Saturday, June 8, 2013

How 'Rafter's Redemption' came about and some thoughts on writing fiction

  After working for over two decades in journalism, in newspapers to be specific, I had an itch that needed scratching when it came to writing style. I needed to not only re-evaluate the way I wrote, but what I was writing about.
  As you can imagine this took some time. Years. Then last year, I wrote my first fiction piece - Rafter's Redemption - a 40,000 word novella. I went with the idea that writing about what you know - or have experience in - makes for a stronger story.
  To be clear, this book is fiction. Not my life experiences. I've had people ask me if I was Rafter, the main character in the story? The answer is NO! Yes, I'm a Vietnam/Cambodian veteran, but none of the experiences in the book are mine. That goes for the pot growing part.
  I never got involved in growing, but I did move to Humboldt County in the mi-1970's when a lot of veterans were escaping the cities and coming up to Humboldt and growing weed. For the record, I've lived in Humboldt County - with the exception of a couple of years break inbetween - for three decades.
  That accounts for my familiarty with the area. Again, writing about what I knew. The challenge was pulling the story together while trying to be as descriptive as possible. My journalistic style was hard for me to deviate from and I struggled at times, searching for adjectives like a man in the desert despertly searching for water.
  Publishing my first effort on a blog like this has been informative.I've got terrific feedback. Many people couldn't understand why I didn't self-publishing this story on an e-book or something along those lines.
  My only answer to that is I wanted as many people as possible to read my first effort at fiction, and offering free access has accomplished that I believe. During the 10 weeks I ran it - a chapter per week- there were over 60,000 views.And, excellent feedback from viewers.
  Based upon the positive responses, I've decided to write another fiction piece. I'm not sure If I will try to self-publish (that takes a lot of work). I may shop it around with agents and see what happens. But I have to write it first! Any suggests? 
  Thanks for stopping by!
- Dave Stancliff

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