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.
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene. I’m writing about the initial scene of my newest novel, “Escape.” Escape is the working title. I’ll decide on the proposed title when I finish the novel. I’m at the eleventh chapter right now. That means I’ve written about 220 pages.
The entertainment (and excitement) should start with the first sentence and paragraph and grow to envelope the first scene. Let’s compare the excitement and entertainment I’m recommending with some of my published and unpublished novels. As I grew as a writer, my awareness of the importance of the first paragraph grew. It’s one thing to be taught or realize and another to implement. Next example the first paragraph from, Warrior of Light:
Daniel Terrance Long was free, finally free. He felt that freedom like the blaze of late May sunshine and the heady spring scents that filled the London air. He was free from school. Free from his old, horrid school and his old neighborhood. Now he was accepted and enrolled in a new school, and he strolled down the side of the quiet tree shaded street of his new neighborhood. This new neighborhood was a bit more upscale and aristocratic than the last. It was dotted with Tudor mansions and older Victorian homes, all of them possessed large yards and gardens. In his mind, this was quite an improvement from the tightly packed suburban track-built homes that all looked the same, and gave him the impression they were all filled with similar unpleasant and ignorant people. His parents could not understand how happy Daniel was to move away from there. They were so indoctrinated with psychological claptrap along with modern ideas of childhood that he couldn’t even speak to them about it.
Warrior of Light is a yet unpublished and uncontracted novel in the Ancient Light series. It is the novel that follows Children of Light and Darkness.
All right, I can’t help it. I write these blogs about 60 days in advance so I can keep up with them if I am busy or away. It’s part of the anally retentive part of a writer and a professional, but I can’t help but tell you–right now, I have a winter cocktail, a cappuccino, and a Partagas cigar. The cocktail is white with mint leaves and cranberries. My dog is guarding me. It is the Christmas holidays, and I have almost a week of glorious days to write. I know that most of you–even if you are professional writers, like me, have day jobs. I write on the weekends and holidays–whenever I can. I was just down in Dallas–I flew myself and my wife to Dallas to see the relatives. That was great and I read a lot, but I couldn’t write. Too much excitement. Someone there was reading one of my novels–that was great too. My point is this–I have almost five glorious days to write and write I shall–perhaps I’ll finish a book. Still, I’m writing on my blogs.
About this first paragraph–this is a paragraph with some action (not much), scene setting, character introduction, and some mystery. I like this paragraph–even though it is not action filled, it starts the novel exactly where it should and it lulls the reader into the pace of the novel. I should have mentioned that about the previous first paragraph–it brought the reader into the pace of the novel. This novel starts with some immediate excitement and mystery, but it isn’t what the reader expected. The question is about Daniel Long, his family, and his about to be new friends. Perhaps it needs more action in the initial scene, but I hope this paragraph builds interest for the reader–and a publisher.