23 July 2018, Writing - part x563, Developing Skills, Marketing Materials, Short Form, About You
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 put this information on the internet at www.LumiereNovel.com.
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. I gave you a format with examples from my own novel. I showed you the “long form.” If there is a long form, there must be a short form. That’s what I will give you next. Here is the short form for my novel Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.
Title of Work:
Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective
L. D. Alford
Type: Either Screenplay or Book
Length: Either # of words for books, or # of pages for screenplays
Keywords and Market Focus:
Fiction, detective, supernatural, fae, fairy, romance, intelligence, Britain, United Kingdom, MI6, magic, New Scotland Yard, goddess, Dagda, organization, the Crown; will fascinate anyone interested in mystery, detectives, 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.
The Lady Azure Rose Wishart applies to New Scotland Yard as a supernatural detective—she has to explain exactly what a supernatural detective can do, but that’s just part of the details.
The Lady Azure Rose Wishart finds her match in the puppy love of Lachlann Calloway—she doesn’t need any kind of love especially from a boyfriend, but now she’s stuck with one.
The Lord Chancellor of the Book of the Fae wishes to regain her estate, become a supernatural detective, and make her mark on the aristocracy—pretty cheeky for a sixth form head girl.
2. One sentence about successful works similar to yours.
Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective is a novel along the lines of Sherlock Holmes, except it’s about a woman who is a supernatural detective, and her Watson is a smart young Wing Commander.
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.
This is all about you. So, what about you? Who are you, and what do you write? If you are having troubles here, just take your longer biography and encapsulate the good parts into a single sentence. Actually, you want two sentences.
These sentences should tell us about your and your writing. If you compare mine above to my usually author biography, you will see many parallels.
The simplest way of writing this is something like: L.D. Alford is the acclaimed author of Centurion. That is, list one or more of your published novels. If you don’t have any published novels, you are forced to focus on other things.
In my sentences, I didn’t mention my other novels, I just focused on my writing style and experience. I’m trying to build excitement for my novels and writing in these sentences. This is true of all of your marketing materials, but the fact you can slip it in anywhere is very important.
Now, before you get self-congratulatory, it is important that you realize praise without any backing is worthless. In fact, praise itself is worthless. What matters is what you do and have done. Look at my sentences closely—there is no filler or unnecessary words. Each of the words and descriptions is true. They are easily supportable.
Here is an example of a bad sentence. George P. is a great writer whose novels are amazing literature.
You can only prove you are a great writer by being a bestseller and even that might not be enough. What is a great writer? The terms are difficult to pin down, and the proof isn’t that obvious unless you are a household name. Likewise, what is amazing literature? This is hard to define and really meaningless. Or, another bad example.
Sally G. is a true intellectual—she writes wonderful stories focused on her own life and community.
How do you prove you are an intellectual? If you have a Ph.D. I suspect you could be an intellectual—if so, you don’t need to tell us that you are an intellectual. Just tell us you are a Ph.D. or put Dr. ahead of your name. In fact, by telling us you are an intellectual, you are kind of hinting you aren’t.
Again, write truth and provable facts. Her are a couple of usable examples.
George P. manages an office by day and writes by night—he builds novels about the white collar world that taste of cigarettes and stale beer.
Sally G. Ph.D. teaches physics and engineering ethics to recalcitrant university students—her science fiction novels explore very complex scientific ideas and explain them to perfection.
Okay, these are a bit cheesy, but I think you get the idea. I can’t really prove the taste of cigarettes and stale beer, but it’s a nice touch. Likewise, it’s hard to prove Sally can explain the ideas to perfection, but hey, it sounds good and the reader can be the proof of the pudding. The proof is in the reading. Otherwise, the facts speak for themselves.
So, tell us who you are and how or what you write. Make it exciting. Make sure it is provable. Give us a glimmer, a taste, of your skill and who you are, and we shall be happy.
4. No more than 2 sentences that include “other,” i.e. any reasons, relationships, or other factors that might make your work more attractive.
Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective continues the supernatural themes introduced in L.D. Alford’s Enchantment and Ancient Light novels. It is a standalone novel.
Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective is exciting mystery fiction from the celebrated author of Deirdre: Enchantment and the School, 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.
In this introduction to the short form information, we are building short pieces to describe you and your work. The use of this information is similar to the use of the long form. The short form is specifically getting the author used to writing a tight, exciting, and interesting blurbs about their own writing.
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