Author Paul Evancoe spoke at at the Maryland Writer’s Association meeting last night. Paul’s a retired Navy SEAL with extensive combat experience as well as an former Director for Special Operations in the Office of the Coordinator for Counter-terrorism at the U.S. Department of State.
(Aren’t those awesome credentials? He’s also a very nice guy.)
Much of Paul’s SEAL experience is in Vietnam.
My character Cade Owen, Navy SEAL and Selkie aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Livingstone, in Selk-Skin Deep, served his time in Vietnam, too.
Nothing was going to keep me from the meeting last night.
Paul talked about the Vietnam War, the Korean War, the rebuilding of our military after World War II, Communism, the Cold War, Terrorists… He drew maps on the white board, penciled in bombing missions, showed us how to guard territories, etc. I was fascinated by his descriptions of how the shores of Korea are guarded.
I recommend his books based solely on hearing him speak. I haven’t read anything by Paul, but if his books are anything like his presentation, I can guarantee they’re fabulous. If you like military or historical fiction…if you want to learn about Navy SEALS…check out his stuff.
(Of course, I had another moratorium #fail. I’m now the proud owner of “Own the Night.” It’s sitting right here beside me, tempting me to pick it up…)
We had little time to talk about Paul’s writing process. But he did mention two interesting things:
1) he writes his books like a Hollywood movie “treatment.” That is, he writes the entire story, beginning to end, in about 40 pages, roughing in chapter breaks, but hitting all the major scenes. Once this is done, he goes back to flesh it out. If I can make it through my current “pantsing” style novel, I might give it a try.
2) He talked about the “subliminal” plot in writing: while building your major plot and storyline, be cognizant of the underlying layer of relationships among the players which denotes a subliminal message or story. Every story should have one, he said. This bears looking into, I’m certain.
I couldn’t find any info on “subliminal plots in writing” via web search, no matter how I twisted the phrase. If you’ve got info on subliminal plots, please pass it along.