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Friday, June 2, 2017

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part x147, It’s Finished, Number of Words

2 June 2017, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part x147, It’s Finished, Number of Words

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  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

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 and select "production schedule," you will be sent to

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

Cover Proposal

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. 


Third, you market. 


Fourth, you keep writing with the hope your marketing and your writing will finally come to fruition. 


Fifth, you market.


Here is a list of the primary information I develop for a completed novel.  I’ll put some explanation beside the sections.  As we discuss them, I’ll fill them out for my newest novel.        


Title of Work:


Deirdre: Enchantment and the School


Author(s) Name:


L. D. Alford


Type: Either Screenplay or Book




Length: Either # of words for books, or # of pages for screenplays


120,975 words


I put my files together and started working on the marketing materials.  The word count is a little high.  I think the novel reads quickly.  My only other longer novel is Escape from Freedom.  This may be a little long for a first publication, but it might be all right with a best seller in the bunch.  I’m still looking for a best seller.  My novels still sell, but I can always wish for more sales.  I’m sure my writing gets better with every novel I write, I’d like to see how my later novels fare in the marketplace. 


School or Deirdre: Enchantment and the School is definitely my style of novel.  It starts with a bang and continues with gentle but rising tension and release.  The characters get deeper and deeper into circumstances both under their control and not.  Eventually, they get in over their heads and the reader thinks all is lost, but although they can’t put the genii back in the bottle, there is a reconciliation that is expected and completely unexpected.  The climax occurs, but the result is completely unexpected.  It still relieves the protagonist’s telic flaw and reconciles the novel, but the end is completely unexpected.  I can’t wait to send it to my primary prepublication reader.  I’m not sure she will like it as much as I do, but it touches themes and ideas she has liked in the past. 


If you remember, my goal is entertainment.  If we tweak some ideas and other areas in the process, that’s okay too.  I write novels I like to read for myself.  I want everyone to be as entertained as I am.  Still, I write redemptive themes because I find them entertaining.  Although everything is not right at the end, the characters still achieve some degree of resolution.  I like to think my novels are like the real world.  The ends are not always what we expect, but usually (unless it is a tragedy) we take on our own burdens and continue on.  In a comedy, the burdens are lighter, but they are still set squarely on our shoulders.  That, in my opinion, is true adult literature.  Everything is not wrapped up in a pretty bow.  The world has indeed changed and the characters have indeed become more than they were at the beginning.  The telic flaw is resolved, but not completely in the way the way the reader always expects.  This again is the expected, unexpected climax.


I’ll remind you again.  I hope this sets off reminder bells.  Whatever the telic flaw of the novel (protagonist) is, the reader expects this telic flaw to be resolved (in a comedy in a positive way, the protagonist overcomes the telic flaw, and in a tragedy in a negative way, the telic flaw overcomes the protagonist).  Since this telic flaw must be resolved the climax is expected.  The author of adult fiction must make the resolution seem impossible or out of the grasp of the protagonist.  In a mature climax, the resolution of the telic flaw seems impossible, but the author provides a means of resolution that is reasonable, logical, and unexpected by the reader.  This is sometimes called a plot twist.  I would argue that every adult novel must have a plot twist.  The more powerful the plot twist as long as it is reasonable and logical, the more powerful the climax and the resolution of the novel.  This is what critics call an unexpected ending or an unexpected resolution.  The resolution of the telic flaw is expected, the means is unexpected.  The brilliance of any novel is this contrast. 


Likewise, the novel itself is the revelation of the protagonist.  This part of the entertainment is the driving force that allows a reader and a critic to say, the novel has characters that they love.  This is precisely what I seek in writing: characters my readers (and I) love and a climax that is the expected, unexpected.  Now, as to execution, only you (as my readers) can be the judge of my success, but this is my ultimate goal in entertaining you.


Keywords and Market Focus:


Fiction, friendship, Wycombe Abbey, school, boarding, education, training, boyfriends, Eton, diva, skills, shooting, fencing, fae, fairy, Britain, spy, goddess, Dagda, magic; will fascinate anyone interested in friendship, boarding schools, magic, and the fae—will appeal particularly to those who enjoy mystery and suspense novels.




