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.
Short digression: I'm writing from Dubai on another around the world tour. I just flew 22 hours, so I hope this is cogent.
In using the rising action to build to the climax, the author reveals the plot and the characters to come to the climax of the novel. To accomplish this is rather straightforward--as long as you are using some means to organize the novel, your thoughts, and the plot. This is why I advocate using the scene input/output method. With this method, you won't confuse yourself or your readers. There are reasons to jump or cut away from scene input/output, but I'll discuss those later.
At this point I'm explaining methods you can use to reveal information to your characters. Since Escape is a cultural revelation novel, it is a great example of means to reveal information, cultures, and characters. I already mentioned: description, conversation, interaction, and computers. You can add to that list: books, notes, letters, phone calls, signs, radio calls, etc.
I do use books and signs in Escape. The books are electronic and paperback. The signs are the slogans and posters of the Supreme Leader. The electronic books play a very important role in passing information, not about Freedom (the evil nation), but about Scott's nation that is free to Reb. The electronic books also provide chart data and satellite imagery for the exploration of Freedom. Unlike my other novels, I didn't use notes (except email and texting), letters (except email), and phone calls. I did use radio signaling and cellular phone for information gathering. You might imagine that phone, radio, and cellular phones are all the same thing. They may be similar, but their use and communication varies significantly. Perhaps we should discuss their use.
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,