Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 240, Characters and Plot, How to Develop Storyline

1 March 2015, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 240, Characters and Plot, How to Develop Storyline

Announcement:  Ancient Light is in publication, and you can buy it at almost any internet book sellers or order it from any brick and mortar bookstore.  You can read about it at http://www.ancientlight.com.  Ancient Light includes the second edition of Aegypt plus Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness.  I’ll keep you updated.

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.
5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

All novels have five discrete parts:
1.  The initial scene (the beginning)
2.  The rising action
3.  The climax
4.  The falling action
5.  The dénouement

The theme statement of my newest novel, Valeska, is this: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed.

Here is my proposed cover for Valeska:

I decided on a white cover style.  You can see more at www.GoddessofDarkness.com.

I decided on a white cover style.  You can see more at www.GoddessofDarkness.com.

I haven’t started writing yet, but I have a theme statement for my next novel: a girl in a fascist island nation will do anything to escape–a young cargo shuttle pilot not following the rules crashes on the island.

This theme statement lends itself well to each part of the development of a novel.  Note, there is a setting, a initial scene, protagonist, protagonist helper, antagonist, and the climax is obvious.  Let’s talk about each.

I’m actually using this blog to develop the parts of my newest novel.  I’m currently in the second run-through for Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer.  I haven’t sent that novel to my readers yet.  I am generally happy with it, but I had an idea for the novel represented by the theme statement immediately above.  I mentioned the development of the initial scene yesterday.  The next is the development of the protagonist.  The big question is who is the protagonist and who is the protagonist’s helper.  We know the antagonist.  Perhaps, the antagonist is the best place to go next.

The antagonist is the government of the fascist nation.  I mentioned some ideas about the setting for the initial scene.  The question is what does this fascist nation look like and will the antagonist be personal or impersonal?  The question of personal or impersonal refers to whether the antagonist will have a real human face or be a generic bureaucracy.  For example, if the supreme leader is the face of the government, that could harbor a personal antagonist.  On the other hand, if the supreme leader is just a threatening person that represents the evil government, the antagonist is impersonal.  Or if a singular person acts as the face of the government toward the protagonist, that is a personal antagonist.  I’ll delve deeper into the antagonist.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:

http://www.ancientlight.com/
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

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About L.D. Alford

L. D. Alford is a novelist whose writing explores with originality those cultures and societies we think we already know. His writing distinctively develops the connections between present events and history—he combines them with threads of reality that bring the past alive. L. D. Alford is familiar with technology and cultures—he is widely traveled and earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Pacific Lutheran University, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University, a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from The University of Dayton, and is a graduate of Air War College, Air Command and Staff College, and the USAF Test Pilot School. L. D. Alford is an author who combines intimate scientific and cultural knowledge into fiction worlds that breathe reality. He is the author of three historical fiction novels: Centurion, Aegypt, and The Second Mission, and three science fiction novels: The End of Honor, The Fox’s Honor, and A Season of Honor.
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