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Stop Writer's Block

Sunday, December 30, 2007

"How Did You Write A Book?"

Have a question? Agree, disagree, with me?
Leave me your opinion.

The question isn't hard to answer.

First, find an idea that excites you.
One that will be hold its own until
the end of the story.

Ask a few questions. Will this idea
allow me to write a book length work?
Is it interesting to me, others?

What is the plot? Plot is how you
solve a problem in the novel. Long
fiction requires more than one

What kind of characters will
populate the story? Male or
female? A mixture of both?

How do your characters look?

Make profiles for your characters.

Where will the story take place?
What time of year?

Start the problem on page one.
Show who your characters are,
and what or whom they are
struggling against.

Write a page or two a day.
Don't put unnecessary pressure
on yourself.

Some days you'll write more than
two pages. There will be a day
when nothing is written. That's
all right.

Sometimes, you come back more
refreshed when a break is taken.
Simply, keep writing.

Writing a novel is fun, rewarding,
and you can do it. Start today.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Must Have Business/Personal Tool

Have a question? Agree, disagree, with me?
Leave me your opinion.

The in-fashion, always, tool offers
new customers, writers, buyers, renters,
and would-be investors opportunities.
I, only, named a few categories on the

"What is this about?" You asked.

I'm talking about the Craigslist
web site.

Craig Newmark, in 1995, used a list
server to post notices about events.
At the time, the San Francisco area
was the focus.

The snow-ball effect happened.
People placed personal ads, job
openings, and just about anything
you can think of with him.

Word-of-mouth took the site to new
heights. Its traffic ranks on the
level with Google and Yahoo.

Craigslist has anywhere from a
twenty-five to forty-five day
ad limit. There is a major up-
side to it.

"What is that?" You asked.

It's free, except in Los
Angeles, New York, and San
Francisco. The fee to place an
ad from those cities are nominal.

New customers before you post,
have in mind who your product
or service is directed at.

"How?" You stared at the article.

To get a feel for what people need,
go to forums. Throw out your idea,
or a version of the plan. How was
it received? People feel it's
needed? Are you moving in the right
direction with your product/service?

There are people on the list looking
to purchase, join a venture, even
invest. Craigslist is the place to
show your wares, gain new customers.
Perhaps, you'll come up with new
business ideas. Sometimes, another
person's ad copy can inspire
improvement on your own.

An appealing ad, in the right
section, equals more responses,
which is the goal.

"How's Craigslist accessed?"
Someone wanted to know.

Type Craigslist in any search
engine like Google, Yahoo, or

It is a good idea to browse,
get comfortable with the site.
What grabbed your attention?
Base your ad on the factors
that caught your eyes.

No one wants to read boring
ads. The first words must
stand-out, immediately stop
readers from looking elsewhere.

People are always looking for
writers to write ad copy, web
site content, editors, just to
name a few. Take some time to
see what could interest you.

One day, I was scanning through
the writer wanted section.

I wrote a novel, Grave Street
House, which needed editing.
I'd get around to it, sooner or

I had no idea my eyes would find
an online publisher. The editing
for my novel happened sooner. Yes,
it was published in September 2007.

It proves my point that Craigslist
is worth taking the time to learn

The renters or buyers sections
offers sublets, shared space, and
other opportunities.

Take your time. Don't rush into
anything. Make sure people you are
dealing with have good intentions.

People will invest. It is a matter of
connecting with them, and that takes
research. See what's relevant to your

How well one works with another plays
a role in how productive the parties are.
Projects are completed faster if both are
on the same page.

Craigslist is a vehicle to help your
business move, grow. Use it wisely.

Friday, December 14, 2007

How To Edit

Have a question? Agree, disagree, with me?
Leave me your opinion.

The usual practice, for writers, is to go
over their work. Yes, the editing process.
It takes time, and should be done several
days after completion.

"Why several days?" You asked.

The longer the project, the more time
you need away. It allows you to come-
back refreshed, and better able to spot

Start your next article, essay, novel,
or non-fiction book. Call the people
you wanted to, but couldn't squeeze out
the time for.

Read out-loud, each sentence, slowly.
Did you use action verbs? Action verbs
show someone stalking, arguing, doing.
It depicts a problem exploding, or about

Read over the two examples.

Paul bashed the door in.
Paul did more than open the door.

Sally chased down the thief.
Sally didn't just run after the thief.

Action verbs leave no question as to
what happened.

Words that end with ing should
be a last choice. They present less
than a sharp picture of what happened.

Your job, as writer, is to bring vivid
images to mind using, your tools, words.
Some emotion should come over me after
reading your work.

Writers are required to tickle the senses.
The sensation may not be pleasing. The
idea is to invoke some response, which will
keep the reader page-turning to the end.

Make sure all boring sentences are removed.
Take a look.

The boy saw a dog, and he jumped on the car.
The pit-bull showed his teeth before running
after him.

The second version.

The boy's eyes became as large as half-dollar
pieces after seeing the pit-bull. The dog's
lips parted in anticipation of the hunt.

The example is simplified, but makes the

Is your title funny, thought provoking,
mysterious? The title's job is to
catch the reader's eyes. It sparks the
desire to learn, read on, or to find out
what it's about.

Check for run-on sentences, like the

"I called Bill for the remaining balance
but he wasn't there couldn't recognize
the voice of the person who answered
the telephone."

The re-write.

"I called Bill for the remaining
balance. He wasn't there, and I
couldn't recognize the voice who
answered the telephone."

Here is a common mistake, at least,
for me.

"I ccalled him too."

I've, often, double typed a letter,
and didn't see the error until editing.
Again, I distanced myself from it, came

Write like you talk. Try to look at
your work with an editor's eye.

Are you using the same word over and
over? Before stuffing a word in too many
times, consult the thesaurus.

I looked up the word, provoke, for example.
The thesaurus list the following words
that can be used in place of provoke. The
words are: anger, annoy, gall, insult,
inflame, and bug.

He provoked Sam. Sam tried to punch him
because he was provoked. I had never seen
him so provoked. He provoked Sam with a

I'll re-write it.

"Thief!" John yelled at Sam. "Thief!"

"I ain't steal nothin'!"

"Everybody know it was ya."

Sam leaped across the floor to punch John.
Sam was so annoyed his face turned red.
I've never seen Sam so inflamed.

John grabbed a broom, which added more

John broke free, scurried away.

Editing your work is the final step
of writing. It is where every sentence
must earn its space. Strong writing
that brings vivid images to mind, life,
is the goal.

It is not uncommon for a project to
take more than one editing.

The title as well as the body should
grab the eyes, be inviting, invoke an
emotion, and hold the reader's
attention to the end.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

How To Turn Phrases Into Fiction

Have a question? Agree, disagree, with me?
Leave me your opinion.

"Phrases into fiction?" You laughed.

Yes, take any group of words you can
think of, sse, and write a story
about them.

My eyes ran to the bottle of hand
sanitizer sitting next to me.

The cat tipped in, came to mind,
and roaring engines.

Decide on what your tale will say.
Thriller? Comedy? Long fiction
or short? Decide on a problem to
be solved.

I'm going to work with my first

It will grow into a mystery,
short fiction.

"Why is my bottle of hand
sanitizer always turned down
on my desk?" Mary asked

She locks the door to her
office, every night. She
places the key under the
mat, outside the door.

There are, only, six other
people in the house.

Later that night, Mary tossed,
turned in bed, and couldn't
get relaxed.

