During an interview with Authority Magazine James Bostwick was asked what 5 things you need to know to become a great author. Based on his experience with writing his novel Acts of Omission, he answered with the following advice:
- Write concerning something you are passionate about.
- Everyone’s writing wants to explain/tell the reader what is going on — don’t. Show them and let the reader figure it out. When the reader can use their imagination, the story comes alive. In other words, don’t tell them what your character is thinking, show it with their actions or mannerisms.
- Don’t use an outline or, if you do, don’t follow it too closely. Characters and storylines must have the freedom to go where the winds may blow them. When your characters start doing things you never had imagined they would do, that’s when the story begins to resonate. Your novel has then developed a life of its own.
- Listen to the ideas of friends and family but rely primarily on your own instincts. Writing is a creative process like art — not everyone is going to like the product of your efforts. Every good author is going to have a few one- or two-star reviews. You must give birth to what is inside you and not worry about pleasing everyone.
- Editing is key. When you have your 500-page masterpiece completed, remember that it probably has 100 pages of fat that don’t need to be there. When it has been pruned of chapters or vignettes you thought were fun/great at the time but upon cold-blooded reflection aren’t truly necessary, the story will move much faster, won’t have dead spots and will keep the reader more engaged.
James also discusses the challenges he faced in his journey to become an author and habits that helped during his writing process. Read the full Authority Magazine article on medium.com.
As a voracious reader of legal fiction, Bostwick decided it was time to write his own novel, one that realistically depicts the difficult choices, high risk, ethical dilemmas, anguish and euphoria of everyday life for civil trial lawyers. Bostwick believes there are a lot of works that reinforce “ambulance chasing” stereotypes and present skewed or false views of the selection and preparation of trials, so after years of pondering writing a novel, he finally wrote Acts of Omission to correct that deficiency. The novel is loosely based on a San Francisco case Bostwick tried in 1984 when he went up against one of the country’s most famous attorneys to seek justice for a devastatingly injured teenager.
See why this legal thriller has sold out multiple times, received rave reviews, and a nomination for the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction. Buy your copy today.
Acts of Omission, written by James Bostwick, was given a wonderful review in the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) quarterly publication, ‘Voir Dire’, by John A. McGuinn, National Board Member from the San Francisco Chapter of ABOTA.
“I recently read a novel that finally paints an authentic picture of the life of a civil trial lawyer. Acts of Omission grabbed on and held me from start to finish. It is a story that realistically depicts the difficult choices, high rise, ethical dilemmas, anguish and euphoria of everyday life for attorneys who represent victims of negligence.”
James Bostwick has been a member of ABOTA, an invitation-only organization, since 2003. ABOTA is a national association of experienced trial lawyers and judges who have high personal character, an honorable reputation, and must have tried a minimum of 10 civil jury trials to conclusion. ABOTA dedicates itself to the preservation and promotion of the Seventh Amendment that guarantees the right to civil jury trials. More than 7,600 lawyers and judges are involved in ABOTA chapters in all 50 states.
To read the full review of Acts of Omission, go to ABOTA Bookshelf.
James Bostwick, partner at Bostwick & Peterson, was interviewed about his debut novel, Acts of Omission, as well as his career as a nationally recognized trial lawyer.
In his interview with Authority Magazine, James discusses the challenges he’s had becoming an author, gives advice to aspiring authors, and talks about what has inspired him and contributed to him becoming a great writer.
“Writing is a creative process like art — not everyone is going to like the product of your efforts. Every good author is going to have a few one- or two-star reviews. You must give birth to what is inside you and not worry about pleasing everyone.”
James, along with his partner at Bostwick and Peterson LLP Erik Peterson, was interviewed on KALW 91.7 FM, San Francisco public radio: Your Legal Rights. Together, they speak about their job as trial lawyers of catastrophic injury cases. James speaks about Acts of Omission, and being nominated for the 2020 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.
Acts of Omission gives readers a realistic ‘day in the life’ of a civil trial lawyer. It’s based on a true San Francisco case that Bostwick tried in 1984, painting an authentic and gut-wrenching picture of the dangers, risks and rewards when a young, dogged lawyer goes up against one of the nation’s most famous attorneys to seek justice for a young man with a devastating injury.
Purchase your copy of Acts of Omission today on Amazon.com.
James Bostwick, author of Acts of Omission and partner at Bostwick & Peterson, was interviewed about the effects that COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is having on the justice system.
TVGrapevine.com shares the discussion they had with Jim about COVID-19 and the legal world. He explains the effects that the virus is having, what the justice system’s “new normal” looks like, and how America’s justice system might look like post COVID-19. In addition, Jim offers advice for lawyers on what they can do now to reduce the impact of those effects.
He was also interviewed by Dean Johnson on “Your Legal Rights: Will Justice Survive the Coronavirus?” on KALW 91.7 FM, San Francisco public radio where he discussed the effects that the Coronavirus is having, and will continue to have, on the justice system.
Jim was also quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle in their April 6th, 2020 article titled: “Coronavirus Pandemic: Courts adopt virtual, remote proceedings.” The article addresses this new reality that courts across California are facing and law professionals offer their thoughts on what this means for the justice system. Click here to see the print version of the article, or read online at SFChronicle.com
Jim is a nationally recognized trial lawyer with over fifty years of experience. He is one of the most respected medical malpractice and personal injury lawyers in the nation and the founder of Bostwick & Peterson. He has spent more than 50 years specializing in complex medical malpractice and personal injury law, litigating some of the most complex and high-stakes cases in the country. He has set state and national records for high-value recoveries in legal malpractice, birth injury, and other personal injury claims. In early 2018, his firm obtained a $14M malpractice settlement just before trial over a neonatal brain injury. At the time, the result was the largest present value settlement in California history for a case that had not been tried to verdict.
Acts of Omission author James Bostwick, California personal injury lawyer and partner at Bostwick & Peterson, was quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle in their April 6th, 2020 article titled: “Coronavirus Pandemic: Courts adopt virtual, remote proceedings.”
The article addresses this new reality that courts across California are facing and law professionals offer their thoughts on what this means for the justice system.
Click here to see the print version of the article, or read online at SFChronicle.com
“In America we have one of the greatest justice systems in civilized history, but it has been brought to its knees by this pandemic. If we don’t reverse our descent into the chaos of contagion quickly, the system may have to change dramatically in order to function.”
– James S. Bostwick
James S. Bostwick wrote an article that is published on the Bostwick & Peterson LLP website titled: Will Justice Survive the Coronavirus? In the article, he discusses the impact the Coronavirus pandemic is having, and will continue to have on the justice system.
Justice is being delayed across the country because of the inability to travel or be in groups. This will affect all aspects of civil litigation; from the preparation that will not occur in order to be ready for court, to the delay of jury trials. What will this mean for our system of justice?
Click here to read Jim’s full post.