Start Writing

Start Writing
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?

Blog Archive

The Writer

The Writer
Word Master-Pieces