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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 327, more Enchantment First Paragraphs Initial Scene

3 March 2015, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 327, more Enchantment First Paragraphs Initial Scene

Announcement: My new novels should be available from any webseller or can be ordered from any brick and mortar bookstore.  Information can be found at www.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 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 25th novel, working title, Escape, is this: a girl in a fascist island nation will do anything to escape--a young cargo shuttle pilot not following the rules crashes on the island.

Here is the cover proposal for Lilly: Enchantment and the ComputerLilly is my 24th novel.
Cover Propsal
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene.  I'm writing about the initial scene of my newest novel, "Escape."  Escape is the working title.  I'll decide on the proposed title when I finish the novel.  I'm at the twelfth chapter right now.  That means I've written about 240 pages.

The entertainment (and excitement) should start with the first sentence and paragraph and grow to envelope the first scene.  Let's compare the excitement and entertainment I'm recommending with some of my published novels.  As I grew as a writer, my awareness of the importance of the first paragraph grew.  It's one thing to be taught or realize and another to implement.  Next example the first paragraph from, Hestia: Enchantment of the Hearth:

     “Jack, are you sick?  What’s that sound you’re making?”  Phillip Ryan called from his cot.
     “I’m just reading from my notebook, Phil.”
     Phil lay more comfortably on his arm.  He didn’t raise his head or open his eyes, “It sounds like a bad Greek spell.”
     “That’s because it is an ancient Greek incantation.”
      “Great.  Now my tent mate has become an evil Greek conjurer.”
 
 

 

Hestia is a yet unpublished and uncontracted novel that is really the first of the Enchantment novels.  It's a complete stand-alone novel that weighs in at only 66,500 words.   
I gave you more than the "first" paragraph because the beginning is a conversation.  I may have to fix this, but this is intended to be a little of an unusual novel.  I didn't intend for this singular novel to spur a whole bunch of others, but it did.  The Enchantment novels are not very related--a couple do share characters and one does follow the other.  The big point of these novels is the potential redemption of beings no one could imagine could be redeemed.  For example, in Hestia, the problem is Hestia, the real goddess of the hearth from Greek mythology.  In the novel, the main characters get to interact with and work with other creatures of Greek myth.  I didn't borrow from the myth-guy either.  This novel was written well before his was published--or possibly written.

Let's look at the problems with the first paragraph(s).  This novel begins with conversation and some scene setting as tags.  It quickly rips into the action--the action is real and implied (Jack is reading a Greek text).  The real action is their conversation.  You get the setting from the tags--they are in a tent and share a tent.  Phil is on his cot--trying to sleep.  Jack is on his cot reading.  The setting is sparse, but the conversation brings the reader directly into the action.

This may be the only novel I begin this way--perhaps, A Season of Honor is similar.  I'm not sure this is a great way to begin.  A Season of Honor is published--Hestia is not, yet.  Beginning with conversation is one option for the first paragraph--I may be fixing this one.
 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 326, Enchantment First Paragraphs Initial Scene

2 March 2015, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 326, Enchantment First Paragraphs Initial Scene

Announcement: My new novels should be available from any webseller or can be ordered from any brick and mortar bookstore.  Information can be found at www.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 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 25th novel, working title, Escape, is this: a girl in a fascist island nation will do anything to escape--a young cargo shuttle pilot not following the rules crashes on the island.

Here is the cover proposal for Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer
Cover Propsal
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene.  I'm writing about the initial scene of my newest novel, "Escape."  Escape is the working title.  I'll decide on the proposed title when I finish the novel.  I'm at the twelfth chapter right now.  That means I've written about 240 pages.

The entertainment (and excitement) should start with the first sentence and paragraph and grow to envelope the first scene.  Let's compare the excitement and entertainment I'm recommending with some of my published novels.  As I grew as a writer, my awareness of the importance of the first paragraph grew.  It's one thing to be taught or realize and another to implement.  Next example the first paragraph from, Antebellum:

Past the pavement of Shreveport, deep down the sandy dirt and red clay roads, between pecans and cottonwood, maples, magnolias, cypress, and pines, down in the depths of the forgotten, in the center of the unforgiven, in the fields once so bountiful, now so silent, where the magnolias have grown wild, are gardens and buildings and fields and people all overgrown and encircled by a billion stones cleared from a million fields by thousands of coal black men and women.  Past all this, buried in the summer sunlight is a house.

Antebellum is a yet unpublished and uncontracted novel that could loosely fit in the Enchantment series.  It is a complete stand-alone novel that weighs in at only 60,000 words.   

Can you tell that this is one of my early novels.  It may be the first I completed.  This is an artsy-fartsy start for a pretty good novel.  It might attract a literature publisher--then again, perhaps not.  It's a pity because the novel isn't that bad. 

The problems with the first paragraph should be obvious.  There is scene setting and that's about all.  No action at all--no implication of action.  There is some mystery, but most is scene setting.  There isn't even any character introduction.  I didn't tell you, but the first scene/chapter is almost a pseudo-prologue.  I don't call it a prologue, but it is an introductory scene prior to the first action scene.  Here is the first action scene--from the second chapter:

The clouds sifted in brilliant soft puffs across the warming morning.  As Heather walked slowly across the grass, moisture grappled the hem of her dress and anointed it as though for worship.  The morning sun flashed brightly, lifted by the trees, and the air was clear ­- clear and intoxicating.  The voices of songbirds floated quietly in it, and spiced the already flavored day with cinnamon sharpness.  Heather hugged herself and trembled with the early morning chill and the fineness of the day.

Now, we have character introduction, scene setting, some action (not much), a little mystery (not much).  I told you before, I learned not to have prologues (pseudo or otherwise).  I learned t place the action scene at the beginning and keep it there.  This novel will likely never be published--it's too bad because it is a fun novel.  I could fix it, but the entire novel would be pushed off balance--it's a novel about a house and not necessarily Heather Roberts.
 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 325, Ancient Light more Warrior First Paragraphs Initial Scene

1 March 2015, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 325, Ancient Light more Warrior First Paragraphs Initial Scene

Announcement: My new novels should be available from any webseller or can be ordered from any brick and mortar bookstore.  Information can be found at www.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 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 25th novel, working title, Escape, is this: a girl in a fascist island nation will do anything to escape--a young cargo shuttle pilot not following the rules crashes on the island.

Here is the cover proposal for Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer
Cover Propsal
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene.  I'm writing about the initial scene of my newest novel, "Escape."  Escape is the working title.  I'll decide on the proposed title when I finish the novel.  I'm at the twelfth chapter right now.  That means I've written about 240 pages.

The entertainment (and excitement) should start with the first sentence and paragraph and grow to envelope the first scene.  Let's compare the excitement and entertainment I'm recommending with some of my published novels.  As I grew as a writer, my awareness of the importance of the first paragraph grew.  It's one thing to be taught or realize and another to implement.  Next example the first paragraph from, Warrior of Darkness:

Rain sizzled across the broken concrete.  The black skies drained dark cold drops and sprinkled frozen bits of ice.  They touched Klava Diakonov’s skin and numbed her cheeks and fingers.  A blast of lightning cascaded across the heavens.  She could not see it with her eyes.  Still, she wrapped her black scarf more tightly over her face and pulled her dirty black coat closer.  In spite of that, the blaze of light touched her senses and blinded them for a moment.

Warrior of Darkness is a yet unpublished and uncontracted novel in the Ancient Light series.  It is the novel that follows Warrior of Light.   

Here is an example of a great first paragraph.  It includes action, scene setting, character introduction, and mystery.  There is also a touch of art.  The simple paragraph brings great questions with it--why can't Klava see; what is she doing out in a storm; why is her coat dirty; why are her clothes black.  This is also character revelation. 

