setting with the coffee and the café. Still, this isn't bad, but it could possibly be better. This will be the first paragraph for this novel, so the deed is done.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: