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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 317, last Dragon and Fox Paragraphs Initial Scene

21 February 2015, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 317, last Dragon and Fox Paragraphs Initial Scene

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  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

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.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website and select "production schedule," you will be sent to

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
Cover Propsal
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene.  I'm writing about the initial scene of my newest novel, "Escape."  Escape is the working title.  I'll decide on the proposed title when I finish the novel.  I'm at the eight chapter right now.  That means I've written about 160 pages.

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.  As I grew as a writer, my awareness of the importance of the first paragraph grew.  It's one thing to be taught or realize and another to implement.  So let's look at some of my other novels.  For example, A Season of Honor:
     Shawn!” Count Ian Acier exclaimed.
     Shawn grimaced, then tendered Ian with a crooked smile. “Yes, the adjunct of the Emperor.” Ian watched the younger man’s eyes. They were cold, gray, hard as steel, and he smiled.
     They embraced.
     Count Ian Acier was dressed in his usual military garb. He was attired in desert tan, the casual uniform of his troops. His long, large body fit the uniform well. His hard-bitten features were set off in their most handsome frame by the color and cut of the clothing.


A Season of Honor is the first and the last of the Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox.  It is the first because it is the first of that series that I wrote--it is the last because, in time sequence, it is the last of the series. 
This isn't a bad beginning, but do you recognize it?  This is the beginning of an adventure novel from the early 1900s or the late 1800s.  It starts with action and conversation--an introduction of characters.  It moves to character description.  The beginning is a setup for the rest of the novel.  That is not the best place to start.  I was lucky that my publisher (and I hope my readers) are acquainted with this style.  Those who are hard into modern literature--not so much.  I hope they stick around for the rest of the novel.  Since this is number three of three, many will have read the other two novels before this one. 
This is a rip roaring adventure novel of space intrigue and attempted assassination.  The reader won't be disappointed in the writing or the plot.  I just could have picked a little better place to begin.  The better place to start might have been the introduction of Elina Acier to Shawn du Locke.  In my writing experience, I've grown and improved as a writer.  I've learned the tricks of the trade--so to speak.
I will also confess that the Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox each have a prologue.  I advise against prologues for many reasons (read some earlier blogs).  They seemed a good idea at the time.  I should have incorporated them in a different fashion.  I was trying for a little Jack Vance (one of my favorite Science Fiction authors).  The prologues are supposed to be fun and set the tone of the novel--the problem is they aren't the first thing a reader or publisher sees--therefore possible death before reading anything.  Perhaps I should look at the initial paragraphs of each prologue... 

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