She took a deep breath, grabbed
her robe, and paced to her office.

She was startled by the door
being open. She slowly pulled
on the door.

Mary screamed at...

It is just an idea start.
There are many paths to

"What can you do with the
phrase about the cat?"
You asked.

Take a look.

Mary snuggled up to her
computer, excited with
tales to tell. She glanced
out the window, saw snow-
flakes dancing here, there.

The house was, unusually,
quiet. No one stirred,
not even the cat. She
turned back to the computer.

The door moaned, opened.
Mary jumped, knew no one
else was in the house.

The cat ran in. He curled
up on Mary's slippers.

An idea dawned on her. The
cat who appeared and disappeared
at will.

"I looked for you all mornin',
Tom." She rubbed his head.
"I sat out food and water too."

Which direction would you continue
down with the above idea?

Now, my last idea.

"I'm glad you encouraged me to
take a drive." I said. "What
a stress reducer."

"Don't know where we are, just
drove." Brad continued to

A feeling of fear came over me.

"Where are we?" I asked.

"The sign we passed said Deadwood,
but I've never heard of it." He
pulled to the side.

I snatched the map from the

"It's not on here."

A glow surrounded us...

Pick any phrase to work with.
The technique works for poetry,
essays, and some non-fiction.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

How To Write What You Know

Have a question? Agree, disagree, with me?
Leave me your opinion.

You looked at the title, eyes rolled around
the room. "What?"

Settle on a topic that really cranks up
your creative side. It should have mass

"Yeah, I've been there, not goin' back."
A few confirmed.

"This puts a new light on writing for
me." Someone mentioned.

How do you write what you know? Listen
to what friends, relatives, are saying.
Tap on information learned at forums.

The ideas can shape-up into fiction or
non-fiction. It depends on what you
decide to create.

First, you have to enjoy writing it.

Now, I'll discuss the fiction idea.

Start the action on page one. Two
characters, for example, share a
misconception. Each feel their way
is right. Conflict invites itself
with thinking like that. How the
situation is solved forms plot.

Story people hold the reader's
attention, to the end.

Throw in obstacles, confusion, on
practically every page. The main
character faces a hindrance, which
keeps him/her from agreeing, seeing,
the opposing point of view.

Give the impression that circumstances
are going to explode. Build it up.
Allow the tension to escalate, and
then the main character almost succeeds.
He/she falls prey to unforeseen event(s).
Happiness is snatched away.

As with any failure, a lesson is learned.
So, too, the character grows from not
reaching his/her goal. Also, the reader's
interest heightens.

The following example is off the top
of my head.

Weird Bill's neighbor found fault with
everything he did, and tried to start
trouble for him. She thought it horrible
how he yelled at his mother.

One day, the shouting stopped. His mother
disappeared. Weird Bill claimed his
mother was on, a much needed, vacation.

The neighbor gave her opinion.

"I didn't sleep well, up off and on,
during the night." She shifted her
weight on the porch chair. "I'm lookin'
out the winda all the time, neva saw
Gail leave." Mrs. Stout explained to
Mrs. Garry.

"Neva trusted him," Mrs Garry said.

"His girl-friend been there eva since
Gail been gone." Mrs. Stout pointed
next door.

Weird Bill headed up his porch steps.

"Old biddies need to mind their business."
He stabbed his eyes at them.

"Ain't nobody scared." Mrs. Stout made

"An accident can happen to nosy, old,

The two ladies scurried inside of Mrs.
Stout's house.

Screaming was heard from Weird Bill's
house, late that night.

Neighbors concluded, it was his girl-
friend, and ignored the cries for help.

Still, they were concerned about his
mother. Or, if, in fact, she was among
the living.

Mrs. Stout lightly knocked on Weird Bill's
front door.

The door slowly opened. Weird Bill's
girl-friend stood behind it. Her eyes
were black.

"Oh, child," Mrs. Stout said. "Ya should
see a doctor."

"I'll be all 'ight. Whatcha want?"

"Just wanted to see if Martha was back."

"Nope. I gotta clean."

Mrs. Stout left.

A couple days passed.

Mrs. Stout saw Gail at the market.

"Where did Martha go?" Mrs. Stout asked.

"Don't know." She hurried away.

Mrs. Stout baked a cake, took it to
Weird Bill's house. She knew he would
be at work.

Gail opened the door.

"Feel like eating, my special recipe,
cake with me?" Mrs. Stout asked.
"You're eyes look better."

"I hate him."

"Why do you stay here?" Mrs. Stout
sat on the couch with the cake.

"He tricked me, Miss Martha, and everybody."
Gail stood at the door.

"What do you mean?"

"Bill told me he ran his own
business. His mother isn't on vacation,
but in the basement."

"Let's get her help."

"Too late.

"I'll call the police from my house."
Mrs. Stout opened the door.

Weird Bill rushed in.

"Whatcha doin' here?"

"Wanted to share my cake
with Gail." Mrs. Stout coughed.

"Yeah, right." Weird Bill grabbed
for Mrs. Stout's neck.

The cake rolled one way, and they
toppled to the floor.

"Stop it." Gail tried to pull him
away from Mrs. Stout. "Not again!"

"Shut up." Weird Bill jumped-off
Mrs. Stout to smack Gail.

Mrs. Stout eased over to the cake,
grabbed a chunk, and smashed it in
Weird Bill's face.

It further angered him. He reached
for her throat, again.

Gail pushed him. His head rammed
through the window, and he landed
on the porch.

Mrs. Stout crawled over to the
telephone, dialed nine-one-one.

It simply, takes imagination to
curve fiction out of what you

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

How To Accept Rejection

Rejection is a part of life. When someone
can't, will not, accept something from you,
the best action is to move on, try another

The same applies to writing. Make sure
the person, publication, is a match for
your work. Check for grammatical errors,
run-on sentences, and weak verbs.

Take the concept, article, and flip-it.

"What do you mean?" You asked.

Take a look at one of my rejected

L. Frank Baum played Tin Man, in
The Wizard Of Oz. It was a popular,
feature film, during 1939.

It was a funny, upbeat, fantasy.
The movie offered funny moments,
tearful ones too.

I, even, recall the re-runs of it,
as a teen.

Here's the twist.

According to a Los Angeles, reporter,
a mini-series is being made. It isn't
your mother/grandmother must see show.

The re-make stirs in acid tripping addicts,
crazed-acting people, possibly multi-
personalities, and sex. I'm not talking
about an appearance of a kiss, but a sexy

Could the series be a "thing" for a new
generation(s). Perhaps, just my opinion,
Gothic images danced in someone's head
when the idea was in its conception.

It takes place in, not exactly OZ,
but, O. Z., like Outer Zone.

Whatever happened to the good and bad

A mean spirited, sorceress, Azkadellia
is in the house. Kathleen Robertson
plays her.

Well, she, character, is nuts, looks for
revenge. She shows plenty of chest, if
you know what I mean. Oh, let me not
forget, the chest tattoos, which will
be exposed.

The mini-series sprinkles in other
neon characters to this version.

It is a matter of taste, or profit.
Specifically, is art imitating life?

Now, what can I do with that?
I can write an essay on L. Frank Baum,
write my own version of the Wizard Of
Oz, or come up with a new idea.
There is no limit to how it can be

What do you think?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

How To Re-Cycle Writing

"I didn't know you could do that."
Someone said.

We write fiction, non-fiction, and, even,
apply for writing related jobs. The
editing process will force us to pull-out
paragraphs, sentences, and, sometimes,
whole pages.

The words, for one reason or another,
fall short of blending in with a
current work. However, the same
verb(s), cluster of words, will
inspire, bring to life, another
project. There is no need to
throw away anything. Save them
for a different day, or stir them
into a new article, story.

Let's look at one of my rejections.
No, it didn't make the cut.

Parenting is one of the most rewarding,
loving, relationships. In my opinion,
it is wise to be consistent. Yes,
routines can be changed for a very
good reason.

Babies, mothers too, tend to be less
cranky, fussy, if they nap. Babies
should sleep each day, at the same time.
Most things, in life, are easier when you
do it on a regular basis, and napping is no

"What if the baby refuses to nap?" You asked.

Playing with the baby will help settle him/her.
A game of peek-a-boo grabs the baby's attention.
Opening and closing the arms, gently, stops
the tears. Move the baby's legs in a bicycling
motion to calm.

Personally, I found just talking to babies
quiets them. I mean regular words, in a low
tone. A favorite toy can never hurt. Music
can ease restlessness.

"What do I do when the baby wakes up fussy?"
Someone asked.

Like us, baby has bad moments.

Pick the baby up. Ask what's wrong. Start a
conversation if he/she has been fed and changed.
Try rocking. You relax too.

It has been my experience some babies are
fussier than others, under the same conditions.
So, do not get upset.

Babies sense when you are stressed...

Several fiction ideas dawned with the
above article. The first was, Baby
Strikes Back.

The story centers around a two-year-old.
Odd occurrences happen in the house when
she cries.

"What's wrong, Susie?" Mrs. Blake
asked her two-year-old toddler.

A plate jumped-out of the sink onto
the floor.

The baby quieted. Mrs. Blake cleaned
up the plate.

Around nap-time, for no reason, the
baby became fussy. She cried. Her
mother rocked her, sang, but nothing
soothed her.

She carried her out of the kitchen.
Mrs. Blake reached the entrance when
a chair slid across the floor.

Mrs. Blake hurried upstairs to call
her husband.

The story idea can twist and turn
down any path. The only limitation
is my imagination.

Here is a second idea that popped
into my mind. A child's eye color
changes when he plays peek-a-boo.
They fade back to the original
color within seconds.

"Peek-aboo, I see you." Mrs.
Blake said to the twin, Todd.

She covered his eyes, said it
again, and took the child's
hands away.

She screamed, because his eyes
were a different shade.

Was it the lighting in the room?
Perhaps, only Mrs. Blake could
see the color change? Or, is
there another explanation? Is
there something strange about
the house they live in?

In closing, find a place to
store all unused words. Refer
to them for a catchy title,
story idea, or article start.
It is possible to create poems
from some of your discarded work.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

How To Sell Your Writing

"How do I do that?" You stared at the title.

Writing is a form of communication. This media
is used to expose a product or service through
advertising. It could be a sales letter, an ad,
etc. The goal is to reach as many people as
possible about your wares. The means to that end
is writing about your products and services.

Post the information about products and services
on e-zines, forums, and blogs. It can be useful
to allow others to use your articles, providing
you are given credit. This is how you profit
from your articles, and get maximum coverage.

"I'm not a writer." You complained.

Let's look at that point.

There is no need to get technical when
explaining about your offers. State
the benefits, features, as if you were
talking to a thirteen-year-old. Be
clear. Use short and long sentences.
Don't rattle on. Make your point, and

The head-line should be three to five
words. It's function is to catch the
reader's eye, because of the benefit
in it. The information you're
presenting must be interesting, and
spark a desire, need, in people.
It is important your product or service
reach the right person. The key to
success is target marketing.

"How is that done?"

It is best to do some research.

If your budget allows, send direct
sales letters to those whose jobs
can't exist without the use of your
product or service.

Forums is an excellent medium for
feed-back on products and services.
You get an idea of how your offer(s)
will be received. Advice on rough
spots that escaped your attention is
there. If it is more comfortable for
you, discuss a version of your business
plan. Some may not feel like sharing
their venture until it's actually
ready for the world. There is a big
advantage in forum-sharing.

"What is it?" You questioned.

When you introduce your product
or service into forums, it is
free advertising. Advertising,
alone, can cost hundreds, even
thousands, of dollars.

Here are some questions to think

Why should I purchase from you?
How would it benefit me? Is
your product or service less in
price than a similar product?
Can I get a deal on it?

Head-lines that grab the attention:
Get It Half-Price, Below Price, But
Hurry, See Results In Five Days,
Lose-It Or Money Back, and Free

Think of some yourself.

I chose the following
head-line for my five-lesson
fiction writing course.
Learn Fiction Writing--Five

The benefit to the reader is in
it. An individual can learn how
to write fiction, in just five
lessons. It's the job of the three
to five word head-line to stop the
reader's eyes from roaming, and
mention how he/she will benefit
from the product/service.

We are busy, some have stressful
lives. Sell your writing with
words that hold the reader's


Simply, spice the article with easy-
to-understand words. No one wants
to hunt down the dictionary to
look-up a word.

The body makes the point. Be clear.
Expose all benefits and features.

Write like you talk. Never get
technical. The flow of language
should be on the level of an
eighth grader.

A dead-line is necessary.
It pushes the person to act,
especially if he/she is
already interested. A
guarantee adds a flavor
of credibility.

More importantly, be fair
with customers, and you
will get re-peat business.

Follow the above steps,
and selling your writing
will be profitable.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

How To Brand Yourself

"Brand myself?" You asked.

Yes. I am referring to exposing your business, product,
without spending hundreds of, even more, dollars.

The easiest means to that end is writing, submitting,
articles for publication.

Sit down. Jot down the benefits of your product or
service. You know the direction the business should
go. You possess the background knowledge to
explain it.

Why should a customer purchase your product or
service? Will it work faster, better than product X?
Scribble down every reason, you can think of, your
wares exist. More reliable? Be sure to include that
fact as a benefit. Highlight the benefits, and show-
case them.

Name your article. The head-line should be
three to five words. Your article must have a
beginning, middle, and ending.

Submit the articles to e-zines. The more they
are seen, the quicker you become a brand, and
a house-hold name. Word of mouth spreads
quickly. One person tells a friend about your
product, service, then another. People with
positive encounters with your product or
service will share it with others. Again, more
free advertising for you.

Ads can be costly. There is less space to get
your message across, and e-zine writing gives
you the opportunity for wide-spread coverage.

The more people see your name, the more
comfortable they are with you. They trust you,
and are willing to take a chance on buying from

Turn an idea, concept, inside out. Get as many
useable articles as possible from it. Write about
it from different angles. Send your work to more
than one e-zine, or publisher.

Success with article writing brands you. It, also,
inspires more writing, and sales. At the very
least, people will request more information about
your product or service. Add their e-mail
addresses to your list, which builds your
customer base.

Link the article to a web site, other products,
services. Or, direct people to a longer version
of the original article.

The following web sites allow you to brand yourself.
Simply, give them well written articles.

In closing, brand yourself by writing frequently
about your products or services. Publish the
articles with an e-zine for maximum
coverage. There is a huge benefit that
makes it worthwhile.

"What is it?" You asked.

It's free.

Monday, November 26, 2007

How To Turn Ideas Into Fiction

"I heard writing ideas are everywhere." You said.
"Still not sure how to turn one into a story."

Ideas for writing come from living life. Look
at your life. Pick-out any event or situation to
write about. Remember, change actual names,
places, and exact likenesses.

"Why not write like it was?" Someone questioned.

It is best, right, to get people's signature in regard
to writing about them. Some may want to forget
the incident, prefer it not be known by present
company, or any number of reasons for not sharing
the details of a situation. Write about it, without
permission, can end you up in litigation.

Did something happen at the market? Someone
eased up, but you turned in the opposite direction
before your hand-bag was snatched? You were
about to pick-up a twenty-dollar bill at the entrance,
but someone else grabbed it.

Perhaps, a co-worker started a rumor about you,
or someone else. Your favorite team lost the
game. You were planning how to spend the
money. Now, you have to find a way to
replace the thousands you advanced yourself,
from work.

Let's work with the funds from work idea.

Start the action immediately.

"Whatcha doing, Tom?" Jeff stared at Tom
closing the wall safe.

"I'm a partner, and shouldn't be questioned
like a common thief."

"Just thought Phil handled the funds."

Tom stormed through the door.

Take any idea, throw in characters, confusion,
problem(s), and you're writing fiction.

Of course, Tom found himself at the
gambling table, which put him in more
debt, trouble.

His business partner, Jeff, hired a private
investigator. The PI uncovered kick-backs,
and Tom, even, had been helping himself
to employee benefits.

There are endless directions to go with

A rumor is started as a joke. Only,
it gets out of hand.

"You live out of your car, Pearl?" Sammi

"What are you talkin' 'bout?"

"Everyone knows."

Pearl walked away.

The tension builds over the next few days.

How would you finish it?

You are about to walk into the market. You
notice the money, but someone grabs it.

The character can make a scene, or continue
into the store. What do you think?

Someone approaches. She is on the side
where your hand-bag rests against a shoulder.
Your eye caught an item on sale, forced you
to move out of harm's way.

Small situations in life can explode on the
page through interesting writing.

I speak from experience. My novel, Grave
Street House, was based on a former place
of employment. Yes, I fictionalized it. The
writing of it was therapeutic too. It helped
me to see issues clearer. I was able to
attribute the whole horrible encounter up to,
life happens. I had no idea that scribbling
down my life's crisis would impact me in
such a way.

In closing, take stressful moments in life,
happy ones too, and write about them.
You may find that writing, about them, has
the added benefit of healing.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Editors Expect Punctuation Perfect

Fiction and non-fiction, presented to an
editor, should be free of spelling errors,
poor sentence structure, and weak writing.
Now, that is not to say, you will never error.
Simply, edit your work.

The important step is creating. There
will be time to go back, review, make

I have been in the moment of writing,
many times. I stopped, read through it.
Some paragraphs were unreadable, weak
verbs. I had to put it aside for a few days,
and then do the editing. If I found mistakes
immediately after writing, what would I find
when refreshed?

Like I always say, longer writing projects
require more time away.

An editor can spot mistakes in paragraph
one. To be honest, it is a waste of the editor's
time, and your energy when your best work
is not sent out.

"How do you know?" You asked.

I have made similar blunders. Yes, I
speak from experience. It has led to
failures, of course. I gained from the
process, learned to write better. It set
me on the rode to developing an editor's

The editor's eye took me some years
to grasp. It could happen, sooner or later,
for you. Keep learning, writing. It is the
only sure way, I know of, to reach goals.

It is good form to request writer's
guidelines before submitting, include
a self-addressed stamped envelope.
Sometimes, the guidelines can be read
online. There are publications that offer
issues for sale, online. Reading back
issues of magazines informs you about the
style, flavor of it. You are better able
to give the editor what he/she wants.

The dictionary and thesaurus are
tools that should be kept at your finger-
tips. Spell-check more than once.

The dictionary, as you know, explains
the meaning of words. It, also, helps
with spelling.

The thesaurus provides words with
the same, almost the same meaning,
and opposite meanings of words.

"Why is the thesaurus needed?" You

Let's look at the word angry.

"What's the point?" You stared at the

Your writing calls for an emotion, anger,
for example. Instead of using angry nine
times, replace it with: annoyed, bitter,
cross, enraged, fuming, irate, vexed,
heated, or offended.

It is boring to read the same words.
Also, it marks you as an amateur.

I will show you.

Henry was angry at Jess. They
fought over the cat. Jess kicked
the chair. I guess, she was angry.
They were so angry until I had to
get my brothers.

Tom and Bill persuaded Henry
to leave. Henry broke the door.

The re-written version follows.

Henry was irate, when he walked
in the door, at Jess. They fought
over the cat. Jess fumed, kicked the

They exchanged heated words, and
I ran to get my brothers.

My brothers, Tom and Bill, urged
Henry to leave.

They offended Henry, and he shattered
the door as he left.

Critique the above two paragraphs.
Leave me some comments about them.

The goal is to pull-out weak, bloated,
and grammatically incorrect sentences.
Once that is done, you are on your way
to success.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Write Everyday For Success

I don't have time, or a place to

write everyday." You said.

Slip, at least, a couple of hours

in to write during the day or night.

Set the alarm, for example, two hours

earlier than usual. Especially, if your

surroundings tend to be busy, noisy.

I have the problem of inner-city living.

It is loud where I live. So, I learned

to concentrate on what I am writing.

As with anything else, practice for

success, everyday.

Simply, slice away some time to

reach your goal of writing.

The best time for you could be on

a break at work. Use a tape recorder

to take notes on a possible story, or


Take the reason why you feel

there's no time to write, and turn it

into fiction. It should be no longer

than one thousand words.

It is what writers do, or a large

part of what they do.

"What do writers do?" You asked.

They find time to write, scribble

words down. At a later time, go

back to make corrections.

The more you write, the better you

become. You develop an editor's

eye, even to critique your own

work. Now, that isn't to say you

will not make mistakes. However,

you acquire the skill to correct them.

Who knows? It could be something you

do for a fee.

I am referring to critiquing or teaching

to make extra money. I believe, it is

harder to edit one's own work. Once the

editor's eye is developed, it can take you

down many interesting paths. If you are

able to spot mistakes in your work, you

can do it for others.

Some teens, in my neighborhood, were

making, unnecessary, noises on the street

I live. I made several notes, on different


-teen boys trying to bully



-teen boys doing drugs

My observations can roll into fiction

or non-fiction.

"Can you turn it into an essay?" Someone


The teen boys, ages range from twelve to

seventeen, congregate on the same corner,

everyday. The fact that they sell drugs

exposes all of us to more danger. Child

on child crime. How sad, but it is a fact

of life, in the city.

Feelings of heightened anxiety...

Let's look at how the same notes are

turned into fiction.

"Tom, what's that white powder 'round

your nose?" Jeff stopped at his front door.

"Mind ya're biz." Tom rubbed his nose.

"You should have cleaned your face before

coming home." Jeff opened the door to

their house. "That would upset mom."

Tom pushed Jeff into the door. They

fell to the floor, struggled with each other.

"What's going on here?" Mrs. Balls asked.

"Stop it!"

She ran to the kitchen, returned with a

pitcher of water. She poured it on the

teens. They pulled away from each other.

A few notes supplied me with many ideas.

The same can hold true for you.

Everywhere you go material, for writing,

waits to be plucked, and smoothed into

fiction or non-fiction.

Yes, ideas for writing are everywhere.

Have you untentionally over-heard a

conversation at the mall? Something funny

or unusual happen at a family get-together?

I sat next to an older lady who was talking

to a teen. I was deciding if I wanted to visit

the chocolate store.

"I don't think you should go." The older

lady protested.

"I never go anywhere." She whined.

"They're my family too."

"But they didn't want anything to do with

you. Now, you inherited..."

I quietly left, because that was, after all, a

personal conversation.

I jotted down notes at the chocolate store,

but not exact words.

My idea was to have a teen raised by her

grandmother. The parents died, years before,

and the daughter is at an age where she can

receive money left, or claim funds from a trust.

There are numerous ways to move with it.

At the usual, family get-together pin-down,

the write everyday for success, ideas.

You will be amazed at the ideas found, and

success is yours. You must believe in yourself.

Article Source:

Friday, November 9, 2007

How To Critique Your Work

You looked at the title, and said, "That's hard."
The first action, after you have completed it, is
to put aside the work. Read a book you meant to six
months ago, visit friends, make telephone calls, or
start a new topic. The longer projects require more
time away. Why? There is more to sift through,
correct, pull-out. You return refreshed, better able
to spot mistakes.

Check sentence structure. Are your sentences flowing
smoothly? Need a period? Comma? Read it out-loud. This
is how you learn to critique. Read it again, slowly.
Should a stronger verb replace a weaker one? Is a
sentence running on? Could a comma stop a run-on
sentence? Or, is it more effective to make two sentences?
Write like you talk.

Is your article or story dragging? Slice away any paragraph,
sentence, not contributing, or moving the story-line along.
Take a look at my example of bloated words. The door opened,
and the body rolled onto the street. The following heightens
the senses, grabs the attention. It an excerpt from my novel.

"Don't move." The shaved head dare taker told her.

She stayed, cried, and then abruptly stopped.

Silence filled the air. Grave Street House's door slowly
creaked open. The bloody, mutilated body was flung into the

"Help my sister," the young girl cried.

The above is taken directly from my novel, Grave Street House.
See the difference? Save unused paragraphs for another piece
of fiction or non-fiction. They hamper you today, but could
enhance a future work.

The focus from this point will be fiction, book length work.

It is necessary to develop an editor's eye. Yes, you can.

I have read books, and critiqued them. It helped me with my
own work. Still, it is harder to find your own mistakes. Again,
put aside finished work, and return to it. You gain a new
perspective. I found cann instead of can in a sentence of mine.
I did not realize the small error until I tucked it away in a
file, and opened it a couple weeks later.

Are the characters believable?

"How do I make my characters real?"

Profile each of them. It includes a speech pattern. A story person
pronounces that as dat? The main character is one that is liked,
readers feel a connection to, or care about. What are the
aspirations? Would anything or anyone stop a character from
reaching goals? Is there something in a personality causing a
character to act a certain way? Looks?

Knead in information sparingly. Let characters show what, who,
they are by interacting with other story people. Characters,
like human beings, have flaws. How many? You answer that
question. The story makes a comment on life through its theme.
It is something people felt, learned, realized after reading
the book. Plot is the problem, and how it unfolds tells the
story. The main character is challenged, at least, three times
before figuring out a solution.

The main character has conflict, struggle. Characters, too, learn
and grow. Show wisdom through a character's behavior. Present a
situation where the character behaves differently, better, or
stronger, for example. In long fiction, more than one problem
exists. All stories have a beginning, middle, and ending. I like
to see the problem happen in chapter one. This is where the
action starts.

Decide on a place and time for your setting. Will it be urban
America, rural area, corporate anywhere? Some writers research
a place they heard about for a setting. Follow the tips on how
to critique your work, and you are on the path to realizing a

Marcella Glenn is a freelance writer who has spent most of her
life writing. Her work includes dabbling into the world of poetry,
through her collection entitled, Piece Of Life, and participating in
the blogospere. She is no stranger to non-fiction, enjoys a
mix-n-match approach to intermingling characters from fiction,
as seen in her novel, Grave Street House, to non-fiction. She reshapes
them into becoming friends. Yet, they remain on the page awaiting her
next foray into their world.

Article Source:

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Write Fiction That Grabs Attention

"I'd like to write, but not sure I can." Someone said.

Simply, sit down, write and that's the secret.

Answer the following questions. What problem, plot

will the main character be struggling against? In longer

or book length fiction, writers knead in more than one

problem. For our purposes, the focus is on short fiction.

Unless, you have questions about novel length work?

Submit questions to me. Feel free to comment as well.

Where will the story be told? Will the setting be rural?

A farm that an older sibling wants to sell, but the younger

brother have plans to make it a success. The farm had been

in the family for generations. What lengths will the two go

to in an effort to reach their goals?

Urban America has grounds for all kinds of twists

and turns for a thriller. A wife drove to the market,

noticed the same car that passed her. It had blood

on it. Why? What happened?

Some do research on a place with an appealing name,

or a region of interest.

Make a profile of each character. You have to know

your characters before telling their story.

Profiles include features, aspirations, gender, and

anything else you want in it.

Personally, I like characters to have flaws, and speak

differently from one another.

The following excerpt is from my novel, Grave Street

House. The conversation is between two cousins.

Notice the difference in their speech patterns.

"I gotta dare for ya," Lena boosted.

"No, no way. I'm not doing any dares. I can't

live life on your roller coaster of rushes."

"Ya like 'em as much as I do."

"No way."

"Ya don't have a choice."

"Do too."

Fiction that grabs the attention spills-out the

problem immediately. Show the main's character's

plight. Allow readers to see who characters are

through interaction with other story people, or from

hearing talk, gossip.

"I'm still not sure how to bring a character to life."

You explained.

Think of a person best suited for your story.

Female? Male? Name he, she, or it.

I am going to pick a main character for a short

story. I named her Barbara Stills. The name came

off the top of my head. No, I was looking at water.

I mean as in, spring water or distilled water. Hence,

the name Stills.

Who is she? She reaches four-feet in height,

strong jaw-line, black eyes, red hair, and twenty-

years-old. She lives for now, no future goals.

Thumb through magazines to get an idea of

features for characters. Don't copy, but stir in

your imagination. Draw from life too. In other

words, have you ever seen a person that would

make an excellent character in your fiction?

Never use exact speech patterns, looks, but be


Barbara Stills grew up in any city, USA. She works

at the Carter Recreational Center during the Summer

months. She is a swimming coach/guard.

Take a look at how Barbara Stills interacts with


"What up, Barb?" A voice came from behind her.

"Lookin' for Tish." She turned to face Jen. "Seen


"Not since dis mornin' when she was walkin' to the


"She betta do our dare, or I'll tell everybody she

clucks like a hen. Want in on the dare?"

"Not me." Jen threw up her hands in a surrender


"Weird-o." Barbara walked away.

Tish works at the Center as well. She arrives

before the children.

Tish is the only child of loving parents. She is

pretty, tries to fit in.

"Hey, Tish." Barbara stopped Tish as she passed

the swimming pool.

"'Member our dare?"

"Don't think it's a good idea."

"Ya shoulda thought of that before outtin' me in

front of people."

"Was a joke."

"Be there, or..."

"You'll harass me?" Tish interrupted.

"Nope." Barbara sat on the edge of the pool.

"I'll be there."

Tish mouthed words, but no sound left her lips.

She stopped, dropped her head, and scurried away.

The aim is to create characters people want to read

about over and over. More importantly, it is nice

when readers want to see more of an author's work.

Writers are required to pour story people in a setting

where conflict lives.

"Boo." Later that day, Barbara sneaked behind Tish

as she stood a few feet from an abandoned house.

"Don't do that!" Tish grabbed at her heart.

"Why ya standin' here?" Barbara laughed.

"Waiting for you."

"Yeah, right." Barbara smirked. "Let's do it."

"Somebody moved across the window."

"Any excuse, Tish. Ya should be scared of the

city's peeps, not old houses."

"You know what happened in there?" Tish took

a deep breath.

"Nope, don't care."

"Eight-year-old killed her parents in there, some

years back. Everyone who lived in the house acted

strange, after it happened"

"What happened in the house has nothin' to do

with us. What the odds a girl, long time ago,

came back to live in the neighborhood where she

murdered her parents?" Barbara rolled her eyes

skyward, and then at Tish.

Barbara dragged Tish, by the arm, closer to the


"Wait." Tish jerked away from Barbara,

stumbled a few feet.


"We don't have to do this."

"All 'ight," Barbara agreed.

"No, let's go." Tish sighed.

"Ya sure?"

"I'm not going to be bullied by you, and your


Barbara and Tish paced to the house.

Barbara stepped inside. Tish was on her


Jen jumped out of the shadows, startled

them. With two quick thrusts, Jen jabbed them

with a butcher's knife.

"Got no right in my father's house."

Fiction that grabs attention will keep people


(Taken from

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Writer's Block-Er-Cise

"What does that mean?" You asked.
It means to stop writer's block before it takes
hold, never have it, leave it at your neighbor's
house, or forget what the two words mean.
"That's impossible." You stared at the copy.
Let's start the process of eliminating writer's
block from your space.
Type, write down the first word your eyes see, or
the memory of a situation.
Ginger is my word. Think of five other G words.
Your list should have six G words to begin with.
My six are: ginger, goose, George, gone, gobble,
and grind.
The six can melt into poems, fiction, or non-
The poem derived from my list, off the top of my
George and Ginger went out to play
They chased a big turkey
Ginger gobbled
George toppled
Slid on grinds
They were home
When their mom came lookin'.
The following can enhance a fiction paragraph,
beginning, or any story-line.
George and Ginger jumped in puddle after puddle,
twirled around in the rain storm.
"Mommie isn't gonna like that we played in the
"C'mere, I stepped on somethin'." George ignored
Ginger's comment.
"Let's go home." Ginger turned to leave.
"It's big."
"You look, George."
They stood there, debating as lightening startled them.
Ginger rushed over to George, grabbed a black box,
and ran home.
After George and Ginger were tucked in for the night,
Ginger reached under her bed for the black box.
With box in hand, she tipped to George's bedroom.
It fell. She searched quietly for it. Up and down
the hall, she crawled around the floor.
"Be quiet." George opened his bedroom door, joined
"I dropped the box."
A corner of the hallway glowed. The black box slowly
My excerpt can be changed to fit an existing work or
plot. The only limit is my, your, imagination.
"How can six words help write non-fiction?" You
Pick one or more of your words as a jumping-off-point
for writing.
I picked Ginger as a possible essay.
Ginger is a flavor wake-up, agent, spice for food.
It's pickled, candied...
Lastly, how a situation is turned into writing
I was, unjustly, fired from a job. I detailed some
of the events in my novel, Grave Street House.
Try my technique. It will cure you of writer's
block. Let me know how you were able to benefit
from Writer's-Block-Er-Cise. Or, advise me if it
didn't work for you. Believe in yourself.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Published Author

Those two words associated with me seems unreal.
It was a long journey.
Well, writing the novel was enjoyable. There was
always a paragraph that dragged the story along,
run-on sentences needed tucking, or the scene(s)
called for more suspense.
I found someone to critique it, but she was
costly. So, the manuscript laid around while I
fiddled with poem writing.
My mind wandered back to my novel. I read through
chapters, not sure if it would get published.
I enrolled in a writing, mail-order, course.
After completion, the instructor recommended, to
the school, whether or not to publish a student's
Sadly, I missed the cut. I felt sorry for myself,
continued working on it.
I required assistance. I contacted an agent, sent
him the manuscript. He returned it, told me to work
on it. I plucked and added to improve it, but
concluded, after phone calls, the agent was more
concerned with fees. We went our separate ways.
I took the writing course, again. My novel
failed industry standards.
Agent number two explained that my manuscript
was rejected, but never tips on making it better.
She didn't tell me why the rejection slips. She
wanted money a third time, and I had enough. I
asked for my manuscript back.
Once again, the manuscript and I were left
I read fiction in the genre, and other writing
related information. I felt bad, but knew the
manuscript was worthy.
I looked for a publisher until it happened.
My novel, Grave Street House, is for sale at
You, simply, have to believe in yourself.

An excerpt from my novel, Grave Street House.
When I walked onto my street heads bobbed and turned,
some people cried. They knew the horror awaiting him. A
few drifted into their places of security. The homeless intruder
wobbled, stumbled on his way into the House. They reacted
with clear warnings to stay out. He ignored them. He,
slowed down, whirled his head toward me with fear in his eyes.
I motioned with my hand for him to come back. I rushed closer
to the House, forced my way through the mob of people.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sales Letters That Bring Results

We, all, are busy. If a person takes time to read a sales letter, it must be interesting, and spark a desire, need in us.
It is essential your product or service reach the right person.
"How do I make that happen?" You asked.
Prior to sending out sales letters, do research. Direct a sales letter to those whose wares/jobs require your product/service.
Forums are an excellent place to get feedback on product/services. You can get a feel for how your product/service will be received. Throw out a version of your business plan, if that is more comfortable for you. It is, also, a means to advertising. Pitching an idea gains tips, previously, looked over by you.
The first words of a sales letter is to hold the reader's attention. Make the point, be clear. Use words that are easy to understand. Do not run-on with your head-line.
List the benefits, and spell-out the features. Most people want to know what's in it for me. Why should I purchase the product/service?
Remember, never get technical. Simply, write as if you are talking to an associate, friend.
The sales letter is sent to get a positive response. The reply, form, fax, etc should be easy to understand. Supply a postage paid envelope.
A dead-line is necessary. It causes an individual to act, especially if he/she has an interest.
Always, re-state the offer. A guarantee adds a flavor of credibility.
Above all, be fair with customers, and you will get re-peat business.
There is no better advertising than word-of-mouth, which equals more business.
A sales letter is the introduction to your product/service. The head-line is three to five words long. The writing level is based on the comprehension of an eight grader.
I welcome comments. Contact me at
Article Source:

Sunday, September 9, 2007

They Said I Couldn't Write

"They say I can't write a novel." Someone explained to me. "Keep gettin' rejection slips."
In our society, people want to see it happen now, not tomorrow. Likewise, success is wanted this second. It takes time to get from writing to finished novel. It is rare for anyone to create a story, and the piece is publication ready.
The process of finding the right publisher is a challenge. Many will not accept manuscripts unless from an agent.
The question, you must address is, should I get an agent?
I suggest doing research on it before making a decision. As with anything else, there are good ones, and bad agents.
Rejection slips takes a spot on every writer's desk, sooner or later. The key is to continue to write. Figure out why. Did you send your work to the wrong publisher? Grammatical errors? You tie-up all the loose ends in the novel? Does the story flow smoothly? Make sure you have a beginning, middle, and a satisfying ending.
I mean do not cheat the reader. It must be reasonable, and in accordance with your creation.
I sent work out, many times, and received rejection slips.
Once, I snail-mailed a short story to a publication. They forwarded me materials for stuffing envelopes. Yes, I felt bad, but it gave me the incentive to keep trying. It signaled do better, learn more.
I threw the items in the wastebasket, their rightful place.
Deep inside, I had what it took to flourish through non-fiction, fiction, and poems. The stumble served to strengthen my resolve.
After all, I wrote, entertained using all three. However, my work had to meet industry standards. The only way for that to happen was practice.
The area I live tend to be noisy. So, I shut-out that buzz, concentrated on my work. It took time. More importantly, I dared to believe.
Yes, you must take yourself seriously. All kinds of people will come along to remind you of the rejection slips.
"Maybe, you should just give-up writing." Someone will say. "Get a real job."
It is nothing wrong with getting a job. Find a time to write, day or night. Continue to build on your writings. Take a writing course. Read the work of authors you like, or write in same genre as you.
Take note of how the plot unfolds, use of sentence structure, dialogue, and the technique used to tell a tale. Put it under a microscope. How would you spell-out the plot? Use a different main character? Have more than one plot? How different could your characters be from the original?
Jot down notes. When finished analyzing, start writing your own novel. Take it step by step. The very first paragraph must grab the reader's attention.
Know your characters. How? Make a profile of each. How does the main character look? What quirk(s)? Put in as much information as you want. You determine when or how it is sectioned to the story-line.
Dialogue mimics speech.
"Whatcha doin'?"
"Save it. Talk to the hand."
Some people drop letters in words like doing. Instead of saying what are you, whatcha takes the place of three words.
Simply, use different vocal patterns for characters. It gives a realistic flavor to the novel.
Toss in suspense, obstacles. Allow a story person to escape an issue, and then have him/her bombarded with another problem. It keeps happening, stops when he/she figures out a solution. Remember, the struggle goes on three or more times.
Look at how I handled characters, dialogue, etc. Read my novel Grave Street House. The website link is:
I would like to hear from you. Contact me at
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Friday, July 20, 2007

Where To Find Writing Ideas

"Yeah, where is my motivation?" You blurted.

Writing ideas are scooped out of living life,

family gatherings, a newspaper headline,

chatter you over-heard at the mall, or a

chirping bird outside your window.

Let's start with one of my real life

experiences. There is a room in my

house that is cluttered most of the

year. Why? Everyone living in my

house dumps unused clothes, radios/

televisions to be fixed, old furniture,

books, and toys in it.

Not-so-often, I muster up the

courage to, at least, curve out a

walking path. Yes, I bring in

help too.

My story idea is on a particular

day, after struggling with an old

television, I discovered a small

closet. It banged against the wall

several times, which forced its

door to pop open.

I jumped back, coughed from

the dust. I left the room for

about ten minutes.

I returned. It took awhile

to clear-out the dust and cob-webs.

In one corner, there sat an old doll,

covered with strips of linen. Or, was

it something else?

I pulled on it, in an attempt to

see exactly what was hidden.

"Oh, no!" I dropped it.

The exposed face showed a


How and why the bundle came

to rest in the small crawl space

will unfold my plot. Throw in

suspense, obstacles, and the

recipe for an interesting thriller

is born.

Think about your daily routine.

What room in your house,

apartment, or office could you write

about? Perhaps, a place you once

visited. Is there something that

has nagged you about the premises

since you first visited? One place

you stepped into made you

uncomfortable, but you never

figured out why. Digging up

the reason can make an

excellent fiction idea.

Always change names, addresses,

dates, and actual likenesses. It is

done to avoid the "L" word,


Your family near and far gathered

to have fun. During the occassion,

recipes are exchanged, updates on

family not seen often, and general

chit-chat goes on.

Someone mentioned secret. You

were not able to hear the full details,

because a baby cried. The utter of

the "S" word brings all kinds of

options to write about.

The person working under-cover for

the government, retail outlet, or a

doctor comes to mind. Any of

the three ideas can be explosive


A doctor with a practice in urban

America. His/her staff consists

of relatives. However, the patients

are disappearing. How? Any

connection to the doctor's office?

Hmm. What do you think?

What conditions would a

government spy change sides?

Every time a certain

individual departs Macy's items

do too. Only, he/she is a secret

shopper. Frame?

A newspaper has a wealth of

writing ideas. A quick scan

of the daily newspaper gave me

the following titles: Bus and

Mosque Owners Teaching At


I have not read the articles,

but a bus is used to rob a bank.

The would-be robber knows its

schedule, plans to dress as an old

lady, and afterwards, climb on the

bus for home.

The Mosque Owners, in my

fiction story, taught the children

some Western beliefs, and the

children acted on those words.

One evening, a teen shared

with another teen his view,

and one of the Owners was

murdered. People at the

Mosque said it had to be an


What ideas can you pull from

headlines in your newspaper?

It is unbelievable what can be

over-heard at the mall.

"My boyfriend is an animal."

One teen girl said to another.

From the one statement,

various ideas stumble to mind.

A man, much older than she,

is called animal, and he is an

arms dealer. My second idea

is two teen males known for

making animal sounds as jokes.

One day, animal sounds were

used to distract the cashier,

and a kidnapping took place.

Your ideas?

A chirping bird brings to mind

day, sweet sound, or panic, death.

The point is use life as your disk

to pluck ideas for writing.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Some Assassinations Haunt

All murders are sad, but three have haunted
our society from the moment it happened.
Why? The three are: John f. Kennedy,
Martin Luther King, and Abraham Lincoln.

Friday, June 29, 2007

What Is The Secret For Writing

The secret to writing is simply writing. Yes,
jot thoughts down.
"I don't have any." You mumbled.
Record names of objects from the room
you are sitting in. What would the first
item you typed be, do in a thriller or essay.
In other words, how would you intertwine it
into great writing?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

How To Stop Writer's Block

Play a word game. Run your eyes across the room,
and stop. What do you see? Take whatever your
eyes focused on and write about it.
The technique works when you have something
to write about, but don't know where to start.
Simply, jot down thoughts.

Friday, June 22, 2007

When To Critique Your Work

There are a few who can write a perfect first
draft. The rest of us have to edit our work.
The best time to look for grammatical errors,
run-on sentences, etc is two, three, sometimes,
even a week after you have written the original.
Why? It allows you to come-back refreshed.
You had a break, and are better able to detect

Sunday, June 17, 2007

What Am I

I am drank mostly in hot weather. My origin
is Southern United States, alcoholic beverage.
Most became aware of me in 1800.

Answer: Mint Julep

A thriller comes to my mind when I think
of what could have happened during the
development stage. What do you think?

Saturday, June 2, 2007

How To Self Edit

Have you written a moving piece of
fiction or non-fiction? It will be after
the cutting process. Why?

The first draft curves and creates.
Check for sentence structure,
unneccessary paragraphs, poor
characterication, and/or weak

How? Read each word outloud,
slowly. Hear the grammatical
errors? Weak writing?

Monday, May 28, 2007

Power Smiling

It is a friendly smile. You're standing
around people, but the air is thick with
tension. Crack a smile. It opens the door
for conversation, slices through the stress.
Possibly networking can start.

On a good day, story ideas pop-out at

Saturday, May 26, 2007

What's Blogging

"I've heard 'bout it, but haven't taken the
time to find one." A friend said.
Blogging is having a journal or diary
online. Some include photos, audios,
and/or videos.
The three-step process to sign-up
for a free account is easy at:
There is no restriction on what
you can write about. Allow only
friends/family viewing access, or
have everyone pop-in to see it.
It's fun, and you can make new
friends along the way. Also,
there is a possibility to earn
money blogging.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Long Ago

I interviewed for a job.

