Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 241, more Characters and Plot, How to Develop Storyline

2 March 2015, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 241, more 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.

An impersonal antagonist has become a very normative theme in many modern novels.  This impersonal antagonist is usually an evil government or corporation.  Some writers give the “evil government” a personal face.  George Orwell did this in 1984 and in Animal Farm.  Aldous Huxley did the opposite in Brave New World and left the antagonist impersonal.  In the Hunger Games, the evil president is the personal antagonist.

For now, I wish to leave the antagonist impersonal–this many times can make a more powerful novel.  Many modern people feel they are under attack from an impersonal “government.”  Your readers will likely resonate with this kind of antagonist.  My intent in the novel is to take modern socialism to an extreme.  The USSR provides the best model from the 20th Century for this kind of nation.  In the USSR, everything belonged to the state–the people supposedly had overall ownership, but as the Boston Commons showed the modern world, what an individual doesn’t own will not be taken care of or used properly.  Socialism allows a government to control everything about the lives of a people.  For example, the most private of property is the human life–if the state claims ownership of your person, you not only have no rights, your value to the state is now what you can provide it.  This is why homosexuals, the mentally retarded, and others were killed by the Nazis (national socialists) in World War Two–their value to the state was seen as zero.  In a free society, everyone has value because they have life.  Being a human confers value intrinsically.  In fact, the US Constitution asserts that under natural law, all rights are conferred by God and not by government.  Humans have rights based solely on their life.  My antagonist, “evil” government will be this type of fascism based on the Nazis and the USSR.

More tomorrow.

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



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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