I think I'll give you some more examples from my novels, but I'll wrap up Ancient Light.  Although I did write another Ancient Light novel, it's really a complete stand alone.  Valeska: Enchantment and the Vampire uses the world and the characters from Ancient Light

What you want in an initial paragraph is something that will catch the attention of your potential publisher or reader.  You want to get their heart beating and the blood pumping.  You'd like them to read the first paragraph and need to buy the book just to find out how the mystery is solved.  You might say: I don't write mystery novels.  I don't either.  Every novel is some kind of revelation of a mystery--that's the plot.  Their must be some secret, something unknown that drives every novel.  Every novel should be filed with secrets and mystery--that is the entertainment revealed in the plot.  The point is to begin that mystery at the very beginning.  No prologue, no back story, no build up--bang right in the kisser.  Bring entertainment and excitement and mystery right up front and start with the first paragraph.  I assure you, your writing will improve and your chances for publication will increase.     
 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 324, Ancient Light Warrior First Paragraphs Initial Scene

28 February 2015, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 324, Ancient Light Warrior First Paragraphs Initial Scene

Announcement: My new novels should be available from any webseller or can be ordered from any brick and mortar bookstore.  Information can be found at www.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 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 25th novel, working title, Escape, is this: a girl in a fascist island nation will do anything to escape--a young cargo shuttle pilot not following the rules crashes on the island.

Here is the cover proposal for Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer
Cover Propsal
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene.  I'm writing about the initial scene of my newest novel, "Escape."  Escape is the working title.  I'll decide on the proposed title when I finish the novel.  I'm at the eleventh chapter right now.  That means I've written about 220 pages.

The entertainment (and excitement) should start with the first sentence and paragraph and grow to envelope the first scene.  Let's compare the excitement and entertainment I'm recommending with some of my published novels.  As I grew as a writer, my awareness of the importance of the first paragraph grew.  It's one thing to be taught or realize and another to implement.  Next example the first paragraph from, Warrior of Light:

Daniel Terrance Long was free, finally free.  He felt that freedom like the blaze of late May sunshine and the heady spring scents that filled the London air.  He was free from school.  Free from his old, horrid school and his old neighborhood.  Now he was accepted and enrolled in a new school, and he strolled down the side of the quiet tree shaded street of his new neighborhood.  This new neighborhood was a bit more upscale and aristocratic than the last.  It was dotted with Tudor mansions and older Victorian homes, all of them possessed large yards and gardens.  In his mind, this was quite an improvement from the tightly packed suburban track-built homes that all looked the same, and gave him the impression they were all filled with similar unpleasant and ignorant people.  His parents could not understand how happy Daniel was to move away from there.  They were so indoctrinated with psychological claptrap along with modern ideas of childhood that he couldn’t even speak to them about it.

Warrior of Light is a yet unpublished and uncontracted novel in the Ancient Light series.  It is the novel that follows Children of Light and Darkness.   

All right, I can't help it.  I write these blogs about 60 days in advance so I can keep up with them if I am busy or away.  It's part of the anally retentive part of a writer and a professional, but I can't help but tell you--I have a winter cocktail, a cappuccino, and a Partagas cigar.  The cocktail is white with mint leaves and cranberries.  My dog it guarding me.  It is the Christmas holidays, and I have almost a week of glorious days to write.  I know that most of you--even if you are professional writers, like me, have day jobs.  I write on the weekends and holidays--whenever I can.  I was just down in Dallas--I flew myself and my wife to Dallas to see the relatives.  That was great and I read a lot, but I couldn't write.  Too much excitement.  Someone there was reading one of my novels--that was great too.  My point is this--I have almost five glorious days to write and write I shall--perhaps I'll finish a book.  Still, I'm writing on my blogs.

About this first paragraph--this is a paragraph with some action (not much), scene setting, character introduction, and some mystery.  I like this paragraph--even though it is not action filled, it starts the novel exactly where it should and it lulls the reader into the pace of the novel.  I should have mentioned that about the previous first paragraph--it brought the reader into the pace of the novel.  This novel starts with some immediate excitement and mystery, but it isn't what the reader expected. The question is about Daniel Long, his family, and his about to be new friends.  Perhaps it needs more action in the initial scene, but I hope this paragraph builds interest for the reader--and a publisher.     
 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 323, Ancient Light more First Paragraphs Initial Scene

27 February 2015, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 323, Ancient Light more First Paragraphs Initial Scene

Announcement: My new novels should be available from any webseller or can be ordered from any brick and mortar bookstore.  Information can be found at www.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 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 25th novel, working title, Escape, is this: a girl in a fascist island nation will do anything to escape--a young cargo shuttle pilot not following the rules crashes on the island.

Here is the cover proposal for Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer
Cover Propsal
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene.  I'm writing about the initial scene of my newest novel, "Escape."  Escape is the working title.  I'll decide on the proposed title when I finish the novel.  I'm at the eleventh chapter right now.  That means I've written about 220 pages.

The entertainment (and excitement) should start with the first sentence and paragraph and grow to envelope the first scene.  Let's compare the excitement and entertainment I'm recommending with some of my published novels.  As I grew as a writer, my awareness of the importance of the first paragraph grew.  It's one thing to be taught or realize and another to implement.  Next example the first paragraph from, Children of Light and Darkness:

Kathrin McClellan tugged at her soggy blouse.  She was already soaked, and the sun had barely crested the hills or the jungle treetops.  The rain forest was heavy and green, bursting with vitality.  Insects, birds, and larger animals already lifted up their repetitious calls with the rising sun.  The aroma of the jungle was pervasive, and to Kathrin’s nose, everything, seemed thick and cloying.  It was only made worse by the constant heat.  Kathrin was not immune to the smells yet either—the fragrance and the heat.  The air was so full of moisture each breath seemed like it tried to strangle her.  She was reminded of the steam baths in Finland, but here, there was no opportunity to run out into the cold and dive into a freezing pool of water.  There wasn’t any air conditioning here to escape for a little while from the oppressive grip of the heat, and the nighttime didn’t offer any relief either.  At night, the place was dark and hot.  Ugh, she hated it.  It was so different from her native Scotland, and from her adopted land of England.  Kathrin liked some of the food and the people.  She liked to travel, and she enjoyed the experience, but she was just not used to the heat.  James encouraged her and told her to keep at it.  If they weren’t here on a job, she would have left a week ago.  But it was a job.  See the world, the recruiting posters said—well she had seen a lot of it, and this was about the only piece she didn’t like much at all.

Children of Light and Darkness is a yet unpublished and uncontracted novel in the Ancient Light series.  It is the novel that follows Shadow of Light.   

This novel begins with implied action, character introduction, and scene setting.  I love this novel beginning.  This is one of my best first paragraphs--in my opinion.  Although the action is subdued, this paragraph is swimming in mystery, excitement, and entertainment.  Just reading it makes me want to take out the novel and go to town.  Just reading it makes me want to go find out about Kathrin and James again.  I know what is going to happen, and I still would like to re-experience that action and adventure. 

As you can imagine, I really like this novel.  It is one of my reader's favorites, and I think I can put together a very fine novel.  The way I describe my novels are from suspenseful and tense to fun and inviting.  I like to mix it up so the reader fully enjoys the experience of the reading.  I also like surprise turns and wonderful conversations that don't come out exactly as you might expect.

Back to the initial paragraph, I'll say it--even though there isn't much action in this initial paragraph, I think this is an excellent first paragraph and one that would encourage a publisher or reader to read the rest of the novel.
 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 322, more First Paragraphs Initial Scene

26 February 2015, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 322, more First Paragraphs Initial Scene

Announcement: My new novels should be available from any webseller or can be ordered from any brick and mortar bookstore.  Information can be found at www.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 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 25th novel, working title, Escape, is this: a girl in a fascist island nation will do anything to escape--a young cargo ferry pilot not following the rules crashes on the island.

