Now Available in Paperback and on Kindle

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Comments

EVERYONE WANTS TO BE AN AUTHOR

Hi again to all my friends and followers. Today, I'm a little rushed. My family and I are close to leaving for a short vacation.


But, nevertheless, I feel an obligation to write something about the process of novel writing.


How many of you have suffered with "writer's block?" I know I have. But going back to Dean Koontz book on "How to Write Best Selling Fiction," he has some ideas that I've found helpful.


There are several ideas such as being relaxed when trying to come up with something to write, or read books of a similar genre, etc.

But the method that I think is most helpful to me is to go back a couple or so pages, begin reading and making some small edits along the way, and by the time you get to where you last left off, your mind should be back in the proverbial "groove."


I hope that helps some of you.

I wish I had more time, but even an author has to take some time off to regenerate his/her mind -- and that's another method that can work to crash through writer's block.

So, until next week,  as always, if you like this blog, please remember to "Share" and "Like"it on Facebook , and "Retweet" it on Twitter, then PLEASE, write a review and post it on all the sites where you can find my book (especially on Amazon). 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 to my posts. And also keep in mind "Bridgetown High" is still available on Amazon, Goodreads and Barnes&Noble and a few other places I can't remember. You can read some GREAT reviews of Bridgetown High on all of these sites if you need more info about Bridgetown High. And if you think of it, a review on Amazon or Goodreads, would be very welcomed.

More on:  , , , , , , , , , , ,

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, July 28, 2016

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This

Post a Comment

EVERYONE WANTS TO BE AN AUTHOR

Hello all my faithful friends and followers. I appreciate the response I got from last week's challenge. Does anyone remember what it was? I know one person did - Thanks Don.
Today, I thought I would reiterate what I wrote several weeks (months?) ago. Over the past few weeks I've read some FREE novels that sort of appealed to me based on the title and a short blurb. With few exceptions, they all started out the same -- booorrrriiiinnnnngggg.

Like I stated several weeks ago, you need to build tension from page 1, the first paragraph, if you can. Then, by the end of the first page, the story line should be so engrossing that the reader can't put it down.

Without tension a book or short story is a waste of time for the reader. And that especially applies to books you paid good money for.

Right now, I'm reading a free book I got on Amazon. I'm on about page 10 and still can't see what the story is all about, let alone is the protagonist into some kind of terrible trouble.

People tell me that self-published books, such as the one I'm currently reading, have gotten better. I'm not believing that. So far, most of the self-pubbed books I've read all start of with the same problem -- booorrriiiinnnnggg. Like, why should I care about this protagonist?

You need to have something the protagonist needs, or is having trouble with from the first paragraph. So, how do you achieve that?

Like I said several weeks ago, have the protagonist in some kind of trouble, or as Dean Koontz says "terrible trouble," right off. Give the protagonist a challenge. Then, as the story progresses, as the protagonist tries to solve his/her terrible trouble, he/she gets deeper and deeper into more trouble until at the very end, the climax if you will, the problems are all solved.
Until next week,  as always, if you like this blog, please remember to "Share" and "Like"it on Facebook , and "Retweet" it on Twitter, then PLEASE, write a review and post it on all the sites where you can find my book (especially on Amazon). 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 to my posts. And also keep in mind "Bridgetown High" is still available on Amazon, Goodreads and Barnes&Noble and a few other places I can't remember. You can read some GREAT reviews of Bridgetown High on all of these sites if you need more info about Bridgetown High. And if you think of it, a review on Amazon or Goodreads, would be very welcomed.
Read More »
EVERYONE WANTS TO BE AN AUTHOR
Good afternoon to all my faithful friends and followers. Today, I thought I'd post a short note and brag a bit about some of my reviews. So far, I've gotten only 13 reviews for "Bridgetown High." If Amazon is going to put my book higher on their recommended list, I need many more, at least double what I have now.

So, if you haven't sent a review yet, I hope you will soon. It doesn't have to be long, for example, a reviewer named Clair wrote:

"Loved the book! Couldn't put it down. Stayed up until 3 am. I am familiar with the places Mr. West wrote about which made it even better! Very well written. I can't wait for his next book! Soon I hope."

Not long, but effective, and very appreciated.

