Now Available in Paperback and on Kindle

EVERYONE WANTS TO BE AN AUTHOR

Comments

Hey hey, to all my faithful followers and family.

This week, I thought I'd get back to teaching about the subject you are most likely here for -- to learn about what it takes to become a published author.

As I read recently written novels, most unpublished, I'm still seeing what I railed on earlier in this series, that being about the lack of capturing the reader's attention early on in the book. I see a lot of back story and setting descriptions that are, may I say BOOOORRRRIIIINNNNGGGG. That is tantamont to telling the reader to give up now before it gets worse. I mean how do you expect a person to keep reading if you turn them off in the first page or two?

Rule of thumb, your opening paragraph should plunge your POV character into some kind of terrible trouble in the first paragraph or first sentence, if possible. That doesn't necessarily mean a life or death situation. It could be some other kind of trouble. If you have ever read "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott you'll find the girls' terrible trouble was that Christmas was coming and their father was away from home with the Union Army during the Civil War, and they had no money for gifts for their mother let along to each other. A heart wrenching scenario.

When I wrote my novel, "Bridgetown High," I went through several opening scenes before settling on the one I finally chose where my POV and MC character, Mark, was bemoaning the deaths of his parents and kid sister, who all died in a fiery crash on the Carquinez Bridge in Northern California. To make matters worse, though he was in the crash, he doesn't remember it, but nevertheless he vows to find the hit-and-run driver who caused the accident.

From the first terrible trouble, the novel or story builds from that, scene by scene until the climax at the end.


Does your story start and build like that? If not, you might want to take a closer look at it. Nothing turns a reader off like a milk toast opening of setting descriptions and back story. Get the story going first, then you can add that stuff between the lines and the story develops. Good luck with it and if you need some help, feel free to email me at paulwwest@yahoo.com or find me on FaceBook.


In case I don't get back to you until after New Years, I wish you wonderful holidays. Keep in mind, my novel would make a wonderful gift for teens and baby boomers alike. Just click on this https://www.amazon.com/dp/1680583093 and it will take you to my book's Amazon page.
-
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, December 14, 2017

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This

Post a Comment

Hi Gang:


I hope you're all hanging in with me -- just want you to know I'm still alive, ha ha. I know it's been a couple of weeks since my last post, but with Christmas and New Years coming on, time to write has had to take a back seat to writing (unfortunately).


I thought today, I would talk (write) about what motivates me to write. Maybe some of my experiences will resonate with your experiences. Those who know me know that I'm a hopeless romantic.

When I was a Freshman in high school (John Swett High in Crockett, California), my English teacher told us we had to write something creative during the first 10 to 15 minutes of the class time. At first I thought it was a pain in the ... but once I got into it I hated to quit when the time was up.


Later, when I was a Senior in high school my English teacher (not the same one) could tell that I loved writing about the history of my home town (Port Costa, California). I collected tons of historical facts and started putting them into a large manuscript (that never got published). I even kept working on it when I got into junior college (Diablo Valley College).


After high school, I went to work in the C&H Sugar Mill for the summer, awaiting the fall when I could go back to school. The job was boring and I began day dreaming about a girl I liked (but never dated, well she had a boyfriend). I found that boredom helped me realize that it was a blessing if I could utilize it. So, I would make up scenarios about how I would ask her out, dates we would go, our first kiss, etc.


Then the Vietnam War forced me into the Air Force and I had to quit writing for a while (several years).


Years later, I had a job where I had to write reports for my day job and realized I could write fiction during my lunch breaks. So, I began work on what is now titled "Bridgetown High" (go ahead and click on the link, or cut and paste it into your search box). At first I had to write it long-hand, but eventually I bought a computer and the rest is history. I still write during my lunch breaks (can't wait for retirement).


I love writing, and I'm hoping to finish the sequel to Bridgetown High soon. Then, I have two other books I'm anxious to finish as soon as I can.


So, in case I don't get back to you in the next 2 or 3 weeks, I hope you all will have a wonderful Christmas season, and remember the reason for the season (Jesus the Christ). And wouldn't this make a great Christmas gift for Baby Boomers and Young Adults alike?


Read More »
Hi Gang,

I have to apologize that I haven't had time to write this blog or to write my novel (The Bridge Beckons) either. I have added a few sentences to my novel, but can't get over some brick walls. In January I'm going to retire and I have plans to do some writing every day. That will help a lot, I think.

My first novel (the one I published 2 years ago) took me almost 30 years to write and re-re-re-re-write, so this novel may take more time.

I have two more novels I also want to work on. Nobody said we HAVE to write, we just do it because it's fun, a hobby if you will. So if you are finding it difficult to find time for your hobby, hang in there. Once you sit down, butt in chair (BIC), you'll find it addicting and you won't want to stop. But you have to get BIC first.

In the meantime, I'd love to have your email address so I can send you announcements of upcoming events like the sale of my next book, a blog tour / media blitz that never got off the ground (ha ha ha),  my next blog entry, and so forth.

