Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 751, Sorcha, the Beginning

25 July 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 751, Sorcha, the Beginning

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 26th novel, working title, Shape, proposed title, Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si, is this: Mrs. Lyons captures a shape-shifting girl in her pantry and rehabilitates her.

I just started writing my 27th novel, working title, Claire, potential title Sorcha: Enchantment and the Trainee. This might need some tweaking. The theme statement is something like this: Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, the dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.

Here is the cover proposal for Essie: Enchantment and the Aos SiEssie is my 26th novel.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action.  I’m editing many of my novels using comments from my primary reader. I finished my 27th novel, working title Claire. I’m working on marketing materials.

I’m an advocate of using the/a scene input/output method to drive the rising action–in fact, to write any novel.

Scene development:

  1. Scene input (easy)
  2. Scene output (a little harder)
  3. Scene setting (basic stuff)
  4. Creativity (creative elements of the scene)
  5. Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)
  6. Release (climax of creative elements)

How to begin a novel. Number one thought, we need an entertaining idea. I usually encapsulate such an idea with a theme statement. Here’s the theme statement from Sorcha.

Claire (Sorcha) Davis accepts Shiggy, a dangerous screw-up, into her Stela branch of the organization and rehabilitates her.

I’m writing about character development. First we develop the characters, then we reveal the characters in the novel. I’ve been writing about Sorcha (Claire). She is conveniently the first character named in the theme statement. I mentioned some characteristic of her and her past that are revealed in the novel. The first step in developing a character for me is: what is their name? I already used Sorcha as a character. When she was a child, she hated to be called Sorcha—she was called Claire. When she was a teenager, she didn’t want to be called Sorcha either. Here is her family tree:

Kathrin McClellan Calloway – 1954 – 18 – b. 1940 d. 2040

1982 – 42 years – 72 years

2002 – 62 years

2015 – 75 years

2025 – 85 years

James Calloway – 1982 – 46 years – 76 years – 79 years – 66 years – 83 years in 2025 he is C, head of MI6

Assistant in 2025 – Jack


James (Seumas) Donaidh – April 1971 – 1982 – 11 years – 41 years – 54 y

Stewart (Stiùbhart) Oghma – April 1972 – 1982 – 10 years – 40 years – 53 y

Flora (Flòraidh) Claire (Sorcha) – March 19784 – 1982 – 8 years – 38 years – 51y

Claire (Sorcha) – b. 1995 — 19 (2014) – 7 years (2002) – 30 years (2025) (Claire Davis)

Deirdre Effie (Oighrig) May 1977 – 1982 – 5 years – 35 years – 48 y

Lachlann Mathew (Mata) April 1979 – 1982 – 3 years – 33 years – 46 y

Here is a lot of information, but I’ve been using and developing this family for a while. The Calloways also have two very important adopted children: Sveta Long and Klava Diakonov. I wrote entire novels about them. I put our Claire (Sorcha) in bold so you can’t miss her.

Her name is very important. Her grandmother is Kathrin Calloway an important Gaelic being. Her grandfather is the current head of MI6. Her grandmother named all her children with Gaelic names. The Gaelic for the names is in parenthesis. The standard English for the name is in normal text. Sorcha comes by her name through her family and their very strong Gaelic heritage. They are Scottish, by the way.

Sorcha’s mother also worked for the Organization (a part of British intelligence). She is in the foreign office and her husband works in the foreign office. Both of them had little to do with the raising of their daughter, Sorcha. This may be part of the reason for Sorcha’s issues—and Sorcha does have issues. The name Sorcha means brightness and light in Gaelic. I’ll leave it to you to determine if this is irony or not. Davis means David’s son and has no real meaning except it is Sorcha’s last name. I don’t hold it against her. I wanted her to have a very elegant sounding name because she is usually a very elegant person. We see this in her description. Description is the second step of character development

More tomorrow.

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


fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic


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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