Here is the cover proposal for Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer
Cover Propsal
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene.  I'm writing about the initial scene of my newest novel, "Escape."  Escape is the working title.  I'll decide on the proposed title when I finish the novel.  I'm at the eleventh chapter right now.  That means I've written about 220 pages.

The entertainment (and excitement) should start with the first sentence and paragraph and grow to envelope the first scene.  Let's compare the excitement and entertainment I'm recommending with some of my published novels.  As I grew as a writer, my awareness of the importance of the first paragraph grew.  It's one thing to be taught or realize and another to implement.  Next example the first paragraph from, Shadow of Light:

A low clicking sound awoke Marie Bolang Hastings.  Having children made her very sensitive to noise—the motion of a child awake in the night, the soft sound of distress before little Leora began to cry.  Marie sat up on the bed without waking her husband.  She was a slight woman, 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 was, by rights, an English Lady, the Lady Hastings in waiting.  She stole a glance at her sleeping husband, George, and sighed.  She pulled on her robe and walked out their door to where she heard the strange sounds.  Down the hall, Lumière Bolang, Marie’s sister, sat in the darkness of the small living room.  Marie knew it was Lumière.  She couldn’t tell why, but her soul and spirit told her Lumière sat on their mother’s couch and mumbled in French, the sound of clicking came incessantly from Lumière’s hands.  Lumière appeared very much like Marie.  They were sisters, after all.  Any difference was due to Lumière’s slimmer build and brilliant emerald eyes.  Where Marie’s face was round and her figure full; Lumière was thin, still curvaceous, but thin, perhaps too thin.  She looked strikingly like their mother.

Shadow of Light is a yet unpublished and uncontracted novel in the Ancient Light series.  It is the novel that follows Shadow of Darkness.   

This novel begins with contrasting action.  There is subdued action and focused character revelation.  There is scene setting--but more character description.  This beginning drives into the major point of the novel--the problem of Lumière Bolang. 

The main point of this beginning is mystery and set up.  There should be more action, but the point is to create action in a scene that has little action.  I guess you could describe it as intellectual action.  I perhaps should have moved the initial scene up one scene to the next--there Lumière Bolang has a fight with her love and he leaves--that is the event that starts the novel.  For my readers and for those who are new to this series, I wanted to introduce an reintroduce the characters.  In any case, the example is that you should go for more action and adventure for your first paragraph and scene.
 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 321, First Paragraphs Initial Scene

25 February 2015, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 321, First Paragraphs Initial Scene

Announcement: My new novels should be available from any webseller or can be ordered from any brick and mortar bookstore.  Information can be found at www.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 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 25th novel, working title, Escape, is this: a girl in a fascist island nation will do anything to escape--a young cargo ferry pilot not following the rules crashes on the island.

Here is the cover proposal for Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer
Cover Propsal
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene.  I'm writing about the initial scene of my newest novel, "Escape."  Escape is the working title.  I'll decide on the proposed title when I finish the novel.  I'm at the eleventh chapter right now.  That means I've written about 220 pages.

The entertainment (and excitement) should start with the first sentence and paragraph and grow to envelope the first scene.  Let's compare the excitement and entertainment I'm recommending with some of my published novels.  As I grew as a writer, my awareness of the importance of the first paragraph grew.  It's one thing to be taught or realize and another to implement.  Next example the first paragraph from, Shadow of Darkness:
 Lumière and Oba crept soundlessly through the night hewn streets.  All around them, the clatter of machinegun fire and the whistling roar of artillery shells became muffled by darkness and distance.  They chose the blackest shadows and the most isolated paths.  Oba guided them.  His nose and eyes seemed to unerringly sense the presence of soldiers.
Shadow of Darkness is a yet unpublished and uncontracted novel in the Ancient Light series.  It is the novel that follows Sister of Darkness.   

