Writing – part x561, Developing Skills, Marketing Materials, Short Form, Similar Works

14 October 2018, Writing – part x561, Developing Skills, Marketing Materials, Short Form, Similar Works

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

  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.

The next sentence may be the most important one you can contemplate and write down.  Look closely at it.  One sentence about successful works similar to yours.  What novels classic or popular compare to your novel?

This is a very important question to answer…and this is a trick question.  There are literally some works which are absolutely unique.  For example, Harry Potty is pretty unique in Western literature.  There are many Japanese works that are in some ways similar to Harry, but very few in the West.  Likewise, the sparkly vampires are pretty unique.  There might be some Western work that can compare to it, but probably not.  On the other hand, there are significant Japanese works that are somewhat similar to the sparkly vampires.

So, here is the trick and the test.  Many publishers want to know if your novel is somewhat similar to other successful books.  If it is, then there might be hope for your novel to be a success.  One example is the many dystopian novels out there in Young Adult writing.  If you have written a similar dystopian novel, you might have some potential for unusual success.  This is the trick.

The test is your grasp of the market, and if your novel is too close to another work.  If you have no idea what novels are out there or how your novel compares, a publisher might want to know more about your grasp.  As I wrote, there are novels that are absolutely unique—there is nothing like them in the marketplace.  An author can have an absolutely unique idea—if so, you should make such a statement.  On the other hand, do a little research.

With that, let’s look at Blue Rose.

  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 who is a supernatural detective, and her Watson is a smart young Wing Commander.

I picked the most obvious and simplest comparison, and outlined the differences.  The reason for this is that Sherlock Holmes is a popular style, topic, and parallel today.  There are numerous knockoffs.  Women as protagonists are also popular, as is the supernatural.  The military and romance always touch certain buttons.  I’ll look more into this.

  1. No more than 2 sentences about yourself. (use 3rdperson)
  1. 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.

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 blurbs 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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