11 August 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x132, It’s Finished, Editing, Continuing
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:
- Don’t confuse your readers.
- Entertain your readers.
- Ground your readers in the writing.
- Don’t show (or tell) everything.
- 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.
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.
What do you do after the fifth stage of editing? You keep editing. I like to let a novel sit for a while before I make another run through. Usually, I send my completed novel to my primary reader. This way I get a first blush look at it, and she will provide me comments and some editing. The most important are the comments. I usually will not change huge parts of the novel, but I will improve it. I use all comments and address every comment in some way.
There is an exception. I have received feedback on my writing from two people who don’t like my writing or my style of writing. In one case, I received over fifty pages of comments on an already published work. I was really appreciative of the comments, but they asked me to fundamentally change the novel. Number one, it’s hard to change a novel that is already in publication—your publisher usually won’t do it. Second, I don’t necessarily agree with the assessment of the critique. If the novel were not in publication, I might reassess and address, but after going through more than one edit with the publisher, I feel like the novel is fully ready for prime time. This is likely the only occasion where I didn’t unilaterally accept a critique. From this same source, I wouldn’t mind feedback on other novels. It could be helpful, but I will note that as a successful author (published and in print), my readers expect a style and a type of novel. I think I provide them that. Not everyone will like my style or my writing—I realize that too. The problem is weeding out those who don’t like your style and those who give really strong feedback.
There are other even more complex and complicated issues. As writers, we need to stand by our own writing. We need to have an open mind to improvement and our own problems. At the same time, we need to stand by our style and what we like. When you are published, the market to a degree decides. When you are not, you can only depend on feedback and your own assessment. Let’s put it this way—if you love to read and reread your own works, your assessment might be okay. On the other hand, if you have any nagging doubts—you probably are right. Your novel needs improvement.
Because of the way I organize my writing (in chapter files)—this is the way I edit.
fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic