Writing – part x557, Developing Skills, Marketing Materials, Short Form

10 October 2018, Writing – part x557, Developing Skills, Marketing Materials, Short Form

Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but my primary publisher has gone out of business—they couldn’t succeed in the past business and publishing environment.  I’ll keep you informed, but I need a new publisher.  More information can be found atwww.ancientlight.com.  Check out my novels–I think you’ll really enjoy them.

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 withhttp://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.

     4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.

  1. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

These are the steps I use to write a novel including the five discrete parts of a novel:

  1. Design the initial scene
  2. Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
  3. Research as required
  4. Develop the initial setting
  5. Develop the characters
  6. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  7. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  8. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  9. Write the climax scene
  10. Write the falling action scene(s)
  11. Write the dénouement scene

I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential titleBlue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.  The theme statement is: Lady Azure Rose Wishart, the Chancellor of the Fae, supernatural detective, and all around dangerous girl, finds love, solves cases, breaks heads, and plays golf.

Here is the cover proposal for Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I am continuing to write on my 30thnovel, working title Red Sonja.  I finished my 29th novel, working titleDetective.  I’m planning to start on number 31, working title Shifter.

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 30:  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 31:  TBD

Here is the scene development outline:

  1. Scene input (comes from the previous scene output or is an initial scene)
  2. Write the scene setting (place, time, stuff, and characters)
  3. Imagine the output, creative elements, plot, telic flaw resolution (climax) and develop the tension and release.
  4. Write the scene using the output and creative elements to build the tension.
  5. Write the release
  6. Write the kicker         

Today:  Time again to look at marketing materials.  I just finished a new novel—actually, I finished it a few weeks ago, but I’ve been working on the marketing materials.  I always develop the specific materials first, then the condensed materials for my currently defunct publisher, and then the cover.  You can see above, I made a proposed cover. I haven’t put any of this information on the internet yet, but I’m building up to that.

Here is my proposed cover:

Cover Proposal

Marketing materials are a must.  I’ll be straight up with you.  I know most people have not completed their novels.  Some of you might have.  You might be still working on your editing and proofing.  You might be still perfecting your novel.  All of that is important, but none of it matters if you don’t have a plan for marketing your work.  Marketing means you have some plan and know what a publisher might want to know about you and your work.  I gave you a format with examples from my own novel.  I showed you the “long form.”  If there is a long form, there must be a short form.  That’s what I will give you next.  Here is the short form for my novelBlue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.

Title of Work:

Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective

Author(s) Name:

L.D. Alford

Type: Either Screenplay or Book

Book

Length: Either # of words for books, or # of pages for screenplays

108,475 words

Keywords and Market Focus:

Fiction, detective, supernatural, fae, fairy, romance, intelligence, Britain, United Kingdom, MI6, magic, New Scotland Yard, goddess, Dagda, organization, the Crown; will fascinate anyone interested in mystery, detectives, and the fae—will appeal particularly to those who enjoy mystery and suspense novels.

Genre:

Mystery Fantasy

We begin the short form with the basic information from the long form.  These are just the normal particulars that you must have to define a novel: title, authors, words, keywords and market focus, and genre.  You aren’t going anywhere without these.  Let’s just put it this way—every publisher, seller, and reader will be interested in differing degree in this information.  Then we begin the short form.  These are true marketing blurbs that are intended to excite a potential publisher, agent, or reader’s interest.  That is the point.

This is also a short synopsis.  I worked with a publisher who wanted to be able to interest their board.  Even if your publisher completely read your novel, they will look to you for blurbs.  The reason should be obvious.  Who can better write a marketing spiel about their novel?  A publisher or general reader can’t.   They might love and have read your novel cover to cover ten times, but their knowledge of your novel can’t be better than yours.  Likewise, how skilled at writing blurbs can your publisher be?  Plus, who’s going to do it.  To write a blurb, you need a great reader who is also a great writer.  Guess what any novelist is—a great writer.

Publishers aren’t unskilled, they are just really smart.  Get the cheapest and most effective person to write the information they need—that’s pretty obvious and easy.

The smart author knows this request is coming.  This request is also different than reviewer’s quotes.  I’ll try to explain the difference as we go through each section.

  1. No more than 3 sentences about the content of your manuscript.

The Lady Azure Rose Wishart applies to New Scotland Yard as a supernatural detective—she has to explain exactly what a supernatural detective can do, but that’s just part of the details.

The Lady Azure Rose Wishart finds her match in the puppy love of Lachlann Calloway—she doesn’t need any kind of love especially from a boyfriend, but now she’s stuck with one.

The Lord Chancellor of the Book of the Fae wishes to regain her estate, become a supernatural detective, and make her mark on the aristocracy—pretty cheeky for a sixth form head girl.

  1. One sentence about successful works similar to yours.

Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective is a novel along the lines of Sherlock Holmes, except it’s about a woman, and her Watson is a smart young Wing Commander.

  1. No more than 2 sentences about yourself. (use 3rdperson)
  2. L.D. Alford is a novelist whose writing uniquely explores the connections between present events and history—he combines them with threads of reality that bring the past alive.

Dr. Alford is a scientist and widely traveled author who combines intimate scientific and cultural knowledge into fiction worlds that breathe reality.

  1. No more than 2 sentences that include “other,” i.e. any reasons, relationships, or other factors that might make your work more attractive.

Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective continues the supernatural themes introduced in L.D. Alford’s Enchantment and Ancient Light novels.  It is a standalone novel.

Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective is exciting mystery fiction from the celebrated author of Deirdre: Enchantment and the School, Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse, Essie: Enchantment and the Aor Si, Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer, Valeska: Enchantment and the Vampire, Khione: Enchantment and the FoxDana-ana: Enchantment of the Maiden, Hestia: Enchantment of the Hearth, Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon, AntebellumCenturionAegypt, The End of HonorThe Fox’s Honor, A Season of Honor, Sister of Light, and Sister of Darkness.

The above is the completed long form market information for my new novel Blue Rose:  Enchantment and the Detective.  The purpose for this marketing information is multifold.

In this introduction to the short form information, we are building short pieces to describe you and your work.  The use of this information is similar to the use of the long form.  The short form is specifically getting the author used to writing a tight, exciting, and interesting blurb about their own writing.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:

http://www.ancientlight.com/

http://www.aegyptnovel.com/

http://www.centurionnovel.com

http://www.thesecondmission.com/

http://www.theendofhonor.com/

http://www.thefoxshonor.com

http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic

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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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