Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 255, Novel Development, Characters and Plot, How to Develop Storyline

16 March 2015, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 255, Novel Development, 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 started writing on my newest novel.  Here is the theme statement: 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, an initial scene, protagonist, protagonist helper, antagonist, and the climax is obvious.  Let’s look at each.

It’s kind of funny that when I started this series I was writing about Valseka.  That novel is long finished, and I’ve already written one other, Lilly, and started on a third–the dystopian novel I’ve been writing about.  The ideas come almost faster than I can get them on paper.  The worst is that in contemplating the novels and the writing, I lose some of the details I’ve designed in my mind.  The reason I mention this is that I’m using my own advice on developing a novel–the advice I’ve been sharing here for a few years.  As I write my techniques down, I gain a greater and greater appreciation for the need to organize and properly develop a novel.  I’m showing how you can bring a novel into existence from a simple theme statement.  The theme statement I’ve been using is the one just above.  I should probably clean out the Valeska information, but I haven’t developed the publishing information yet for Lilly.  I haven’t had the time to even compile Lilly into a single document for my readers and publisher.  When I have an opportunity, I’ll show you the advertising and presentation information.

I’ll get back to the details tomorrow, but I wanted to mention that using the ideas I’ve been describing for you allows me to build a novel very quickly.  I don’t use or advocate any kind of template, but rather, classical design of a novel using time tested methods to organize, develop, and begin writing a novel.  I wish I’d known these ideas when I wrote my first novel.  As I wrote above, these are classic methods for novel development–the only problem is that few people teach how to properly write a novel.  I developed these ideas from classes and experience I had in evaluating classical literature–what worked for the masters certainly can work for you and me.  Ill not say writing any novel is easy, but it certainly is easier when you understand the basic elements, how to begin, and where you are going.

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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