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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 331, Lilly Enchantment First Paragraphs Initial Scene

7 March 2015, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 331, Lilly Enchantment First 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 shuttle pilot not following the rules crashes on the island.

Here is the cover proposal for Lilly: Enchantment and the ComputerLilly is my 24th novel.
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 twelfth chapter right now.  That means I've written about 240 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  Let's compare the excitement and entertainment I'm recommending with some of my published and unpublished novels.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.  Next example the first paragraph from, Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer:

All Dane knew about the girl was that she didn’t come into the FastMart very often.  When she did, she didn’t pay with cash, she always used the FastMart Bucks which you earned by purchasing gas or food.  What was unusual was that she used a different account ID and phone number every time.

She looked terrible, especially for this part of the city.  She wore a baggy old sweatshirt and an over-large pair of worn-out, not stone-washed, jeans.  She had a ragged backpack on her back.  Her hair was matted and her clothing filthy.  Her face and hands always looked clean, but Dane couldn’t vouch for the rest of her.  He never got close enough to smell her—he figured that would be much too close.  He only knew her from his side of the cash register.  She carried an inexpensive tablet computer in one hand and her shopping in the crook of her arm.  The tablet had a broken screen and was taped across one corner.  Dane was surprised it worked.

Lilly is an unpublished and uncontracted novel.  The novel doesn't follow any of my Enchantment novels--it is conceptually an Enchantment novel.  It's a complete stand-alone novel that weighs in at about 105,000 words. 

I cheated with Lilly and included the first two paragraphs.  The point still stands with one, but I wanted you to see what the second paragraph led into.  Lilly is a near perfect example of what I am talking about.  The first paragraph of Lilly is a pure set up.  It has character introduction (Dane and the girl--she's Lilly).  The scene setting is the FastMart.  The mystery and the immediate action is that she uses FastMart Bucks to purchase food, and that she used a different account each time.  This is implied action with some obvious consequences.  You can almost taste what will happen--if you can't I'll spell it out for you.  From the first paragraph, you know "the girl" is going to get caught using someone else's account number.  The big question is how did she get them, and the second question is why does she need them.

Some of the points are obvious.  She likely got the accounts by hacking.  The big question is why a hacker of such skill needs to buy food with FastMart Bucks.  That's why I included the second paragraph--I wanted you to be able to answer the second question.  Or rather, I wanted you to see the greater mystery, the mystery that attracts Dane to the girl--why she lives in poverty when she could thrive using her skills.  This is one of the mysteries answered in Lilly.  

This first paragraph is the perfect paragraph, in my opinion.  This kind of paragraph brings great mystery with the character introduction, action, and scene setting.  That's the whole point.  Tomorrow, back to Escape for a review of that first paragraph. 

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site, and my individual novel websites:

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