EVERYONE WANTS TO BE AN AUTHOR

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Hi, to all my faithful followers and friends (all the same).


Today's post won't be long. I just want to inform you of two exciting events coming up. No, it's not about a cover reveal for my next novel. Rather, it's about two almost as exciting events, at least I think so, and that is two upcoming blog tours/media blitz for my novel BRIDGETOWN HIGH. Also, my book is being sent out again for reader's review. I'm hoping these events will make my book more visible that will, hopefully, turn into sales. At least it should help my book to raise higher on Amazon's ranking. The first  tour will be done from September 14 thru 20, and the second will be the first week of October.


Another exciting thing is that YOU can help.

How?


If you sign up by sending me your email address you will be entered. Then, when the events are happening, the tour companies will send you an (for want of an better term) advertisement. Then, all you need to do is forward it to all your Facebook and Twitter "friends," or anyone else you can think of. That's it.


Just send your email address to paulwwest@yahoo.com.


Thanks in advance as I'm sure all of you will be willing to help.

And, in case you haven't yet, BRIDGETOWN HIGH is still available at Amazon in both paperback and Kindle.

Thanks, EVERYONE.
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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, August 10, 2017

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A great afternoon to all my faithful family and friends (yah that means you).

So, how is your novel going? I know many of you may not have begun writing, but you want to. There's a remedy for that?

Grab a pen/pencil and some pads of lined paper and just put down the first thing that comes to your mind. (well, OK. You can do this with a computer instead, ha ha). But that's how I started. I think I had nearly 50 pages handwritten before I finally acquired a computer (just fyi, that was more than 30 years ago).

The point is, write something every day. Once you begin, your subconscious will urge you to keep going. Even if you only write for 10 minutes a day, that's OK. At lest your doing it. Now, keep going for as long each day as you can. Have you heard of the term BIC? It means, "butt in chair." You have to get your BIC and just begin and keep going. Soon it will become a passion. It is with me, anyway. Keep in mind, it ain't gonna get writ, if you don't write it.

So, now for the news: This week I finally paid a promotion site to run a media blitz for "BRIDGETOWN HIGH." It will be held the first week in September. I'm excited to see if she will be able to recoup my money for me. If so, I may keep hiring promo agencies to do my marketing. We'll see.
Then, the irony. Another lady from another promo service offered her promo services for free. I think she's trying to get publicity for her promo business. In spite of her services being free, she's been very helpful and she already showed me what her media  blitz is going to look like. Her blitz will be held the first week in October.

Needless to say, I'm super excited about both promos. Good or bad experience, I'll keep you posted.

So, until next week, keep working on your novel and take a minute to read mine, if you haven't already https://www.amazon.com/dp/1680583093/, and it would be great if you would write a review to help Amazon and Goodreads rate my novel at a level it is worth. The higher my ranking the more likely my book is to sell, and you can say you were a part of it.

Thanks to all of you for your support.
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Hi everyone.


Did you miss me? Being gone for two weeks makes for a long wait between my postings.

I just got a message from a man looking for help with his writing. Someone had referred him to me as thinking I could help him with his career. I felt inadequate as his writing goals seemed a lot higher than mine, but I tried to help and referred him to this posting.

However, by the time I wrote back to him, his message disappeared and I felt frustrated not being able to respond and maybe even help him. If this person was you, please contact me again, or comment below.


For today's post I though I would talk a little about characters. I for one, prefer to read about someone who feels real, verses cardboard characters.

So, how do we do that? Many novels are about magic or science fiction where the main character's only purpose is to save a world or something like that, but in the meantime we don't really get acquainted with the main character. In a book titled "How to Write Best-Selling Fiction," by Dean Koontz, he makes few comments that I feel are of value here. He says:

"Your lead character doesn't have to leap tall buildings in a single bound, and he doesn't have to stop speeding bullets with his bare hands, but he darn well better know the difference between right and wrong, and he better be kind to animals, and it sure wouldn't hurt any if he brushed his teeth regularly...

"If your heroine is a beautiful actress, a fine painter, and engineer, a cabinetmaker, a superb cook, a daring test pilot, a whiz at electronics, a doctor, a lawyer, and an Indian chief, don't you think you ought to humanize her at least to the extent of giving her a zit on the end of her nose?"

I know these sound a bit flippant, even humorous, but there's a lot of truth there. Your characters must be real if you expect to write "best-selling fiction."

So, how are your characters developing.

In my novel, "Bridgetown High," I tried my best to develop all the main characters, even to the point of going into the heads of Jeff Marino, the antagonist as well as Mark Wilkerson, the protagonist. I think I succeeded. Reviews of "Bridgetown High" have almost always been positive and one of the main things reviewers point out is the realism of the story and its characters.

So, until next week, keep working on your novel and take a minute to read mine, if you haven't already https://www.amazon.com/dp/1680583093/ and it would be great if you would write a review to help Amazon and Goodreads to rate my novel at a level it is worth. The higher my ranking the more likely my book is to sell, and you can say you were a part of it.

Thanks to all of you for making this effort a success.
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A wonderful high to all my great friends and family (er. that should be "hi" not "high). I'm sure most of you will understand, ha ha.

First, before I proceed,  I need to let you know that I won't be here next week. But keep checking and come back every week and even re-read some of my older posts so you can make fun of all my goofs, he he.


I saw an interesting discussion this last week on Goodreads. The title of the discussion was "Should life lessons be part of YA novels?" What do you think? Should they, or not? Have any of you thought about that in your writing? I have, and I think the answer is "yes," BUT!

A huge BUT here. If you are to do that, keep in mind, kids aren't stupid. They can usually see through the lesson material, so make sure you're not being preachy. Most kids are looking for answers to life's problems, especially their problems.

One commenter (me) offered the following: "In every novel I've read, and had any real impression on me, the main character (and possibly others) have had a life changing experience by the end of the novel. If it didn't, the book was meaningless.

That being said, the reader should be able to somehow identify with the main character(s) and gain a lesson vicariously.

In my novel, Bridgetown High," the main character "Mark" starts out hurt and angry. He wants to get revenge on the person who killed his family. By the end of the book, he learns who the killer is and it's like a rug was pulled out from under his feet. He doesn't know how to react.

That same commenter (me) also stated: "In almost every novel, there's a protagonist and an antagonist. Hopefully, by the end of the book, the protagonist overcomes s the antagonist and in that effort he/she learns something or grows as a result."

OK, so until two weeks from now, keep reading and writing, and 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 Everyone

I hope you're having a wonderful first part of summer. So far, here in Utah, it's been hot, but today was quite mild, mid-80s. But by Independence Day, it's supposed to bet up to near 100.

I apologize for not writing anything last week. It was a crazy week.

Anyway, today I want to ask you a question and get some feedback from you, all my faithful followers.

In my new novel that I'm calling, "The Bridge Beckons," I have 3 or 4 girls who are murdered. Of course I don't know who the murderer is, but I do know the victims. So, is it possible to write a scene from the viewpoint of the victim? Experience her being stalked in the dark by someone. Experience her being snatched. Experience her feeling the sharp blade to her neck....

What do you think? She died.
The main problem I see is how can she tell us about it if she's dead?

I hope you will add a comment to this blog post and let me know what you think. If you do, consider that you are helping to write a novel. I know you are probably doing that anyway, aren't you? Right?

So, until next week (I hope) 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 Gang,


How is your writing going?


I thought today I would talk about antagonists, or the bad guys and girls.


A lot of the time, I read stories that don't describe the antagonists beyond maybe facial features, body build, and maybe skin and hair color. They also usually give the antagonists a motive for why they are antagonists, but that's it.


While these things are important, there should be much more in depth descriptions. In my novel, BRIDGETOWN HIGH, I went into a lot of descriptions of Jeff Marino. I not only portrayed him as a bully, but also as a poor boy from the proverbial wrong side of the tracks, a boy with no family life, his mother works two jobs just to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads. He has only one friend, Bobby Baker, who tries to help. Jeff has one great passion, Genie Lombardi, a protagonist. He is in love with her and she becomes the reason he hates Mark Wilkerson (the main protagonist).

As the story unfolds, Jeff looses Bobby to a horrible accident (you'll have to read the book to find out how). I described in detail how he felt, how he mourned for his best friend, almost like a brother. He then goes through what I think is a metamorphosis. He begins to blame everyone he associated with, especially Mark. He even blames Genie who dumped him for Mark. In short, I describe what's going on in his mind, how he changes and wants revenge.


If you're serious about writing, take my advice when it comes to the antagonist. Get into his/her head to make him/her real, to come alive on the pages.

Good luck. I hope that encourages you, not discourages you. For me, writing is in my blood. I just can't quit. I hope my next novel, a sequel to BRIDGETOWN HIGH, will be as well written.
So, until next week,  as always, if you like this blog/message, please remember to "Share" and "Like"it on Facebook , and "Tweet" or "Retweet" it on Twitter. Then PLEASE, take five minutes to write a review and post it on Amazon. I need all the reviews I can get to make this book a success. 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 at Amazon. You can read some GREAT reviews of BRIDGETOWN HIGH on Amazon and Goodreads in case you need more info about my novel. Almost everyone who has read it, loved it.





(By-the-way, if you are reading this on my blog (www.paulwwest.com) the above blued words are clickable links. Just hold down the Control key and click on the blue words.)

See y'all next week, and happy writing.
Paul
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Hello, all my favorite boys and girls.

Are you ready for some more of my wisdom about writing?


Well, I don't know how much is wisdom and how much is desperation, ha ha.


When I began writing fiction, the first thing I did was go to the library to see what it had in the way of  helps. I searched the card catalog (this was before the spread of the internet) for "How to write" and found several great books on the subject. Books by Dean Koontz, Jack Bickham, Ronald Tobias, among others I can't recall right now. To me, the best was "How to Write Best Selling Fiction," by Dean Koontz. That may be the reason I quote him so much.


As I thought about a story line, I realized I needed to do some research. The first things I consulted, believe it or not, were my high school year books. Since I'd decided I wanted my novel to be set there, I wanted to make sure I described things as accurately as I could. Several of you have commented in your reviews how they could visualize the places and events I described in "Bridgetown High." Then, knowing I would likely portray kids with drugs, I did research into drug addiction and effects of taking mentamphetamines with alcohol. That research brought me to write one of the most dramatic scenes in the book, but it also let me know when I've overdone it.

Here is an exerpt of that scene. To give you a bit of lead up, Alan had bought meth and stole some beer for a drug party. Then he and Jeff, Genie, and Chris went for a joy ride across the Carquinez Bridge. There's more, but I have to keep something for you to wonder about, he he he. I also won't give you the outcome of this little chase scene, he he he. Enjoy!



“No! Bobby, no!” Chris yelled as Alan leaned over the steering wheel so Bobby could push the door open and get out.


Bobby didn’t answer. Then Genie saw the pistol in his hand.


“Bobby,” Chris screamed. “Where you get that?”
 
Chris grabbed Bobby’s shirt as he climbed out, “Bobby, No! Don’ do it. Get back in here!” Tears were streaming down Chris’s face as she tried to hold onto his shirt, but he pulled away from her. Then she screamed again, this time in Spanish.

“Bobby,” Genie screamed too. “Get back in here. You’re going to get hurt.” She wanted to say killed, but couldn’t bring herself to say it.



Horns blared as cars passed, barely brushing past Bobby and Alan’s open door. He dodged one car, then another, then dashed to the front of Alan’s car, then to the narrow sidewalk.


Chris reverted to English. “Bobby! In the name of God, get back in here. You acting crazy,” she yelled at him. “You loco man!” But he just stared down at the ship under the bridge. “You going get kill out there,” she kept yelling. “Please! Get back here. Oh, my God, Mother Mary, and Joseph!” Chris and Genie made the sign of the cross together.

“I got to see this too,” Jeff said, as he pushed Linda’s seat forward and climbed out to join his friend.

Genie dropped her face into her hands, forgetting for the moment her migraine. Then popping noises made her look up again. Bobby was shooting at the ship as more cars passed by, honking.


Alan rolled his window down and shouted, “Get in, quick! Cops are coming!”


Genie glanced behind them and saw the red flashing lights from an approaching squad car. Above the noise from the stereo, she could faintly hear the wail of its siren. She prayed the officer would stop them before somebody got hurt.

