4 October 2016, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 906, Publishing, Learning to Write, Purpose and Sales
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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.
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.
4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.
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 26th novel, working title, Shape, proposed title, Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si, is this: Mrs. Lyons captures a shape-shifting girl in her pantry and rehabilitates her.
I finished writing my 27th novel, working title, Claire, potential title Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse. This might need some tweaking. The theme statement is: Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, a dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.
Here is the cover proposal for Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si. Essie is my 26th novel.
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I started writing my 28th novel, working title Red Sonja.
I'm an advocate of using the/a scene input/output method to drive the rising action--in fact, to write any novel.
1. Scene input (easy)
2. Scene output (a little harder)
3. Scene setting (basic stuff)
4. Creativity (creative elements of the scene)
5. Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)
6. Release (climax of creative elements)
How to begin a novel. Number one thought, we need an entertaining idea. I usually encapsulate such an idea with a theme statement. Since I’m writing a new novel, we need a new theme statement. Here is an initial cut.
Red Sonja, a Soviet spy, infiltrates the X-plane programs at Edwards AFB as a test pilot’s administrative clerk, learns about freedom, and is redeemed.
These are the steps I use to write a novel:
1. Design the initial scene
2. Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
a. Research as required
b. Develop the initial setting
c. Develop the characters
d. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
3. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
4. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
5. Write the climax scene
6. Write the falling action scene(s)
7. Write the dénouement scene
What is your strategy as a writer? What are your goals as a writer? The purpose for fiction and novels specifically is to entertain. If this isn’t your goal and your strategy, then you might have a serious problem writing a good novel, getting a publisher, and having a successful novel. I’m not certain what success is. Writing a novel is a definite goal and success. I already told you, you can’t really expect to be published until you have written one million words. That’s about 10 100,000 word novels. That is a measure of success in itself. Publication is another degree of success, and I don’t mean self-publishing. Anyone can self-publish, but recognition of your writing beyond yourself is a goal and a level of success. To be precise, when a company or another person is willing to take a risk on the success of your writing, that is a true measure of success (and I don’t mean your wife or parents).
The further measure of success is to have a book that is successful in the marketplace. You have to go through the other wickets for success before you arrive at this one. I’m not sure what this looks like other than with a best seller and sales. If that means selling a million copies, few have achieved that. If it means 100,000 copies, few have achieved that level too. If it means 10,000 copies—is that during an author’s lifetime or a year. In general, you might make $40,000 or $10,000 with 10,000 in sales. You can’t live on that. I can’t afford to stop working and live off my novels. I have six novels in publication, but that doesn’t mean I’m raking in the dough. I just want to get another novel published.
The real problem for publishing and sales is the construction of the novel itself. As an author, you learn quickly: it is one thing for a publisher to love your novel, it is something else entirely to get someone to pick up, buy, and then read your novel. Think about this carefully. To gain a book fan (someone who likes, buys, and reads your novels), they must find out about it, pick it up, decide to buy it, and finally decide to read it. You can’t give away books, bad or good. You can give them away all you wish, but there is no guarantee the recipient will ever open or read the novel. That’s why sales is really important. A person who puts their money on the line to buy a novel will likely read the novel. You can give away boxes of your books with no assurance those you give it to will use it for anything except kindling. There is so much more to this.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.ancientlight.com/fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic