Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 349, Purpose for Tone Conversation Example

18 June 2015, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 349, Purpose for Tone Conversation Example

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.

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 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.

Here is the cover proposal for Lilly: Enchantment and the ComputerLilly is my 24th novel.

Cover Proposal

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 seventeenth chapter right now.  That means I’ve written about 340 pages.

One very great problem for many inexperienced writers is conversation.  They believe their conversation sounds trite and forced.  They want to know the tricks to writing good conversation.  This is a great aspiration and an important skill.  About 90% of my novels is conversation.  I love to write conversation, and I see it as the major tool of the novelist.  I’ll spend some time defining what makes good written conversation in a novel and how to write it.

Let’s review my guidelines for conversation.

1.  Cultural norms (greeting, introduction, small talk, big talk)
2.  Logical response (characters must respond to each other in the conversation)
3.  ID the speaker
4.  Show us the picture of the conversation
5.  Use contractions (most of the time)
6.  What are you trying to say?
7.  What is unsaid in the conversation?
8.  Build the tone of the conversation.
9.  Show don’t tell.

You might ask, what does it mean to show a conversation.  Remember about showing in writing.  Don’t tell us how a character feels–show us how they feel.  Don’t tell us what a character is thinking–show us what they are thinking.  In a situation of trust, don’t tell us what a character thinks or knows–let the character tell us.

Conversation is a super effective means of communicating the mind and heart of your character.  For example, a protagonist can tell the protagonist’s helper that he loves her.  Likewise, he can show her.  Likewise, the writer can show the love in conversation without a confession at all.  The power of conversation is what can be said and what is never said.

This is generally what I’ve called tone.  The tone of the conversation can convey everything that is unsaid in the conversation.  This was the point of the examples yesterday and the day before.  In that conversation, I delineated for you what was unsaid and how the tone was developed.  I have half a mind to give you a confessional conversation–watch for it.

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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