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Stop Writer's Block

Saturday, December 13, 2008

How Ghost-Writing Works

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

Ghost-writing is an excellent area
to explore. Here is how it works.

Writers are paid to write essays,
fiction, non-fiction, reports, and
letters. There's no limit on what
can be written. In other words,
ghost-writers address writing

Your name isn't listed on the
project. Rarely, a ghost-writer
is given credit, or mentioned.
The ghost-writer writes for
someone else.

There's lots of back and forth
communication with a client. It
includes e-mails, telephone calls,
meetings, and snail-mail. A client
wants his/her voice heard
throughout the work. It's your job,
the ghost-writer, to make it happen.

The ghost-writer is given information,
documentation, relating to the project.
There's a possibility photos and/or
audio is a part of it. Take accurate
notes. A tape recorder would be

Draw-up an agreement. Be
specific. Leave nothing to
chance. Allow a reasonable
time to complete the project.

I suggest that you get part
payment up-front. I'm referring
to a fifty percent retainer.

"How do I get clients?" You
looked around the room.

Every e-mail, snail-mail, should
have your URL, or a link
mentioning your ghost-writing
service. The service is displayed,
proudly, on business cards.
Mention the ghost-writing service
in writing forums. There are ghost-
writing opportunities at:, and Don't forget
to scan Craigslist.

Have samples of your work available
to e-mail potential clients. Your
web site, URl, should show-case
samples of your work as well.

Use the same research and
hard work you'd put in your own
venture. Treat ghost-writing
projects like your babies until
given to the rightful guardians.

Consider using an alias. Face it,
in most cases, you have no idea
whose hands will re-do the project,
or tamper with it. Possibly,
someone wants new information
added after you've finished.

A few, satisfied, clients can bring
you more business than an ad
placed. Word-of-mouth advertising
spreads like wild fire. Once the word
gets around about your ghost-writing
business, you're on your way to
success. Reach for your goal.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Just The Facts

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

A neighbor managed to do
something really funny, but it's
embarrassing to him or her. Any
reader would topple laughing.
Only, the facts, just the facts,
could lead to litigation.

Or, a co-worker's act was
horrific. It beacons to be
written about. Only, writing
just the facts will lead to
the L word, litigation.

"Why can't I write just the

It's required to get written
permission to use someone's
likeness, misfortunes, and
comical behavior. I'd go
so far as to say get the
advice of a lawyer.

If a person finds an act
hurtful, his/her family
was impacted as well.
The person, family, could
be recovering from the
pain, and don't want to
re-live it.

Your article, possibly,
forces them to remember,
re-live the incident.
Consequently, it has the
individual turning to t
he courts, litigation.

It's best not to write
the facts unless you
have signed documentation
from the individual,
individual's family, before
writing about it.

Your neighbor was caught
sleep-walking. He visited
a certain bar, was seen
talking to a female, for

I'd change my neighbor's
eye color, build, gender,
My character would work
undercover, frequent a
neighborhood for

There are so many different
ways to write it.

The facts, just the facts,
can be boring. Let your
imagination absorb an
idea, mold it into a
writing master-piece.

Don't let the facts,
just the facts stop you
from writing, but don't
let just the facts pull
you into litigation.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

How To Generate Story Ideas

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

You can be in the middle,
beginning, of a writing
project, but, for some reason,
can't get your creative flow
to start today. Perhaps,
an essay is almost finished.
You can't write the last
stanza to a poem.

"Is there anything to help me?"
You cried out.

Use your senses of taste,
touch, smell, sound, or sight
to generate a finish, or ignite
your creative flow. It doesn't
matter the topic, subject.

Yes, you can generate story
ideas using your senses, even
work already in progress.


Think about the writing
project, researched or
not. Bring vivid pictures
to mind as you think about
the subject.

Let's look ay my haunted
house writing idea.

I want to know what
sounds exist in the house.
What sights are in it?
What images touch brings?
The smells?

Taste isn't a sense I'd use
for this story idea.

In order for my characters
to be believable, I have
to understand those senses
as they relate to my story.

I've seen, read, haunted
stories, but what will my
senses say?

My sense points out cracking
floor boards, and unexplained
knocking, coming from the
house. Voices, in the house,
speak from another era.

I see a run-down house.
Its paint is peeling, over-
grown lawn, antique
mail-box sitting near
it, and window panes
shaped like almonds.

On a windy day, foul odors
fill the air around the house.
It's the scent of decaying

If a person walks too close
to the house, it pulls him/
her in it.

The ground rumbles, sometimes.
It causes a person to topple.

My senses helped me generate
story ideas. It's not hard.

