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.
First, you write and write and write until you are competent and someone finally accepts one of your novels for publication.
Second, you keep writing. The reason you are writing has nothing to do with publication or anything else—the reason I write is because I love to write. I’ve been reading since I was in first grade. I love to read. The reason I wanted to write was because I wanted to put my own stories on paper. I wanted to put down an entertaining novel because I love to read entertaining novels. This is why I constantly write—you write to entertain. In general, I write to entertain myself. If my novels are fun and exciting (entertaining) to me, I assume they will be entertaining to others. There have to be people out there who enjoy the kinds of reading I love and the kinds of writing I write.
One of my favorite authors is Jack Vance. I want to write, to a degree, like Jack Vance. I have a different approach and a different style, still I want my writing to touch people the way Vance’s writing touches me. And still, I am a very different writer than Vance. In what ways different? That is a great question.
I am a very close writer. I like my characters to be close but not lived by the reader. I want my readers to associate themselves with my characters, but although I want them to be close to the readers, I really want my readers to disassociate themselves from my characters. What does this mean exactly? There are some characters the reader can’t help associating with—they want to be them. This is generally a children’s and young adult experience. In Jack Vance’s novels, the reader usually doesn’t want to associate with his (Vance’s) characters. I provide characters my readers can associate with or not. They are close but not too close. The reader can feel touched by them, but don’t have to be them. This is an important approach in adult writing—or so I think it is.
It is not uncommon for children and young adult authors to drive for direct association. In fact, to the point of reducing description of the major characters to allow the reader to fit themselves into the plot and character. As I noted, this is not usually a characteristic of adult literature. It is also not a characteristic of my literature. What does all this have to do with “keep writing?” It doesn’t matter if you are published or not. If you have a story, keep writing. If you want to write a novel, keep writing. If you are not published, keep writing and trying.
I mentioned yesterday, I thought you wrote, got published and then wrote more. The reality is that you write and write and write. You write because you have a story to write. I have to admit, the more I get published, the more I write and want to write, but the reality is the writing and nothing else. Keep writing.
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