But I've been thinking, I have somewhere around 250 consistent friends and followers. I think if everyone of you would write a short, honest  review like that, I think the sales of my book would soar. Here's the link to the book's site where you can post a review: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1680583093/ref=cm_sw_su_dp

If you read "Bridgetown High" and enjoyed it, please consider writing a review.

Thank you for your support,
Paul W. West, Author
Bridgetown High
Read More »
Hi, all my faithful friends and followers. I see my email list is growing (slightly, ha ha). Welcome to all of you.



Today, I'm going to talk (type) a bit more about Dean Koontz's recommendations, that being "clear, believable motivations."

I mean, if the motivations ain't clear, who cares? I think motivations are closely related to plot. They are what carry the story, but they also need to be believable.

So, how do you do that? In my novel "Bridgetown High," Mark's motivations are obvious. In Chapeter 1, page 1, he is viewing his family in their closed coffins and the longer he looks, the more angry he becomes, until at the end of the chapter he vows revenge against the person who killed them. Pretty clear? He's got a motive.

I've read some wannabe writers who just didn't have the motivations. It was more like reading a travelog. As the story went along, the motivations came but still a bit fuzzy.

To make my characters' motivations believable I use logic. I'm a stickler for logic. When beginning a story, I ask myself, why would each character think or act the way they do? And, yes. Each and every character needs a motive. Even minor characters can have a motive, though all the main characters NEED to have a motive, including the antagonist. In my novel it's Jeff (if you have read it you'll know what I mean).  Jeff has his motives too. He is from the poor side of town, falls in love with a beautiful girl, Genie, and hates Mark for stealing her away, though he doesn't understand why she would go with Mark instead of him. I don't want to give away too much of the story, but know there's motivation there.

Work on it. This will be your assignment for the coming week. I want you all to report back and let me know how you are including motives and how motive is helping round out your characterization as well as growing the plot.

In the meantime, if you are finding these little teaching sessions helpful (or not), please "Share" and "Like" this blog post on Facebook , and "Re-tweet" it on Twitter yet. Also have you signed up for my email letters on my Blog Site? This will help greatly with the sales (and I need your help here).

I would love to see you there and have you introduce yourself and give comments to my posts. Also keep in mind "Bridgetown High" is still available on Amazon, Goodreads and Barnes&Noble and a few other places I can't remember, and for this week only, it's on sale for $0.99 for the electronic copy. Also, you can read some GREAT reviews of Bridgetown High on all of these sites, but especially Amazon and Goodreads.
Read More »
Hey, all my faithful followers and friends. Have you seen it? Go to my page at Amazon. Do you see it? The price of my novel's kindle version is reduced. Share this to your friends. I need to sell 10,000 copies by July 10th, the end of the promotion period. (DREAM!). Ha ha. Anyway, Share this with all your "friends" on Facebook and Twitter.


Today I thought I'd mention some more about characterization, but more specifically about building tension. You need tension or reading a novel without tension is a waste of time. You need to have something the protagonist needs, or is having trouble with. So, how do you achieve that?


First, like I said, having some kind of trouble, or as Dean Koontz says "terrible trouble." The beginning of that should begin, or be at least hinted at, from the very first sentence or paragraph, and should be expounded on by the end of the first page.


Another tool to build tension is in every scene -- in every conversation, be it protagonist versus antagonist, or even between friends.  Every conversation should be an argument, if you will. Not hateful or condemning, but disagreeing about something.

Take a look at "Bridgetown High." I've tried hard to make the conversations between characters in every scene, including the opening scene, a disagreement, or an argument, about something. In the opening scene, Mark is having internal dialogue where he feels guilty about what happened to his family. Then, he argues with his grandmother as he vows to get even with whoever killed his family.


I hope that's understandable. Anyway, as always, please remember to "Share" and "Like" this blog post on Facebook , and "Retweet" it on Twitter, then PLEASE, write a review and post it on all the sites where you can find my book (especially on Amazon). 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 to my posts. And also keep in mind "Bridgetown High" is still available on Amazon, Goodreads and Barnes&Noble and a few other places I can't remember. You can read some GREAT reviews of Bridgetown High on all of these sites if you need more info about Bridgetown High.
Read More »
Hi again to all y faithful followers and friends.


Today I thought I might write more about what Dean Koontz's teacher told him when he asked what made for a great novel. Today, I'll talk about the 4th of the eight things he was told a novel needs: to be colorful, imaginative, and convincing characterizations.


