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 Darkness.
Leora woke with a start. A heavy weight pressed against her chest, and she couldn’t breathe.
She tried to scream, but a hand covered her mouth. Her eyes flashed open and widened—in the pitch darkness, her sister, Leila, straddled her. Leila’s eyes were ecstatic. Her mouth curled up in a feral smile. She held one hand over Leora’s mouth and with the other pinched her nose.This is exactly the kind of paragraph I think publishers and readers are looking for. This novel starts with action and some very indirect character introduction. This is the kind of paragraph that will excite readers and publishers. This kind of paragraph makes them want more. They will beg for more. With the action, we get immediate questions, and not only that, you get immediate pathos.
The action itself throws your readers into the pitch, but not only that, it brings up questions: why are they fighting? Where is this? Who are these people? Look at the pathos--you immediately feel sorry for Leora and unhappiness about Leila. Leila seems to be the enemy or the aggressor here. This increases the reader's interest and wonder.
You get the point, I hope. You want your initial paragraph to be filled with excitement, energy, entertainment, action. The point is to bring intrigue into the equation. If your reader (or a publisher) is intrigued, they might buy/read your book.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: