THE EXCITING JOURNEY OF Writing
a Fictional Book
"IT'S A LUXURY BEING A WRITER, BECAUSE ALL YOU EVER THINK ABOUT IS LIFE."
One night last week I was editing my next book, "Layers of Deceit," a crime novel. I had written a scene where detectives have been called in because a body had been discovered in an apartment fire under suspicious circumstances. The first draft had the detectives questioning a man as the body was being brought out on a stretcher.
Then I wondered if I had made a mistake. I had.
If a body is found and foul play is suspected a special arson investigator is called to the scene. I ended up adding a scene where the arson investigator along with the homicide detective examine the charred body in a burned out bedroom.
What happened? It enriched the story even though it was a grizzly couple of paragraphs. It enriched the dialog and the story because one of the detectives immediately suspected the boyfriend who denied the accusation. The other detective wasn't so sure. HENCE: Conflict
What did I do? I went on The Web via the Internet and typed; "What is procedure if a body is found in an arson?" The results led me to an online Forensics Magazine and gave me the information I needed to enhance the scene, the characters, improve the dialog, and the story.
For those of us who are still Neanderthal's as I am with regards to the information highway let me help those people specifically. There is The Internet and then there is The World Wide Web.
The Internet is a massive network of networks, a networking infrastructure. It connects millions of computers together globally, forming a network in which any computer can communicate with any other computer as long as they are both connected to the Internet. Information that travels over the Internet does so via a variety of languages known as protocols.
The World Wide Web, or simply Web, is a way of accessing information over the medium of the Internet. It is an information-sharing model that is built on top of the Internet. The Web uses the HTTP protocol, only one of the languages spoken over the Internet, to transmit data. Web services, which use HTTP to allow applications to communicate in order to exchange business logic, use the the Web to share information. The Web also utilizes browsers, such as Internet Explorer or Firefox, to access Web documents called Web pages that are linked to each other via hyperlinks. Web documents also contain graphics, sounds, text and video.
Every writer I know is constantly going through " a process," in which they are growing and improving their craft. For me, this is book number six. Personally, an improvement over my first book published eighteen months ago.
I wrote the outline of this upcoming book first and left it alone for several months. When I revisited the story I wrote the story, 51,000 words in two months. Walked away and now after publishing two other books I have begun editing and refining the story.
Any question I have I turn to my research library, The Web, and usually find the answers I need. If you are not using it, please do so. It is a massive amount of information at your fingertips. As a writer it is invaluable.
I would not be exaggerating when I say you could write a whole novel with just ten questions. Go ahead, think of a story and ask ten questions and then go to the Web. (Examples: Settings, names of characters, time periods, personality traits, procedures, weapons and tools, clothing styles, weather, inventions, science fiction.) The list, as we all know, could easily be five times that number.
I write fiction not "How To," books. That means my audience wants to be entertained, which means I am a constant work in progress attempting to deliver the best stories I can write. I think of myself as entertainer working the small clubs. This is where we learn the most.
The beginning while we are struggling.
#The Internet,# The World Wide Web,#research library,#Writing fiction,#Writing,#Arson Investigation,#Become a writer,
“To all the talented young men, (I substitute people), who wander about feeling that there is nothing in the world for them to do, I should say: 'Give up trying to write, and, instead, try not to write.
Go out into the world; become a pirate, a king in Borneo, a laborer in Soviet Russia; give yourself an existence in which the satisfaction of elementary physical needs will occupy almost all your energies.'
I do not recommend this course of action to everyone, but only to those who suffer from the disease which Mr Krutch diagnoses.
I believe that, after some years of such an existence, the ex-intellectual will find that in spite of his or her efforts they can no longer refrain from writing, and when this time comes their writing will not seem to them futile.”
As one's life marches forward in time, it fills up with a library full of experiences. Some good and some not, however, each one is a story. What better research than to write about something experienced firsthand.
It could be something as simple as a family outing buying their first dog or a day at the beach. It could also be an experience of hiking and becoming lost in the wilderness, shipwrecked, breakups, first dates, love, hate, disappointment, training for a marathon, or war, dealing with illness, college life, corporate life, afterlife, panning for gold, risking it all on one roll of the dice.
The list is endless. Even when you think have nothing to write about how many people have you met in your life? Ask questions, listen to their stories.
I once talked to a Homicide Detective, and it was fascinating. I listened to a man who has been in the United States for less than ten years, emigrating from the Middle East. His first job was five miles from his where he lived and because he needed money to take care of his family, to save, he walked to and from work six day's week, every week for one year. Most of the time during the night to get to work at 6 AM. I knew a woman once who was a successful stage entertainer and now works in an office as a bookkeeper.
Everyone that you meet has memories, both sweet and bitter. As a writer it is your job to tell those stories, whether fiction or non-fiction.
Of course the longer you're walking around the more you experience. When you sit in front of your computer and think you have nothing to write, read stories on the Internet.
Filter through the "fake news" or not, but never think you have nothing to write about.
THE ONLY REAL WAY TO BECOME A WRITER IS TO WRITE
#Bertrand Russell,#imagination,#writer's block,#live life,#life's stories,#short stories,#dream,#Possibilities
"My Best Friend Is," consists of two short stories about best friends. Stories about sharing and discovery. Laughter and tears. I wrote about times in young lives in both Jamison and Joey, when a hike becomes a big adventure, and in Three Strikes, baseball becomes more than a game for young Eddy.
Below the first chapter of Jamison and Joey. The book will be available on November 1st.
JAMISON AND JOEY
Today began like any other summer day at the farm. However, Joey did not want, like any other summer day at the farm. Not today. He sat on the lowest step of the wooden porch occasionally looking up for any sign of Jamison. In this position to ease his mind, he picked up a couple of pebbles from the ground and absentmindedly tossed them back in the dirt.
This morning Joey got dressed and was out of the house early. He finished his daily chores, ate his breakfast, and now sat on the porch waiting impatiently for his close friend.
"Where can he be, Jamison is usually here by now," murmured Joey to himself, craning his neck hoping to spot his best friend. Today boredom would disappear because Jamison and Joey would have a great adventure, at least, according to Joey's plans. Joey knew of only one person in the whole world he could share a great adventure with, his friend Jamison.
He looked up and smiled. He knew the day would be great. Off in the distance coming up the road was Jamison. Of course, it was at Jamison's own leisurely pace, and as usual, he was daydreaming. Joey's friend was off somewhere, lost in his thoughts, his imagination taking him to places others seldom explored. For Jamison, castles, jungles, wild animals, and hostile worlds were normal.
Earl, Jamison's father, worked on the farm with Joey's father and friend Michael Cody. Often Earl Longman, not one for daydreaming, would scold his son and accuse Jamison of wasting far too much time thinking of nonsense. However, Jamison’s grandmother was the young boy's biggest ally. She always defended and encouraged her grandson to have big thoughts and far bigger dreams.
Today would be a beautiful day if the morning were a good barometer. The summer sky was awash in the deepest bluest color Joey had ever seen. The only exception, a pair of small clouds lazily drifted across the otherwise seamless blue sky.
They were floating together over the tall mountains towards Lightning Lake.
Joey saw this as a sign. Two clouds beckoning the two young explorers. On this warm perfect day the boys, like Greek sailors, would follow the wispy call of the Sirens. Their adventure would take them up over those same mountains to Lightning Lake.
Joey had it all planned in his head. It would take two hours to reach the mountaintop, leaving them three hours of exploration time around the lake, and another two hours to return, just in time for dinner. The plan was perfect, and he knew Jamison would think so too.
“Hey Jamison, how you doin,” asked Joey, as Jamison came within earshot of his friend.
“Hi Joey, doin okay how about you? Hi Mr. Cody, how are you?”
“Hi Jamison, I’m fine thanks.”
“Jamison, your father’s out by the barn if you need to see him.”
“Thanks, Mr. Cody, but I’ll see him later. I was up early and had breakfast with him before he came over here today and I’ll go home with him tonight.”
As Jamison reached the porch, Joey grabbed his friend and pulled him up the three wooden stairs. "Hey, why are you grabbing me," asked Jamison, but Joey was so excited he ignored Jamison's question. He could hardly wait to tell his best friend his idea.
“Do you know what we’re going to do today Jamison,” he whispered.
“No, but I hope it’s fun.”
Barely able to contain his enthusiasm Joey pulled Jamison off to the side, away from the opened front door. “We're going to have an adventure, a big adventure! We're going to hike to Lightning Lake.”
At first, the statement did not register with Jamison, but when it did, he looked at Joey and said in disbelief, “Are you crazy, we can’t do that. You know my dad won't let me do that, and yours won't either. Do they know? No, Joey, the idea is too crazy. Do you know how long it will take? What if we get lost, no, let’s do something else, something safer.”
"Shhh, not so loud," said Joey squeezing his friend's arm.
"Ouch, that hurts."
"Jamison, I've got it all planned out. If we leave in fifteen minutes and go straight there, we’ll be back before the sun goes down. We have to do this Jamison, it'll be the greatest adventure of the summer. Heck, school starts in two weeks, and we haven't done anything great during the summer. If we don't do it, soon we'll be too old."
"Joey, we're only ten. Why would you say that?"
"It's what I hear grown-ups saying when they want to do something. Please, you’re my best friend and who better than you. C'mon you know I'm right, and you want to do this with me. What if we go up there and find gold?"
"What if we go up there and find Indians or ghosts?"
Together, the two small boys stood on the porch and staring up at the tall mountains. One squeezing the porch rail with fear and apprehension, the other rubbing his front legs with excitement of the upcoming adventure.
"What if we find gold up there, come back with it, and give it to our folks," said Joey. How can they be mad if we bring back lots of gold? Jamison, if you had a kid, and he came back with gold, and gave it all to you would you be mad?"
"No, I wouldn’t be mad I’d be happy."
"That's right, if you were a parent you would be happy and ours will too."
"Okay, but what about food, we’re going to get hungry?"
Joey raised his hand, signaling for Jamison to stay put, and went inside his house, only to return seconds later carrying a backpack and two canteens.
Jamison rolled his eyes and said, “You had this planned, didn’t you? I don’t know Joey,” having second thoughts.
Joey stepped closer to Jamison and said, “You’re my best friend, and I thought you would be as excited as I am. The two of us climbing the mountain and finding buried treasure. C'mon, isn't that exciting?”
"If we don't bring back gold, I can only imagine how excited my dad will be."
Joey's friend thought for a long moment before replying, "You’re my best friend too, and yes it would be exciting to bring back gold, but I don't know. My dad and grandma could sure use it. Okay, but you have to promise we'll be home before dinnertime."
"Of course, I promise."
Jamison thought for another moment, then smiled and said, "Okay let’s do it."
Joey's face lit up then just as quickly became serious as he glanced past Jamison.
"Shhh," Joey sounded.
"Stop shushing me."
Joey swiftly looked around to make sure no one was listening to their conversation. Like all great explorers, the two boys shook hands and began making preparations.
"We can leave now everything we need is in that bag."
Jamison said, “Before we go let me use the bathroom.”
He left Joey standing on the porch mapping out the detail of their journey in his mind. Jamison entered Joey’s home, said hello to Mrs. Cody, and headed for Joey’s bedroom, not the bathroom. Minutes later Jamison walked out of his friend's bedroom, said goodbye to Joey’s mother and returned to where Joey was waiting.
"Ready to go," asked Joey.
"Let's go," said Jamison.
Together the two ten-year-old boys set off for the lake. Suddenly Jamison's father, a medium-sized muscular man walked out from the barn and shouted, "What are you two boys up to?"
Joey answered first, "We're just going up to the tree line Mr. Longman, just exploring that's all."
Jamison's father said firmly, "You boys come back here; I want to talk to both of you. Still got work needs to be done and you two can help. Joey, you need to help your father more around this farm."
Indecisive, both boys stood looking down at the ground hoping to find an answer hidden in the dirt. Mr. Longman's voice was rigid when he next spoke, "Now I know you boys have ears because I can see them. And I know they work, because you stopped moving and even replied to me when I first spoke to you. Now, I bet you can make those legs work too because I want both of you to march over to me, right now."
Hearing voices outside, Laura Cody appeared at the front door to see about all of the commotion. Softly pushing open the screen door she stepped out and watched the two boys drift slowly back to Jamison's father.
With a mother's instinct, she asked, "Hey boys, Earl, what's going on?"
"The boys here are going gallivanting, while there's still work needs to get done. I'm helping Michael, but an extra two helpers wouldn't hurt."
Compassionately, Laura looked on as the two boys walked towards Earl, heads down as though too heavy for their shoulders. She stepped further out onto the porch and looked up at the sky. She closed her eyes as the sun's warmth kissed her skin and took a deep breath of the fresh morning air. It felt as pure as a winter's snow surrendering to a new spring. For a long moment, Laura allowed her imagination to drift to another time.
In a sweet and melodic voice she said, "You know Earl, look at all of this. What a beautiful day, don't you think so boys?"
Joey and Jamison stopped in their tracks and glanced at each other. Joey smiled, "It sure is mom it's a great day." Captivated by the weather and the mountainous scenery there in her front yard, Laura smiled back and asked, "Now what would you two boys do on a day like today?"
"We're going to the tree line to explore, maybe find some old Indian arrows or something."
Earl sensed what was happening and tried to put an end to the conversation, "There are no Indian arrows up there, boy's there's nothing but trees and a steep mountain."
Ignoring Earl, Laura said, "Indian arrows, wow that sounds exciting. Better than chores which you'll do tomorrow won't you?"
The two young boy's faces lit up, the corners of their mouths turned upwards, their eyes brightened. The mayor of the town just gave her blessings.
"Yes, we'll do chores tomorrow."
Laura looked over at Earl who rolled his eyes. He knew he'd been outmaneuvered.
"Tomorrow okay with you Earl?"
Accepting defeat Earl says, "Spoiling over responsibility. Doesn't look like I have much of a choice Laura, but it will be chores tomorrow, all day. We'll start right after breakfast, and there’ll be no complaining."
"We promise, chores tomorrow and no complaining," chimed both boys.
"Be home before dark, and be careful," said Laura as she glanced over at Earl.
Joey and Jamison both replied, "We'll be careful," as they marched off to their adventure.
End of Chapter 1
#friendship,#best friends,#safe harbor,#meaning of friendship,#my best friend is
If as a writer there comes a time when you think you have nothing to write about, I am sorry to say you are mistaken. First push the button inside your brain that is your imagination, then read the headlines in the news.
There are a thousand fictional stories mixed in those headlines almost each day.
Case in point, my book Remain Alive is a science fiction story about Artificial Intelligence, its taking over the world and destroying mankind. AI is the future that is without a doubt. I read an article last year that predicted by the year 2035 the world would no longer use hard currency.
I thought about it and wrote the following two paragraphs , which are in Chapter 1.
I know, I know. A bit ominous, but my post continues. You're probably asking what has this to do with price of bananas. Nothing, except today October 15, 2017 I came across this headline and subsequent small article from Yahoo Finance.
Brittany Jones-Cooper Thu, Oct 12 12:59 PM PDT Yahoo Finance
These countries have gone mostly cashless
They say that cash is king, but newer and more convenient payment methods are gunning for the crown.
These days, more and more countries are adopting cashless payments, which includes credit card purchases, contactless payments, mobile banking apps and digital options like Apple Pay. To see which countries were adopting cashless the quickest, Forex, a global travel site, conducted a study comparing 20 of the world’s largest economies.
In the report, Canada was singled out as the country most embracing cashless technology, which could be attributed to its population changing attitudes that began several years ago. A recent survey in May found that 50% of Canadians are ready to get rid of banknotes and coins. While a 2013 MasterCard survey found 90% of the total value of consumer payments in Canada were made through non-cash methods.
My two paragraphs seem to be two decades too late, events may happen sooner than I wrote about.Is it something to be concerned about?
Perfection –the highest degree of proficiency, skill, or excellence. For most of us mortals it is an unattainable goal. Why?
Who amongst us would we trust to tell us what is perfect or what is not?
Why all this gibberish you ask? Because when it comes to writing a novel, most of us flounder looking for the elusive creature known as “Perfectos Maximos.”
This creature is extremely rare and impossible to catch. If you do find one and touch the head of Perfectos Maximos it can and will destroy your creativity. How and why you ask?
Perfectos Maximos does not exist except in our minds.
Writing is an art. It takes time and constant practice. No one ever reaches perfection in their writing. Perfection is a mystery, the Fountain of Youth, Shangri La.
Writing novels are different from "How to," or "Self Help," books. Subjects I know nothing about nor do I care to. I'm a storyteller, plus my whole life I always chose the harder road. Maybe one day I'll change, but I doubt it.
The creativity begins inside of you. "I have a story," you say, but I ask, "Do you have the desire to write that story?"
Will you sabotage that desire by telling yourself, "It's not that good?"
Accept the fact that you are you going to make mistakes. Once you understand that important piece of the map, begin.
But you hesitate and say, "I want it to be perfect."
Do you mean that you want no misspelled words, a clear story line, interesting characters, interesting dialog, a story so compelling the reader could not put it down?" Is that what you are looking for? Those are just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more to learn.
This post is not to dissuade you from writing but to encourage you to start. I read these few words recently and they say everything you need to remember. Burn these into your psyche and never forget.
Don't over think your craft — simply trust your ability
Every author who has come before has a story about the trials and tribulations of how they became novelists. Read their biographies, but above all read their novels. Two at a time. That way you can compare styles.
Find a couple of good books on, "How to Write a Novel," and read those simultaneously. One I like, "How to Grow a Novel-Sol Stein," is very good.
Write your story as you are reading those books because you will re-write it at least two more times.
Above everything else, you must be patient with yourself. In time the transformation will emerge and your writing will improve.
