13 June 2017, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part x158, It’s Finished, Short Form, Other Info
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.
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
L. D. Alford
Type: Either Screenplay or Book
Length: Either # of words for books, or # of pages for screenplays
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.
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.
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.
Deirdre: Enchantment and the School continues the supernatural themes introduced in L.D. Alford’s Enchantment and Ancient Light novels. It is a standalone novel.
Deirdre: Enchantment and the School is exciting fiction from the celebrated author of Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse, 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.
What a potential publisher wants to know is: have you written any other novels, any published novels, and is this novel part of a series? I don’t like –olgies—you know like trilogies or quadrilogies or pairs of novels. Most publishers aren’t into that either. This is why I write “standalone works.” If you look above, I identify Deirdre as a novel in the Enchantment series, but that it is a standalone novel. All the Enchantment novels are related but standalone. The point of this is that a potential publisher knows if the novel is popular, there are other novels that can be brought to market quickly. It also indicates that the author has a portfolio of similar novels the publisher can draw upon.
Unless you are a bestseller, the chance of getting an –ology set of novels published is almost zero. I recommend standalone novels, and I recommend novels in a series.
What does it mean to be in a series? That means the novels are independent of each other, but may share common settings, characters, ideas, institutions, and all. For example, my Enchantment novels sometimes share secondary characters, settings, and institutions, but they mostly share a singular idea—the idea of the redemption of a supernatural being. This is the unique flair in my novels anyway, but this series encapsulates very strongly this idea. Ancient Light is a series that follows a family from the 1920s into the 1990s. Each novel is independent of the others, but each novel shares characters, settings, and institutions. A reader who is enamored of my writing and my characters can read up to eight novels about those characters and in that style. They can read and enjoy just one, if they like.
The second paragraph lists the novels that I’ve written and gives their availability and status—to a degree. I should likely be more forceful in the description of the publication status. In any case, list the novels you’ve written and tie them to your current novel.
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