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Friday, July 25, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 106, even more example developing Plot, Entertaining, Storyline Rising Action

25 July 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 106, even more example developing Plot, Entertaining, Storyline Rising Action

Announcement: There is action on my new novels.  The publisher renamed the series--they are still working on the name.  I provided suggestions as did one of my prepub readers. Now the individual books will be given single names: Leora, Leila, Russia, Lumiere', China, Sveta, and Klava--at least these are some of the suggestions.  They are also working on a single theme for the covers.  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.
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.
5. 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

The theme statement of my newest novel, Valeska, is this: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed.

Here is my proposed cover for Valeska:
I decided on a white cover style.  You can see more at www.GoddessofDarkness.com.

The plot is developed directly from the theme.  The first steps are fleshing out the characters (not accomplished in the novel, but before writing the novel) and the setting.  The main characters and the setting come directly out of the theme.  The characters are revealed through the storyline that is based on the plot.  Then how do you get to the plot?

In the previous scene, we see a break in the tension.  The tension has not gone away--in fact, it increased between George and Heidi and then came back again with a slight release.  

Let's go back a little and see where the tension has increased and where released.  In terms of the plot, this is a Christmas party for members of the organization.  It is a slightly high level affair in the home of the director and his wife.  The plot is that Heidi (Valeska) confronts the director's wife, Sveta, who also is the head of the office in the organization called Stele.  This is how simple the plot outline is.  The storyline is where we get the actual tension and release.

During the first encounter, we have a confrontation between Heidi and Sveta.  The source of the confrontation isn't directly addressed in the conversation or the narrative, but it appears that Heidi recognizes something in touching Sveta and vice versa.  The break or halt in tension development is when Heidi and Sveta separate.

With Heidi and George together, we see an escalation of tension between them.  George doesn't understand Heidi's reactions.  When she explains things, George understands better, but there is still tension that has not been fully released.  The tension is between Heidi and Sveta and Heidi and George.  

The next part of the scene is a slight almost tensionless interlude to set up the next part and to give a little more set to the tension. 
  

A few people greeted George.  Tim and his wife came by.  They spoke of trivialities.  As the evening progressed, George tried to keep count of the number of glasses Heidi drank.  He lost track, but he thought she only had three.  He was thinking about leaving early.

Daniel Long sauntered over.  Sveta wasn’t in view.  Daniel took at glance at Heidi then addressed George, “George, do you know what set off your niece?”

“Not a clue,” George lied.

“Sveta was also very agitated, but she wouldn’t tell me what was going on.  Sveta thought that she was acting unsocial.  She’s trying to make it up to you both.”

“I’m afraid my niece is drinking herself to oblivion.”
“Sorry about that…”
“I didn’t handle it well at all.  She was narked at me too.”
Daniel stepped closer, “George, are you certain you don’t know why they were at each other’s throats?”
“Opposing personalities?”
Daniel shook his head and took a sip of his drink, “I’ve come to trust Sveta’s intuition about our business and many other things…”
“I can understand that.”
“I know this isn’t the best time to discuss things, George.  Perhaps you can come visit me on Monday.”
George grimaced, “Yes.  I’ll come by.”
“Maybe we can discuss getting a larger flat for you and…what was her name, Heidi.”
“Yes, Heidi.”
Daniel nodded apologetically, “Glad you could come to the party.  It’s not been as pleasant for you as I’d like—sorry about that.”
“It’s all right.”
Daniel moved on to the next couple.
When George turned back to check on Heidi, she was gone.
 
The setup was to let George and Daniel discuss the situation and make plans for the future (the next few scenes).  That is a setup for the overall novel--the development of the plot in the next few scenes.  George and Daniel discuss the question at hand.  This is a question for the reader as well.  It is a question whose answer will somewhat release the tension for the reader, but not for the characters.

There is no real release of tension here, but rather an interlude in the tension to allow some conversation concerning it and the events.  The kicker is the last sentence--Heidi is gone.  The question in the reader's mind is the same as George's--where did she go.  Did she go back to their flat.  Did she leave permanently.  Was she kidnapped.  Is there something more nefarious going on... This is an obvious increase in the tension through a simple observation. 

Note that a single sentence can build tension, leave a mystery, worry the reader and the characters, and lead to a new scene.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com
 




Thursday, July 24, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 105, more example developing Plot, Entertaining, Storyline Rising Action

24 July 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 105, more example developing Plot, Entertaining, Storyline Rising Action

Announcement: There is action on my new novels.  The publisher renamed the series--they are still working on the name.  I provided suggestions as did one of my prepub readers. Now the individual books will be given single names: Leora, Leila, Russia, Lumiere', China, Sveta, and Klava--at least these are some of the suggestions.  They are also working on a single theme for the covers.  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.
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.
5. 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

The theme statement of my newest novel, Valeska, is this: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed.

Here is my proposed cover for Valeska:
I decided on a white cover style.  You can see more at www.GoddessofDarkness.com.

The plot is developed directly from the theme.  The first steps are fleshing out the characters (not accomplished in the novel, but before writing the novel) and the setting.  The main characters and the setting come directly out of the theme.  The characters are revealed through the storyline that is based on the plot.  Then how do you get to the plot?

I promised you the scene.  Here is the second part.  The scene was set in the previous example.  Sveta and Heidi had their first confrontation.  The end was Heidi taking George away and Daniel pulling Sveta back.  Now we get to see the result of the previous confrontation on George and Heidi.

When they were out of earshot, George leaned over and whispered, “What was that all about?”

Heidi didn’t look at him, “I think she realizes what I am.”

“What?  Are you kidding?”

“I am completely serious.  I think she would have attacked me right there if she could.  I am in serious danger here—in this house—and in this city.”

George turned and looked back.  Daniel and Sveta were engaged in a heated conversation.  Sveta was not looking at them.  She pointed back toward them.

Heidi moved to the buffet and picked up a plate.

George whispered, “Why did you have to antagonize her so much.  She is my boss’ wife, shouldn’t you try to gain her as an ally?”

Heidi glared at him, “She was antagonizing me first.  Does a wolf try to ally itself with the hunter?  Or the sheep with the wolf?  Right now, I wish to eat her food.  It surely isn’t poisoned—not if she fed it to her friends.  I also wish to stay in the crowd where she can’t find me alone.  When we return to your flat, I will go on foot.”

George took her arm, “You sound like you have been through this before.”

“Never before, but I have not lived this long without learning some degree of caution.”

“I find that hard to believe—you were not living very well when I discovered you.”

Heidi raised her voice, “Your life-blood was eking out of body when I found you.”

George whispered forcefully, “Sveta is my boss’ wife.  She runs an office in the organization.  You need to mollify her and not antagonize her.”

Heidi stared at him, “You choose her over me.”  Her eye twitched.

“I didn’t choose her at all.  I just want to keep my job.  Where do you think this clothing comes from?”

Heidi threw down her plate, “If that’s the way it is, you may have it back right now.  She began to unbutton her dress.”

George took her hands, “Stop that.  I didn’t mean it that way.”  He continued lamely, “I need this work.”

She stopped, “I understand.  I am just not happy about it.”

George buttoned her dress, “Everyone is staring.”

She lowered her head, “I’m sorry, Mr. Mardling.”  She kept her head down and glanced up at him with her eyes alone.

“Pick up your plate.  You’re lucky it didn’t break.”

She knelt very primly.  Harold came up behind her and slipped the plate out of her hands.  He placed a glass of wine in it, “I’ll get you a new plate.  This one is soiled.”

“Thank you,” she mumbled.  She took a sip of the wine, and her face brightened.

Harold came beside her, “What may I select for you from the buffet.”

Heidi answered very sweetly, “Some of the partridge, a bit of cheese, bread, and pudding.”

Harold carried the plate for her.  Already the attention began to draw away from her and George.  A few watched her as an apparent fifteen year old sipped on a glass of wine.  When the glass was empty, Harold replaced it with a full one.
 
Heidi found a seat at the back of the room.  She sat quietly with a very attentive look.  No one approached her.  George didn’t let Heidi out of his sight.  He took a plate of food and a mug of dark beer and sulked.
 
Heidi antagonized Sveta and Sveta is George's boss' wife.  Could you see this coming?  There are ramifications of secrets and there are always ramifications of actions.  We know from before in the novel that Heidi loves George--it isn't a romantic love, it is more of a familial love.  George protected her when no one else would.  Heidi doesn't love George in a romantic way, but her reaction is not that peculiar--her actions perhaps.  It is in character for her.  She acts when she perhaps should not.  She is driven by emotion and reason.  She is like most of us.  She is easily angered, but quickly repents of her anger.

In the previous scene, there was a slight release of tension--Daniel pulled Sveta back and Heidi took George away from the action.  In this scene, there is tension between George and Heidi with a release.  The next scene is logical--a confrontation between Sveta and Heidi.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 104, example developing Plot, Entertaining, Storyline Rising Action

23 July 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 104, example developing Plot, Entertaining, Storyline Rising Action

Announcement: There is action on my new novels.  The publisher renamed the series--they are still working on the name.  I provided suggestions as did one of my prepub readers. Now the individual books will be given single names: Leora, Leila, Russia, Lumiere', China, Sveta, and Klava--at least these are some of the suggestions.  They are also working on a single theme for the covers.  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.
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.
5. 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

The theme statement of my newest novel, Valeska, is this: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed.

Here is my proposed cover for Valeska:
I decided on a white cover style.  You can see more at www.GoddessofDarkness.com.

The plot is developed directly from the theme.  The first steps are fleshing out the characters (not accomplished in the novel, but before writing the novel) and the setting.  The main characters and the setting come directly out of the theme.  The characters are revealed through the storyline that is based on the plot.  Then how do you get to the plot?

I promised you the scene.  Here is the first part.  Notice, the scene is set: time, place, characters, and then the characters are set in motion.

At 1900 on Friday, 19 December George and Heidi stood in front of the Lyons House.  Two new stone lions sat at either side of the very large oak door.  The house the door fronted was large and beautiful.  Its facing was stone and brick in the emperor style.  It looked very old.  George wore a suit and an inexpensive Christmas tie.  Heidi wore a very frilly white dress that had red and green panels on the skirt and the top.  She wore a jaunty beret that was made of the same white lace, red, and green material as the dress.  It was a warm enough evening that they didn’t require their coats.  The ground was wet, but the rain had stopped earlier in the afternoon.

A young looking butler opened the door to them, “Good evening.  I’m Harold, the butler.  May I announce you?”

George proffered his invitation, “George Mardling and my niece Heidi Mardling.”

The butler smiled, “The receiving line just ended.  Please follow me.”

They stepped through the door and the butler closed it after them.  Harold stepped ahead of them.  Heidi whispered to George, “Did you time our arrival to intentionally miss the receiving line?”

George grinned behind his hand, “I don’t have to give up all my trade secrets, do I?”

The butler led them down the hallway off the foyer.  It opened into a classical large ballroom with twin staircases at the back.  The interior was made of dark and ancient wood.  The rugs were Turkish and slightly ragged.  Heidi cocked her head, “A very wealthy and old family.”

George smiled back, “Perhaps.”

The room was not filled with people, but at least fifteen couples stood in the space.  Buffet tables filled with food and drink were under the stairs.  A quartet at the left side played Christmas music and classics.  Harold, the butler, led Heidi and George toward a handsome middle-aged couple at the side.  The man was medium height and shorter than George.  His hair was light brown and his features were fine but nondescript.  He had a very pleasant face with a few wrinkles--most seemed to grace his eyes and lips as though he was used to smiling. 

The woman was slight, petite and exquisitely beautiful.  Her skin was the color of cappuccino.  Her hair was black, long, and silky.  Her eyes, more appropriate on an Egyptian tomb painting were large and brown and exotic.  She seemed to have an almost timeless look, but slight wrinkles marked her eyes and lips in almost the same measure as the man—as though they had known many of the same joys and sorrows.

The butler stepped to the side, “Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Long, may I present Mr. George Mardling and his niece Ms. Heidi Mardling.”

Mrs. Long stepped forward and put her hand out to Heidi.  She had a very bright smile on her face.  She took Heidi’s hand and her eyes went wide.  Heidi released her hand immediately.  Mrs. Long was breathless.  She stammered a little, “Good evening.  I’m Sveta Long.”

Heidi made a deep curtsy, “Thank you very much, Mrs. Long for inviting us to your party.”

Sveta reached out to Heidi again.  Heidi stepped back, but Sveta connected with Heidi’s shoulder.  Sveta froze, and her head came up.  She stammered again, “You are very welcome.  Make yourself comfortable in our home,” but her face clearly said exactly the opposite.

Heidi glanced in Sveta’s eyes, then quickly turned her head away, “What I really need is a glass of sweet wine.”

Sveta looked like she was about to say something, but she lowered her head and stepped back.

Heidi sighed.

Daniel’s lips twitched, “I’m not sure what is going on, exactly.”  He grabbed George’s hand and shook it, “Good to see you back in England, old man.”

George forced a smile, “I’m glad to be back.  I’m looking for a new assignment as soon as possible.”

Daniel clapped George on the shoulder, “I really hoped to keep you here in London for a while.  I have some new recruits and training for you to supervise.”

George grimaced, “Sounds long term.  I guess we’ll make do.”

“We’ll?”

“Heidi and I.”

Daniel frowned and put his head back, “Don’t tell me you are sharing your flat with this young woman.”

Heidi blinked, “I am happy to have a place to stay while I’m visiting in London.”

Sveta stepped forward, “No, you should stay here.  As I understand, the single flats the organization is assigning now are barely suitable for one—I can’t imagine a young woman having to put up with such close quarters…”

Heidi glared at Sveta, “I would feel completely out of place anywhere else.”

Sveta glared back, “I insist.”

“I equally insist and respectfully decline—Mr. Mardling is my guardian.  It would be unthinkable for me to stay anywhere else.”

Sveta squinted her eyes at Heidi and Heidi squinted back at Sveta.

Daniel stepped between them, “Sveta, dear, I’m certain I can assign George a larger flat.”

Sveta let out her breath.  She visibly calmed, “Yes… I’m sure we can work things out.  Are you certain, Heidi, you don’t want to spend your time here until we can get George a larger place.”

Heidi didn’t back down.  She made a slicing motion with her hand, “I will not.”

Sveta forced a smile, “Very well.  But, I do think you are a bit young to drink wine.”

At that moment, a maid carrying a platter of filled wine glasses walked by.  Heidi gracefully plucked a glass off the platter.  She downed it in a swallow and turned Sveta a deep frown, “I do not like dry white wines.  Do you have something more acceptable to my palate?”

Sveta’s eyes bulged.  She took a step toward Heidi and appeared like she was about to leap.  Heidi crouched slightly.

Daniel grasped Sveta’s arm, and she came to herself.

George raised his hands, “Heidi is much older than she looks.  We just came from Poland where there are no age limits for drinking alcohol.  She usually has a glass or two every evening.”

Sveta squinted her eyes again, “I see.  Heidi,” she almost spat the name, “You may drink as much as you desire in my house.  Harold, please bring up a sweet German Riesling for Ms. Mardling.”

Heidi raised her head high, “An auslese, if you have it.”

Harold, the butler, bowed, “Yes, ma’am.”

Heidi glanced at Sveta from the sides of her eyes, “Thank you again for your hospitality.”
Daniel pulled Sveta back a step.  Heidi took George by the hand and led him toward the buffet tables.

In this scene, the name used for Valeska is her given, German name, Heidi.  Notice the techniques used to develop tension and to indicate the tension between the characters.  The tension continues to build until Heidi and George move toward the buffet tables.  It will continue to build after that.  Notice the secrets that are obvious, but not spoken.  We know Sveta has some secret we are not privy to.  We know Heidi/Valeska is a vampire.  Sveta and Daniel don't know this.  If they did, the sparks might be greater.  I don't tell the reader anything in the scene--I show you and let you hear the conversation.  This is how to develop tension and release from the theme through the plot and storyline.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 103, more developing Plot, Entertaining, Storyline Rising Action

22 July 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 103, more developing Plot, Entertaining, Storyline Rising Action

Announcement: There is action on my new novels.  The publisher renamed the series--they are still working on the name.  I provided suggestions as did one of my prepub readers. Now the individual books will be given single names: Leora, Leila, Russia, Lumiere', China, Sveta, and Klava--at least these are some of the suggestions.  They are also working on a single theme for the covers.  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.
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.
5. 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

The theme statement of my newest novel, Valeska, is this: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed.

Here is my proposed cover for Valeska:
I decided on a white cover style.  You can see more at www.GoddessofDarkness.com.

The plot is developed directly from the theme.  The first steps are fleshing out the characters (not accomplished in the novel, but before writing the novel) and the setting.  The main characters and the setting come directly out of the theme.  The characters are revealed through the storyline that is based on the plot.  Then how do you get to the plot?

In the scene I am describing, my point is to show how the theme, plot, and storyline intermesh, and how I came to develop this particular scene.  As I mentioned, the scene was intended to be a confrontational one.  The confrontation is between Valeska and Sveta.  Caught in the undercurrent of the action are George and Daniel, Sveta's husband and George's boss.  When I show you the scene, you will see the tension caused between Valeska and George and the tension caused between Sveta and Daniel.  There is a slight tension between George and Daniel as well. 

The tension in the scene is between all the characters in varying degree.  If you note that the point of every scene should be tension and release, then you will understand why this is important. Tension is necessary in every scene.  The tools an author has to build entertainment and excitement is tension and release.

In this scene, the tension is the meeting of Valeska and Sveta.  The release (or continuance) of the tension should culminate the scene.  For example, I could have had Sveta go on a hunt for Valeska--that is continuance of the tension.  I could have had Sveta attack Valeska or vise versa--that is a release of the tension.  Instead, I cast Sveta as a very wise and mature person.  Even though she does not like Valeska, she is wise enough to see a potential use for her in Stele.  Since Valeska did not immediately attack Sveta, there is always the possibility of conversation and compromise.  Sveta invites Valeska to a private tete-a-tete.  I wrote before that conversation should drive the revelation in any novel.  Here more than any place, conversation can turn an ugly and potentially deadly moment into one of control and communication.

Within the context of the conversation, Sveta does not know who (or what) Valeska is.  That is the wonderful irony in the event.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Monday, July 21, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 102, developing Plot, Entertaining, Storyline Rising Action

21 July 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 102, developing Plot, Entertaining, Storyline Rising Action

Announcement: There is action on my new novels.  The publisher renamed the series--they are still working on the name.  I provided suggestions as did one of my prepub readers. Now the individual books will be given single names: Leora, Leila, Russia, Lumiere', China, Sveta, and Klava--at least these are some of the suggestions.  They are also working on a single theme for the covers.  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.
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.
5. 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

The theme statement of my newest novel, Valeska, is this: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed.

Here is my proposed cover for Valeska:
I decided on a white cover style.  You can see more at www.GoddessofDarkness.com.

The plot is developed directly from the theme.  The first steps are fleshing out the characters (not accomplished in the novel, but before writing the novel) and the setting.  The main characters and the setting come directly out of the theme.  The characters are revealed through the storyline that is based on the plot.  Then how do you get to the plot?

I should eventually show you the scene I'm talking about--perhaps I will.  For now, let me describe the plot elements that drove the storyline.  The first is the setting of the novel.  It is set during the 2014 Christmas season.  Out of this, George Mardling returned to England.  There is every reason for George to be invited to the Christmas party of the director of the organization.  This Christmas party is at the director's home.  The director is Daniel Long and his wife, Sveta Long is the head of Stele.  They are both characters from another novel I wrote, Warrior of Light.  There is some wonder and beauty to have a Vampire attend a Christmas party.  Of course Valeska must go to the party with George. 

The moment Valeska and Sveta touch hands, the fight is on.  Sveta knows immediately Valeska is not a normal human and vise versa.  That is when the tension of the scene takes off--tension and release.  Both George and Daniel are ignorant of what is going on--to them it looks as though Valeska is petulant and Sveta is unkind.  In reality, they are measuring each other up.  Valeska knows the gig is up.  We don't know about Sveta. 

The tension shows itself in wonderful ways.  The tension is part of the plot (it comes out of the meeting of the characters)--the storyline is how the tension is revealed to the reader.  Sveta and Valeska have a small spat--not an direct one, but an indirect confrontation.  George and Valeska have a fight.  Daniel and Sveta have a small disagreement.  Eventually, Sveta invites Valeska to her sunroom for a private conversation. 

The plot points are the characters, the setting in time and the setting in place.  The storyline derives from the plot. 

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 101, even more the Plot, Entertaining, Developing Storyline Rising Action

20 July 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 101, even more the Plot, Entertaining, Developing Storyline Rising Action

Announcement: There is action on my new novels.  The publisher renamed the series--they are still working on the name.  I provided suggestions as did one of my prepub readers. Now the individual books will be given single names: Leora, Leila, Russia, Lumiere', China, Sveta, and Klava--at least these are some of the suggestions.  They are also working on a single theme for the covers.  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.
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.
5. 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

The theme statement of my newest novel, Valeska, is this: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed.

Here is my proposed cover for Valeska:
I decided on a white cover style.  You can see more at www.GoddessofDarkness.com.

The plot is developed directly from the theme.  The first steps are fleshing out the characters (not accomplished in the novel, but before writing the novel) and the setting.  The main characters and the setting come directly out of the theme.  The characters are revealed through the storyline that is based on the plot.  Then how do you get to the plot?

If you realize that every scene must be entertaining and exciting and that each scene must be critical to the development of the plot and theme, then you are already thinking correctly about writing a novel.  The development of the scenes is the plot and storyline.

It can be as simple as this: if you imagine an exciting interaction between your characters or your characters and the world of your novel, you have the elements for a scene and potentially a means to move your plot forward.  For example, I mentioned yesterday I wanted an scene where Valeska, the vampire girl, was confronted by "the authorities" of the organization.  I'll explain a little about Stele, part of the organization.  Stele is an office in the organization whose purpose is to protect Britain from the supernatural.  In my other books, I posit the interaction and closeness of magic, sorcery, ancient gods and creatures, and miracles within the modern world.  All these things are unknown and unperceived by the average person, but they are real (in my novels). 

I originally pictured the confrontation of Valeska with Stele as adversarial, multi-member, and direct.  As I wrote the novel, it became less direct and singular but still adversarial.  I originally pictured the conformation as an attack and warning, it became something much better in the plot.  In fact, the characters through the storyline developed the confrontation in the plot into a very powerful scene.  It took place at a Christmas party.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 100, more the Plot, Entertaining, Developing Storyline Rising Action

19 July 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 100, more the Plot, Entertaining, Developing Storyline Rising Action

Announcement: There is action on my new novels.  The publisher renamed the series--they are still working on the name.  I provided suggestions as did one of my prepub readers. Now the individual books will be given single names: Leora, Leila, Russia, Lumiere', China, Sveta, and Klava--at least these are some of the suggestions.  They are also working on a single theme for the covers.  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.
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.
5. 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

The theme statement of my newest novel, Valeska, is this: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed.

Here is my proposed cover for Valeska:
I decided on a white cover style.  You can see more at www.GoddessofDarkness.com.

The plot is developed directly from the theme.  The first steps are fleshing out the characters (not accomplished in the novel, but before writing the novel) and the setting.  The main characters and the setting come directly out of the theme.  The characters are revealed through the storyline that is based on the plot.  Then how do you get to the plot?

The plot is really the invention of the imagination, but it is a high level development.  The storyline is where all the action occurs.  The plot if the thing you can really outline if you wish.  It is the point your are writing the storyline to and that reveals the theme.  I like to write using scenes.  If you write this way, your plot outline might be by scene.  To tell you the truth, I outline very generally by the parts of a novel.  I have a general idea what the climax is supposed to be, and I write to the climax.  I know this may not sound very planned or scientific, but in my use of imagination and creativity, I like the characters and the plot to tell their own story.  I know very generally where I'm going and let the novel take its course.  My interjections are the main events of the scenes that provide entertainment and excitement through the novel.

For example, in Valeska, I brought the main characters to Britain.  The recounting of those travels is a fun scene.  I knew I wanted a scene where Valeska encounters a member of Stele unexpectedly.  Stele is the secret organization that protects Britain from the supernatural.  Since Valeska is a vampire, I figured there would be some kind of fireworks.  Stele doesn't know what kind of creature Valeska is.  They are interested in her from the reports from Poland.  This scene, like most scenes in my novels is pivotal.  The encounter between Sveta Long, the head of Stele, and Valeska propel the novel.  In the case of each scene, this is how I progress the plot.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Friday, July 18, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 99, the Plot Entertaining, Developing Storyline Rising Action

18 July 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 99, the Plot Entertaining, Developing Storyline Rising Action

Announcement: There is action on my new novels.  The publisher renamed the series--they are still working on the name.  I provided suggestions as did one of my prepub readers. Now the individual books will be given single names: Leora, Leila, Russia, Lumiere', China, Sveta, and Klava--at least these are some of the suggestions.  They are also working on a single theme for the covers.  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.
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.
5. 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

The theme statement of my newest novel, Valeska, is this: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed.

Here is my proposed cover for Valeska:
I decided on a white cover style.  You can see more at www.GoddessofDarkness.com.

