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EVERYONE WANTS TO BE AN AUTHOR

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Hi to all my great family and friends. Can you feel it? Can you feel Spring coming on? Boy, it's a wonderful feeling.

So, how are you coming with your own writing? Are you working on a novel? Let me know so I can help you. I'm very willing to review some chapters you might be having trouble with (I know, I know, you're not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition). Did you know that? Well it's kind of an archaic rule, so most of us writers ignore it - but to me it still sounds wrong.

So, today I thought I'd talk about a subject you hear a lot about in the writing world, that is;
 
 "WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW"
 
That sounds obvious, but I think we all need to learn about that rule. Let's take a made up example. What if you want to write a murder mystery, but like me, you grew in a small town, and lived there all your life. Murders have never happened there. But that town is what you know best. Can you make murder a subject in that town? Maybe, maybe not. So, you need to set you novel in some exotic place where murders happen all the time. But you don't know anything about all the exotic places you see on television, or in the movies.
 
So what do you do? 
 
Well, in today's technological world with the internet, you can "know" all about those places, IF you are willing to do the research. You can't cheat because your readers will know and will not read your novels again, maybe not even finish reading the novel they're currently reading.

But some writers get around that by making up make-believe worlds by writing science fiction or  fantasy. And maybe that's partly why I'm not all that crazy about those genres.

So what if you want to write a novel set in modern day, in a known place?

Again, the internet is a great resource. With Google Earth you can zoom into most places around the world and make a place you've never seen, become real to the reader.

In my novel, BRIDGETOWN HIGH, I have to admit, I cheated a bit, but not really. I made a small town community of four towns the setting for my mystery/suspense novel with the Carquinez Bridge the main character. The towns of Crockett, Rodeo, Tormey, and Port Costa, are real town in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the high school where most of the drama takes place is a real school. I grew up in these places and with a little additional research, was able to "show" the towns the way they looked back in 1965.

So, unless you live in an exotic location, or you can make your small town come alive, do your research. Even if your world is made up, you have to make it seem real.

Okay. 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, take five minutes to write a review and post it 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, 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. You can read some GREAT reviews of BRIDGETOWN HIGH on Amazon and Goodreads in case you need more info about my novel.
 
(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

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, February 16, 2017

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EVERYONE WANTS TO BE AN AUTHOR

Hello, all my family and friends. Welcome to my crazy world of becoming an author. Last I looked, there are around 370 followers of this blog. I hope to get many more. To some of you who are new to following me, I try to write something each week that may, or may not, help you in your writing career.

Alternatively, you're following me just because you like me. I like to think both motives are in play here. (Oh, and P.S. I have no idea who took the picture above. If that person wants me to quit using it, he/she can let me know, but I like it. It depicts the setting for my novel BRIDGETOWN HIGH.)

So, what would you like to read about in future blog posts? Attach a message to the end of this message and let me know.

Today, I thought I might talk about beginning to write a novel. I've covered this in the past but I still see writers making the same mistakes. I think the biggest mistake I see wannabe authors make is to begin the story by larding on tons of back story and descriptions, all that boring stuff that "NEEDS" to be explained what led up to the point where the real story begins." NOT!

If you expect a reader to spend money and time with your book, you need to capture that reader's interest on the first page, preferably by introducing the main character and his/her terrible trouble in the first paragraph, or even the first sentence, if possible. I know that's a tough thing to do, but capturing that terrible, troubling incident on page 1 is imperative if you don't want to lose your reader. Then, you need to follow up by plunging that main character into worse trouble as the story evolves.
Consider "LITTLE WOMEN" by Louisa May Alcott. She begins her story with 4 young girls worrying about the upcoming Christmas. Their father is away at war, they have no money for gifts and think the season is going to be horrible.

That's terrible trouble in their mind.

Next, consider my novel, "BRIDGETOWN HIGH." The story begins with Mark Wilkerson wanting to throw up if he had to listen to any more of that morbid organ music in the funeral parlor. As the first page develops, we learn his parents were all killed in an automobile crash, and the story grow even worse when we learn he and one of his sisters were the only survivors and he can't remember any of it but wants to get even with the hit-and-run driver.