#writing,#how to write a novel,#how to become a successful writer,#how to author a book,#how to grow a novel
I think Muhammad Ali, the great boxer, said it best: "Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything."
Creating interesting characters for stories takes practice. All writers, even the best, look for ways to improve.
Stop and think about what makes an interesting character. Consider the people you have met or know. A favorite uncle and his boring wife, your aunt. Are there people you envy, and why? People you despise, why?
Look at those around you as characters in a book and embellish their personalities. Mom is a good cook. She is meticulous about the ingredients of each dish she makes, the preparation, the cooking utensils she uses.
Create a character who is a struggling chef in a restaurant.
The chef is too busy to go to the farmers market for tonight's patrons, one a famous person, but sends his trusted assistant. The food and the assistant never arrive back at the restaurant. The night is a disaster.
How would the chef act? What would he or she say? What happened to the assistant and would the chef's meticulous mannerisms be important to the rest of the story? Do you introduce another character to help or hinder the main character?
Would one build a house without a foundation? Of course not. Could you build a story based on the example of the chef? Without the chef's particular characteristics what good would the plot or story be?
The writer Graham Greene once wrote.
I agree, once the character takes hold you become an observer.
If you need help on how to build and create characters there are hundreds of books and articles about the subject, which I have several.
One I found was quite simple and helpful, and it's free. Here is the link creating a character.
Writing fiction takes practice. Developing interesting and believable characters is part of the process.
We're Writers-We See the World Differently
A pedestrian walks down a busy street with one thought. "I must arrive at my destination."
A writer walks down the same busy street with many thoughts.
"Who lives and works behind those doors.
Fifty years ago. Fifty years from now.
What monsters lurk in the shadows.
An unnoticed nickle on the ground.
A window, a table, two chairs, a couple falling in love.
A lone soul, hands in pocket, head down, shoulders bent, everything lost.
A boy and his scruffy dog running down an alleyway. Bumper to bumper traffic, anger, happiness, laughing, yelling."
To a writer, every thing they observe is a prop for their stories.
#writers,#imagination,#stories,#character development,#building a character,#character,#plot
I remember as a child what friendship meant. It was special, irritating, fun, and crazy. The smallest events were big adventures.
Our imaginations ran unchecked. We were living life. As a child, friendship seemed so simple and authentic. Do you ever think back and remember your childhood and that special friend? Children have a magical way of often teaching us the importance and meaning of friendship.
I personally believe these two stories treat true friendship with the love and caring it deserves.
My next book, due out late October is actually two short stories.
They both deal with young friendship. The first story, "Jamison and Joey", two ten year old boys, takes place on a farm in Wyoming.
Bored with the final weeks of summer the two of them set out to have an adventure. What awaits them at Lightning Lake will test their friendship far more than either bargained for.
The other story is called "Three Strikes." It is about selflessness and sacrifice. It reminds us what a true friend is.
#friendship,#short story,#writing,#children,#sacrifice,#true friendship
Hours, days, weeks, and months have been spent creating your latest piece of fiction. It has been edited, the cover has been designed, and you are now ready to publish.
Off you you go! To great personal fanfare your book is now on the virtual shelf of one or many ebook platforms. You have told your friends and relatives and they have been supportive, but what about the public? You know, the stranger, the potential fan of your work.
They are the ones that you have written for. Someone sitting in a cafe or at the beach reading your work. But how did they find you? What did you do that out of the millions of fictional works in the marketplace they bought your book?
I don't know about you, but after spending well over a year on writing the last book I was exhausted. Physically drained.
It doesn't stop there, in fact it never stops. After you have published one needs to go into the other room and put on their marketing hat.
No longer the dreamer you are now the business maven. You sit at your desk with a cigar hanging from your mouth. Your job- make your book a star!
There are only so many customers out there and you want your fare share. After all the work you have put into it don't you think you deserve it? You need a plan.
Today I came across this article written by Diana Urban that I believe is very helpful in the marketing department. This part of the process can be overwhelming, and often is.
After writing the outline of your book and once you are confident that it is a story worth writing take some time and also outline your marketing plan right then and there.
If you are like most independent authors you will be doing it all. Think of yourself as business, your products are the stories you write. As time goes by the more product you have to sell the more profitable your business becomes.
Check this article out it's time well spent.
119 Book Marketing Ideas That Can Help Authors Increase SalesSEPTEMBER 6, 2017 by DIANA URBAN
#marketing your book, #book marketing,#diana urban,#writing a novel,#find your audience, #build your fan base