Hi Everyone,

 

I want to introduce myself. I am Garry with two "R"s. I have been writing for about 40 years and most everything published has been hunting, trapping, fishing and general outdoor related articles. I was politically active for many years, but given most of that at this time.

 

I spent quite a few years in law enforcement (county, state and Feds), I did criminal photography for three different departments for 7 years, so I have seen more than my share of gore. I still have bad nightmares from some of it.

 

I have been very active in conservation work most of my lfe. No, that is environmental, it is conservation. Believe me there is a big difference. One wants to hug a bunny and the other wants to put it on his plate for dinner.

 

After writing mostly articles for so many years I decided I needed to write a novel that was burning holes in my mind. So earlier this year I wrote a political based adventure. Ho hum ... I could paste a wall with the rejection notices from agents. Everyone on another forum said I needed to have it professionally edited. I talked with one editor and she said to send her the first three pages and she would do it for nothing, and if I liked her work and could come to an agreement on a price she would do the whole thing. After reading what she sent back, I didn't even recognize my own story.

 

I put two chapters on a web page I have and posted it on an outdoor forum I am on. I had 128 readers and all but four wanted to know where or when they could buy it. So what do these agents know?

 

I may never publish a novel, but I am now working on a mystery. It is of course going to be a difficult story to put together. I has two plots, that come together into one and as I see it now, it will require segments of flashbacks. I don't try anything easy.

 

My biggest problem in writing a novel is I like the old style of writing much better than I do some of the more up to date styles. I like a prologue. The other forum everyone told I had to do away with it and start with chapter one. They have told me that I can't wait until the second or third chapter to bring in the main character. I tried explaining the dual plot and they said that doesn't make any difference. I said ... BS ... Of course most of them write about vampires and such other creatures which I could care less about. They also said, in my first novel, I used too much dialogue.

 

So this is who I am. One contrary "Old Fart" that may never get a novel published, but that is okay. I will write it the way I think the story is best told.

 

My favorite authors are Charles Dicken, Robert Raurk and Ernest Hemingway.

 

If you have any questions ... Just ask.

 

Garry-

 

 

 

 

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Welcome, Garry,

I'm also opposed to vampire books. :)

However, selling a novel is very tough. There are millions of people who think they have a bestseller in them. They all write and submit and hope. When your group tells you to write about vampires, they think vampires sell. They do, at the moment, though not all vampire books sell. If they tell you: No prologue, they mean that a prologue doesn't help catch the attention quickly if it's not action packed. If they tell you to introduce the protagonist right away, that again means that readers like to know quickly what's going on. They also like horrid happenings right away. All this has to do with short attention span.

Now agents and editors read with this in mind. Furthermore, they sample submissions because they get so many of them. You have to grab their attention quickly.

If you can come up with a zinger of a prologue and then move into some important action, my feeling is that the protagonist could come in a bit later.
Hi Garry, welcome.

You can find links to my articles on my website. There might be some that interest you about writing, etc. I write them specifically to help aspiring writers or anyone else. Speaking of grabbing attention, my highest viewed article is on how to make agents and editors fall in love with your first five pages. You can scroll down my homepage to see the links to my articles.

Sign my guestbook if you stop by!

If you love crime, you should enjoy CrimeSpace!

Best Wishes!

http://www.stacy-deanne.net
Dear Garry,

Welcome to Crimespace. I'm curious what forum you went to where they thought writing vampires was a good idea! It can't have been in here, because I'm pretty sure we all hate the new vampires (I don't care what my little brother's girlfriend says, vampires DO NOT sparkle!). Stroker and Rice are the only serviceable vampire-writers.

I agree with I.J. about the prologue - if it's a bloody good prologue then you ought to be able to get away with leaving the main character in the background for a while. That's what Steig Larsson did and the bugger's made millions! I hate that publishers treat readers like they're children with pixie sticks. Honestly, I'm 20 years old and I've never been turned off by a book simply because it had a prologue. I just read the prologue and keep going - doesn't everybody???

Personally, I don't understand why having too much dialogue would be a bad thing. In today's multimedia culture, dialogue gives the illusion that the characters are right in front of you having a conversation. It taps into the reader's senses which gives the story a tangible quality - almost as if you're hearing it on the radio, of even seeing it on screen. Micheal Connelly uses heaps of dialogue, and he's a bestseller! I reckon that if you hear plenty of dialogue when you think about the story, then it only makes sense to use plenty of dialogue when you WRITE the story. The story is boss.

It's interesting that you've decided to use flashbacks in your current WIP. Publishers will hate that, of course (readers don't like going backward - they must go onward, Onward, ONWARD!) but I think flashbacks work well when they're handled with care. I've used flashbacks for my stuff because, when I read, I like to SEE the action rather than have someone explain it to me twenty years down the track. Flashbacks are great for that because they provide breaks in the action and they offer the reader a more conclusive knowledge of the events which are pertinent to the story. Of course, you'll have to make absolutely certain that you're clear with what's a flashback and what's not. Speaking for my people I can tell you that, not only has the next generation gotten less focussed, we've gotten dumber! Generally changing tenses will let the reader know that the story has changed, or you may try using subtle variations in vocabulary. I'd tell you to use small words, but that would make me sound cynical (god forbid!)

Anyway, you'll fit right in here. You've got POLICE KNOWLEDGE (insert reverent nod). Don't be freaked out if people start asking you inappropriate questions about technical police things, and especially don't be freaked out if those people turn out to be me - because I'm Australian and therefore need all the help I can get!

Cheers mate!

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