As a former critique moderator, I can't count on how many stories I've read that begin with background descriptions. Some don't even introduce the man character until the second or third chapter. How smart is that? Once I pointed that out to writers, suddenly their novel took off and became exciting.

So, what do you do with all that back story?

Well, probably much, or even most of it can be tossed in the electronic trash can. You need to decide whether it's needed. As for the rest, it can be added bit-by-bit in some dialog, or in actions in the real story.

Okay. 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, take five minutes to write a review and post it 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, 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. You can read some GREAT reviews of BRIDGETOWN HIGH on Amazon and Goodreads in case you need more info about my novel.
(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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Hi all my faithful family and friends:


Today, I want to talk about writer's block. Everyone experiences it, and I suspect there are as many solutions as there are writers. So, what is an effective method to overcome it?


I often experience writer's block because I don't get a chance to write every day, thus I lose track of what I wrote last and where I intended the story to go.

The method that I find that works best for me is to go back two or three pages and begin reviewing what you last wrote. By the time you get to where you left off, you should be able to remember what you intended to write. Only, this time, I'm at a total block.


Before, I had a critique group to bounce ideas off of. But I don't have that support any more (Hint to myself: join another group).


I'm dealing with how to write the sequel to Bridgetown High, and only get to write about every two weeks or so. That makes it hard to keep track of what I last wrote and where I left off. Does anyone know of a "good" critique group?


Oh, and by the way, I'm still considering doing another blog tour, but I'm hoping they are worth the money -- something around $100.00. Does anyone know of a "good" blog tour company?


So, until next week,  as always, if you like this blog, please "Share" and "Like"it on Facebook , and "Tweet" it on Twitter. Then PLEASE, take five minutes to write a short review of "Bridgetown High" and post it on my correct author page at Amazon.


Also, remember to sign 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 this blog. Have a wonderful week.

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Hey, Gang (all my family and friends):


I hope everyone is well and busy writing in your spare time -- which is most everyone's desire. I believe everyone has a book or two in them. I proved it by writing Bridgetown High.

I love this review by Josie Melendez on posted on December 3, 2015


She gave me 5 stars, and I like what she said about me and my writing:

"It is hard to believe that this book is this author’s debut novel. I have to say the author’s note referencing that the setting behind this story takes place in the mid-1960’s, had me nervous going in. However, I have to be honest, the way this author wrote this story I didn’t feel lost or unaware of the surroundings within. The start to this story nearly broke my heart. AND THAT WAS ONLY THE FIRST PAGE! After that I knew I would not be able to put this book down. The story is told in multiple POV’s which I happened to enjoy a great deal.

"I do not want to say much or give anything away because this one needs to be read going in blindly. I will say, once I got to that Aha moment I was floored. I really enjoyed how the author used words, landmarks and life events to describe a setting or scene so that I really could imagine how it was in the 60’s. I can tell that this author researched a lot and put a lot of effort into this book. The conversations and language used in the book is how I would have expected it to be like in the 60’s. Like the close family unit, people’s view points on the Vietnam War and music.

"Mark’s pain, anguish, grief, rage and guilt over the loss of his parents and sister is felt on every page. I can’t imagine losing my family in such a tragic way, but his author was able to have me emotionally connect so much that I felt like I was there with him sharing his pain. Mark’s need for revenge of the person responsible for their death was palpable. The three characters that surround this book were very well developed. Mark, Gina and Jeff each have a story to tell and their lives are connected in some way. As the year unfolds secrets, manipulation and danger will follow the lives of these 3 teenagers.

"I got more than what I imagined I would have when I started this book. The drama and angst level was over the top. If you love a book that has drama, action, suspense, jealously and fast cars then this is your book. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and I can’t wait to see what this author brings us next."

Isn't that a great review?

Now, guess what?