Historical Fantasy

Author Bio: Approximately 120 words

The finest entertainment in literature is an escape into a real and inviting culture—so asserts L. D. Alford, a novelist who explores with originality those cultures and societies we think we already know.  He builds tales that make ancient people and times real to us.  His stories uniquely explore the connections between present events, history, and the future—he combines them with threads of reality that bring fiction alive.  L. D. Alford is familiar with technology and cultures—he earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Pacific Lutheran University, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University, a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Dayton, and is a graduate of Air War College, and Air Command and Staff College.  He is widely traveled and has spent long periods in Europe, Asia, and Central America.  L. D. Alford is an author who combines intimate scientific and cultural knowledge into fiction worlds that breathe reality.   


Synopsis:  Approximately 500 Words

Deirdre Calloway is a wild and dangerous girl.  She’s never had a friend, was sent to boarding school at Wycombe Abbey to be finished, and has a penchant for fighting that has earned her a dubious reputation and record.  Still, she is small blond haired and appears the exact opposite of her reputation.  Did I mention, she has never had a friend?  That’s all about to change.

Sorcha Weir has hair as black as pitch, and a face as sweet and delicate as a fae creature.  Mostly because she is the offspring of a man and an Unseelie fae.  She has been secretly attending Wycombe Abbey by using fae glamour to make her appear to be a proper student.  She escaped from the juvenile prison at Aylesbury and secretly made her home at Wycombe.  She has everything planned to learn, graduate, and continue her education.  All she has to do is keep her attendance and presence a secret. 

Sorcha has everything planned because no one can tell she is not a proper student—until she meets Deirdre.  On the first day of classes, Deirdre notices Sorcha’s existence and sees through her glamour.  This is one of Deirdre’s unusual skills.  The problem is that Deirdre has never achieved anything in terms of personal intimacy except through fighting, and Sorcha has always lived a rough and tumble life.  To protect her great secret, Sorcha attacks Deirdre.  Deirdre doesn’t fall for the usual brawling tricks, and bests Sorcha.  Now all of Sorcha’s goals are at risk.  Her only hope to either banish Deirdre or befriend her.  On the other hand, Deirdre is oddly attracted to those she defeats—an unpleasant result of her personality.

Deirdre is halted from fully taking advantage of her conquest by the intervention a teacher, Deirdre’s relative Lune Bolang.  In any case, Sorcha seeks out Deirdre to either banish her or become her friend.  Deirdre’s reaction is completely unexpected.  Deirdre offers to keep Sorcha’s secret, to share her clothing, and her room.

Sorcha and Deirdre begin an odd friendship bound to Luna Bolang.  Ms. Bolang doesn’t seem to know anything, but maybe knows everything.  She encourages Sorcha and Deirdre to join the fencing club.  She forces Deirdre and Sorcha to participate in electives. 

These electives are patently unusual: fencing, shooting, making friends, associating with the tea-party class, meeting boys, learning about magic, meeting the fae, and seeing angels.  There is much more in store for Deirdre and Sorcha.  To keep Sorcha’s great secret and for Deirdre to remain at Wycombe and away from Deirdre’s past and her mother, the girls must acquiesce to Luna Bolang’s requirements. 

Why is Luna Bolang at Wycombe as a teacher?  Why the odd electives and study?  Why the teaching about magic?  What does Luna intend for Deirdre and Sorcha, and why is Ms. Rowley, the history instructor involved in magic?  The fate of Deirdre and Sorcha lies in their own hands.  The fate of friends, associates, and others will also become their responsibilities.


Concept of the Work:  Approximately 250 Words


The concept behind Sorcha is to show a truly flawed person who initially won’t take responsibility for her actions and bad judgement.  The novel shows the transformation of a person of bad judgement, taste, and personality into a powerful and useful person.

A secondary concept in the novel is love and pursuit of love by gentlemen for a lady who isn’t used to anyone loving her and another woman who has never been loved because of her personality.   


Registration: WGA, ISBN, or Library of Congress, Write the number.



Other Information:  If you have more work, a website, anything interesting and professional, especially any awards or recognition.


Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si, a matron rescues and educates the Queen of the fae.


Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer, a math genius girl gets a boyfriend and becomes a Japanese goddess.


Valeska: Enchantment and the Vampire, a British agent accidentally becomes involved with a vampire. 


Khione: Enchantment and the Fox, a graduate student discovers a demigoddess in modern Boston.


Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon, a Russian princess calls a demon to protect her family.


Dana-ana: Enchantment of the Maiden, the mystery of Dana-ana Goewyn.


Hestia: Enchantment of the Hearth, the misadventures of archeologists in modern Greece.


Antebellum the mystery of a house that has been missing since the American Civil War and the girl who is called to it.


The Second Mission is a historical fiction novel about ancient Greece published in 2003 by Xulon.


Centurion published January 2008 and Aegypt also published in January 2008 are historical fiction novels from OakTara Fiction


The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox is a science fiction series published by OakTara Fiction

                The End of Honor (published, July 2008)

                The Fox’s Honor (published Oct 2008)

                A Season of Honor (published Nov 2008)


Ancient Light is a suspense series published by Broadstreet, Eleutheria, September 2014 in a three-in-one

                Aegypt (second edition published by OakTara Fiction, 2014)

                Sister of Light (published by OakTara Fiction, 2014)

                Sister of Darkness (published by OakTara Fiction, 2014)


More information is available at  


L.D. Alford has more than 40 technical papers published in international journals on flight test, military policy, flight safety, space, and cyberwar.  His military aviation writing is featured as Military Aviation Adventures on


Reviewer’s quotes.

No one would expect Shiggy Tash to be anything more than a ditz.  She’s even blond, but she may be the most dangerous person in British Intelligence—particularly to British intelligence.


Shiggy doesn’t believe in the supernatural.  She’s living in a supernatural house with supernatural guardians, and meets all kinds of supernatural beings.  Perhaps she needs to make a second appraisal.


What fun.  A failed British agent with poor judgement who happens to be a cursed warrior.  Is there any hope for Shiggy? 

1.  No more than 3 sentences about the content of your manuscript.


Shiggy Tash finally meets her match in Sorcha Davis—Sorcha has a large stick, knows Shiggy’s every thought, and has convinced the village that Shiggy is recovering from a brain injury.   


The world of British Intelligence meets the supernatural in an entertaining tale of rehabilitation, love, and spying.


Shiggy Tash is the most dangerous person in the world to British Intelligence—she happens to be a member, slightly out of control, and in need of a good trainer.     


2.  One sentence about successful works similar to yours.


Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse is a unique novel with nothing very similar—it is an idea and a theme wholly unto itself.


3.  No more than 2 sentences about yourself. (use 3rd person)


L. D. Alford is a novelist whose writing uniquely explores the connections between present events and history—he combines them with threads of reality that bring the past alive.   


Dr. Alford is a scientist and widely traveled author who combines intimate scientific and cultural knowledge into fiction worlds that breathe reality.


4.  No more than 2 sentences that include “other,” i.e. any reasons, relationships, or other factors that might make your work more attractive.


Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse continues the supernatural themes introduced in L.D. Alford’s Enchantment and Ancient Light novels.  It is a standalone novel.


Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse is exciting fiction from the celebrated author of Essie: Enchantment and the Aor Si, Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer, Valeska: Enchantment and the Vampire, Khione: Enchantment and the Fox, Dana-ana: Enchantment of the Maiden, Hestia: Enchantment of the Hearth, Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon, Antebellum, Centurion, Aegypt, The End of Honor, The Fox’s Honor, A Season of Honor, Sister of Light, and Sister of Darkness.


I left in the information for Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse.  I’ll write and put in the information for School over the next few weeks.             


More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site, and my individual novel websites:

fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic

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