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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Blood on the Pen Book Tour

Blood on the Pen by David W. Huffstetler
Is it hard to get published? The craft.

Here are a few craft suggestions I’ve found helpful to me in my writing. For this commentary, we are assuming you have submitted your query letter and synopsis, and the agent or publisher asked for a partial manuscript. Now, what will they look for in your story? There are common themes my editors have used to assess the craft of my writing, and I’ll share those with you.

First is the use of passive language, and here is an example. You could write, “His pistols hung empty in their holsters, and he turned to his long knife.” The more active way to say that is, “He shoved his empty pistols into their holsters and turned to his long knife.” Also look for sentences that start with a word that ends with “ing”. “Standing at the door, I watched him go by”, when you could say, “I stood at the door and watched him go by.”

Look out for repeated words and phrases, especially if they come in the same paragraph. Redundant words and phrases are frowned on. New authors tend to explain what they have already said. “He scowled at her, showing his contempt.” The reader knows he was showing his contempt; that’s why he scowled at her. Remember, you’re not talking to the reader, you’re writing; anyone can talk. Rather than saying, “He pushed the chair up underneath the table”, the less redundant phrase is, “He pushed the chair under the table.”

Avoid describing things that can’t happen. “His eyes crawled over the room.” They can’t. Instead, “His gaze crawled over the room.” Also avoid saying the obvious. “He nodded his head” or “She shrugged her shoulders.” What else does one nod or shrug than heads and shoulders. “He nodded” or “She shrugged” is enough.

Point of view is a very big item for editors. Each scene must be viewed from the point of view by one character. The reader sees the scene through that characters eyes or feelings. Instead of saying, “Bob was angry, and George was angry”, say something like, “Bob was angry, and George looked angry.” The scene is described from Bob’s point of view. You can change points of view with a break (****) in the center of the page. Yes, I know some suggest the omniscient point of view, but my editors have frowned on it.

And, look out for author intrusion. That is essentially when you say something none of the characters know. You, as the author, speak to the reader directly, and that you can’t do. A common use of author intrusion is to say, “Tom didn’t know they were standing around the corner listening.”

Of course, your editors will tell you other things, and you need to listen to them over listening to me. After all, I won’t be the one publishing your book.

Book Summary
Jack Harden is a modern-day Texas Ranger haunted by his wife's death a year ago.

But when a murderer strikes, he is called into duty. Now he must battle the urge to kill the drunk driver responsible for her death and the hunger to kill himself as he hunts for a serial killer who wants him dead.

Elsie Rodriguez is assigned to report on the murders for her newspaper and ordered to stay with Jack Harden. He's old school, tough, and doesn't want her there, but, despite his gruff manner, the big Ranger triggers something inside her. Something more than just her Latin temper.

Can she pull him back from the edge of sanity? Or will death win again?

David Huffstetler's Bio:
Educated in Dallas, North Carolina, David Huffstetler holds degrees in Engineering and Business Administration. He has worked in the area of human relations and spent fourteen years weaving through the maze of politics, including participating in a Federal Law suit as Chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Commission, with a sitting governor over issues of separation of powers. David has served on Boards of Directors for numerous professional organizations including Crime Stoppers, SC Workers’ Compensation Educational Association, SC Safety Council, the SC Fire Academy, and the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Workers’ Compensation. He has advised governors and legislators on matters of public policy and legislation. His wealth of experience is broad and brings deep insight to his writing.

David’s work as a senior manager with a major industrial concern took him to international venues and exposures that helped feed his urge to write Disposable People, a dramatic expose of the working conditions and politics that engulf undocumented workers. Disposable People is a top-ten “Suggested Book” at Tufts University in Boston, MA.

He turned the frustrations and rejection that plagues thousands of yet-to-be-published authors into the heralded mystery/thriller Blood on the Pen, with a serial killer disposing of literary agents. David, an avid history buff, led him to write Dead in Utah, the story of Joe Hill, the controversial musician and union organizer accused of a double murder in 1914.

His books receive praise from mystery readers across the globe.

As an editor, David edited a treatise on the South Carolina workers’ compensation laws, as well as, Shannon Faulkner’s novel Fire and Ice. Shannon was the first female cadet at the Citadel. She received national publicity for her federal lawsuit and was a guest on Good Morning America.

As an editor, public speaker, and seasoned professional, David has appeared on television and radio, and has lectured on the East Coast, California, Canada and Mexico.

David currently lives in Lexington, South Carolina with his wife, Trudy.

Blood on the Pen eBook
Price: $5.95
Amazon ASIN: B0041G6JC2
BN ID: 2940012599278
Release: August 2010

Amazon buy link ($5.95)

Barnes& buy link ($5.95)

Wild Child Publishing buy link ($5.95)

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Please check out the next stop on this tour: December 9 Bibliophilic Book Blog

1 comment:

  1. Shandy Jo, thanks for hosting David today and for your support of his book, "Blood on the Pen."

    David, you delivered some very pertinent tips to all the aspiring authors out there. You provided a gold mine of information. Thank you for that.


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