Jeff jumped back in next to Genie while Bobby ran back around the front of the car. As he darted to the door, another car passed at that same moment. Genie felt and heard the hard, dull thump, and she and Chris screamed as Bobby’s body hurtled into the air, into the path of another car.

Genie’s stomach wrenched as Bobby’s blood splattered across the windshields of both cars and his body bounced again on the pavement where another car screeched to a halt over his lifeless body.

Bobby’s gun slid across the freeway toward Alan’s car. He opened the car door to retrieve it and tossed it to Jeff. “Here. Hold on to it.”


Traffic on the northbound span came to a quick halt. Through her tears, Genie could see the highway patrol car struggling through the tangled traffic. Please hurry! she prayed.

Alan swore and stomped on the gas pedal, peeling rubber.


“Alan, stop!” Chris screamed, slapping the back of Alan’s head. “You leave Bobby. You can no leave him. Stop!”

“No way,” Alan said, ducking forward and swearing. “He’s dead. We got to get out of here before that cop gets us.”

At the toll booth at the end of the bridge, two black-and-white highway patrol cars waited with red lights flashing, ready to intercept Alan.

Alan swore again as he hit the brakes and spun a sharp left. He slid into the turn out before the toll plaza’s office building. It was designed for people to turn around if they’d gotten on the bridge by accident. Alan skidded on some loose gravel, then merged with the southbound traffic back to Crockett.

While Chris screamed, Genie glanced out the back window again. As she hoped, the officers had joined the chase.

Turning back to the front, she held on tight as Alan cut in-and-out of traffic again. He had a crazed look in his eyes.

The bridge, cars, and everything passed in a blur. Alan was going to kill all of them. Genie knew it.

All the while, Linda just stared out the front window, a blank expression on her face, while Chris screamed at Alan, in Spanish again.
 
Genie was too frightened to speak, or even scream. She knew Alan wasn’t in his right mind, and she struggled to keep bile from rising in her throat.

Jeff, bouncing in his seat, yelled, “Turn off, Al. I know a place we can hide in Crockett where they can’t find us.”

Alan cut across two traffic lanes in front of other cars that honked as he did, and veered off onto the exit.

The highway patrol cars were a half-mile behind them. Please hurry! she prayed again.

Alan and Jeff both swore and Genie looked back to the front. A county sheriff’s squad car was blocking the end of the off-ramp, a deputy stood beside the car with his gun in one hand, and a high-powered flashlight in the other. He aimed both it at Alan.


Alan targeted his car to the rear end of the squad car, like a demolition derby, and stomped on the gas pedal. “AAAAAHHHHH!” he screamed.

Genie dropped to the floor and Chris fell on top of her, still screaming in Spanish. This was it.

Genie felt a strong jolt and heard breaking glass and clashing metal. Unable to control it any longer, she vomited on the floor, then felt the car accelerate again. It wasn’t over.

Chris fell silent for a moment and sat back up.

Ignoring the sickening slime on her hands and chin, Genie crawled back to her seat, too.


The hood of Alan’s car was crumpled, but the collision hadn’t been enough to stop him.


Genie looked out the rear window as the squad car’s gas tank exploded, and the sheriff’s deputy ran from the flames.


Chris prayed her rosary in Spanish, and Genie decided a prayer wouldn’t hurt her either. Dear God, help! She couldn’t think of anything more to say, but kept repeating the words in her mind, genuflecting with each repetition.


So, did you enjoy that? There's more like that in the book, "Bridgetown High." Check it out.

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Hello to all my friends and family.


This week's post will be short. My work's computer caught a virus and died. It had been slowing down little by little until I called the doctor (techie) and after a lot of work in his part, he pronounced it dead.


So, no tears were shed when I was told I had to get a new computer. The new one is great. Much faster, a lot more memory (doubled, actually) and has the latest and greatest Windows operating system. The drawback is that I have to reinstall all my programs and settings. I have a lot of those things and after 3 days I still can't get a lot of them operating. So, with that in mind, I need to work on that instead of writing this blog post.


Sorry.

So, instead of writing about my writing, I'm going to post another review of Bridgetown High.

Enjoy!

