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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part x153, It’s Finished, Reviewer's Quotes

8 June 2017, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part x153, It’s Finished, Reviewer's Quotes

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


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 Suspense


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 Deirdre is to reveal friendship and trust bound by secrets and learning between two opposing personalities.  The protagonist is a unique and unusual person who hasn’t lived much of a real childhood.  She is paired with a girl who has lived nothing but through hard knocks and suffering.


This work also investigates ideas about magic and records detailed information on competition shooting.


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.


Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse, a cursed woman becomes a deadly spy at the hands of a dangerous mistress.


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.


Deirdre was banished to Wycombe Abbey boarding school for fighting and uncivilized behavior.  Sorcha escaped from a juvenile prison for the same reason.  Sorcha’s great secret is she is illegally attending Wycombe herself.


Deirdre is the child of a goddess and Sorcha is the child of a fae creature.  What happens when the two become embroiled in an odd friendship becomes a story of legend—a secret legend, but a legend, none-the-less.


What problems can two girls of unusual and supernatural abilities pose in a modern boarding school—especially a school for elegant and wealthy young ladies?  The answer lies in Deirdre: Enchantment and the School—the results aren’t very pretty.


These may or may not be reviewer’s quotes.  Most writers don’t have enough reviewers of any of their novels unless they have a best seller or the novel has been previously published.  These are marketing materials.  The whole point is to try to encapsulate the entire novel into a few choice sentences.  The point is not necessarily to write a review of the novel, but to provide terse, interesting, and exciting tid bits that will interest a reader and publisher in your novel.


Like the synopsis, these become the back cover and library flap marketing for your novel.  In my published novels, these literally became the basis for the marketing information my publisher put together with me. 


I’ve found that the publisher likes to put together the marketing, but they never want to go it alone.  They understand the current market and the current words used in successful sales pitches, but they are looking for pithy and exciting ways to write it.  If you give them the ideas, they will put them into the proper and best words for the current market.  This is why it is also a good idea to let them have their head. 


The publisher literally knows best for the market, so unless they are way off base, or something sounds really bad, you should just point out anything you wish, but let it go—it is their ultimate risk in the game.  Your skin is the novel, theirs is the money and the market.


This is why I am usually completely on the side of my publisher even when they suggest marketing one of my novels in a little different way. For example, Ancient Light is a completely historical set of novels that take a slightly supernatural approach to some historical incidents.  My publisher describes it as dystopian.  It is really about historical events in the twentieth century—if people consider that dystopian, I’m for it.  If you don’t know, dystopian is the buzzword for a lot of modern fiction.  It is the opposite of utopian.  My point is that your publisher knows the market and the best way to market your novels.  Your job is to help them as much as possible.


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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