My Favorites

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 110, even more how to develop Storyline, Entertaining, Rising Action

29 July 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 110, even more how to develop Storyline, Entertaining, 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 storyline?

I left up the example for the first scene plot outline from before.  This outline is how I develop a scene in my mind.  Once I have the scene outline, I can write the storyline.  If you note, the plot outline comes directly out of the theme and the storyline comes directly out of the plot outline.  So here is the outline--then how do you write the storyline?

Scene 1 (for this example): Christmas party at Lyons House 19 December 2014, damp night
George and Heidi arrive late
George and Heidi meet Sveta and Daniel
Heidi and Sveta have a confrontation based on contact (tension builder)
Heidi seeks a way to break off the confrontation
Daniel restrains Sveta, Heidi removes George (release)

I wrote the setting from the plot outline.  I have written before that everything comes out of the original development for the novel.  I gave you an example about the Lyons house to show you how the development led to the place setting.  This is critically important information--that is if you really want to write a good novel.  You might imagine that an author just describes some place...and there it is.  I've mentioned before, I develop the places, the characters, everything before I write about them.  I've also mentioned that I like to use real or historical places.  Lyons house is not a real place, but it is a developed place based on history and real houses of it's type.

Characters are the same way.  I went through a very detailed explanation of how I developed the characters for this novel.  Once the character is developed, I can write about them.  The point is the depth of character and the dimensional power of the setting is directly dependent on the development.  The point is to develop first and then you can write meaningful and powerful settings from your plot outline.

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 28, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 109, more how to develop Plot, Entertaining, Storyline Rising Action

28 July 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 109, more how to develop 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 left up the example for the first scene plot outline from yesterday.  This outline is how I develop a scene in my mind.  Once I have the scene outline, I can write the storyline.  If you note, the plot outline comes directly out of the theme and the storyline comes directly out of the plot outline.  So here is the outline--then how do you write the storyline?

Scene 1 (for this example): Christmas party at Lyons House 19 December 2014, damp night
George and Heidi arrive late
George and Heidi meet Sveta and Daniel
Heidi and Sveta have a confrontation based on contact (tension builder)
Heidi seeks a way to break off the confrontation
Daniel restrains Sveta, Heidi removes George (release)

First, let me explain, to me, the storyline is the actual writing.  If you take the storyline in steps, it is easy to write a scene.  First, set the scene.  In the plot outline, I gave a setting, the job of the writer is now to set the scene.  Here is the setting:

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.

This is easy peasy stuff.  This is the kind of creative writing your teachers hopefully beat into you.  Describe the place, the time, the weather, the characters.  Give us some information so the reader can picture the setting and the scene.  You are placing the scene in the mind of your readers.  Then move your characters into the scene.

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.”
 
Here is more scene setting and movement of the characters into the place.  Of course a fancy house like this has a butler.  Of course the butler will expect you to have a card and be announced.  I also put in a little banter between Heidi and George.  George is a real expert at these kinds of parties, he times the receiving line.  I also put in some very delicate description about the scene.  If you don't get it, that's okay.  An old and wealthy family will have old and ragged rugs.  They have been in the family a long time.  George knows this is not true, but unless the reader has read my other books, she won't know about this house.  The Lyons house was a named Tudor house that belongs to the organization.  It originally belonged to Lord and Lady Hastings, but they gave the house to Bruce and Matilda Lyons when they married.  Matilda Lyons was originally Matilda Hastings.  When Bruce and Matilda died, they gifted the house to the organization and now the current head, Daniel Long lives there with Sveta Long.  All this is back story, the reader doesn't need to know this, but I'm sharing it with you.  The next step is to bring in the next set of characters.

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 27, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 108, how to develop Plot, Entertaining, Storyline Rising Action

27 July 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 108, how to develop 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?

The entire plot of the scene(s) I showed you were developed around the idea of tension and release as related to the theme of the novel.  Each scene or section of the overall scene included a tension and release idea that was then fleshed out in the storyline.  The plot outline might look something like this:

Scene 1 (for this example): Christmas party at Lyons House 19 December 2014, damp night
George and Heidi arrive late
George and Heidi meet Sveta and Daniel
Heidi and Sveta have a confrontation based on contact (tension builder)
Heidi seeks a way to break off the confrontation
Daniel restrains Sveta, Heidi removes George (release)

Scene 2: at the Party near the buffet table
Heidi and George argue about the confrontation with Sveta (tension builder)
Harold, the butler, brings wine to Heidi and helps with the buffet (release)
Heidi and George settle into an uneasy cease fire

Scene 3: at the Party
Daniel and George converse concerning the confrontation between Heidi and Sveta
Daniel makes arrangements with George for a business meeting
Heidi has disappeared (tension builder)

Scene 4: during the party, sunroom at the Lyons House
Harold, the butler, takes Heidi to the sunroom
Sveta serves tea
Sveta explains about Stele
Sveta tells Heidi who she is
Sveta wants to know what/who Heidi is (tension builder)
Heidi will not tell her
Sveta explains she has someone she wants to speak to Heidi
Sveta swears not to harm Heidi or George (release)
Heidi leaves

In this plot outline of the scenes, you note only the high points and specific points are listed.  Each scene starts with a setting and the outline proceeds from that.  If you review the writing, the scene is first set and then we move into the dialog and actions of the scene. 

