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Wednesday, 21 September 2011
In one of my triathlons this summer, I had my first race crash. Going 28 mph, two people collided ahead of me forcing me to ditch. Blood, screeching tires, and everything. Talk about an experience to work into a story. Didn't realize I was bleeding till the race was over.

 
As you may or may not know, I have a great memory for everything except names and numbers. So, when I race, jump out of a plane, climb, scuba dive, etc... I remember almost every moment of the adrenaline experience which inevitably comes out in my characters. Did I mention that I love my job and doing what I guess could be classified as research?

Saw U2 at the New Meadowlands in July. Great show! The night was perfect, the atmosphere was electric, and the band was at 110%. For me, there is nothing greater than a live show, the building anticipation as that first note begins to rumble the seats, the band approaching the stage, slinging on their guitars and breaking into that first song in a blaze of white-hot, stage lights. Time disappears for me as song after amazing song washes over the night and 90,000 of your closest friends share the same emotions.  I love working that feeling into my stories, those moments that portend something amazing is about to happen, that building of tension that is finally released with an unexpected twist... or chorus.
Posted by: AT 11:43 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, 15 April 2011

PERFECTION OF MOMENT. 

Some people only experience it a few times in life: those times when everything is going your way. But, in point of fact, the experience occurs much more often than we realize, we are just too distracted by e-mail, blackberries, cell phones, thinking of tomorrow, next week, next  year to realize it.

What I call Perfection of Moment is when all of your senses are firing with pleasure-- Sight, Sound, Touch, Smell-- and being fully aware in that moment, allowing the experience to wash over you, to fill your mind, to populate your memory.

 It could be riding your bike at high speed down a hill with your favorite song on your iPod, feeling the wind, seeing the world whipping by, smelling the air, letting your heart pump to the beat of the song.

It could be watching your children do their favorite thing. Don't' think of work, or what you are going to do tomorrow, watch them, hear them, feel your elation or sorrow as they succeed or fail.

And of course, making love is the most obvious perfection of moment.

The point is, it is the experiences that we live that help us to fill the pages when we write. They say write what you know and what we know can be exhausted by our second book. But we can write about fear, we can write about adrenaline and triumph, we can write by putting ourselves in others shoes with some amazing fun experience that will make our writing stronger, more real, more visceral.

And so on the next page you will find ten experiences that can enrich your writing, allow you to have a well spring of thought, emotions, and feelings to draw upon and have some fun at the same time.  I know, because I have done them all plus too many other things to mention.

So remember to stay in the moment. Allow those senses to sense it all without distraction. And remember to remember.

 

PLEASE NOTE: I do not promote, condone, or encourage any of these actions. You are assuming the full risk when engaging in any of these ten items and I cannot be held responsible for any and all outcomes.


 

1.      Jump out of a plane (with a parachute).  Either tandem or solo.  Feel the emotion as you stand in the open door for the first time, looking 13,000 feet down.  Feel the wind in your face as you fall for close to a minute. Think about flying, think about what if.

 

2.     Shoot a gun.  Go to a range. Shoot a variety of pistols: 45's, 38's.  Then shoot a shotgun and a rifle. Feel the power of the gun in your hand; understand that you hold life and death between your fingers. Look at the bullet, realize how small it is, how deadly its potential.

 

3.     Run for your life. Get chased. Chase someone. Feel the adrenaline course through you, feel how it quickens your heart, gives you speed and strength. Feel the residual, uncontrollable shakes when you are done.

 

4.     Stay on the bottom of a pool for as long as you can. Wear goggles.  Look around, feel your lungs burn, feel the throbbing of your pulse, hear the silence around you, know what it is like to be minutes from death.

 

5.     Stand in the middle of a rain storm. Allow yourself to be soaked, feel your clothes as they gradually get wet until you are drenched, smell the air. Feel the water cascade down your face; hear it pounding the ground around you.

 

6.     Kiss your significant other with your eyes open, make love to them with the lights on staring into each other's eyes in the throes of passion. Be aware of their touch, of the look in their eyes, of the wetness of their kiss, the rhythm of their breathing.

 

7.     Do something completely out of your comfort zone, something embarrassing. Sing in front of a crowd,   dance in the middle of a bar, tell an audience your most embarrassing moment. Take a chance, if you succeed, great, if you fail, even better. Remember that feeling.

 

8.     Stand on the platform of the train station for 60 minutes at rush hour. Watch the crowd, the clothes, the attitudes. Watch the kindness and rudeness, the interaction of both strangers and friends.

 

9.     Go to a restaurant. Eat alone and watch the reaction of the people; feel their stares as they assume your state of life. Notice how some will avoid making eye contact; others will be overly kind out of pity.

 

10.Go to a different house of worship. Sit through their prayers, sermons, and rituals. See how similar it is to your own religion, see how different. Watch the people, the individual leading the service.  Watch how different people are once they exit the church, temple, synagogue, or mosque.

 

Then go home and write, pour these experiences into your characters, paint their emotions with your own. And remember to pay attention when all of sudden you have written something you're proud of, remember that feeling, embrace it, enjoy that triumph and use it in your next story.

Posted by: Richard Doetsch-Repost AT 05:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, 18 October 2010

 

Have you ever fallen in love with a character?  

Better under pressure or at your leisure?

Best opening line of a novel?

Do you write your best after having a) a drink b) sex c) smoke d) nap ? I know the order is natural but choose one.

Dream job?

Sadly, tragedy is the great equalizer.      

Would you do something crazy to inspire your writing? What would it be and why haven't you done it yet?  

Thrillers: Do you prefer pure reality or a bit of suspension of disbelief?

Don't we all judge a book by its cover?

Craziest marketing scheme to sell books?   

Reading is the last form of entertainment that you cannot multi-task during, hence it's a full experience.

            Vote! If you don't vote, you lose your right to complain! This should apply to all.   

Flap Copy, accurate, sales pitch, or spoiler?

How many books a year do you read? Do you exaggerate this to your friends?

I wish people would educate themselves beyond a newspaper headline before speaking like an expert   

Are you formulaic in your approach or do you just write what you feel?

How many people live for tomorrow at the sacrifice of today? - The 13th Hour

Do you read reviews? Do you only listen to the good ones? Does a single bad one ruin your day?

Research... Fun, daunting, or distraction?  

Sex scenes in novels: Less is more or more details please?

What is your favorite distraction when you work or write, the one thing you can't resist putting it all on hold for?

Best book to movie translation?

Would you do something crazy to inspire your writing? What would it be and why haven't you done it yet?

Does the author photo help sell books?

Would you write in a genre you don't like for more money? Could you?  

Pen Name or Real Name... and how do you explain it to your kids?  

How far would you go to gain a fan?   

Most embarrassing fan story...?  

Would you do something crazy to inspire your writing? What would it be and why haven't you done it yet?  

Average number of rejection letters a writer receives before getting published? Do you save them? To inspire or for later revenge?

Are you more creative at night or in the morning? More productive in the am or pm? Do they coincide?

Best voice for audio books?

Do you work or write to music? If so, what kind? Who? Does it help?

Sex scenes in novels: Gratuitous, enhancing, distracting, or fun?

hardcover or paperback?

Sex scenes in novels: A writer who has run out of ideas for the moment, is moving the story forward, or living the dream?

How many rewrites to get it right? Imagine if you did it before computers!   

What's your favorite character name from a story? Do you need to name your characters before you write? 

Why is it we open our mouths far more than our ears? Imagine life if that was reversed?

Imagine if you wrote down one story idea a day, whatever popped in your head. That's 365 per YR; bet you at least one is great!

What is your favorite distraction when you work or write, the one thing you can't resist putting it all on hold for?

What is better a novelist who is a good writer or a good story teller?

What's your favorite character name from a story? Do you need to name your characters before you write?

Do you work or write to music? If so, what kind? Who? Does it help?  

Thrillers more popular than romance... Doesn't that depend on the time of day?  

