30 December 2016, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 908, Publishing, Learning to Write, Reading and Sales
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.
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 Si. Essie is my 26th novel.
Merry sixth day of Christmas.
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 input (easy)
- Scene output (a little harder)
- Scene setting (basic stuff)
- Creativity (creative elements of the scene)
- Tension (development of creative elements to build excitement)
- 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.
These are the steps I use to write a novel:
- Design the initial scene
- Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
- Research as required
- Develop the initial setting
- Develop the characters
- Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
- Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
- Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
- Write the climax scene
- Write the falling action scene(s)
- Write the dénouement scene
How do we get someone to buy your novel, and how do you get someone to read your novel? The chance someone will read a novel they receive for free is pretty low. The chance someone will read a novel they receive as a gift is low unless they really wanted it. The chance someone will buy a novel you wrote is low unless they desire it. How do you make someone desire your novel? It’s the same way you make someone purchase your novel. It is usually the first page they read. It is specifically, the initial scene.
Say I see a novel that interests me. I examine the cover. I read the front and the information on the back cover. If I am interested enough in the subject of the novel, I open the novel to read the first few pages. If the first paragraph is interesting, I continue reading to the next paragraph and perhaps the next. If the words I read are interesting, I will buy the novel and take it home. I will read the novel as soon as I can.
I’m not sure about you, but I think my approach is the way 99% of readers select the novels they read. This is why the open and read function in Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other online booksellers is so important. Let’s think about this—once a reader picks up your novel, the initial scene is what will make them desire to read your novel. The initial scene is what sells your novel. Within the initial scene, the first couple of paragraphs are the propulsive force that sells you novel. This is why I write over and over, the initial scene is the most important part of any novel.
Notice what will happen if you have a prologue. The reader might or might not get to your initial scene and paragraph. I can assure you, unless you are the most amazing author the world has ever seen, they will not buy your novel because of the prologue. What happens if your novel begins with a boring initial scene or with pages and pages of boredom and no action—same thing, people will not buy your novel.
You must make your readers desire your novel. Let’s look at that.
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