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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

Blog Archive

About Me

My photo

Marcella Glenn is a freelance writer who has written news reports, worked in an office, reviewed movies, published a newsletter and had her novel, "Grave Street House," published. She, too, is a Writing Consultant as well as a Personal Coach.

She has tried to go down some of life's other paths. A few paths were a mail-order business, the publishing of a pen-pal newsletter and selling plastic-ware. Only, she was back writing before realizing what she was doing.

She'd critique titles, paragraphs, news reports, that no one submitted to her. She'd stop herself, eventually. Marcella Glenn seemed to be enjoying the act of writing. This is how she knew writing was more than a hobby.

Let it be a lesson in your life too. Is writing calling your name? Or, acting? Teaching? Are you interested in engineering? Have the courage to go for your dreams. Simply, believe in yourself.

Meet Marcella Glenn on Twitter:

Grave Street House Interview
Authors Show Radio Announces Interview Lineup For Week Of February 16, 2009
Internet Radio features five new authors each week
February 16, 2009
Every week, The Authors Show, radio version features interviews with up and coming authors from around the world. This week The Authors Show radio features Marcella Glenn, author of  'Grave Street House'.

The Writer

The Writer
Word Master-Pieces