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  • Douglas Daech


    Born near Detroit Michigan and transplanted to Tampa Florida in 1982, where he located the story called “Steeling Time”, the author now resides in Russellville, Kentucky.

    His past experience includes articles in the Tripolitan, (Journal of the Tripoli Rocket Association, June 1991) and TRASH (Tampa Regional Aero-Space Hobbyist). In 1993 and 1994 many articles were published in the Unauthorized Launch, the Tampa Tripoli High Power Rocket Club newsletter. A science fiction piece was also presented in the online magazine NTH Degree (May, 2004). Also, an award for creative nonfiction was granted in the 2007 Frank and Cellia Conley Writing Contest at Western Kentucky University

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Do I need an outline?

I believe an outline is needed for a major project, say any fiction  over a few thousand words. For non-fiction it is almost a law to have one. A debate or work of argument needs that structure. You can’t prove a point or educate without some organization. My experience deals more with fiction, so I’ll explain what works for me.

Fiction and nonfiction are different, but a written outline will still help with both. Outlines are used to layout the time line, design the ups and downs and pace of the story. All stories have sections that the readers just eat up like desert!  The readers want cake, but they can’t have cake all the time. The meat and potatoes of the story have to be there too. Give them the cake on just special occasions to keep the reader happy and attentive. The outline helps you plan this. Seat-of-your-pants writers often run out of gas half way through the project. They veer off course and often create half-done work.  The story outline has an end in sight. It helps you work to get there, and know when the story is done.

One element of the outline is the thesis.  What message are you trying to convey?  The thesis can be stated silently or shouted in the title, but the bulk of the story should support and come to the conclusion that agrees with that statement. In fiction the thesis is usually unstated. By the end of the story a reader should agree and understand the point of the story. In Goldilocks and the Three Bears the reader learns without being told that you should always keep your front door locked. It is never stated. The reader is shown, not told, the thesis. A different approach is made in the Wizard of Oz. After the adventure, just in case the reader didn’t catch the meaning of the story, Dorothy clicks her heels and says, “There’s no place like home.” Keep the thesis in mind as you develop your outline.

Your fiction outline should act as a road map guiding the story line. Start with character development and the challenges that character faces in the plot.  Is it an enemy, alien, neighbor or girl next door, or perhaps an element of nature such as a volcano, storm or tidal wave? Describe any flaws or personal problems the character has that he’ll overcome as the story makes progress. Personal growth is important for your character as he meets the challenges of the story. Remember Jaws? Sheriff Brody was afraid of water, and couldn’t swim when he started fishing for the shark.

As the conflict heats up the story must rise and fall like waves, taking the reader on a ride. Map out the challenges and little victories on the outline as the story progresses. At a point when all is lost create an epiphany point with a final solution to the plot challenge. Build to the climax of the story when the main character grows and overcomes personal and plot challenges to succeed and concur.

Finally, a summery and cool down section should finish the outline.  This allows a satisfactory tie up of loose ends and concludes the story. Focus on the main character and his success in overcoming his challenge. Happily ever after is a bit light. Each major character in the story is affected in some way by the outcome of the story. Don’t forget them.  This also gives the story teller a chance to set up a sequel.

I used outlines in almost all of my work. You can get a link to them at: http://douglasdaech.yolasite.com/

And join my Author’s page on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/writerdaech/?fref=photo

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The Blitz!

Seedy Cover Daech 1600x2600rez

 

I’m happy to say that the final revisions on Seedy Hills, an odd little town have been completed and it has been uploaded to the publisher.  The manuscript is in the process of final review to be sure it will convert correctly to the many different formats of E-book devices.  You can pre-order the E-book now from Barns & Noble for the nook, or from Apple for the i-pad.  Pre-order your copy now at Apple, Kobo or Barns & Noble for only one dollar!

 

KOBO Books  http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/seedy-hills-an-odd-little-town

 

Barns & Noble  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seedy-hills-an-odd-little-town-douglas-daech/1119786702?ean=2940046016246

 

Seedy Hills, an odd little town follows the daily adventures of Eric Green, a reporter for the local newspaper.  Eric is an arrogant, crusty, old time reporter who likes to get to the bottom of things.  Seedy Hills is not a normal town, and it keeps him busy.  When Bigfoot was spotted in the woods, the local hunters and trackers formed a posy to make it a trophy.  Eric went along on the expedition to get the story.  When UFO’s were seen above the Walmart, Eric spent the following night on a vigil to scoop the story and unexpected things happened.  Ghosts, vampires, and crop circles are only a few of the other occurrences that he reports to his readers who live in the odd little town of Seedy Hills.

 

With the manuscript complete it’s time for the media blitz, but promotion for an independent author is a huge challenge.  Even though the internet is a giant help, the majority of ads and posts are ignored by people.  To get attention you need to advertise big or advertise often, and the budget of an independent author does not allow advertising big.  The blitz is the most common tactic for the independent author.  The author must post on everything from twitter to blogs and comment on the new release with links and URLs.

 

The question at hand is does that tactic work effectively?  I guess I’ll find out soon!

 

Secret to Success

Long ago I was a musician.  I was a member of a ninety member symphonic group that performed in theaters filled with hundreds of people.  One of my conductors once explained to us that music was a temporal art.  It existed only in time.  When the performance ended, the art was gone.  It was temporary.  Life, in much the same way is temporal.  The art and grace of everything you are is only temporary.  When your performance ends, you are gone.  Time is a fleeting abstract concept that is wrapped around life.  People are always chasing, it wasting it and wanting more of it.  Yet it is really all there is.  Time is unending, but the music we make of our life will end, so make your songs, whatever they may be, beautiful.

One of the things that people struggle with is the judgments of their performances.  Whatever that performance is, dance, song, beauty, work or play, someone will have an opinion on it.  Through a person’s life, millions of judgments are made of them and criticisms can be painful.  What separates the successful artist in life from others struggling with their life’s performance is the ability to ignore judgments on their performance and just sing.  Someplace in their history, a painful criticism embedded a fear of showing the beauty of their personal art and talents.  Due to the fear of other people’s opinions they hold back and only sing in the shower.  They function in society, and live an apparently happy life, but unfulfilled artistically.  They live afraid to express themselves publically, yet many crave fame and fortune.

Successful artists are unaffected by bad press.  The covers of tabloids don’t bother them because they realize that judgments are temporary.  After a bad review they jump right back up on stage and give them the other cheek to slap, unafraid.  Reviews are unimportant to them, they just enjoy doing.  So follow their lead, do your thing without worry.  Sing whatever art fills your heart.

As a writer I tell stories.  Just like music, storytelling is a temporal art.  Passing those stories from one generation to another has changed from word of mouth to e-books.  But when the story is finished, all that is left are still memories.  When I tell a story I don’t worry that the story may not be good enough.  I don’t worry that it won’t entertain or amuse the reader.  What I worry about is the technical construction of the sentences and the grammar.  I worry that my eighth grade English teacher would turn over in her grave if she read it.  I worry about the criticism readers will make of a misspelled word or run-on sentence.  I worry they will think I’m an idiot.

Seedy Hills, an odd little town was just uploaded to the publisher’s website.  It will be reviewed and probably rewritten to some extent then eventually released for sale.  I worry that people will make judgments on my work, but I know they are just temporary.  Bad press will be forgotten, and I know time will heal all hurt feelings.  A good friend once commented, “Who are they to judge you, anyway?”  I try to remember that.  Until I get a letter from Steven King saying I should give up writing, I am going to continue.

Seedy Hills, an odd little town…

The new collection of short stories is almost ready for beta readers, anyone interested?

Seedy Hills, an odd little town….

Seedy Hills, an odd little town…

I’m working on a new series of short stories that occur in the small rural Kentucky town of Seedy Hills. The city is named after the beautiful summer wild flowers that cover the hills in the area around the town. Oddly enough, the city is remarkably similar to the city of Russellville where I now reside. Many of the landmarks, people, local issues and oddities play into the stories.

The stories involve Vampires, Ghosts, UFOs, murders and more.  All of them tied together by the main character, Eric Green. Eric is a reporter for the local newspaper. He’s a stubborn, arrogant, self centered semi-retired writer who knows he has more experience and talent than anyone else at the small town paper, including the bumbling management. With his connections, talent, keen smell for a good story and hard work he solves the case and saves the day. All the time, sarcastically analyzing the backward city he calls home, and the people who live there.

Through the series of short stories Eric learns about life, love and the fact that he, and other people have feelings. Late in life, the rusty old reporter learns that being from an odd little run down town may not be all that bad.

I’ve got about half the book completed and proofread. I would be interested in anyone wanting to be beta readers. I feel it may be funny but it’s hard to judge your own humor. I’m a little warped and I know I find a lot of things funny that others my not. We’ll just have to see how that goes. If you want to pre read this series leave a comment and your contact info. Maybe you can help me make my next best seller!

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