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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part x156, It’s Finished, Short Form, Similar Works

11 June 2017, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part x156, It’s Finished, Short Form, Similar Works

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


Short Form

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


Sorcha Weir’s secret is discovered by Deirdre Calloway—Sorcha is clandestinely attending Wycombe Abbey boarding school.    


When two problem girls, both with supernatural abilities, come together at Wycombe Abbey boarding school, the sparks are about to fly.


Magic, the fae, British Intelligence, and learning mix with friendship, fighting, and unexpected revelations at a girl’s elegant boarding school in Deirdre: Enchantment and the School.       


2.  One sentence about successful works similar to yours.


Deirdre: Enchantment and the School is a novel about supernatural girls attending a boarding school—it compares with some modern novels in a similar setting, but the concept is wholly unique.


Most works are comparable in some way to other novels.  For example, Harry Potty is similar to a host of magical based novels for kids.  The Sparkly Vampires isn’t that unique at all.  There’s bunches of vampire stuff especially in this class of writing.  Most works compare to something, but then others are very unique.  For example, the Hungry Games are pretty much alone.  Somebody might have written novels like it since it was published, but it’s pretty much in a class by itself.  The Abhorsen novels by Garth Brooks are pretty unique.  Jack Vance is a very unique writer.  On the other hand, many novelists provide new ideas, but to old or set concepts--your standard mysteries, crime novels, spy novels, historical novels, and all. 


Some of my novels have been comparable with older novels.  For example, Centurion can be compared with Ben Hur or The Robe.  My Aegypt novel can be compared with The Jewel of Seven Stars.  Most novels have some antecedents, and there is nothing wrong with that.  Most publishers want to know what to compare your novel with.  They aren’t checking for fan fiction, but they are checking to see if you have something their market can support. 


On the other hand, sometimes authors stumble into ideas that are like nothing in the past.  These are unique novels that have no comparable novel in print.  I have to say that as I’ve written more and more, my ideas become more and more unique.  If you know of a novel similar to Deirdre, I’d love to know about it.  I’d like to read it.  I’m sure there are many novels about girls in boarding schools (actually, there are fewer than you might imagine).  I’m sure there are some novels about supernatural people, just none about girls with supernatural abilities in a regular boarding school.  I mean you have Harry.  There is some supernatural action in the boarding school, but that’s a little different than a girl banished to a boarding school and another hiding in a boarding school.


Part of this uniqueness comes from the situations in the world I already set up in the modern world I write about.  My characters are somewhat unique and the plots are definitely unique.  In any case, don’t shy from either side.  You really do want your novels to be comparable to something.  On the other hand, if they aren’t just say you think that is so.  If you find another similar work in the future, then you have a new comparison.       



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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