Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 808, Climax Examples, Valeska

20 September 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 808, Climax Examples, Valeska

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 started writing my 28th novel, working title Red Sonja.

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. Since I’m writing a new novel, we need a new theme statement. Here is an initial cut.

Red Sonja, a Soviet spy, infiltrates the X-plane programs at Edwards AFB as a test pilot’s administrative clerk, learns about freedom, and is redeemed.

I’m writing about how to develop the climax of a novel. I’m giving examples from my published and yet to be published novels. I’ll try not to introduce spoilers. You can’t read some of these novels yet, but it’s worth writing about the process of developing the climax for them. I have two contracted novels Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness. These are supposed to be published in a three-in-one with Aegypt and individually. The economy has delayed their publication. These first three novels are called Ancient Light. They include Aegypt, Sister of Light, and Sister of Darkness. In addition to the Ancient Light novels, I’ve written some very fun novels I call my enchantment novels. The fifth is Valeska: Enchantment and the Vampire.

I have written before, don’t write vampire novels, the theme has been overused, but I wrote a vampire novel. In defense, I wrote a novel about the potential redemption of a vampire. My vampire is a “real” vampire who conforms to the Bram Stoker creation. The only place that my vampires are different is that they must drink blood during the full moon—this is to prevent their disassociation. If humans are flesh, spirit, and soul (this is a classical Greek idea), then vampires are spirit and soul only. Their flesh is gone and the only the spirit (psuche) and soul (pneume) give them a semblance of existence. That is why sunlight and lack of blood during the full moon leads to their destruction. Otherwise, my vampires match all of the features of Bram Stoker’s vampires.

Now, with that out of the way, it might seem impossible to redeem a vampire—perhaps it is. My vampire was hunting during the full moon in Gdansk, Poland when she came upon another hunter. That other hunter was George Marding a British intelligence agent. George was shot by his prey, and Valeska asked for George’s blood—because George ruined her hunt. George gladly gave up his blood, and Valeska heals George. All would be well except now Valeska can’t hunt anyone except George. This novel includes all kinds of fun spy stuff , but the story fills with more problems when George is reassigned to Britain.

Valeska’s telic flaw is that she is a vampire. This is internal and external. The expected climax is that Valeska unbecomes a vampire, but this is not possible. That is, no one has conceived of a way to unturn a vampire–they are supposed to be dead. The expected climax is therefore not possible. This means the expected climax could be the unexpected resolution. This is an irony and a wonderful turn of plot. This is one of the concepts I’m exploring in my enchantment novels—that is, the impossible redemption or the impossible change in a specific creature’s condition. In the case of Valeska, this is the redemption of a vampire. If you look back, this started with the redemption of an ancient goddess (Hestia), the redemption of a sorceress who called a demon (Aksinya), the redemption of an abused Greek demi-goddess (Khione), and now the redemption of a vampire. When I write “redemption” the connotation of the word should be taken from a literary standpoint. This doesn’t necessarily mean salvation, but it can. These novels are classical stories of redemption—where a person changes from evil to good (for example). There is, of course, action involved with Valeska’s climax.

My next as yet uncontracted Enchantment novel is Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer.

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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