Simply, ask yourself some
questions about the subject
you're writing on.

The five-senses questions
are answered based on
research, and/or experience.
What does it taste like?
The touch of it? The smell?
It sounds like? Its sight?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

How To Start Writing In Eight Seconds

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

There's no need for you to get writer's
block, ever again. Ignite your
imagination with the technique I've
developed over the years.

Go from a blank computer screen
to writing in less than eight seconds.
There's no age limit to working my
simple technique. Actually, it's fun.

It works for me. I don't experience
writer's block, and that alone is a
major motivator.

"What's the technique?" You stared
at the last line.

Look around the room you're sitting
in. In that room sits many writing

What did your eyes, first, land on?
It will be what you start writing about.

My eyes caught the bottle of hand

Now, if you're not comfortable with
writing about one object, pick
another one.

Name the item. Use the name of
it to begin the writing process. Look
at the name inside out, upside down,
and side-ways.

My word, hand sanitizer, can spin
into fiction or non-fiction.

Let's look at it in fiction.

"Look, a hand is at the window!"
Patty shouted.

"Didn't see it, and it's not dark?"
Rhonda stopped walking too.

"No, I don't wanna go in that old

"We just left school, and she'll
pass the house."

"Not goin' in there." Patty walked
pass the house.

The two, middle school age, girls
gathered a distance from the
abandoned house.

"Not gonna take long," Rhonda
insisted. "Only be in there a
few minutes."

Patty glanced up at the house,
trembled. "Somebody..."

I looked at hand upside down,
and my imagination came up
with the above.

An essay on how restaurants
sanitize their kitchens would
be interesting. Or, do restaurants
remind employees to wash their
hands after bathroom use?

How is your writing idea working
out? If one idea isn't working, try
the next one.

It's helpful to pick more than one
object to write about.

Hand sanitizer upside down?

It's a health-care tool, cleaning

I can write from the health care
angle. There is no limit on
the writing ideas from one object.

Write down what your object is,

Go from blank screen to writing in
eight seconds, or less. Use
anything around you.

Use this technique for any topic,
area of interest.

In closing, my technique stops
writer's block, and keeps your
imagination popping out ideas
in less than eight seconds.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Why Passionate Writers Are Successful

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

Passionate writers are successful,
because they write everyday. They
slip time in for writing, sometime,
during the day or night.

Perhaps, some set their alarms
earlier to have time to write.
This is how you learn to write
better. You practice.

It's true that the more you
nurture your talent, the better
writer you'll become.

Substitutes don't exist for the
passionate writer. He/she has
to write through writer' block,
rejection slips, and the days
when you're not in the mood.

Passionate writers work with
one word, for example, to
curb writer's block. Pull any
word out of the air. Write
several sentences about it,
to foil writer's block.

If that doesn't work, grab
another word, or event to
write about.

Writer's block will scurry
away as you continue.

Nurture your talent through
rejection slips. Rejection
isn't comfortable coming
from any direction. It
isn't a personal attack on

A rejection slip, for writers,
is a fact of the writing life.
Learn from it, and don't stop
believing in yourself, your

Could there have been something
you didn't do to make your work
more appealing to the editor?
You requested guidelines for
the publication? Were you
familiar with its style, tone?
Did you make sure your work was
punctuation perfect? Was it the
right publication for your work?

The above questions fall under
writing better. They must be
answered before sending your
work out.

"I don't feel like writing
today." You said.

In fairness, if you're ill,
don't write. Nurture your
talent when you're better.

However, the passion for
writing stirs you on, and
you feel better after
writing a page, or two.

Passionate writers rest
when he/she has no choice.

The passionate writer is
successful, because they
make writing a habit. He/
she nurtures his/her talent
through obstacles like
writer's block, and
rejection slips.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Word Power

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

Everything, anything, written with
word power grabs the reader's
attention. Word power means
the piece flows well. It causes
the reader to think, act, feel
better, or push a negative feeling
to the surface.

"How do I write like that?" You
looked out the window.

First, determine what the thesis,
premise, of what you're writing is.

In other words, what point are you
aiming for?

State that argument in fifteen
words or less. Why? It helps to
keep you on target with the subject.

Every word, paragraph, follows the
subject matter. Discuss one
subject at a time.

Sometimes, it's hard. Still, narrow
it down. It's confusing to read
several topics at once. You'll
ramble, and the reader tunes your
work out. He/she then moves on to
the next author.

The first line grabs, holds, the
reader's attention.

"How?" You asked.

Ask a question, or tell an
interesting story. Did something
new, exciting, happen in a
particular industry, world? It has
to pertain to the subject you're
writing about.

Try not to be long-winded. People
are short on time, patience. Most
people multi-task. It's best to cut-
out any unnecessary words. Each
word pulls its weight, and mixes into
the subject.

Of course, writing pieces will be
longer or shorter, depending on
your needs. However, this format

Each paragraph glides along from
the previous one. There shouldn't
be the 'did I miss it' feeling.

Action verbs pump-up writing.
They add spice.

Action verbs are: hopped, jumped,
dashed, motioned,
shattered, explode.

"How will I know an action verb?" A
few asked.

Action verbs show action. It expresses
what a person, animal, thing, or nature

Avoid using passive verbs: is, was, am,

Finally, the conclusion leaves the
reader wanting more.

Write successfully by knowing your
thesis before you begin writing.
Walk through one subject at a time.
Make sure the first line grabs, holds,
the reader's attention. Load-up on
action verbs, and depart with a hook.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Writing Is Therapeutic

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

Writing therapy is writing down
your feelings, painful memories,
situations you can't seem to
move on from, or why you're

Writing is an out-let for negative
energy. It allows you to see
those feelings outside of yourself,
and then put them into perspective.

The therapeutic avenue is visited
with a therapist or a counselor.

In this post, I'm going to explain
how to use writing therapy privately.

In reality, some people, for whatever
reason, can't visit an office to do it.

Use writing therapy by writing out
each detail of a painful memory.
If it becomes too hard, stop. Never
force yourself. Put away the writing
exercise. Work on it tomorrow.

The process can be slow. It could
take weeks, months, but working
through an issue is worth it. Be
patient with yourself.

There will be times when you can't
look at what you wrote. Still, don't
stop using the technique. Return
in three days, six days.

Reason out why you're having a
difficult time before writing again.

Take a separate writing pad to
jot down why you're shying
away from therapy writing. Look
at it. Come to terms with it. You'll
feel better, and it's a major

Writing therapy will relieve
stress, and help you understand
life better.

The key is to have the courage
to do it. It's not easy.

A person was involved in a shooting,
for example. It's, without a doubt,

Anger serves no useful purpose.
Take that anger, fear, to a pad,
computer, and write about it.
Don't leave a detail out. Pour all
your inner feelings into it.

How did you feel at that moment?
How did you get in that situation?
What steps can be taken to avoid
such circumstances in the future?
Forgive the person? Forgive
yourself? What did you learn from
the experience? What is your life
like? How have you changed?
Become a better person?

Writing therapy can be applied to
a successful job too.

"How?" You asked.

Download the cause(s) of your
stress, and use writing therapy.
Where is the stress coming from?
Is there a better way to handle it?
Adjust your work schedule? List
suggestions to yourself. Execute

In conclusion, writing therapy
addresses any problem. Simply,
write about it. Take your time.
If it's too difficult, put it aside.
Come back tomorrow. Keep
working on the issues, problems,
until you've gained control back,

Sunday, August 24, 2008

How To Write Poetry

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

Each of us store tons of information
to write poetry from. Experience is
an excellent medium to draw from.
Relationships, what you thought the
relationship could be, and/or something
you dreamed starts the writing process.

You can travel through romantic
land-marks, converse with ladies
and gentlemen of another time by
reading a book.

"I'm still drawing a blank." You coughed.

Ideas for poetry arrive from something
that happened at work. The last article
you read from a newspaper. The thought
of it makes you laugh. Allow your
creativity to spin out a poem.

Read poetry by different authors. Keep
your mind alert to your surroundings.
Soak-up images, details, for writing


Tempo is the speed of the poem.
Poets use different speeds. In
one poem, the subject matter
calls for a jog.

A poem on driving home, at three
a.m., after witnessing a murder
stirs in a faster beat.

A walk down memory lane
with grandmother plays to a
slower tempo.

Some poets naturally have a
slower or faster tempo.

Pace a fast tempo poem with
a slower tempo between
paragraphs, or within a paragraph.
It depends on the strength of tempo
in your poem, or your needs.

In a slow tempo poem, speed-up
tempo in the stanzas, or every three
lines, for example.

The goal is to have a natural flow
of poetry.


Lines, first, grab the eyes at its
display, and then stop. Lines
continue in two words, three words,
five words, or more. Lines rise in
tempo, stand in rhythm while dancing
to your beat. Lines jump to the essay,
mark the stanza, take a paragraph, and
knead the song.

You, the poet, will determine how
lines support your poetry. Or, how
poetry glides along.

Subconscious Mind

The subconscious mind...