I'M EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE that my publisher, Limitless Publishing, and I are going to do another Blog Tour for Bridgetown High. Along with the tour, we're going to give away some electronic versions of the book. Keep posted as I haven't set it up yet, but will soon and want to be able to let you know. Maybe you can join in the tour and gain some publicity as well.

So, until next week,  as always, if you like this blog, please "Share" and "Like"it on Facebook , and "Tweet" it on Twitter. Then PLEASE, take five minutes to write a short review of "Bridgetown High" and post it on my correct author page at Amazon.


Also, remember to sign 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 this blog. Have a wonderful week.
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A warm hello to all my faithful friends and followers, in spite of this cold and snowy weather we're having here in Utah, U.S.A. I want to welcome all those who have "friended" me during the last week and forever.


I apologize for not posting last week, but time just didn't allow.


Today, I learned something that I think you all need to know and do if you expect your books to get quality reviews on Amazon. If you have tried to post a review of Bridgetown High and weren't able to do so, I just found out there's evidently a right way and a wrong way to access Amazon to post a review, and this may be the reason your review didn't work.

I just watched a short video that explains this.

To access my book's Amazon page, I've been giving you this URL: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1680583093/ref=cm_sw_su_dp. Evidently, this URL has a code that tips Amazon that you are a close friend or family member and thus in their mind, not eligible to post a review.

The correct way is to do this without that code: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1680583093/.

So, if you tried to post a review in the past, but weren't able, I would appreciate it if you would re-posting it using this different URL .

I'm sorry for not knowing this before, but frankly, I didn't know this before.

So, until next week,  as always, if you like this blog, please "Share" and "Like"it on Facebook , and "Tweet" it on Twitter. Then PLEASE, take five minutes to write a short review of "Bridgetown High" and post it on my correct author page at Amazon.

Also, remember to sign 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 this blog. Have a wonderful week.

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Hi to all my family and friends. I hope you enjoyed some of the posts I put on Facebook this week.

Today, I want to explore a concept I remembered a couple of days ago. My wife and I were watching the movie of, "Little Women" based on a novel by Louisa May Alcott. In the story, Jo (Josephine) March is a writer, and wants to be an author, just like you.

Near the end of the novel, Jo goes to New York to take on a position of a teacher and nanny. While there she meets a German professor who is struggling to get a teaching job. They strike up a friendship and when Jo tries to sell her novel (Little Women), her manuscript is rejected. She feels hurt as many authors have felt. Then, she confides in her German professor (Mr. Behaer) who tells her that her novel isn't as good as she thinks. She needs to put her heart and soul into her writing, otherwise her writing is bland.

This isn't exactly how the conversation went down, but something like it.
So, it got me to considering my feelings about my novel, the motives, the loves, the jealousies, the hates, the heartbreaks, etc. I've been struggling with the sequel to Bridgetown High, and this may be the reason.

I told this to my daughter and she replied "... to help you feel the drive and passion for this book, you could ask yourself what do you want to say. Writing a book isn't just about telling a story, but it's also about using the space to speak your mind and offer your thoughts to the world."
God bless that sweet daughter of mine. She's absolutely right. I hope that piece of advice helps you too.
So, until next week,  keep writing, and as always, if you like this blog, please "Share" and "Like"it on Facebook , and "Retweet" it on Twitter. Then PLEASE, if you haven't already done so, take five minutes to write a short review of "Bridgetown High" and post it on my author page at Amazon and/or Goodreads.
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Hello to all my family and friends.


I don't have a lot of time to write something, so I hope you saw the posts I sent yesterday and Tuesday.


Just a quick note that I am working diligently on a sequel to "Bridgetown High." So, you need to get the current book first so you'll have a better idea of what is going on in the upcoming sequel. Don't worry, though. If you don't want to buy the first book, the sequel will serve as a standalone novel, but with many of the same characters including Mark and Genie, Gary and Kathy, Charisse, Suzie and others.

Who are they, you ask? Well, that's why you need to buy and read the first novel. So, go to Amazon and get a copy, either paper back or Kindle e'book.



And with that, I hope your Christmas was wonderful, and now I want to wish you a wonderful and Happy New Year. Talk to you next year.


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