12 August 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x133, It’s Finished, Editing, Continuing part 2
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.
I do recommend that you don’t edit in the compete file. What I mean is this. I break the novel into chapters. This is the classical measure of units of parts of a novel—there is no reason why you should not break up your novel in this way. That said, once I bring it together as a document, I usually don’t do anything with that document except search it for parts and information. In writing this, I obviously use the completed document in lots of ways. Let me help explain exactly what I do.
To repeat, based in the history of files and to protect my work, I write in files of one chapter. This is usually about 5000 words per chapter and about 20 pages of double spaced text. In the past you couldn’t safely write much more than this without risking a file blow-out. Today, you can put an entire novel in a single file. The risk in the past and now in the loss of a file results in the end of the novel. I’ll take my risk in chapter length pieces. Usually I aim for 20 chapters this makes a nice 100,000 word novel. That’s my goal for writing 20 chapters of 20 pages each and about 5,000 words each.
I put these chapters together using the index filing method available in most word processor software. This produces an editable file with 20 subfiles in it. I make this also a standalone file by disconnecting the subfiles. Thus I end up with 20 chapter files, a file of files, and a complete file that includes the entire text of the novel. I only edit the chapter files. Thus, when I need a new complete file, I have to open the file of files and disconnect it from the subfiles to make a new complete file. This protects my subfiles and produces an independent file. I also make a pfd from the complete file.
The whole reason for this is the protection of my writing. Did I also mention I keep backups of everything? I use the Microsoft briefcase as a means to back up all my writing files to a server. I also back up the server. I do not wish to ever lose a bit of my writing. I have in the past—this is the reason for my caution. This also has to do with the computer use to I write with and many other things I do as an author and data manager—meaning I am managing my writing data.
I don’t really care how you do it—that is manage your writing files and information, but you need to figure out some way to do it. You need some plan—this is mine. There is, of course, always more to the story.
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