7 September 2017, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part x159, It’s Finished, Cover
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.
First, you write and write and write until you are competent and someone finally accepts one of your novels for publication.
Second, you keep writing.
Third, you market.
Fourth, you keep writing with the hope your marketing and your writing will finally come to fruition.
Fifth, you market.
Here is a list of the primary information I develop for a completed novel. I’ll put some explanation beside the sections. As we discuss them, I’ll fill them out for my newest novel.
Title of Work:
Deirdre: Enchantment and the School
L. D. Alford
Type: Either Screenplay or Book
Length: Either # of words for books, or # of pages for screenplays
Keywords and Market Focus:
Fiction, friendship, Wycombe Abbey, school, boarding, education, training, boyfriends, Eton, diva, skills, shooting, fencing, fae, fairy, Britain, spy, goddess, Dagda, magic; will fascinate anyone interested in friendship, boarding schools, magic, and the fae—will appeal particularly to those who enjoy mystery and suspense novels.
A final part and one of the most enjoyable parts for me in creating marketing materials is to make a proposed cover. No matter who you are and no matter who your publisher is, one of the first things they will ask you after the contract is signed is for a proposed cover. They usually will send you to various stock photo sites to identify a few photos that relate to your novel. I suggest you make a mock-up of what you think your cover should look like and use it for marketing purposes. You will have to figure this out some time—why not now?
If you look at this blog, you will see at least two examples of my cover proposals. I have Aksinya and Sorcha up at the moment and I’m going to provide you with Deirdre at the bottom. I’ll describe what I put on the proposed cover.
I’ll get into more detail tomorrow, but let me describe the basic requirements for the cover.
- Pick a color scheme. I chose green. If you notice, all the pictures have some degree of green in them. The center point of the cover is the green band.
- You need to place the title prominently. I likely need a more vibrant color for the title, but the split and the words on the green band give it a little mystery.
- You need to place “A Novel” somewhere. I’m not sure why publishers find this necessary, but it is a characteristic of most novels. This should be in a small text format.
- Place your nom de plume somewhere on the cover. L.D. Alford is my professional writing name. If you are a best seller, your name is in the largest font. If you are not a best seller, your name is smaller than the title.
fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic