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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Guest Post - So you’ve always wanted to write a book… from author of Blood and Bone, Don Hoesel plus $25 Amazon./ Paypal Giveaway

Blood and Bone More Archaeological Adventures from Popular Suspense Writer Don Hoesel. A decade after Serpent of Moses, Jack is married to Espy and back teaching at Evanston University. They have two sons, one of whom has cystic fibrosis. Despite this challenge, life is comfortable. But that all changes when the CIA, while combing through the papers of the late Gordon Reese, uncovers the secret of Elisha's bones. Jack's world is then turned upside down by an urgent call from his old friend Duckey, who's been alerted to the CIA's probing by one of his former contacts. Jack and his family escape from their home just ahead of the CIA, and he decides to do what he should have done long ago: recover the bones and destroy them. Except the bones aren't where he left them. So now Jack is in a race, for the last time, to find the bones. And he's not the only one. Pitted against both the CIA and an organization that will kill to protect their secrets, Jack and Espy follow hard-to-decipher clues across the globe before arriving in the catacombs of Paris for a final showdown that will either save their family--or tear apart everything they hold dear forever.

  Blood and Bone Tour
Author Don Hoesel Don Hoesel is a Web site designer for a Medicare carrier in Nashville, TN. He has a BA in Mass Communication from Taylor University and has published short fiction in Relief Journal. He lives in Spring Hill, Tennessee, with his wife and two children. The Alarmists is his third novel.  

Guest Post from author of Blood and Bone, Don Hoesel

So you’ve always wanted to write a book…

I think there’s at least one good story in just about everyone.

In fact, I’m a firm believer that just about anyone can write a book.  Really, the process isn’t that difficult.  There are only a few basic elements, and if you’re visiting a blog about books you’re probably familiar with all of them.  There’s a beginning, a middle and an end.  And you have a hero, a plot, a conflict, an inciting moment, and a climax.  Beyond that, it’s all window dressing. 

Of course, there’s also the part where you actually string the words together.  And, to be honest, that’s where most people decide to pass on the idea of putting their thoughts down on paper.  I mean, it’s one think to think up a story, to create a character, to come up with the incident that kicks the whole thing off—but it’s another thing to write or type 100,000 words. 

I admit that’s a big number.  A daunting number.  But when you break it down to something a lot smaller—say 500 words (this blog post is a bit over 900)—then you can see that anyone could write a whole novel in 200 days. 

I’m not saying it would be a good novel.  Not everyone has the gift of storytelling.  All I’m saying is that it’s technically possible to write a book in less than a year. 

I suspect that if you’re reading this, you’ve at least thought about writing a book.  Maybe you’ve even got a lot of it plotted out in your mind.  You’ve thought up a great character.  Perhaps you have whole scenes mapped out.  All that’s kept you from getting down to it is that big number—a number I’ve shown is manageable if you think small.

So what are you waiting for?  Write that book you’ve always wanted to. 

Which brings me to the primary reason for this post—to provide a few dos and don’ts for prospective novelists.  Full disclosure—what follows is, in most cases, one man’s opinion.  I’m not especially qualified to tell anyone how best to write a book—beyond the fact that once upon a time some nice editor read one of my manuscripts and it tickled him enough to offer me a contract.  So take these tips however you’d like.  All I can tell you is that, so far, this is what’s worked for me.   

The Dos:

Write every day, not just when you feel like it.  There are two schools of thought here.  Some say you should only write when you feel inspired to do so.  Others say you should treat writing like a business and check in at the office every day.  I’ve found that the latter works for me.

Like your characters.  Now I’m not saying you have to like all of them but it’s helpful if you have at least one or two you’d like to have a beer with.  If you like your characters it will be evident to the reader and, nine times out of ten, they’ll like them too.

Read.  A lot.  I’m a firm believer that writers should read more than they write.  Reading is how you learn the craft, how you see what works and what doesn’t. 

Make sure you hit the touchstones.  This is especially true in genre fiction.  There are certain elements that readers expect to see in a particular type of book.  If you’re writing for that audience, give them their touchstones.

Bring something unique to the table.  Even in genre fiction, even when hitting the touchstones, try to do something different with your story—something that makes it stand out from the others like it.

Write whatever you want in your first draft.  Throw everything in there.  It’s easier to edit down a glutted story than it is to fatten up a weak one.

Read what you’ve written out loud.  You’ll be surprised how different your writing sounds when you hear it rather than just read it. 

The Don’ts:

Don’t make your characters one-dimensional.  Real people are nuanced.  Your characters should have that same depth.  A believable protagonist is seldom a Boy Scout and a good villain doesn’t have to kick puppies.

Don’t make leaps your readers can’t follow.  The whole story might be in your head but it isn’t in your reader’s.  You know how your character got from A to C but your reader needs to see B.

Don’t tie everything up in a nice little bow.  In real life, endings are seldom neat.  They have jagged edges, frayed strands.  A good ending should close the big loops and leave some smaller ones open, letting the reader’s imagination do the work.

Don’t think you’re done after a first draft.  No matter how good a writer you are, your story will need editing.

Don’t quit when it gets difficult.  Because it will get difficult.  Even those few hundred words might seem impossible some days.  Push on through. 

As you can see, I’ve listed more dos than don’ts.  I could add a lot more to either list.  I could even make the lists similar in length.  But I wanted the first list to be longer because that plays in to the number one do: There are more reasons to write your book than there are reasons not to.

So if you’ve been thinking about writing a book, do it.  Because, like I said, everybody has a story to tell.  And no one can tell your story quite like you.

Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 8/4/13
 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway
Sharon x

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