In a lot of the reviews I've received for Bridgetown High the reviewer mentioned that they loved my characters, all kind of saying, "They are well drawn and convincing." So, what made them that way?

The first thing I did for each character was to get into his or her head. Decide what makes them tick. What are their motives? What do they want most? What do they fear most? Then, as situation changed, so did their wants, fears, needs, etc. I even got into the antagonist's head and made him, if not likable, at least sympathetic. I hope you are doing the same with your characterizations.

Some writers use a question/answer sheet for each character, writing these questions down. They also draw verbal descriptions of the characters. I don't go through all that, but I do have this all stored in my head. I'll admit that can be a little scary, however, unless you can remember what a character looks like or thinks from the beginning of the book to the end. In other words being consistent and track all the changes as you write.

In a review I received recently the reviewer said: "Well-drawn characters and exciting. I enjoyed getting to know the characters in this book. We meet seventeen year old Mark Wilkerson attending the funeral of his parents and little sister and learn they were killed in a car accident  on Christmas eve that he and his other younger sister survived. The story follows him as he deals with this immense tragedy by trying to find out exactly what happened and who was responsible. There is a message about forgiveness and healing in this book."

So, until next time, please "Share" and "Like" this blog post on Facebook , and "Retweet" it on Twitter, then PLEASE, write a review and post it on all the sites where you can find my book. 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 to my posts. And also keep in mind "Bridgetown High" is still available on Amazon, Goodreads and Barnes&Noble and a few other places I can't remember. You can read some GREAT reviews of Bridgetown High on all of these sites if you need more info about Bridgetown High.


I
Read More »
Hi, all my friends and followers. How is your writing coming? Have you decided on a title yet? I know, titles are not my thing either. "Bridgetown High" was a lucky decision. If you have a title, or at least a working title, please send it in the "Comments" below. I think others here may like seeing what you are working on.


When I say, "working title," it doesn't have to be what you'll eventually end up calling your novel. I think I must have used several working titles...


Mark and Genie
Sweet Revenge
The Bridge Beckons
Vengeance or Vindication
Bridge to Destiny
Retribution or Vindication

... and maybe a couple others I can't recall right off.

The point is, you don't need to decide on a title right now, and there's a strong possibility that if you go with a traditional publisher, your publisher will change it anyway. I guess I was fortunate. My publisher "Limitless Publishing" didn't change my title.

Hey, I got another great review. What do you think?

Review for Bridge Town High by Paul W. West

Well-drawn characters and exciting. I enjoyed getting to know the characters in this book. We meet seventeen year old Mark Wilkerson attending the funeral of his parents and little sister and learn they were killed in a car accident  on Christmas eve that he and his other younger sister survived. The story follows him as he deals with this immense tragedy by trying to find out exactly what happened and who was responsible. There is a message about forgiveness and healing in this book.

This is a good novel in the young adult genre and the author has a great understanding of the teenage years with all their complicated emotions involving friendships, love interests, and learning where one belongs in the swirling sea of on again-off again romances. I found the minute details of who was going to the Junior Prom with whom somewhat tiring, but I understand the method behind the madness

I liked the emphasis on forgiveness from a Christian standpoint. I enjoyed the parental wisdom of Mark’s grandmother, who courageously takes over the care of Mark and his sister while dealing with the death of her son, daughter-in-law, and grandchild. She often quotes her mother and one of the best is “’what we see today as a tragedy, we may look back at tomorrow as a blessing’”. Of course Mark balks at this advice, but the reader hopes he will one day accept what has happened and begin to enjoy life again. He does, and the reader gets to go along for the ride.

The book is enjoyable and exciting. This book is worth the read and stays true to the genre with no profanity or sexual content, though some of the characters use alcohol and drugs. There is some violence, but no more than is seen in any television program. I highly recommend it for adults and young people alike.

So, how does that sound? I hope that will help sell a few hundred copies, maybe a thousand or more (just kidding)

So, until next time, please "Share" and "Like" this blog post on Facebook , and "Retweet" it on Twitter, then PLEASE, write a review and post it on all the sites where you can find my book. 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 to my posts. And also keep in mind "Bridgetown High" is still available on Amazon, Goodreads and Barnes&Noble and a few other places I can't remember. You can read some GREAT reviews of Bridgetown High on all of these sites if you need more info about Bridgetown High. In fact I just got another great review from a follower that should be posted in the next few days.
Read More »