Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Anyone who knows me knows I have two sweet daughters. Both

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: Wednesday, August 20, 2014

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For all of you (all 1 or 2 of you) who are new to this site, just a word of explanation. I have written one complete novel and am working on two others. The first novel I am tentatively calling Bridge to Destiny, or B2D for short. It is set in my childhood community of Crockett California and in particular my alma mater, John Swett High School, in 1965, the year I graduated. It's about a young man (seventeen) who loses his family on the Carquinez Bridge and vows to get even with whoever cause the accident that killed his family. Of course there is a lot more to it than that, including a love story, but that should give you some idea of what my novel is about. I'm currently searching for an agent and/or publisher if anyone knows of one who might be interested in handling my novel. I'll fill you in on the other two novels later. Stay tuned.
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Our Alaska cruise was wonderful. We just saw portions of the pan-handle but what we saw was beautiful. I really hated to return home and to work.

Now, I'm so behind in my work it's likely to take me a while to get caught up. I'm going to have a tough time doing the revisions the people at AWA suggested.

They suggested combining my first and second chapters. The first was well written, but the second had more of a hook. I've started working on that, starting with chapter 2 and using flashbacks to incorporate the important elements of chapter 1. But I'm finding I'm losing a lot that is so important for character development in chapter 1. So, I'm rethinking how to do this, if I do at all. Maybe there's a way to incorporate a better hood into chapter 1 and not combine them at all.

Wish me luck, all 1 or 2 of  you faithful followers.
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Summer has been crazy so far and doesn't appear to be getting any better. We've made two trips to California so far, had family get-togethers, and now we're looking forward to an Alaska Cruise. Can't wait. In the meantime, I sent my query letter (at their request) to American Writers Association. I think, without a contract or agreement that I'd hire them to find a publisher for me, they were kind to respond. They basically told me my query was well written but a bit wordy. So, I'm going over that again, along with reworking my opening chapters. Hang in there all you faithful followers (all 1 or 2 of you) and I'll get published yet.
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I just got off the phone with two people with the American Writers Association regarding their evaluation of my novel. First thing, they asked if I'm in love with the title "Bridge to Destiny." I told them no, but I just can't think of anything better. They then had some good comments and LOTs of praise for my writing. Several times they pointed to passages that showed great character development, great background information (Vietnam War), Great drama, etc. They said they'd found a couple of grammar glitches, but couldn't point them out. Guess I'll have to read through it again to find them. They didn't like my old chapter 1. Like that publisher recently told me, they agreed it lacked a hook. Too much detail about the accident in chapter 1. They told me I should combine that chapter with the funeral scene. They did say my original chapter 1 was very well written, and the new chapter 1 needed more in the way of character development and drama, though the drama there was good and Mark came across as sympathetic. They then asked to see my query letter, so I'm anxious to see what they think of that. Next, I know, they're going to want me to pay them $700 to market my novel to agents and publishers. That ain't gonna happen, but I didn't let them know that. They said their critique services were free, so I'm not under any obligation, plus there's no way I'll be able to come up with that much money. Overall, I think their evaluation was OK, not great, but OK.
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... this time not to an agent or publisher, but to a company that promises to review my book and if I like their review I can pay them to submit it to over 1000 agents and publishers. I don't have to pay them for the review, so I'll wait to see what they come up with. I also submitted to two small publishers. Not holding my breath for them.
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