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EVERYONE WANTS TO BE AN AUTHOR

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Hi everyone. When I started writing Bridgetown High, I suppose it could have been labeled contemporary young adult. However, over the years it has slowly become historical. The 1960s is probably no longer an era in which young adults are no longer interested. I realize that, and accept my fate.

Over the years, as I wrote a bit at a time, trying my best to write a novel people would be interested in, I tried to bring it up to the contemporary level. I rewrote the entire book as if it were taking place in modern times. It just didn't work. So, I decided to try to write to the baby boomers as a nostalgic look back to a bye-gone era, and that is who is primarily buying my books.

Another problem I've run into, is not so much the age group, but what today's youth want to read - Fantasy and Science Fiction. Those genre do not attract me at all, though I have to admit I read all the Harry Potter books.

So, my advice to all you wannabe authors, if you want to be successful as an author, you might just have to write to the masses. Young adults want Fantasy and Science Fiction. Adults tend to read a lot of romance stories. Keep that in mind when you write your novel(s).

In the mean time, thanks for following me and my novel's success. I hope you've enjoyed Bridgetown High. If you haven't yet, you still can by going to Amazon.
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About Paul West

Paul West is a freelance writer and novelist. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Paul claims to be a "Prune Picker," though he now makes his home in Taylorsville, Utah.

You can follower him on Twitter: @PaulWWest

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017

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Hi Gang,


Sorry last week's posting was a bit short, but I hope you enjoyed the review I posted. Most of my reviews have been a lot like that one.



Today, I want to give you more advice about becoming a best selling writer. In Dean Koontz's book, "How to Write Best Selling Fiction," Mr. Koontz suggests we write in "a style which embodies at least a trace of lyrical language and as many striking images as possible, for good writing is always vivid and visual."

So, what does all that mean?

Lyrical language. What does that mean to you? I'm not sure, exactly, but I'm sure it doesn't mean to write poetry, though I've seen some writers such as Ellen Hopkins who have done just that, i.e. wrote novels in a poetic style, and were very successful at it. But I think Koontz meant to write in a voice that belongs to your characters, not you the writer, i.e. make a boy sound like a boy and a girl sound like a girl. That's not always easy to do. In my novel, "Bridgetown High," one of the characters is a 1960s hippie. He tries to use a lot of hippie slang, "like wow," and stuff like that. I also have a Mexican girl who speaks broken Spanglish, and two who are from Italy and also speak broken English. In another book I'm writing, many of the characters are Irish and Scottish. I have to admit it ain't easy to mimic dialectical speech, and I'm not sure I always succeeded, but I haven't gotten many complaints, except for my 60s hippie, but I think in that instance people just don't remember how hippies/beatniks sounded back then. Quite annoying really. Actually, I've gotten many compliments on how I handled all the ohter dialects.

Striking images. What does that mean to you? Again, I'm not sure what Koontz mean by it (it's been a long time since I read the book), but I think he meant to describe the setting faithfully. Don't use it to excess, however. You don't want to interrupt the story with a ton of descriptive language or even back story. Don't spend a half dozen pages describing how the clouds are floating overhead, or how the trees and grass, or buildings look. More, how they make you feel. The setting can be like a character, setting various kinds of moods.

Play with these ideas. It's actaully quite fun to let you left brain go off on a fictional journey of its own. It's liberating

Just so you'll know, I may not be writing in this blog next week. I have a convention with my day job I need to attend to. But keep in mind, my book is still for sale in Amazon if you haven't got your copy yet.

Have fun with your writing, even if you think you can't, or don't want to. It's like a beautiful butterfly, the more you let it go, the more it will return (or something like that, LOL).

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Hi to all my family and friends.


Today, I'm a little short on time to write a blog posting. But I ran across a review a lady gave me for Bridgetown High. In case you are undecided as to whether or not to buy a copy of my book and read it, maybe this review will help you decide.


on February 14, 2017
Author Paul W. West, a great author and wonderful storyteller; this book is great for teenagers too. On that point is no cursing, nor sexual content, just a downright nice read that brings the reader back to the 1960’s. The characters are filled with emotions that truly stand out, especially, Mark Wilkerson, who bears a terrible sum of guilt which leads to some scary moments. I found this story to be an overall great read, very realistic in many ways and would make a great movie! Highly recommended.
You can read more review like this by going to Amazon and Goodreads and searching my name, or the name of my novel.

Next week I promise I'll get back to my review of Dean Koontz's book "How to Write Best Selling Fiction." Until then, have a wonderful week.
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Hi, everyone.

A good friend of mine recently disagreed with the title of this blog. He said, he doesn't want to be an author. Well, I think he just hasn't realized it yet.


This week's blog/news letter will be short. I recently read an article on how to gain followers and boost book sales, and I'm needing to digest it before I do much more.

In the meantime, I'll give you another bit of wisdom from Dean Koontz. This one will be short and sweet: "You must have at least some familiarity with the rules of English grammar and syntax -- the more familiarity the better, of course."

I can't express how important that is if you expect people to read your stuff. I think that is the biggest reason I give for poor reviews when someone asks me to review their novel. I recently reviewed a science fiction novel that was almost unreadable due to poor grammar and syntax. I struggled through the first 4 or 5 chapters and just couldn't go on. I had to tell the poor author the bad news that he needed to get with a good critique group, or at least go back to school and learn English (which was his native language -- well I didn't really say that to him). That book was almost as bad as the book I reviewed about a killer who was the protagonist and got into several gun fights with numerous other bad guys and even though they're only feet apart, and both fighters took several bullets, neither of them died. Duhh!

It's gotta make sense. But that's another issue called be logical.

Well, I need to quit for today. I don't know if any of you took advantage of my give-away last weekend. No? I didn't think so. I wasn't made aware my publisher was doing one until it was practically done and too late to announce it. Sorry. Keep posted and maybe another one will come up soon.

In the mean time, thanks for following me and my novel's success. I hope you've enjoyed "Bridgetown High." If you haven't yet, you still can by going to Amazon.
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 Hi again, y'all,

I think the title of this blog, "EVERYONE WANTS TO BE AN AUTHOR," is so true. I know it was for me. It took me a long time to get published, plus it took the help of some fantastic writers and critique partners to get there. But "Bridgetown High" is the result. It's not well known, yet, but those who have found it, and read it, loved it. Have you gotten your copy yet? Remember you can get it in either Kindle (electronic) or paperback versions. Either version can be found on Amazon. Also, remember, the sequel I'm calling, "The Bridge Beckons," is in the works.

Well, today I promised you I would talk a bit about Dean Koontz's advice that we have "well-drawn backgrounds." Koontz goes into a lot of detail about this subject.

Consider, for a moment, that if you've never been to the place where your novel is set, how can you portray it adequately so that the reader feels he/she knows the place? If the reader can't picture the place/setting he's going to toss the book in the trash. I've had to do that when critiquing some novels by new writers (that wasn't the only reason, but a big one). I simply couldn't follow the story, or get set in the background. It just didn't seem real.

I struggled with getting the setting right until I set my book in someplace recognizable. But even more than that, I also did a lot of research into background setting. It starts with a "real" funeral parlor in a real town, that even if you'd never been there you can still see it in your mind. Then, I set most of the novel in the shadow of the Carquinez Bridge overlooking the small town of Crockett, California. The bridge plays a big role in the story line. Actually, the Carquinez Bridge (about 35 miles northeast of San Francisco) is quite recognizable to anyone who's crossed it with the huge C&H Sugar refinery at the base of the south end of the bridge. Then, the next, and probably the biggest setting, is the local high school, John Swett High School in Crockett. I had to reach back in my memory banks a lot to make sure the setting was accurate the way things really were back in 1965, when the book is set, and that has been a big draw to readers who have been there.

Now, if I hadn't set the book in these settings, I suppose I could have set it anywhere, as long as I did the research sufficient to portray the setting accurately.

And, that's where science fiction and fantasy come in. Most often, these genre do not have known settings and the author, not if not doing a good job at the descriptions, asks us to suspend disbelief.  To me, that's a tough assignment. These settings are most often totally made up by the author, hoping that the reader will follow the made up descriptions. Not an easy thing to do, but I applaud those who have done it successfully. Not being a huge fan of these genre, I frankly don't know how these authors do it. They have to completely create a new background and be true to it all the way through the story, and many times the background/setting becomes a character as well, with motives of its own.

That's all for today. If you have any questions, or don't understand something I said here, drop me an email (paulwwest@yahoo.com), or leave a comment on this blog or Facebook site where I also post these blogs.

So, until next week,  as always, if you like this blog, please remember to "Share" and "Like"it on Facebook , and "Tweet" it on Twitter. Then PLEASE, take five minutes to write a review and post it on Amazon or Goodreads. Also have you signed up for my email letters from this Blog Site? I would love to see you there and have you introduce yourself and give comments, good or bad, to this blog. And also keep in mind "BRIDGETOWN HIGH" is still available on Amazon. Also, you can read some GREAT reviews of BRIDGETOWN HIGH on Amazon and Goodreads in case you need more info about my novel. And keep in mind, if I ever get some free time, I have a sequel in the works.

(By-the-way, the above blued words are clickable links. Just hold down the Control key and click on the blue words.)

See y'all next week.
Paul 

P.S. I have no idea who took that picture above, so I hope he/she doesn't mind my using it.
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A great big "Hi" to all my faithful family and followers. Have you entered your email address into my blog site yet? In case you're reading this on FaceBook or Goodreads my blog is at www.paulwwest.com.


Today, I'm going to touch on the next thing Dean Koontz suggested to write successful, best-selling, fiction. That is, to have "clear, believable character motivations.


