My Writing Journey by Bill Joiner
I am a relatively new author. I just began writing books this year. Previously, I had written numerous articles for local newspapers but never thought I had the patience to pen a book. At the urging of family and friends, I wrote my first book. It is my autobiography, American Entrepreneur: An Autobiography. It had modest success but nothing to write home about (bad pun) as its appeal was to a small demographic, mostly to people who knew me.
My second book is a novel, Life Begins at Sunrise: An Inspiring Story of Love, God, Bird Dogs, Walking Horses and Field Trials. It is set in the backdrop of bird dogs, Tennessee Walking Horses and the major field trial circuit. I had always heard that a writer should write about what he knows. My first book was about a subject I was very familiar with – me. The second book takes place in an arena that I participated in for many years, the major field trial circuit. Field trials are a competition for bird dogs with their handlers mounted on horseback. It is a fascinating world with larger-than-life outrageous characters.
Life Begins at Sunrise is a love story about two sets of best friends, one a white man and a black man, the second a white woman and a black woman. The white man falls in love with the black woman. The black man falls for the white woman.
In my first two books, it was trial and error discovering how to accomplish the rather large task of writing a book. I finally decided to make an outline with numerous footnotes to remind me of key elements. To combat my lack of patience, I would switch writing from one part of the book to another. I treated each part as a separate story. After I completed a rough draft of each part, I pulled them all together to form the basis of the book. The book underwent many rewrites before I was satisfied with the finished product. The feedback that I've gotten on my books is that they are entertaining and humorous.
As with most things in life, one does best at something one loves to do.
I like to weave in real facts in my fiction. This requires internet research or personal contacts to appropriate persons to validate the facts. The inclusion of real places and time frames help flesh out the imaginary worlds that fiction authors create.
As an example, I have begun work on my third book, my second novel. It is about an aging gunfighter that was raised by Comanche Indians. I have done extensive research to make sure my characters reflect the lifestyle of the pioneers and Indians during the the 1700's. I want their dress, housing, speech and mannerism to accurately reflect that time period. I read a book once that was a period piece but the author used modern colloquialisms. It was ridiculous and completely undermined the book. I have also enlisted an old high school friend who is a full-blooded Comanche Indian to check the validity of my representations of his tribe for my book.
The more pertinent details that you can include makes the story you tell more interesting. Adding detail just for the sake of detail will weaken your story.
The most important feature of a good story requires your readers to care about the characters in your story. If the reader doesn't care about what happens to the people in your book, they probably won't even finish reading it.
Guest Blogger Bio
Ft. Knox, Kentucky, is my birthplace. It's also the home of the U.S. Gold Reserves, so it's a crying shame that I left there without one single ounce of gold in my pockets.
Other than summer jobs as a teenager, I have always been in business for myself. I have owned businesses that included: residential and commercial construction; brokering and trading commodities; owning and operating multiple insurance agencies; horse breeding, syndicating, training and racing; dog breeding and field trialing; owning and operating multiple gyms; owning and operating oil wells; brokering, researching title and consulting (regarding the buying and selling of oil and gas properties); as well as brokering and facilitating international fuel purchases.
I have traveled extensively outside the continental United States including Switzerland, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Belize, Caribbean Islands, Alaska and Hawaii.
I am happily married with four adult children, each successful in their own right.
My wife and I served in the ministry by founding, building and operating a children's home.
I authored my first book, American Entrepreneur: An Autobiography, at the urging of family and friends. While I had written numerous sports articles for local newspapers, I didn't think I had the patience to write a book. I found that the more I wrote, the better I liked it. I just finished my second book, a novel, Life Begins at Sunrise: An Inspiring Story of Love, God, Bird Dogs, Walking Horses and Field Trials.