Writing – part x562, Developing Skills, Marketing Materials, Short Form, Writing Similar Works

15 October 2018, Writing – part x562, Developing Skills, Marketing Materials, Short Form, Writing 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.

  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.

The question is how do you research similar works and then how do you write this type of sentence?  The answer to research is…how well read are you?  The reality is that as I have written more than once:

Creativity is the extrapolation of older ideas to form new ones or to present old ideas in a new form.  It is a reflection of something new created with ties to the history, science, and logic (the intellect).  Creativity requires consuming, thinking, and producing.

A writer gets great ideas, not by copying older works, but by gleaning ideas from earlier works and extrapolating new creative ideas from them.  I’ve written that there are unique works—all novels must and should be unique, but some novels are similar in theme, plot, or style.  Most novels are based in older works.  For example, the sparkly vampires owe its antagonist/protagonist’s helper to Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  Dracula is the antagonist of Bram Stoker’s novel.  Bram Stoker invented the idea of the vampire as a character and the gothic horror novel.

All vampire characters owe their fictional existence to Dracula and Bram Stoker.  Thus, on one level the sparkly vampires are based on Dracula.  The theme and plot of the sparkly vampires has nothing at all to do with Dracula and the vampire characters are nothing like the vampires in Dracula.  The theme of the sparkly vampires is more akin to a romance novel love story.  So, in this case, what novels can we compare this novel to?

I usually don’t read these types of novels.  Pick any young adult romance adventure and say, except it’s about a student who falls in love with a handsome vampire.  Short simple and sweet.  The sparkly vampires are certainly not unique.

What about Harry Potty?  Harry might be considered pretty unique.  The world of Harry Potty is unique.  The theme is kind of over used—an evil man tries to take over the world.  It’s very irrational.  How you take over the world by destroying it is hard for rational people to contemplate.  For example, even the gross murderers Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot didn’t decide to murder for the purpose of taking over the world—they murdered in the process of taking over the world.  The good guys ended up wiping out many of the bad guys too.

In any case, you might write about Harry Potty that it is a unique concept about an invincible boy wizard who protects the wizarding world from an existential evil wizard.  Something like that.

In my sentence about Blue Rose, I compared the novel to Sherlock Holmes but placed some additional descriptors.  I can assure you, unless you have hit on a Harry Potty type idea, your novel is likely related to some other novel.  The point is to focus the comparison and find a comparison.  If you truly have a unique idea, go ahead and say so.  Some of my novels are truly unique.

  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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