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 shuttle pilot not following the rules crashes on the island.
Here is the cover proposal for Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer. Lilly is my 24th novel.
Let's review my guidelines for conversation.
1. Cultural norms (greeting, introduction, small talk, big talk)
2. Logical response (characters must respond to each other in the conversation)
3. ID the speaker
4. Show us the picture of the conversation
5. Use contractions (most of the time)
6. What are you trying to say?
7. What is unsaid in the conversation?
8. Build the tone of the conversation.
9. Show don't tell.
10. Keep proper names to a minimum.
I'm an advocate of using the/a scene input/output method to drive the rising action--in fact, to write any novel. I'll describe this technique (and style) again if you are new to my blog or you missed it before.
Every scene has an input and an output. The input of the initial scene is not material to understanding the scene. In other words, the author begins writing without a previous input to the scene. The presumed input is everything that happened prior to the scene. For example, and this is a very specific example, in Escape, the presumed input is that Reb (the protagonist) was born, raised, and lived as a Citizen on the island of Freedom. Also, Scott was born, raised, and lived as a citizen of New Greece and flies shuttles. She (Reb) is walking home, and Scott is flying over Reb's island. This is all input, and only a tiny piece of the input. The novel begins with this presumed input.
In the initial scene, we get scene setting for Reb and scene setting for Scott. Reb is walking home, and Scott is flying a cargo shuttle over Freedom. She is watching the shuttle. The engine fails, and Scott makes an emergency landing on Freedom. Reb happens to be there. She agrees to help him if he will help her escape Freedom. The output of the scene is that Reb leads Scott away from his shuttle to safety. Now, this must be very clear--the author does not provide much of (if any) of the presumed input to the initial scene. Any previous information is part of the revelation of the characters in the novel. However, from now on, the author's job is to show the revelation of the plot and the characters. This is the main job of the author. So, with the output that Reb is leading Scott away from the cargo shuttle and the people of Freedom who might hurt or help him, we advance the plot to the next scene.
The input for the next scene is Reb leading Scott away to a place of safety.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing,