EVERYONE WANTS TO BE AN AUTHOR

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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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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, April 27, 2017

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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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Hello "EVERYONE." After reading my blog messages, do you still want to be an "AUTHOR?" I hope so. It's an exciting journey. Often frustrating, but even if you never get published, it's a rewarding experience.


For those of you who are new to following me and who I am, I wrote the selling novel, Bridgetown High. Today, I thought I'd tell a little bit about the novel and maybe encourage you in your writing, that if I could write and get published by a traditional publisher, maybe you can too.

BRIDGETOWN HIGH is a suspenseful look at how conditions were in the mid-1960s. The Vietnam War, drugs, alcohol, teen romance, first loves, etc. A lot has changed sine then, but in the long run not much has really changed if you compare both eras.


It's a story about Seventeen year old Mark Wilkerson who has no memory of the fiery crash that killed his family on the Carquinez Bridge in the San Francisco Bay Area. Now living with his grandmother and burdened with guilt that he may have helped to cause the accident, Mark vows to find the hit-and-run driver and take his revenge. But, the only detail he remembers is round taillights swerving in front of his family’s car. He is shocked when he notices that Jeff Marino's car, has identical taillights—and a suspicious dent in his rear fender. Jeff Marino is the school's bully. Now Mark wants revenge more than ever… On the other hand, Jeff believes Mark is an anti-Vietnam War activist like Mark's cousin Gary and despises him for it. To make matters worse, when Jeff’s girlfriend, Genie Lombardi, dumps him for Mark, it kicks Jeff’s hatred for him to a dangerous new level. Lies and threats escalate, until drugs and alcohol, and a shocking death, send Jeff over the edge and his campaign to get Genie back, any way he can, turns violent. When Mark’s memory starts to return, it leads to a terrifying confrontation between Mark and Jeff. Will Mark finally prove the identity of the guilty driver? Or will he and Genie become one more tragedy associated with the Carquinez Bridge?

This book took me quite a long time to write, edit, re-edit, re-re-edit, and once more, edit. I actually tossed in the garbage can several times, but I still believed in it and just couldn't just let it rest. Finally, after hundreds of agent rejections, I found Limitless Publishing who was willing to publish BRIDGETOWN HIGH. I can't say they will publish your novel, but it's worth a try. I'm willing to review your book, if you want, and decide whether or not to recommend your book to them.

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, 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. 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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 Hi everyone, that includes you if you're reading this, ha ha.

Today, I thought I'd share with you an experience I had the last couple of days on Facebook. My sweet sister (and I mean that truthfully) posted the following note on my timeline:

"Truly can't wait to see everyone's response...I think it will be interesting to see how we are all connected. Since life is not only made of photos, I'm going to get into the game called "a reunion of friends." The idea is to see who reads a post without a picture. So, if you are reading this message, make a comment using a single word about how we met. After that, copy this message on your wall and I will also leave you a word. Please, don't leave a word and then not bother to copy the text. You'll ruin the fun."


So, as instructed, I copied and pasted her note on my Facebook timeline just to see what would happen. I didn't expect much. I mean, after all, who wants to admit they know a poor author? What transpired after that was truly amazing. I heard from true friends and relatives I haven't heard from in years. I had no idea they were following me. Go ahead to my Facebook page and see what happened. Go ahead and post something more there if you wish. I'd love to hear from you even if we've never met in person. I even made contact, somehow, with the John Swett High School Library (where I went to school, see photo). I found friends I hadn't heard from since high school.

I just hope that will translate into sales.

Go ahead and start your own chain. Follow the instructions my sister sent me. It's fun, and I got a lot of free publicity for BRIDGETOWN HIGH, he he he.

Okay. 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 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. Almost everyone who has read it, loved it.

(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 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
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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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