Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x129, It’s Finished, Editing, Third Stage

8 August 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x129, It’s Finished, Editing, Third Stage

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

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

Here is the cover proposal for Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse.

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 finished my 29th novel, working title School. I’ll be providing information on the marketing materials and editing.

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.

For novel 28: 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.

For novel 29: Sorcha, the abandoned child of an Unseelie and a human, secretly attends Wycombe Abbey girls’ school where she meets the problem child Deirdre and is redeemed.

The third stage is cleanup. In this stage, as in all, the author needs to continue to correct obvious problems with consistency and continuity as well as other writing issues. However, this is the time to take a deep dive for overused words and overused constructions. Here is my list:











This is my list of watch words. In this stage of editing, I make a search of each of these words. When I find them, I evaluate the use and the surroundings. If the construction is good and acceptable, I keep it, but if it can be replaced with a better construction, stronger word, or better way of expressing the statement, I replace or rewrite.

For example, -ing represents the present participle construction—he was singing. A better expression is he sang. You should only write, he was singing when the singing is taking place at exactly the same time as another action. He was singing as he danced to the window.

Had/have are perfect tense construction. It is also identity construction. You want to reduce these.

-ly is an adverb construction. You want to replace adverbs with strong verbs—when you can. When you can’t just keep the adverb. There is no reason to kill all adverbs, but every reason to reduce and replace with stronger verbs.

Were/was are identity verbs. I want to replace these with stronger verbs. Instead of it was cold. It felt cold.

Got/gotten are usually poor choices unless in conversation. Get rid of gotten in all cases, but you may keep got in most conversation.

Even can be redundant.

I don’t like said. I replace it with tags, identification, or gestures. To me, said is dead. Find more constructive ways to express communication.

Utilize is just a pretentious word for use. I don’t use utilize unless in the mouth of a pretentious scientist. BTW, you shouldn’t use utilize in any of your speaking or writing.

This the beginnings of any list for a third stage edit. Add in your own words and don’t forget to search for redundant words at the same time.

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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