Seriously, if your characters aren't motivated about something, you don't have a story. So, what is your characters' motivations? Well, while I can't answer that for you here, I will toss out some of my characters' motives.


Starting with Mark. His motivation begins with wanting to get revenge against the hit-and-run driver that caused the accident that killed his family. But be sure, most, if not all characters have more than one motive. For those of you who have read BRIDGETOWN HIGH you'll quickly realize he's a typical teenager with those red-hot hormones that make most boys tick. While trying to get back to some sort of normalcy, he meets Charisse -- and he's gone. Of course, when he finds out who killed his family, there's a whole new set motives that I won't go into here, just to say that revenge plays a large role.


Then, there's Genie. Her motives, at first, are just to be popular and get a date with the handsomest guy in school. If you've read the book, you'll know how that turned out.

Then, Jeff. He's from a dysfunctional family and only wants to be liked, but his behavior as the school's screw up turns people off. Only by the luck of the Irish (Italian really) he gets a date with Genie, only to be robbed of his date when Mark steals Jeff's date. Can you tell me what motivation Jeff shows next? And it gets worse until the end when everything is resolved -- well sort of. That's when my new sequel will kick in.

I hope I've given you enough ideas about motives to get you to purchase the book.

So, until next week,  as always, if you like this blog, please remember to "Share" and "Like"it on Facebook , and "Tweet" it on Twitter. Then PLEASE, take five minutes to write a review and post it on Amazon or Goodreads. Also have you signed up for my email letters on my Blog Site? I would love to see you there and have you introduce yourself and give comments, good or bad, to this blog. And also keep in mind "BRIDGETOWN HIGH" is still available on Amazon. Also, you can read some GREAT reviews of BRIDGETOWN HIGH on Amazon and Goodreads in case you need more info about my novel. And keep in mind, if I ever get some free time, I have a sequel in the works.

(By-the-way, the above blued words are clickable links. Just hold down the Control key and click on the blue words.)

See y'all next week.
Paul
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Hello to all my wonderful family and friends (and if you're reading this, you are one or the other in my mind).

Today, I have to brag, just a bit. Last week's blog post got nearly 1,000 readers. WOW! Now, if everyone would get a copy of my book, and sign up for my email, that would be wonderful.


Today, I want to cover the next thing Dean Koonts said is what the average reader demands if you want to write best-selling fiction. That is: "Colorful, imaginative, and convincing characterizations."


I remember when I first read that, I realized my characters were pretty much vanilla pudding. Mark was so, so, and Genie didn't exist, neither did Gary. As soon as I read that, I realized I needed to do something to make my characters people that other people would care about.


First thing I did was to I change Mark, making him more aggressive, more of a boy who would be tough in a fight, though the only fights he ever got into was when three other boys attacked him. In his big fight scene, Mark tries to fight, but with 3 on 1 that's kind of tough, and Jeff, the antagonist nearly kills him. You'll have to read Bridgetown High to see what I mean.

Second, I invented Gary. Gary is a colorful character, being a hippy and a draft dodger. In spite of that, to make him of value to the story, I decided to make him Mark's cousin, and that role plays in some serious interaction with Mark throughout the book, but mostly at the end. 'Nuff said for now.

Third, I created Genie, but she started out as a real problem to Mark. She went from a bad girl, a druggie, and a rape victim, to the pretty, sweet, talented girl with a lot of spunk and in the end, the girl who, due to her great love for Mark, took the bullet meant for him. Did she live or die? You'll have to read Bridgetown High to find out.

And, that brings me to Jeff, the hated antagonist. He's a poor boy from across the proverbial tracks. I spent a lot of time in his head, making him as real as I could. Through his head, and some of his friends, we learn to empathize and actually feel sorry, for him. We learn he lives in a broken home, had an abusive father, and so on. By the time I got through with him, most readers actually sympathize with him as well as empathize with him, though they don't condone his actions. Again, if you haven't read the Bridgetown High, Get a copy so you'll see what I mean.


There are other characters, of course, but I'll leave of their descriptions off for now. Just remember, your characters need to resonate with the reader. Brainstorm and see if you can't make your characters more real, and someone the reader can love, or like Jeff, someone the readers can hate.

Okay. So, until next week,  as always, if you like this blog, please remember to "Share" and "Like"it on Facebook , and "Tweet" it on Twitter. Then PLEASE, take five minutes to write a review and post it on Amazon or Goodreads. Also have you signed up for my email letters on my Blog Site? I would love to see you there and have you introduce yourself and give comments, good or bad, to this blog. And also keep in mind "BRIDGETOWN HIGH" is still available on Amazon, Goodreads and Barnes&Noble and several other places I can't remember. Also, you can read some GREAT reviews of BRIDGETOWN HIGH on Amazon and Goodreads in case you need more info about my novel. And keep in mind, if I ever get some free time, I have a sequel in the works.

(By-the-way, the above blued words are clickable links. Just hold down the Control key and click on the blue words.)

See y'all next week.
Paul
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