Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 859, more Deeper Word Examples, Developing Conversation on the Stage of the Novel

10 November 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 859, more Deeper Word Examples, Developing Conversation on the Stage of the Novel

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.

Let’s go back to the beginning. I’ll use my newest novel as an example. It’s a historical novel, and you can see the theme statement just above. Let’s look at a novel from the standpoint of a stage play. A novel is not a stage play or a screenplay, but the author should approach some aspects of the novel from this vantage point.

In setting the stage of the novel follow my rules for writing 4a above:

4. Don’t show (or tell) everything.

4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.

All conversations follow a similar development and cycle of events. If an author is sensitive to this development and cycle, he can write more natural sounding (read realistic) conversation. The cycle of conversation moves like this: greetings, introductions, casual words, deeper words, ending. Let’s look at deeper words.

The example below is from Hestia: Enchantment of the Hearth. This is a yet uncontracted novel. The transition from the casual to deep conversation can be made in various ways. In this example, we have an authority figure and elder man who provides advice to a younger, but as authoritative a figure. Angela is a Ph.D. in archeology. Father Dioletis is an expert in the supernatural as applied to Greek creatures of mythology. Angela’s problem is external, she has a set of keys on her arm that can’t be removed, and internal, she has problems in regard to her boss and their dig at Lycantos. She has problems, some of which bear on Father Dioletis’ skills.

The method used to transition the conversation is appealing to an expert about a private matter. Angela and the Father are in private and can discuss this subject without interruption. The Father begins the conversation with a jocularity. He is inviting her to speak. If you think about it, Angela was inviting the Father to speak to her. There are also some advanced techniques being used here to convey both conversation and sounds.  Here is the example:

Angela leaned her chin on the rail at the side of the bridge. Her hair whipped around the fringes of her face.

Father Dioletis was all smiles, “Angela, I can hear your sighs from here.”

She didn’t turn around, “What do I know now that I didn’t before? The keys may unlock a gate, a door, and a box that is really a jar. The ring can probably only be removed by Hephaestus, a god no one has seen in at least two thousand years.”

“Maybe even Hephaestus cannot remove it.”

Angela’s shoulders sagged further, “Now, that is really hopeful.”

“Remember Angela, the one true God, as our friends like to call Him, can do anything. He has brought you to a place unthinkable only a little while ago. Could you have imagined meeting Hestia, Polyphemus, or even Nomius?”

“No, never,” Angela forced out.

“Let events take their course. At the worse, it is an excellent conversation piece.”

Angela glared at him, “What would Dr. Adams say about it?”

“Do you fear this person?”

Angela didn’t say anything at first. After a while the silence grew excruciating, “I was about to answer no, but truthfully, I am afraid. He is my supervisor at the university. He does not believe in anything at all, and right now he thinks we are all off wasting his and our good time.”

“You have food. You are not in pain. You speak Greek very well,” Father Dioletis smiled broadly, “You have friends. There are many worse things.”

Angela took a deep breath and made a face.

I hate it when conversations end up like this. I’m not going to say that this was a consummate moment in the novel. In general, the Father can’t answer Angela’s questions or solve her problems. His answer is simply reassuring. It tells her and the reader two things. First, Angela doesn’t need to worry about anything except solving the problems that beset her. Second, since the Father can guarantee this, he will ensure she doesn’t have to worry. We find later through the novel, this is true. That doesn’t stop Angela from worrying, but you can see immediately, the conversation answers some deep questions that were not necessarily asked, but though unasked they are solved. The Father really does understand Angela’s problems. However, like most spiritual authorities, he seeks to help Angela solve her own problems. You might also acknowledge that the Father recognizes that he can’t solve her problems. He can only support her solving them.

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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