I've written a lot about themes but not much about plot or storyline.  In fact, much of what I've been writing is directly about the plot and the storyline.  The first question might be what is a plot and what is a storyline.  Very simply, a plot is the thing you can turn into a synopsis of your novel.  Here is one synopsis for Valeska:

George Mardling was dying. It must be completely understood that the gunshot that struck him down during a simple contact mission was not survivable. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending how you look at it, George’s failed mission had also spoiled the hunt of a destitute vampire. It was the time of a full moon—the time when vampires hunted human blood or became immaterial. She was starving. Her clothing was ruined by sleeping in tombs filled with corruption. She was filthy, and she wanted his blood. Since George had no further use for it, he granted it to her. She said that was likely a sin, but at that moment, George didn’t care. However, because George was a cross-bearer, she couldn’t just take his blood—his permission was required. George allowed her to feed. It didn’t make him a vampire—she promised him that, but she did give him back his life, and somehow, his blood made her dependent on him for the existence she had. Her name was Valeska. Her given name was Heidi, and she had been made a vampire over two hundred years ago when she was fifteen.

George was an agent for the Crown—he went about his work once more thankful for life. When the full moon came again, Heidi/Valeska hunted George—she could not do otherwise. They began a strange symbiotic relationship.
 
When George was recalled to Britain by the Crown, he brought Heidi back with him—he could not leave her to lose the little life she had. The organization George worked for possessed a classified branch called Stele that worked with and protected Britain from the supernatural. George’s actions and his miraculous recovery prompted Stele to action. They wanted to know what Heidi was and if she posed a threat to them and the country. That’s when Leila and Scáth became involved. They were agents of Stele and both had their own problems. Chiefly, Scáth was a being similar to Heidi, and Leila was something else altogether.
George must prove Heidi is no threat to Britain and Stele. He must work with Leila and Scáth, and Leila has fallen in love with him. That would be alright, but Heidi’s existence has become George’s purpose, and because of it, he has been touched by the grave and death. Leila is a being who needs someone like George. She has power beyond a normal person—that’s why she works for Stele. Her power is darkness, and the natural friendship she and Heidi should have is colored by both of their relationships with George.

George is pulled from both sides. He doesn’t want to lose everything he has worked for, and at the same time, he has become a pawn in larger schemes than anyone could imagine. The life of Leila, the existence of Heidi, and the safety of the British people are now dependent on his actions.  

That is a synopsis of the plot.  It is not a complete synopsis of the plot, but an abbreviated one to leave off the climax and some other details.  The plot can be turned into a synopsis.  That is the plot.  The storyline is all the wonderful stuff that fills in the plot.  The storyline is the actual part you write.  It would be almost impossible to make an outline or synopsis of a storyline--there would be no point.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 98, redos Entertaining, Developing Storyline Rising Action

17 July 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 98, redos Entertaining, Developing Storyline Rising Action

Announcement: There is action on my new novels.  The publisher renamed the series--they are still working on the name.  I provided suggestions as did one of my prepub readers. Now the individual books will be given single names: Leora, Leila, Russia, Lumiere', China, Sveta, and Klava--at least these are some of the suggestions.  They are also working on a single theme for the covers.  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.
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.
5. 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

The theme statement of my newest novel, Valeska, is this: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed.

Here is my proposed cover for Valeska:
I decided on a white cover style.  You can see more at www.GoddessofDarkness.com.

Look at my rules three through five:
3. Ground your readers in the writing.
4. Don't show (or tell) everything.
5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

I've discovered that you can't redo creativity.  I have lost relatively little of my novel writing.  I have one of the best laptops in the business (a ThinkPad).  I've used ThinkPads for years--almost from the first one.  I have a very light one with great portability, and I have lost almost no initial writing.  The more modern software has also helped prevent the loss of writing.  For an author, the equipment is critical to prevent loss of data because for creativity there are no redos.

Once you get something on paper the first time, generally that was your only real opportunity.  The few times I have had to rebuild or recreate a scene or especially a conversation have been gross failures.  The recreation was never as good as the initial writing.  Unfortunately, I have lost a few blog entries.  You can blame any poor writing in my blogs on redos :-).  I admit that I take a completely journalistic approach to blogging and an entirely different approach to writing fiction.  However, the problem is the same in both--the first blush of creativity is the best.

This means you must not lose any of your writing.  I use the Windows Briefcase to manage my files.  I have to admit, Windows Briefcase was awesome in XP and reliable but less well done in later versions.  However you manage your writing files, you need to have multiple copies on multiple computers or separate drives in separate places.  I update files onto a server which backs up the data daily to multiple hard drives.  I also keep Briefcase files on another older ThinkPad.  The point is this, my writing is a valuable part of my life and my profession.  I can't afford to lose any of it.   

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com