By the way, my novel is still on sale through Amazon. Just search for my name (Paul W. West) or the name of my book (Bridgetown High).


Happy Thanksgiving. I'll try to write you, my wonderful readers, before Christmas.
Read More »
Come join me on my journey as a writer at www.paulwwest.com where I share some writing tips I’ve learned over the years. Also, you can find my novel “Bridgetown High,” set in Crockett, California at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1680583093/ref=cm_sw_su_dp. It’s an intriguing look into the minds of teenagers during the 1960s. Enjoy and pass this on to all your friends.
Read More »
Hi to all my friends, followers and family.


I hate to do this, but I need to let you know that this is likely to be my last post for a while. I'm finding it difficult to write these blog posts every week and still find time for actual writing.



Based on the actual number of comments I've gotten from all of you in my audience over the past couple of years, it doesn't appear there are very many people actually reading these posts anyway.

I will probably be back in a few months. I just need some space right now to put into practice what I've been teaching here.


It's been fun, but for now I need to do actual writing, and decide whether I want to continue with my Bridgetown High sequel called The Bridge Beckons, or resume work on another book I've wanted to finish. Some of you might remember me talking about GERTA!


In the meantime, keep going with your own writing and if you need help with something, please feel free to contact me at paulwwest@yahoo.com. I'd love to hear from you, and I'll be happy to answer any questions, or help you with any issues you may have as best I can.


Bye for now,
Paul W. West, Author
Bridgetown High


Read More »
Hi Guys and Dolls (sounds like the title of a play, ha ha)

How's your writing going? Anything I can  help with? Don't be shy. I'd love to help. That's why I write this blog.

As a published writer, I still have my struggles too. But I feel that in three-and-a-half months, if nothing goes wrong, I should be able to retire. Once that happens, I should be able to do more writing.


Right now it's tough trying to get in the mood during my 1-hour lunch breaks 3 or 4 days a week. With that consideration, and my struggle to overcome my huge writer's block, my writing ain't goin' as well as I'd like.

See, like I said, we published writers have trouble writing as well.

Here's my problem right now. I have 7 main characters, each with their own individual problems, subplots if you will, and I can't decide how to tie them all together. Based on the word count, I'm probably less than half way through the book, so I have room to do with my characters what I want (or more likely let them do what they want) .

I've found, however, that I do my best writing when I'm bored, ha ha. Can you feature that? But it works, and may work for you, because that's when I let my thoughts wander -- or you can call it daydreaming, and daydreams are where my fiction comes from. It's difficult when I have to rush to put something down on paper, or the computer. I don't have time to do the necessary daydreaming, and that's what is keeping me from writing my best.

So, that's about it for now, and until next week, my best wishes to you for your writing. If any of you have any experiences like mine, I'd love to read about them on my Fan Page on Facebook, or as a comment at the end of this post. If you have any questions you'd like me to answer about writing and publishing, or where I grew up, I'll try to answer as best I can.

In the meantime, I'd love to have your email address so I can send you announcements of upcoming events like the blog tour / media blitz I am scheduling for the first or second week in October. I will possibly reduce the price of my electronic version of my novel  (BRIDGETOWN HIGH), so if you haven't got a copy yet, now would be a great time to buy one. You can also contact me at paulwwest@yaoo.com.
Read More »
Hi, to all my faithful friends and followers.

After inundating you all with "how to writing" information I thought maybe today I'd try a different tack. I realize most of you don't have any idea who I am. I know some of you do and well, maybe you've read my bio. That does give you some idea of who I am and where I'm coming from, but I thought for today I'd give you more specifics.


In case you haven't figured it out yet, I attended John Swett High School (Class of '65) in Crockett, California. This is the model for the school described in my novel BRIDGETOWN HIGH. I loved that school, and the kids who attended with me, as well as the teachers who were some of the greatest teachers I ever met. I suspect most of them have passed on to the Spirit World by now.

This school is where I earned letters in Track during my Junior and Senior years, and broke the school record in the 440 yard relays. I'm not sure that's ever been broken since then, but probably ha
s.

This is where I played French Horn in the Concert band, and the Alto Sax in the Marching Band. I know. Those are quite different instruments, but I couldn't march with a French Horn, or even the so-called "E-Flat," or "Peck Horn" the director wanted me to play in the marching band. That horn just wasn't cool, but everyone loved a sax player. Those were also the days of Paul Desmond and Dave Brubeck, some cool and great musicians.

These were the days when I met and kissed my first girlfriend. More about that on another day? -- not -- too personal, but she knows who she is, and I think she may be following this blog.

So, that's about it for now. If any of you have any experiences like mine, I'd love to read about them on my Fan Page on Facebook, or as a comment at the end of this post. If you have any questions you'd like me to answer about writing and publishing, or where I grew up, I'll try to answer as best I can.

In the meantime, I'd love to have your email address so I can send you announcements of upcoming events like the blog tour / Media Blitz I am scheduling for the first or second week in October. I will possibly reduce the price of my e'novel (BRIDGETOWN HIGH), so if you haven't got a copy yet, now would be a great time to buy one.
Read More »