If you could have written any book, what would it have been?

How many rewrites to get it right? Imagine if you did it before computers!

Do you read for the story, the characters, or the escape?

What do you wear when you write, suit, jeans, skirt, dress, bathrobe, or less? Can you only write in this attire?

Is your writer's desk clean, empty, or obscured with crap? Mine is covered w/stuff from my life & travels

With attention spans waning, should books be shorter? I'm not suggesting this... just asking.

How many of you skip to the end of a book and ruin the surprises? Do you feel guilty?

Do you write with a drink on the desk? Soda, water, beer, wine, whiskey? Does it help?

Are you more creative at night or in the morning? More productive in the am or pm? Do they coincide?

Average number of rejection letters a writer receives before getting published? Do you save them? To inspire or for later revenge?

How long does it take you to read a book?

I was told by Russian Delegate Thieves of Faith was the best description of the Kremlin ever. I didn't dare tell him I was never there.

What book have you read more than once? Loved it more on round 2, or scolded yourself for dashing your 1st impression?

As a writer is your daily goal page count, word count, or just being satisfied with one good sentence.

Just heard of this November write a book in a month thing. I wrote The 13th Hour in July 2008. 30 Days. 105,000 words. And it's backwards.  

How come there are no novelists that become celebrities? No red carpet, TMZ, Page 6 coverage. Just asking...? 

Do those who become writers after another career have an edge and more stories to tell? Patterson, Grisham, Baldacci, Rollins, etc...  

Would you rather have your book up on the screen or atop the NYT bestseller list?  

What makes a better writer... Someone who is a good listener or someone who is a good talker?

Can you tell the difference between a male and female writer by their writing style?

While you can imagine shooting a gun, you need to have had your heart broken to truly write of love.

Is it possible to be in love with more than one person at the same time? Think of the story possibilities.

I know it's fiction but amnesia may be more than a slightly overused twist.  

Would you rather 1 Mil $, happiness, or true love?  

Why do we take more risk when we are young?  

What makes a better writer... Someone who is a good listener or someone who is a good talker?

Nothing like a good Bookgasm to start your day. http://tiny.ly?kJw

Skydive, Scuba, Bungee Jump, Surf, Trapeze, BASE jump, Bridge Jump, Hang glide. Need something new, suggestions? 

Dumas & Dickens are tops, Fleming/Ludlum 4 thrills, Hemingway & Seuss 4 fun, Crichton,Vern and Wells 4 cool. How about u?

Desert island book: Any Seuss? To Kill a Mockingbird? The Bible?

Would you rather read a writer who draws from his mind or from his experience?  

Posted by: Richard Doetsc AT 04:46 pm   |  Permalink   |  3 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, 28 July 2010

PERFECTION OF MOMENT. 

Some people only experience it a few times in life: those times when everything is going your way. But, in point of fact, the experience occurs much more often than we realize, we are just too distracted by e-mail, blackberries, cell phones, thinking of tomorrow, next week, next  year to realize it.

What I call Perfection of Moment is when all of your senses are firing with pleasure-- Sight, Sound, Touch, Smell-- and being fully aware in that moment, allowing the experience to wash over you, to fill your mind, to populate your memory.

 It could be riding your bike at high speed down a hill with your favorite song on your iPod, feeling the wind, seeing the world whipping by, smelling the air, letting your heart pump to the beat of the song.

It could be watching your children do their favorite thing. Don't' think of work, or what you are going to do tomorrow, watch them, hear them, feel your elation or sorrow as they succeed or fail.

And of course, making love is the most obvious perfection of moment.

The point is, it is the experiences that we live that help us to fill the pages when we write. They say write what you know and what we know can be exhausted by our second book. But we can write about fear, we can write about adrenaline and triumph, we can write by putting ourselves in others shoes with some amazing fun experience that will make our writing stronger, more real, more visceral.

And so on the next page you will find ten experiences that can enrich your writing, allow you to have a well spring of thought, emotions, and feelings to draw upon and have some fun at the same time.  I know, because I have done them all plus too many other things to mention.

So remember to stay in the moment. Allow those senses to sense it all without distraction. And remember to remember.

 

PLEASE NOTE: I do not promote, condone, or encourage any of these actions. You are assuming the full risk when engaging in any of these ten items and I cannot be held responsible for any and all outcomes.


 

1.      Jump out of a plane (with a parachute).  Either tandem or solo.  Feel the emotion as you stand in the open door for the first time, looking 13,000 feet down.  Feel the wind in your face as you fall for close to a minute. Think about flying, think about what if.

 

2.     Shoot a gun.  Go to a range. Shoot a variety of pistols: 45's, 38's.  Then shoot a shotgun and a rifle. Feel the power of the gun in your hand; understand that you hold life and death between your fingers. Look at the bullet, realize how small it is, how deadly its potential.

 

3.     Run for your life. Get chased. Chase someone. Feel the adrenaline course through you, feel how it quickens your heart, gives you speed and strength. Feel the residual, uncontrollable shakes when you are done.

 

4.     Stay on the bottom of a pool for as long as you can. Wear goggles.  Look around, feel your lungs burn, feel the throbbing of your pulse, hear the silence around you, know what it is like to be minutes from death.

 

5.     Stand in the middle of a rain storm. Allow yourself to be soaked, feel your clothes as they gradually get wet until you are drenched, smell the air. Feel the water cascade down your face.  Hear it pounding the ground around you.

 

6.     Kiss your significant other with your eyes open, make love to them with the lights on staring into each other's eyes in the throes of passion. Be aware of their touch, of the look in their eyes, of the wetness of their kiss, the rhythm of their breathing.

 

7.     Do something completely out of your comfort zone, something embarrassing. Sing in front of a crowd,   dance in the middle of a bar, tell an audience your most embarrassing moment. Take a chance, if you succeed, great, if you fail, even better. Remember that feeling.

 

8.     Stand on the platform of the train station for 60 minutes at rush hour. Watch the crowd, the clothes, the attitudes. Watch the kindness and rudeness, the interaction of both strangers and friends.

 

9.     Go to a restaurant. Eat alone and watch the reaction of the people; feel their stares as they assume your state of life. Notice how some will avoid making eye contact; others will be overly kind out of pity.

 

10.Go to a different house of worship. Sit through their prayers, sermons, and rituals. See how similar it is to your own religion, see how different. Watch the people, the individual leading the service.  Watch how different people are once they exit the church, temple, synagogue, or mosque.

 

Then go home and write, pour these experiences into your characters, paint their emotions with your own. And remember to pay attention when all of sudden you have written something you're proud of, remember that feeling, embrace it, enjoy that triumph and use it in your next story.

Posted by: Richard AT 09:17 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
 

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"One of the best thrillers of the year" ABC News

"Riveting... Emotional... Amazing" The Huffington Post

"A shocking thriller" - San Francisco Chronicle

 

"A gut-wrenching read" - The Houston Chronicle

 

"Constant shocks and twists" - Today/MSNBC

 

"Grabs the readers attention and doesn't let go" - Winnipeg Free Press

Jack Keeler has seen his fate and has only until dawn before it catches up with him... and the rest of the world

Now in Paperback Feb 2011!

August 25 2010 in Hardcover

"Whip-smart and lightning-paced... This novel left me breathless and awed by the scope and scale of this story. Truly a masterwork by an exploding talent."

--James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author of Altar of Eden

 

"Doetsch handles all the elements of a classic thriller superbly... The plot offers an agreeable blend of heist drama and escape story. Knowledge from the previous St. Pierre adventures is not necessary, but readers will scramble to find them after finishing this masterpiece.  Doetsch has earned his seat at the table with other A-list thriller writers."         --     Booklist


Now Available in Paperback

"A modern masterpiece."   -- Providence Journal-Bulletin

"If there ever was a novel that deserves to be read in one sitting, this is it. With a totally original and compelling story line, The 13th Hour is one of the best thrillers of the year." -Booklist

One of the top five thrillers of the year - Library Journal