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Brutus writing contest
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I served for a long time in the military. There have been some good times and bad. I wrote this story to reflect those that came before me. This story reflects all of us. We all have our demons. Some just hide them better than others.

Story: Broken Windows


Each week authors will be given a new question to answer which will lend additional insight into their story and writing process. Do you have a question you'd like to see the authors answer? Tweet it to @aNextAuthor!

What is the best writing advice you've ever heard?
Write. Read. Write. Read. You get better by writing. Each story should be better than the last. Sometimes you miss the mark. You just have to keep trying.
When you start a new story do you prepare an outline in advance or do you just jump right in?
It depends. Sometimes, like with this story, I have it all written in my mind before I type the first letter. I've also used an outline. I've also used the "snowflake method" to create a story from an idea. But no matter what, edit, edit, edit!


Beth W

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Moving, powerful, and thought provoking. This is a truly great story.

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Masterful emotional involvement. Great use of language to evoke feelings.

A L Motsy

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A very moving story. Having been married to someone who served in war; I can relate to the problems adjusting once home from the battle fields. Your story is compelling and well written. Thank you for giving the reader an insight to what soldiers go through when they no longer have the brotherhood to carry them over the rough spots.


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So good. Best thing I think I can say is, I got it.


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Teresa Garcia

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Thank you. Reading this, perhaps I can understand my father a little better. He never talked much about the combat situations. It was the "safe" stuff he usually talked about.


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Excellent job of trying to explain the near-inexplicable, involvement in a personal life-or-death experience and its remnants and ramifications. The eternal separation of warriors from the society they protect, by both their sacrifices and that separation. I wish the world could get to a place where warriors were unneeded, for they pay such a high price on our behalf, those who do not return, and those who do. Thank you is insufficient.

Bruce N.

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Thanks everyone for the great reviews. Everyone else that visits, please leave your comments. Feedback will help me make my next story even better! (Of course, i am going to give myself 5 stars.) Share with your friends. This contest is also about who can generate the most interest.


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On the surface, this is a taut, intense glimpse into one man's journey to reconcile the reality of war with the reality of living a typical American life. On a deeper level, the story provides solidarity and hope for anyone who has ever felt disconnected and lost. Highly engaging. A must read.

Jill Amber Menard

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A really great story. I enjoyed the part about him getting lost while running - really shows that he is caught up in another world and that he is struggling to be part of reality. I also like the fact that he finds comfort in the chaos of everyday life - perhaps reminiscent of his times in combat. I look forward to reading more of your work in the future!!!


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A riveting tail that leaves you holding your breath at the next turn of events. Written with a passion for accuracy and detail that really immerses you in the plight of the main character. I would love to read more. The story is told in a way that a proud few will be able to appreciate for having served their country as well.

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December 18th, 2012
The winner of America's Next Author 2012 has been announced! [...]
December 7th, 2012
Questions and answers about the Battle Round. [...]
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#ANA2012 | What Fans Have To Say


America's Next Author is the first social writing contest. Friends, family, fans and publishing industry experts will read authors' submissions and nominate their favorite to be America's next major author. Everyone can participate!