Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but the publisher has delayed all their fiction output due to the economy. I'll keep you informed. More 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.
In the novel, Scott wants as much information as possible about Freedom. His purpose is to escape Freedom. The reader wants to know just as much, if not more, than Scott--that's entertainment.
The rising action is he main part of the novel. It must move us from the initial scene by way of scenes to the climax scene. The plot of the novel is mainly bound in the rising action. Each scene must be tied to the other from the initial scene to the climax scene. I usually tie the scenes through input/output, although I do use some other methods. I advocate input/output for new writers--plus, most of the novel should be input/output. If not, the novel can be confusing to write and to read.
In an information based novel (a revelation plot) like Escape, the characters must meet others and communicate with them. The interaction of the characters is a critical and necessary part of the novel. Interaction usually means conversation, although, action is also common. In a novel like Escape the conversational interaction is naturally limited. The reason is one of the man characters is hunted. In fact, both main characters end up hunted in the novel. It is difficult for the hunted to have an opportunity for conversation with anyone other than themselves. Therefore, the author must create circumstances.
I mentioned Steve from the hospital. Steve provides Scott information that is timely and necessary--especially about the foods and the drugs. Another source of information is the Freedom computer system. Scott gets much of his information about Freedom in this way. The computer system is one of the main means in the novel for Scott to learn information about Freedom. Because he is able to access the private Party System, he is able to get all the information he needs to make an escape plan. I will not divulge how he gets into the private Party system.
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,