9 April 2015, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 279, Mystery Title
Announcement: Ancient Light is delayed due to the economy. You can read more 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.
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 25th novel, working title, Escape, is this: 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.
I’ll make a slight digression because I’m developing advertising and publisher materials for my newest completed novel, Lilly. Here is the cover proposal for Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer.
If you are setting a title on a work yourself or your publisher asks you for ideas (assuming you don’t have a title already), here are some ideas for developing a title.
1. It needs to be pithy.
2. It needs to be marketable.
3. It needs to be short, but not too simple.
4. It needs to be unique, but not too unique.
5. It should not be too similar to works with negative connotations.
6. It should encapsulate some measure of the theme.
7. It should build mystery. You want your potential reader to pick up your book or at least look closer at it on line. If they don’t, you don’ have a sale or a reader. The cover is a huge part of this. That is why I try to make my covers eye-catching. That is why your publisher tries to design eye-catching covers. The cover is everything.
In a brick and mortar shop, the potential reader will notice the cover first. Based on the cover or the title, they will pick up the book and look through it. Most potential readers will read the first paragraph. If they like what they see, and the price is right, they will usually buy your book. You have one chance to grab their attention with the cover or the title.
The reason I tell you this is that many times the title may be all they see at first. For works on the internet, the reason is obvious. For a work where the reader actually sees the cover much more is in play. Literate people tend to focus on words first and pictures second–this is the basis for more than one parlor trick with words and pictures. Many times your potential reader will see the title before they comprehend the picture. Or, they may work to grasp the title out of the cover. I find myself doing this with some books on the shelf. In any case, they will get to the title if they have any interest in your book. The title must grab them, or you won’t get them. The title must give them something to mull over. Without that, you have nothing.
At this point everything I’m doing with and for this work is about marketing to a publisher and building a website.