23 June 2017, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part x168, It’s Finished, Public Feedback
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 28th novel, working title, School, potential title Deirdre: Enchantment and the School. The theme statement is: 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.
Here is the cover proposal for Deirdre: Enchantment and the School.
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I continued writing my 29th novel, working title Red Sonja. I finished my 28th novel, working title School. If you noticed, I started on number 28, but finished number 29 (in the starting sequence—it’s actually higher than that). I adjusted the numbering. I do keep everything clear in my records. 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 29: 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.
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.
I wrote yesterday about private feedback. Let’s look at public feedback. In my humble opinion, no author has every penned the perfect novel. You will find issues in Dickins, Elliot, the Bronte sisters, Hemmingway, Steinbeck, name the novelist, and I can find fault with their writing. On the one hand, you have the plot—I’m just not into some plots. I can acknowledge the skill of the writer, but the plot just isn’t my kettle of fish. On the other hand, you have the theme. Some themes turn me off. I understand the skill of the author, but, hey, I just not into that. Or the characters, some characters just don’t push my like buttons. Then there is the style. I actually have my own style, and no other author shares it. If I grade authors on style, then where will we be?
I can acknowledge that some authors I’m not super enamored of have produced market bestsellers. For example, the Harry Potty novels, the Sparkly Vampires, the Catcher in the Rye, Gone with the Wind, To Kill A Mockingbird, and there are others. I think these novels are kind of crap. I definitely think Ulysses and Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man are crap. James Joyce couldn’t write his way out of a paper bag. These are best-selling authors, so I don’t have a problem publicly criticizing their works. That’s the price of being a best-selling author. On the other hand, if you are an aspiring author and you ask me to review your novel, I will acknowledge the differences in plot, theme, characters, and style and provide you a positive and declarative review in public, and a very critical and hard hitting private review.
The public review will acknowledge the quality of your writing and your audience, but not necessarily be my private opinion. The private review will be my private opinion of your work. I’ll give you a very concrete example. Because my novels are redemptive and my primary publisher is considered inspirational, I have very many author friends who write in a very strongly inspirational sphere. Inspirational is considered a very strongly Christian audience. This is not my audience, style, preference, plot preference, but possibly my theme preference. I do understand this audience. To be clear, I write for a very broad audience. I like to think I write secular novels with a redemptive theme that would appeal to both Christians and other groups. If I weighed these authors by my personal criteria for writing, they all might get ones or twos—not because of the quality of their works but because I’m not necessarily enamored of the direct wam-bam salvation message in some of them. I write entertaining novels to appeal to a different but overlapping audience. I look at the novel as a whole and can see the appeal. In general, I want to help these authors in the marketplace. I give them a good review based on their audience and their writing. I suggest you do the same. We as authors should stand together to help each other. It does no good to our readers or us to criticize each other publically when the goal is to publish novels our readers appreciate and enjoy. To also be honest, I have provided very strong private feedback for novels I personally rate a five because when I put on my editing and critic hat, that is different than my reading for enjoyment hat. I would have done the same for Dickens if he asked my opinion.
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