Showing posts from June, 2015

Sometimes I Need to Take my Own Advice

On Saturday, I attended a "Meet The Local Authors Book Fair" at the Castro Valley Library. It was probably my first official public appearance as an author. Yes, I sold some books and no, I am not ready to retire on my laurels. While I won't get rich off my royalties from this affair, the Book Fair was a success on a number of levels. I got out of my comfort zone and met a lot of other writers, readers, and I talked about my book in terms of making it interesting. I also have a key phrase that seems to attract people. "The series is a detective mystery and adventure circa 1930s." That single line seemed to interest the most people. One young reader asked if I was alive then. No, I wasn't. My intention is to look into activities that other libraries in the area are up to and see where I can be of assistance, and, of course, get myself out in front of readers. That is the first piece of advice I need to follow. I have an event on July 18, it is a book

When is an Outline Not an Outline?

When it is a novel. And when is a novel not a novel? When it is an outline. We were all taught how to outline. You started with roman numerals, and subheadings were capital letters and the next subheading... Enough already, outlining is about telling a story. For me it is writing fiction, though it used to be about documentation. I need to tell a story, not build a structure. I write a chapter heading, I don't care for chapter numbers, but you do what makes it work for you. Then you tell a story. Jonas Watcher: The Case of the Jade Dragon. An Incident at Union Station Jonas sees a Chinese couple attacked outside the Train. He Grabs hi colt and exits his cabin for the corridor. He meets the conductor in the corridor who reminds him he needs to be back on the train in half an hour. He exits the train. No one to be seen. Jason searches and finds the couple and three attackers. (Be There) The last item, "Be There" in parenthesis is  from the "Writer

After Enlightenment, More Writing

The course is designed to be followed from front to back, view the video, use the workbook, do the assignments, repeat.  This is not a bad thing. It doesn't work for me, but it is not a bad thing. If you are truly a beginning student, then you should follow the process. Me, I am a pain in the ass. What is actually great about this course is that I do not have to follow the process. I will view the videos, I will work the workbook, and I will participate in the comments section, and I will follow along with facebook, but I am in the middle of writing a book, and while I need to obey the process for the development of the book, I need to write, and learn and follow the assignments as I need to follow the assignments. I am not skipping the videos, and for the most part I am following the assignments, but I am also outlining my book and working on writing other things. This process is working for me so I hope the end result will be a book worthy of being a number one seller. Actual

The Easy Part is Over

The first five lessons of the Writers Master Class by James Patterson are pretty basic, except that you get his insight which is pretty valuable. If you have ever taken a writing class then these will be familiar to you. Rather than list the lessons for you I will simply provide the link to the Master Class Lessons 6 and 7 are about outlining and James Patterson provides his outline to "Honeymoon". One may argue that if you see one outline, you have seen them all, but one must remember this man has made a lot of money writing, so he may have some material worth studying. The Outline is fascinating, but more to the point is the outline development. His key mantra here is "tell the story". So here I sit looking at a book I am pretty much familiar with, the one I am writing, not his. I have a sort of outline, but after seeing the one he has for "Honeymoon" I can see that if I take the time to develop a really good outline then the book will be better.

James Patterson Writer's Master Class is not the Famous Writers School

And that is a good thing. Photo of James Patterson by Rebecca Bortman There are similarities, and I guess that would be true of any writing class that is worth anything. The good part of the James Patterson class is that you actually feel he is talking to you as a student in the classroom. The assignments I have seen before, but when you apply James Patterson's presentation along with that assignment you realize that it isn't only an assignment, but it is a way for you to actually develop whatever project you are working upon. The third lesson is about "Raw Ideas". I am not giving anything away here, you can go to the website and see the entire lesson plan. Constructing any raw idea isn't new, but he does provide some additional assistance if you are having a problem coming up with one. Foe me the advantage is that I have the raw idea for my third book, the title is "The Case of the Jade Dragon". Here is what I wrote: Jonas Watcher: The Cas

Is James Patterson's Master Class Worth the Price of Admission?

In my early twenties, I purchased a course in writing from the "Famous Writers School". I could ill afford it at the time, but my wife supported my decision and we paid the money and I received the materials. Famous Writers? I did pretty good in the beginning, I received positive feedback and useful critics. Unfortunately, there was an assignment I just couldn't get my head wrapped around and I stalled. I did finish that assignment, but I never finished the course. I took classes in writing from the local community college and I did well academically. How good I was as an author besides classmates saying "That's great" and the teacher providing me with some amount of praise, was an unknown. I should note that my wife was positively supportive, but when something didn't work for her in my writing, she was honest and that helped me reevaluate what I was writing. Life got in the way, and I had a career as a programmer analyst which paid substant

Getting Out of My Comfort Zone

  Recently on of my smarter moves was to join a local writers group in Hayward. Last Saturday we had Julia Park Tracy as a guest speaker. None of my doing, and she was an excellent guest speaker. She is an author, speaker and the current Poet Laureate for Alameda, Ca. The second thing I did was sign up to participate in the "Meet the Local Authors" fair at the Castro Valley Library. There will be 38 authors participating on June 20th. It is here that I am officially launching the second book in my mystery detective series Jonas Watcher. The first book was The Running Bag, and the second book is named The Bourbon Street Hustler. This is the first such fair that I am participating in and I have spent some legwork and time putting up flyers for the fair. I do not know if other libraries are doing this, but it seem like a great idea to me. And lastly, to date I have a book signing at the Hayward Book Shop on the 18th of July, the same day as the Hayward wine walk. I