26 June 2018, Writing - part x536, Developing Skills, Marketing Materials, Title
Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but my primary publisher has gone out of business—they couldn’t succeed in the past business and publishing environment. I'll keep you informed, but I need a new publisher. 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 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential title Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective. The theme statement is: Lady Azure Rose Wishart, the Chancellor of the Fae, supernatural detective, and all around dangerous girl, finds love, solves cases, breaks heads, and plays golf.
Here is the cover proposal for Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I am continuing to write on my 30th novel, working title Red Sonja. I finished my 29th novel, working title Detective. I’m planning to start on number 31, working title Shifter.
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 30: 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 31: TBD
Here is the scene development outline:
1. Scene input (comes from the previous scene output or is an initial scene)
2. Write the scene setting (place, time, stuff, and characters)
3. Imagine the output, creative elements, plot, telic flaw resolution (climax) and develop the tension and release.
4. Write the scene using the output and creative elements to build the tension.
5. Write the release
6. Write the kicker
Today: Time again to look at marketing materials. I just finished a new novel—actually, I finished it a few weeks ago, but I’ve been working on the marketing materials. I always develop the specific materials first, then the condensed materials for my currently defunct publisher, and then the cover. You can see above, I made a proposed cover. I haven’t put any of this information on the internet yet, but I’m building up to that.
Here is my proposed cover:
Marketing materials are a must. I’ll be straight up with you. I know most people have not completed their novels. Some of you might have. You might be still working on your editing and proofing. You might be still perfecting your novel. All of that is important, but none of it matters if you don’t have a plan for marketing your work. Marketing means you have some plan and know what a publisher might want to know about you and your work. What you need is a format for your marketing materials, and here it is.
Title of Work:
Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective
How should you create a title? The first point is obvious—fit the title to your work. As I mentioned, I titled Aegypt as Aegypt. My mentor recommended In the Tomb of the Goddess of Darkness and Light. My publisher liked Aegypt. In fact, at the moment, single word titles are in vogue and my erstwhile publisher asked me to develop single word titles for all my novels under contract. The publisher decided to not go forward with that plan, but if you notice, single word titles are the rage—at the moment.
I’m not necessarily a fan of single word titles, but I would like to capture in a title, the major elements of the plot and provide some mystery that excites the potential reader.
If you notice, the title and book cover are the primary means you have to gaining the potential reader’s attention. This means the title must meet certain criteria. We note that obviously, the title must capture some element of the plot of the novel. In addition, it is also obvious that we want to interest a reader. The element of excitement and mystery should somehow be tripped by the title.
In the case of this title, Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective, this is one of my enchantment novels. I have been naming these novels based on this basic format since the first. In fact, I anguished about the first novel and asked many of my readers and interested parties to review and suggest. That resulted in Hestia: Enchantment of the Hearth. In the case of every novel in this series, I’ve used the name of the protagonist and enchantment of the “blank.” The “blank” is usually based on a major characteristic of the protagonist, or the focus of the plot.
In the case of Blue Rose, the name of the protagonist is Azure Rose Wishart. She calls herself the Blue Rose and the Blue Rose Supernatural Detective Agency. I’m not sure what my publisher will want to title this novel, but there are many options. If it is published as one of the many enchantment novels, the title might stick. On the other hand, if it the novel is published as a stand-alone, it will likely have another title. Perhaps The Blue Rose Supernatural Detective Agency. That would make a great stand-alone name.
There is more to the title than that. Titles must be somewhat unique, but not completely unique.
L. D. Alford
Type: Either Screenplay or Book
Length: Either # of words for books, or # of pages for screenplays
Keywords and Market Focus:
Author Bio: Approximately 120 words
Synopsis: Approximately 500 Words
Concept of the Work: Approximately 250 Words
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.
What I will do is go through each step and give you my answers based on my latest novel. I did leave the top parts filled.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, 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