Here's one I especially love. Love to laugh off, that is:

"Teen drama.
on January 1, 2017
"This is not what I was expecting, just teenage drama. You may like it, but I'm not wasting my time."
She gave me 1 star, ha ha ha. You got to love it.
So, until next week, keep working on your novel and take a minute to read mine, https://www.amazon.com/dp/1680583093/. Thanks.
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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 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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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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Hi to all my wonderful friends and family. I hope your writing is going well.

Today I thought I'd cover two of Dean Koontz's requirements for writing "Best Selling Fiction." Note that he didn't say "Selling Fiction," or just "Fiction." The advice in his book of that title should garner best sellingdom. However, inasmuch as he wrote this over 30 years ago, like many of us, he didn't foresee the internet and the concept of self-publication. Those just didn't happen back when he wrote his book. Still, a lot of what he wrote will always stand the test of time, and today's blog entry will show how some of what he wrote in his book is still true today.

3) "A hero or a heroine or both:
I suspect most of you will go "oh duh." Of course you will want a hero or a heroine or both, but back when Koontz wrote his book, those of academia thought such devices were the works of hacks, rather than true novelists and some may still feel that way. I think we writers today have overcome that phobia, however. Just make sure your hero/heroine is realistic. Get into his/her head, like I tried to do with my characters in Bridgetown High. A lot of the critiques written about my book commented on how realistic my characters seemed.



4) "Colorful, imaginative, and convincing characterizations.
I think this goes along with #3 as you want all of your characters to be at minimum convincing. In Bridgetown High I even got into the head of the antagonist, Jeff Marino. First, the town where most of this story takes place, Crockett, California, has a predominant population of Italian descent, so I made Jeff an Italian. I also made Genie Lombardi, the heroine, Italian too. However, Mark, with a surname of Wilkerson, is more of English descent. But that's just the beginning. Jeff is motivated to win Genie's love and I get into his head to show that, but Genie is motivated to win Mark's love, and I show that. There's also another triangle, Mark is torn between two girls, Genie and Charisse, the school's head cheerleader, and probably the most popular girl in school, and I get into her deep thoughts as well. But that's still now enough. Mark is suffering the loss of his family. I had to get deep into his head so the reader can feel what Mark feels. I even got deep into Jeff's head so the reader can feel what Jeff was feeling. And, so it went with all my main characters. I hope you get the idea and that will help you in your novel writing.

So, if you like what I've written here, you should like my book, "Bridgetown High." Then do me a favor and get a copy of Bridgetown High and write a nice, 5-STAR review and post it on my Amazon page and/or Goodreads page, and I wish you happy writing of your own "Best Selling Fiction."

Thanks for reading this and I'll have more next week, God willing.
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Hi again to all my faithful followers.

Today I thought I'd delve into the second of Dean Koontz's suggestions for writing a good novel:

2) "a great deal of action."




Can you ever think of reading a novel that is full of hearts and flowers? After about the second page your reader is going, "ho mum. What's the point?"


No, a successful novel needs action, some excitement. A lot of literary novels shun action, but how many people read their stuff?


Koontz goes on to explain you need a villain, or antagonist if you will, plus a hero or heroine, or protagonist. That, then, emphasizes the need for a plot which we discussed last week to help the protagonist solve his/her terrible trouble. Literary novels seldom have a plot, again making them boooorrrriiiiinnnnnggg. By pitching an antagonist against a protagonist you build tension and excitement with lots of action.

I hope these writing tips help. Next week I'll give you more suggestions that I hope will make your fiction writing more exciting and, hopefully, salable. Until then, if you like this blog, or even more, my book, "Bridgetown High" do me a favor and write a 5-STAR review and post it on my Amazon page. It should only take 5 or 10 minutes. You can find my book at www.bridgetownhigh.com.

Also, to see some of the great reviews for Bridgetown High, go to my Amazon site: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1680583093/ref=cm_sw_su_dp, or my Goodreads site at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26873370-bridgetown-high?from_search=true

Thanks for following me. See ya'll next week.

Paul W. West, Author
Bridgetown High
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A warmer "hi" to all my friends and family, even if you don't think you're my friend, you are. The weather here in Utah has been delightful, actually a bit too warm -- record breaking.


Over the past few weeks I've only given you quick and dirty advice about your writing. So, today I thought I'd get back to the basics and give you some of the solid advice I learned from Dean Koontz several years ago in his book, "How to Write Best Selling Fiction" (1972). It's a great book on the art and mechanics of writing best selling fiction. If you can find a copy (maybe in your local library???) get it. It's a bit dated, copyrighted in 1972, and went through a third printing in 1984. He wrote this a long time before the self-publishing craze we're currently going through. Still I think it's got a lot of good advice for writers today, advice that kept me going when I felt like giving up when I was writing Bridgetown High.


In Chapter 2, pages 13 - 14 of his book, he summarizes what makes for "Best Selling" fiction, and I think these bits of advice still apply. He says, "The average reader demands eight things of a novel:
1) a strong plot; 2) a great deal of action; 3) a strong hero, or a heroine, or both; 4) colorful, imaginative, and convincing characterizations; 5) clear, believable character motivations; 6) well-drawn backgrounds; 7) at least some familiarity with the rules of English grammar and syntax - the more familiarity the better, of course; 8) 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."

Today, I'll only touch on one of these 8 items. I mean, if it took Koontz a whole hardback book to cover them, there's not way I can do more than one in this short blog. I don't pretend to think I can do any one of them true justice in this blog, but I will touch on my thoughts.

1) "a strong plot."

What makes for a strong plot? You can't believe how many of today's novels lack a strong plot. This is especially true of self-published novels, and why they might not interest an agent or traditional publisher. Frankly, I have difficulty reading such novels. They just don't draw me in.

A strong plot incorporates most of the other basics Koontz listed. I always go to my plotting advice where you need to have your main character (MC) in some kind of "terrible trouble," as Koontz calls it, beginning on page 1, paragraph 1, if possible. That way the reader begins to care for the MC from the first page. Then, as the MC tries to get out of trouble, their troubles only get worse. That is the beginning of your plot. I always try to write the ending right after I write paragraph 1. The reason for this is to focus your writing toward solving the MC's terrible troubles. You can certainly have sub-plots, and they help to make the story richer, but they all need to be resolved before you type, "The End."

I'll try to get to the other of Koontz's advice next week. Until then, if you like this blog, or even more, my book, "Bridgetown High" do me a favor and write a 5-STAR review and post it on my Amazon page. It should only take 5 or 10 minutes. You can find my book at www.bridgetownhigh.com.




Also, to see some of the great reviews for Bridgetown High, go to my Amazon site: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1680583093/ref=cm_sw_su_dp, or my Goodreads site at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26873370-bridgetown-high?from_search=true

See ya'll next week.

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High to all my family and friends.


This past week has been a very busy one. So, I thought I'd ask what do you want me to tell you about the writing world.



There's so much to talk about, and over the past 30+ years I've learned a thing or two or three. So, contact me with some ideas of how I can help you in your quest to become an author. Like I said in earlier postings, I'm doing this blog to help you see what I have gone through to become a published author, and now all I'm going through to get my book to sell. The two ain't the same, believe me. I'm struggling to learn what to do just to get my book noticed. That ain't easy either. My publisher has done a great job of printing, editing, designing cover art, and promoting it to Amazon, Goodreads, and Barnes&Noble, etc. There are other outlets they've used to sell my book, but I can't remember what they are.

Now, I'm still trying to get reviews. The ones some of you have done for me are great and I truly appreciate them. I have a rating of 4.2 STARS on Amazon and 4.5 STARS on Goodreads. I'm learning, however, that the more reviews you get on Amazon, Goodreads,  and Barnes&Noble, and the more "Likes" and "Shares" you get on Facebook the more likely you are to sell books. "Likes" let Amazon know how popular the book is on their site. "Shares" let your "Friends" know it's for sale and any other bits of information like this blog post. By the way, if you want to read the great reviews Bridgetown High has garnered so far go to this Amazon site: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1680583093/ref=cm_sw_su_dp or on Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26873370-bridgetown-high?from_search=true

So, if you like my book, "Bridgetown High" do me a favor and write a 5 STAR review and post it on my Amazon page.

Until next week, be thinking of what you'd like me to discuss about the writing profession and I'll try to answer as best I can.

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