15 May 2017, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part x129, It’s Finished, Editing, Third Stage
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.
These are the steps I use to write a novel including the five discrete parts of 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
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 Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse.
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 finished my 29th novel, working title School. I’ll be providing information on the marketing materials and editing.
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.
For novel 28: 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.
For novel 29: Sorcha, the abandoned child of an Unseelie and a human, secretly attends Wycombe Abbey girls’ school where she meets the problem child Deirdre and is redeemed.
The third stage is cleanup. In this stage, as in all, the author needs to continue to correct obvious problems with consistency and continuity as well as other writing issues. However, this is the time to take a deep dive for overused words and overused constructions. Here is my list:
This is my list of watch words. In this stage of editing, I make a search of each of these words. When I find them, I evaluate the use and the surroundings. If the construction is good and acceptable, I keep it, but if it can be replaced with a better construction, stronger word, or better way of expressing the statement, I replace or rewrite.
For example, -ing represents the present participle construction—he was singing. A better expression is he sang. You should only write, he was singing when the singing is taking place at exactly the same time as another action. He was singing as he danced to the window.
Had/have are perfect tense construction. It is also identity construction. You want to reduce these.
-ly is an adverb construction. You want to replace adverbs with strong verbs—when you can. When you can’t just keep the adverb. There is no reason to kill all adverbs, but every reason to reduce and replace with stronger verbs.
Were/was are identity verbs. I want to replace these with stronger verbs. Instead of it was cold. It felt cold.
Got/gotten are usually poor choices unless in conversation. Get rid of gotten in all cases, but you may keep got in most conversation.
Even can be redundant.
I don’t like said. I replace it with tags, identification, or gestures. To me, said is dead. Find more constructive ways to express communication.
Utilize is just a pretentious word for use. I don’t use utilize unless in the mouth of a pretentious scientist. BTW, you shouldn’t use utilize in any of your speaking or writing.
This the beginnings of any list for a third stage edit. Add in your own words and don’t forget to search for redundant words at the same time.
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