What may not be clear in each scene outline is the tension builders of the scene.  That's why I added that in the outline.  I also listed the release.  When I outline a scene, I usually don't go to this detail.  Here is the detail I use for myself:

Scene 1 (for this example): Christmas party at Lyons House 19 December 2014, damp night
Heidi and Sveta have a confrontation based on contact (tension builder)
Daniel restrains Sveta, Heidi removes George (release) (output)

Scene 2: at the Party near the buffet table
Heidi and George argue about the confrontation with Sveta (tension builder)
Harold, the butler, brings wine to Heidi and helps with the buffet (release) (output)

Scene 3: at the Party
Daniel and George converse concerning the confrontation between Heidi and Sveta
Daniel makes arrangements with George for a business meeting
Heidi has disappeared (tension builder) (output)

Scene 4: during the party, sunroom at the Lyons House
Harold, the butler, takes Heidi to the sunroom
Sveta explains about Stele
Sveta tells Heidi who she is
Sveta wants to know what/who Heidi is (tension builder)
Heidi will not tell her
Sveta explains she has someone she wants to speak to Heidi
Sveta swears not to harm Heidi or George (release)
Heidi leaves (output)

There is only a slight difference.  The point I wanted to make is that you don't need a lot of details in a scene outline.  What you need is the tension builder and a potential release.  As you write the storyline for the scene, you might find these change slightly.  Note in the second outline, I put the outputs to the scene.  The output becomes the next scene implied or direct input.  Since these four scenes (a set) are directly related input to output in time sequence, it isn't hard to see how they fit into each other. 

Once you have a theme and begin to develop you plot, you can outline your scenes as a plot and then write them (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

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 107, yet more example developing Plot, Entertaining, Storyline Rising Action

26 July 2014, Writing Ideas - Vampire Novel, part 107, yet 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?

This is the part of the scene or collection of scenes where we finally get a true release of tension.  It is not a complete release--there should not be a complete release of tension until the climax of the novel.  In most cases, the climax itself is not a total release of the tension in the novel.  In many novels, there is never a complete release of the tension.  In other words, the storyline does not have a complete resolution.  Not all strings are wrapped up in the novel.  In complex novels, this is almost always true.  This is because the many threads of the storyline continue before and after the novel climax.  On the other hand, the theme must resolve in a tension resolution of some type and the plot must resolve.

If you remember, we began with a scene where Heidi and Sveta first meet and recognize they are both unusual beings.  In the second scene Heidi and George have a small fight.  In the third scene, Daniel and George confer and George discovers that Heidi has disappeared.

