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;
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.

About Paul West

Paul West is a freelance writer and novelist. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Paul claims to be a "Prune Picker," though he now makes his home in Taylorsville, Utah.

You can follower him on Twitter: @PaulWWest

Published: Thursday, February 16, 2017

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