This first paragraph starts with action and scene setting.  The action wraps into the scene setting.  It also introduces two characters.  These are the protagonist and the protagonist's helper.  It has mystery and introduces mystery.  Immediately a reader or publisher will want to know more.  The immediate question is who are these people.  Why are they in a war zone.  That is going on.  Why are they sneaking.  Why does Oba guide them--how can he use his eyes an nose to sense soldiers--and why sense soldiers. 

This is, in my mind a perfect first paragraph.  It is capped by a perfect first scene.  In the first scene, Lumière uses unusual powers and is wounded.  She is separated from Oba.  We find she looses her memory and is near death.  This is the kind of beginning you want for a novel--filled with excitement, mystery, and energy.
 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 320, one more Dragon and Fox Prologue Paragraphs Initial Scene

24 February 2015, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 320, one more Dragon and Fox Prologue Paragraphs Initial Scene

Announcement: My new novels should be available from any webseller or can be ordered from any brick and mortar bookstore.  Information can be found at www.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 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 25th novel, working title, Escape, is this: a girl in a fascist island nation will do anything to escape--a young cargo ferry pilot not following the rules crashes on the island.

I'll make a slight digression because I'm developing advertising and publisher materials for my newest completed novel, Lilly.  Here is the cover proposal for Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer
Cover Propsal
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene.  I'm writing about the initial scene of my newest novel, "Escape."  Escape is the working title.  I'll decide on the proposed title when I finish the novel.  I'm at the eight chapter right now.  That means I've written about 160 pages.

The entertainment (and excitement) should start with the first sentence and paragraph and grow to envelope the first scene.  Let's compare the excitement and entertainment I'm recommending with some of my published novels.  As I grew as a writer, my awareness of the importance of the first paragraph grew.  It's one thing to be taught or realize and another to implement.  Since I started this blog, I've recommended against prologues--I still do.  When I was a younger writer, I placed prologues at the beginning of my science fiction novels.  So let's look at those prologues to see how they might hurt the novels.  Next example, The End of Honor:

Dr. Freisen D. Haupenberg Just What Were the Accords? Interstellar copyright X785 (10,785) ATA (Ancient Terran Accounting) Guidebook to the Human Galactic Empire (4,000 to 7,785 ATA)
      It is appropriate in the year we celebrate the 3,000th anniversary of the end of the Human Galactic Empire that we start our study with an overview of the Noble Accords.  The Noble Accords, the Rules of the Code, or more simply, the Code are all synonyms for the set of written laws that governed the genetic heritage of the Nobility of the Human Galactic Empire.  As you know, the leadership of the Human Galactic Empire was developed through genetic manipulation.  This was necessary to successfully colonize newly discovered planets; however, over time, these leaders took on the political and social aspect of feudal rulers.  A hereditary ruling class overcame and replaced humankind’s most precious democratic ideal.  The Empire was a stable and reasonably just system that ruled longer than any other human authority.  This culture vibrantly colored almost 4,000 Terra standard years of human history.
 
The End of Honor is the first novel of the Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox.  It is the first novel in the series and the last novel of the series I wrote.  I wrote the novels in opposite order.   

There isn't must more that I can tell you about why not to use prologues.  There is no action, no character development or introduction, no real or direct scene setting.  Perhaps there is a bit of mystery and entertainment, but this is the reason I write historical and science fiction, instead of histories and technical papers--I want to entertain my readers.

I assure you, I don't do prologues anymore.  I'm not sure how I will be able to handle the Ghost Ship Chronicles when they are eventually published.  They are not a set of series novels, but rather a set of five continuing novels.  They can be read separately, but they form an overall story.  I wrote introductions for each of them (after the first) to spin the readers up to the current plot.  I'm not sure how I can fix this without leaving out the introduction or somehow incorporating the previous writing into the text. 

So, about prologues and introductions or any other important writing ahead of the initial paragraph.