Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 812, Climax Examples, Antebellum

24 September 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 812, Climax Examples, Antebellum

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 other novels.

Antebellum fits as an enchantment novel, but it is different in a couple of ways. Although Antebellum does include enchantment (supernatural events and things), the protagonist is not in need of redemption. Redemption is a secondary theme in the novel. Also, although the secondary character, a house, does represent an unredeemable being, it represents an entire culture. On the other hand, that isn’t so different from Sorcha, where Shiggy is meant to represent a generation.

In any case, I haven’t renamed Antebellum to Heather: Enchantment and the House, but that might be a potential name for it. That would make nine Enchantment novels. I expect there will be more before I’m done. I’d like to see a publisher pick them up and run with them—oh well. Marketing is difficult.

Heather Sybil Roberts graduated from high school in 1965. She is trying to earn enough money to go to college. She almost has enough, but then she experiences Bellfleur, the plantation house that once belonged to her family. It disappeared at the end of the Civil War and hasn’t been seen since. Bellfleur calls Heather to enter and experience the history that went on inside the walls of the place. When Heather seeks the house, she can’t find it. It only can be found when it calls.

Heather is busy with her seven accounting jobs, and she is seeking to solve the mystery of Bellfleur. Bellfleur, on the other hand is reaching out of time to tell Heather something important about her culture and family.

We have Heather Sybil Roberts a dirt poor girl as our protagonist. Her external telic flaw is that she wants to go to college, but doesn’t have the means. Her internal telic flaw is the mystery of Bellfleur. The expected climax is that she will discover the mystery of Bellfleur and that she will be able to go to college. The problem with this climax is that Bellfleur is a mystery out of time. It isn’t something solvable within the constraints of normalcy. This is common to my writing, but this is also a more common theme than many of my novels. Notice, there is a very powerful conundrum defining this climax. Since the expected climax isn’t logically viable, there must be an unexpected resolution that solves the telic flaw. This resolution must be action based—and so it is.

I’m trying hard to give you clues to help you develop a proper climax without giving away spoilers for my novels. I really should have told all with Aksinya since I provided the novel in this blog. Just note, that as you develop a climax, head for the expected, but provide the unexpected. This is what makes a novel inviting, delicious, and memorable. People don’t regard the expected as great. The unexpected is the turning point that wows and intrigues.

I’ll move to my science fiction unpublished novels. We’ll look at Escape from Freedom first.

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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