"Can we still call you by your first name?"
Someone joked.

My feelings? It was just a job.

I arrived for work.

Women were in power. We were
stripped into groups.

Sexual advances flew every which
way. I ducked all of them. So, I
was blacklisted.

Mz. Manager kept writing vile things
on my evalutions.

Work left on my desk could be found
behind anything. Co-workers refused
to answer work related questions.

People stopped talking when I
walked into the break-room.

Top management did Mz. Manager's
bidding. I was fired.


I have written a novel with accounts
of various situations that happened
stirred in.

I have to thank the Philadelphia Police
who heard my crys for help, and

Still, I forgive those who tried to
crush me. No, I wouldn't socialize
with them. I hold no ill feelings
in that I dont want to get anyone

It is freeing to forgive, allows one
to move forward.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My Article

"Catch Tumbling Ideas"
at: As Featured On Ezine Articles


Many times, writers self-edit. How?
Read your work out-loud, slowly.
Of course, after a check for
grammatical errors, strong verbs,
etc. has been done. Words should
flow smoothly.

Monday, May 14, 2007


Great story ideas can come from
listening to others. Pick up on
conversation as you pass them in
the market, mall, or street.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Lettas or letters can speak from the heart
or mind. They chat about cultures, change,
and life.
Lettas are excellent sources for writing
ideas. Find those old ones, new ones.
Jot down ideas for stories.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Memorable Character

A character is remembered when he/she
speaks up, stands, and fights on against

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Hometown Blacklist

I was fired from my job, and could not get
another one. Why was I fired? I refused to
go along with the sexual harassment from
female managers.

I wrote about it, have a book
based on it. It proves my point of
ideas arrive from living life. Take
a look.

"I would like to close-out my
account." I told the Black bank

She backed away as if I had
running sores on my face. She
glanced at the Black female
working next to her who
turned her back.

I stood there wondering how
these people kept their jobs.

"Over here." A White male

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Ideas Pop Up

"Try this recipe." A friend suggested.

I wrote it down, and stuffed it in some
crevice. My thought: Another
fattening dish.

Later, an idea jumped out
at me.
-the baker who gave it to me
asked that i protect it
-it disappeared

It is a start.

The goal is to be aware
of ideas from unlikely sources.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

One Spark

Writing ideas are everywhere. An idea can take
the form of a poem.


During a wet twenty below
Loud Mattie,
Wobbles down the street
In an attempt to get warm.
Clutching her bottle of wine.
Which cloud her memories of life.
Each muscle becomes numb
As she cuddles any steam vent.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Measured Dream

Dash of education,
Pile on culture,
Pinch in courage,
Ounce open mind,
With ton of hard work.

Friday, April 20, 2007


Look around the room you are sitting in.
Write down the name of whatever your
eyes saw first.

Cartridge first jumped into my eyes,
actually ink cartridge.

I am going to work with the word,
cartridge. Turn each letter into a
word. Use the first words that comes
to mind.

C becomes call
A bounces into apple
R melts into range
T turns into Trevor
R equals Reilly
I sneaks in
D rolls out dark
G means gone
E points to empty

Use one or all the words to get your
creative juices flowing. Start writing.
It does not matter what path your
writing takes.

My words are: call, apple, range,
Trevor, Reilly, in, dark, gone, and

A story idea follows.

Trevor and Reilly stormed into
the dark, empty house. All four
burners blazed on the range.

"Mom." Trevor clicked on

"She not here," Reilly said.

My idea can emerge as a short
story, or book length project.

I spun the words into a free
verse poem.

Two boys
came home
dark empty
cold house
calling mom
who was
nowhere to
be found

There are no limits to where
the word game will take you.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Tap It

You look at your fingers on the desk, and
outloud said, "I'm out of subjects to write

There are endless topics to explore.
It does not matter if history facts
excites your curiosity, law stimulates
your brain, or a fascination with the
care of animals paws at you. Simply,
tap it.

Gather information about it from
a local library, or search engine
like Google.

Not long ago, for example, I
stumbled across some interesting
town names.

Cookie, Oklahoma
It was rumored a store owner
gave a child a cookie, and the
young child called it cookie-
town. So, residents kept the

Intercourse, Pennsylvania
There are speculations that
two famous roads met there,
or language use during the
early days formed its name,
or it centers around a race

Story Idea? Essay? Non-fiction/
fiction? Any or all information
can be turned into ideas.

My story idea: A pampered
child cried if not allowed to
have a cookie after dinner
until grandmother spent the

An essay, perhaps, on how
the village Intercourse,
Pennsylvania fellowships.

What is repeat offender?
Read over your answer, and
then pull-out an essay, or
chapter start.

Do you have a pet? Like a
particular animal? Write
about it. Let your imagination
run free. Edit later.

In conclusion, there are no
shortage of topics waiting
for you to tap.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Pharmacy At Mt. Pleasant

I called the pharmacy for a second refill on a

"They not goin' to pay for it. You had a thirty-
day supply."

"They? I paid out of my pocket."

"They will pay in 'bout three weeks."

"I have six left. Is it possible that I wasn't
given the whole supply?"

"Ya betta go find 'em. Ya ain't pay out yer

I insisted payment came out of my pocket.
I called my health care agent. I was told
payment was filed, but reversed. So,
records show payment was made.

Question: Would it had mattered if
my condition was life
I wondered if the pharmacy did not
give me the full prescription, where
was the rest of it? How many others
have had their medications stolen?

However, possible story ideas swirled
around my mind.

One male employee kept a diary
of what actually happened to the
missing meds. They were sold on
the street. A fellow employee
found out, and he was murdered.

An essay, perhaps, on how the
pharmacy's employee lied about me
paying cash for the prescription.

This is proof writers have access
to ideas from living life.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Plot Plop

Plot is the action that keeps readers wanting
to know the story's end. It is the structure, or
how the problem is solved.

A character almost succeeds, but some
unseen force or person creeps in to
frustrate him/her. The character is
forced to try something, anything
else. Efforts to reach the desired goal
must be no less than three times.

If you allowed a character to have
no conflict, heightened suspense then
your plot plopped.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Critique Your Work

You look at the title, and said outloud, "Yeah,

You can critique your own work. Once you have
written it, take a few days away from it. Read that
book you wanted to, visit and call relatives/friends,
or work on a new project.

You will return with a fresher eye, see
mistakes that you could not have during the
writing process.

Make sure to read outloud. Does that
sentence you have just read make sense.
Does it bring vivid images to the mind.
Grammatical error? Run-on sentences?
If yes, fix it.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Your Writing Place

Have you a comfy writing place? A spot just for your writing time.
It does not matter where. It can be the attic, basement, corner
of the apartment, or kitchen table. You can always change
where you write. The important thing is to write.

Take the telephone off the base, turn cell phone off, and
write to fulfill your dream.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Never Without One

Keep a pen, pencil, and notebook with you at all times.
Some prefer a recorder. Why? You never know when an
idea will pop out at you.

Have you ever saw an ad, read a book, or thumbed
through a business proposal, and then felt you
could have done a better job?

Never steal a plot, plan, or idea. However,
you can take an idea and let your imagination
run away with it. See what you come up with.
The next best thriller?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

You Can Write Too

How? Pick a time during the day or night just for writing.
It can be two, three, or four hours per day. It doesn't
matter as long as you put words down. Get the flow
started for that poem, chapter start, or essay. Make time
to fulfill your dream.

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