Heidi held a glass of wine in her hand and followed Harold.  Harold stopped at a closed door, “Ms. Mardling, this is the sunroom.  Mrs. Long is waiting for you within.”  Harold opened the door for her and bowed.
Heidi didn’t stagger too much as she stepped through the door.  It shut behind her.
The room was very brightly lit.  Sveta sat in a padded chair next to the center of the room.  In front of her was a love seat, and on the other side, a matching padded chair.  In between the seats was a tea table.
Sveta stood.  She didn’t move an inch toward Heidi, “Thank you very much for being willing to meet with me.  I’m afraid we got off on the wrong foot…”
Heidi curtsied.  She didn’t lower her eyes, and she didn’t dare take her eyes off Sveta.
Sveta stretched out her hand, “Would you please take a seat.  I have tea.”
Heidi pursed her lips tightly together.  She stepped deliberately to the other padded chair and stood behind it.
Sveta nodded her head, “You see, there is a table between us.  I won’t try to touch you again.”  Sveta sat down and put out her hand. 
Heidi sat quickly.  She set her wine glass on the table.
“May I serve you tea?”
Heidi nodded.
Sveta poured the tea and pushed the cup and saucer toward Heidi.  After Sveta had pulled her hand completely back, Heidi with her eyes on Sveta, reached forward and took the cup and saucer.  She held her cup and waited.
Sveta poured her tea.  No one moved for a while.  Finally, flustered, Sveta took a sip of tea.  Heidi kept her eyes on Sveta—she took a quick sip.
Sveta sat back a little, “Ah, I see…”  She steepled her hands, “Your dress is lovely.  You have very good taste.”
Heidi sipped her tea again, “Taste slightly out of time…”
“Yes, slightly out of time.  I really do not desire to antagonize you.  I wonder exactly why…”
“You wonder why my presence unnerves you…”
“Yes, I wonder very much…and I would like to know why.  What is it about you…?”
Heidi frowned, “It might be better for both of us if you do not know…”
“That thought never crossed my mind…”
“It has not left my thoughts since we were first introduced…”
Sveta sighed, “Listen, Ms. Mardling, let me lay my cards on the table.”
Heidi nodded, but didn’t lower her eyes.
“I recognize you are a being of spiritual dimensions.  I myself am such a being.”
“I know.  Does Mr. Long realize—that is about you?”
“Yes.  Does George realize about you?”
“I should lie and say no, but I will say this…officially, Mr. Mardling doesn’t know anything about it at all…”
“Then he does know… but I am not to tell my husband about it.  I understand.  I will not say anything to him.”
“Never…”
“I will not tell anyone…I am very good at keeping secrets.”
Heidi scowled, “You are not very discreet at hiding your emotions…”
Sveta put up her hands, “I understand.  I was just surprised.  The last thing I expected to find was a being like you at my Christmas party.”
Heidi took a deep breath, “I admit, I was not at my best.  I upset Mr. Mardling and your guests.  Additionally, I was petulant.  I apologize.  You were very tolerant of my behavior when I was childish.”
“You are not a child.  I realize that.”
“I am not a child.”
Sveta took another deep breath, “Can you tell me who you are?”
“Your cards are on the table—not mine.”
“I understand.”  She sighed, “I am an unbound goddess.  I lead the Stele branch of ‘the organization’.”
Heidi stared, “What exactly does this Stele office do?”
“Chiefly, we use spiritual means to protect Britain.”
Heidi visibly relaxed.
Sveta put her hands up, “I only wish to know more about you, but there is a scent.”
Heidi’s eye twitched, “The scent of blood and the grave?”
“Yes...”
Heidi folded her arms.
“Will you please tell me what kind of being you are?”
“No.”
“I see.  If you are worried, we follow the One named יהוה.”  The sound reverberated like a rushing wind about the room.
Heidi covered her ears.  Her eyes flashed, “Why did you have to say that Name?”
“I won’t say it again.  You have not bowed your neck to Him?”
“I was already broken by that Guy.”
Sveta’s brow creased, “I…I don’t understand.  I have never heard of such a thing.  Please tell me who you are.  I’d be happy to help any way I can.”
Heidi’s voice rose, “You can’t help me.  No one can help me.”
“I don’t believe that is true.”
“Then you don’t know everything do you?”
Sveta was getting a little hot, “If you tell me who you are, we can move forward from there.  If you simply bow your neck to Him, we can work together.”
“I lay with my face on the ground broken by Him and without any hope of redemption…”
“I know that is not true…”
Heidi rose to her feet, “It is truth.”
“If you know about Him and you are convinced, you must have hope…I believe this is truth.”
Heidi stood, “I believe, we have nothing else to speak about…”
Sveta held out her hands, “Please, Ms. Mardling…don’t go.  I promise, as long as you don’t oppose us, we will help you…”
“You don’t understand…”
Sveta took a deep breath, “I want to understand.  Please tell me who you are…”
“I will not… if I do…if I do,” Heidi’s chest was heaving.
“Please…, I know someone you will want to talk to.”
Heidi backed around the chair.  She kept Sveta at her front.
Sveta sighed, “You don’t need to fear me.  I promise--I’ll not attack you.  I think we can still work together to the same ends.”
Heidi perked up, “Do you truly promise?”
“I do… I do promise, by the last and all.”  The air crackled in the room.
Heidi smiled, “You may regret that you ever made such a promise, but I do accept it.  I can’t handle anything more tonight.  I thank you for your hospitality.”  She backed to the door.  When Heidi touched the door handle, Harold opened the door from the other side.  Heidi curtsied and ran through the opening.

 
Now you see what all the excitement was about.  Heidi is a vampire.  These others in Stele follow the being who broke her.  One could state that Heidi broke His laws and became what she is.  This is all backstory the reader learned about Heidi's life and death before.  In any case, the tension that was developed previously has not been completely released.  There is still tension between Sveta and Heidi.  Heidi still has her secret.  There is now a new tension.  Sveta knows now that George Mardling was lying.  He knows about Heidi.  The reader might wonder what this could portend for George.  There is a further issue that was revealed: Sveta wants Heidi to speak to a certain someone.  This is a new element to build into another scene.  In fact, the next scenes begin to introduce this new character.  The near final tension release in this scene is the swearing.  Sveta swore an oath to Heidi.  This should have reduced the tension somewhat.  The final release is Heidi's response.  Once she had a promise, she could leave.  For her, she had repaired the evening the best she could.
 
This entire sequence goes back to what I mentioned before, once I can get two opposed characters together in conversation, I can really develop the novel.  I can give the readers a great deal of information without telling and through showing.  I can reveal and inform.  I can show the readers what the characters are thinking.  I can develop incredible tension or release that tension.     


 

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