Full post at:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Writing Ideas

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

Writing ideas are everywhere. There is
no such thing as I can't come-up with
an idea. Let's take a stroll down any
day in search of writing ideas.

The alarm goes off. It's a call to
get your day started. Will you
hit the snooze button?

You twist, turn, finally stand.
You yawn several times, try to
focus, and get moving.

Start breakfast. Drag back upstairs
to shower.

The coffee slowly drips into your
system. Suddenly, you remember
the tons of accounts waiting. You

The train is late. You hope the boss
is in a good mood. For some reason,
the beginning of the week finds her
in a foul mood, less understanding.

I found a writing idea centering
around the alarm clock.

"I can't get up." Pepia slurred
her words.

She reached, struggled to turn
the alarm clock off. She moved in
slow motion. She laid still.

"What's wrong with me?" She cried

The writing idea is open to
various paths. I have the option of
writing a short story, or a book
length work.

A second idea follows.

The alarm sounded. Pepia didn't
waste any time rising.

She bounced out of bed, showered,
and was downstairs within thirty-

'Today is the day.' She sang
out-loud. 'Gonna march into
work, and get that pay raise.'

She prepared coffee. A frown
wrinkled her brows.

"'My coffee container was moved.
Who?" She complained loud
enough for her neighbor to
hear. "'Maybe, Mother stopped
by, but she'd have told me."

The click of foot-steps echoed
through Pepia's house. Suddenly...

Read the full post at:

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

How To Write A Resume

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

A resume must be reader friendly,
pertain to the job you are applying
for, and can be up to two pages
long. It's the key information
that convinces a manager, person
hiring, you are perfect.

Look no further is seen through
your objective, and supported
throughout the resume.

It's not necessary to use the
word objective. In place of
objective: looking to, seeking,
or goal.

Tailor-cut every resume to
the position.

City/State, Zip Code
Telephone Number
Email Address

Objective: Your first line
explains how you can help
a company, and the rest of
the resume enforces it.

Experience: Display jobs you
have held. Start with the most
recent, include dates.

For those that do not have job
experience, jot down
the qualifications you feel is
best suited to prove line one.

Education: College degrees,
courses, and credits fill this

Mention internships if relevant.

Computer: State the fact you
are knowledgeable in Excel, etc.

The mission is to uncover everything
you have done to show worthiness
for the job.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


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

Poetry reaches deep down to
show, comfort, you, me. It's
freedom, it's fancy, it lives.
It explores the world, and
names it. No, claims it.

Words uplift, stress you
down, gives meaning.

One word inspires,
brightens a day.

It heals.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Writing Ideas Are Here-There

Have a question? Agree, disagree,

with me? Leave me your opinion.

"I'd like to write, but I'm not

sure where to get writing ideas."

You sighed.

Ideas arrive from living life.

There is always something going on.

You, as a writer, should jot down

moments from living. Practice. It

will, eventually, happen for you.

Meanwhile, you must observe.

Recall an earlier time. Did

something strange happen

in your house, school, or a

relative's home?

A family moved into a new

dwelling, had a house-warming,

and felt comfortable in it. As a

matter of fact, they threw a

party for any reason.

One night, a guest saw a man

standing in the hallway.

"Hello." Her eyes roamed up

and down his attire. "The...

the party's in there."

She pointed toward the

dining room.

She went downstairs to tell

the host, hostess, and others.

The hostess, with the lady on

her heels, searched all the

rooms. They found no one that

matched the lady's description.

Some of the guests waited at

the foot of the stairs. He

didn't leave that way.

The lady explained how his

clothes looked like something

from the 1920's.

Did the lady see a man? If so,

where did he go? Perhaps, the

host and hostess played a joke.

What was the man looking for?

Why be seen by that

lady, at that time?

I can turn it into a book length


Another view, an essay on old

houses, the paranormal, or the

effects of alcoholic beverages.

There are many ways to write

about the idea. What

did you come up with?

In school, during the year,

1999, a chill filled the air. It

happened in only one class-

room, at the same time of

day. It was rumored that an

eight-year-old was murdered,

in that room. The killer was

never caught.

The teacher mentioned it to

other teachers, parents found

out. Of course, the curious

wanted to feel the chill moment.

So, people visited.

A janitor, who would have been the

age of the child, began to avoid the

room. His eyes became as big as

saucers as he passed it.

He was questioned as to why he

wouldn't clean it.

"It happened there." He told the


"What?" The principal questioned.

The janitor ran away.

What's going on with the janitor?

Does he know anything about the

unsolved murder? Is he guilty of

it? Someone in his family did it?

See how ideas for writing emerge?

Take the smallest idea and turn it

inside out, looking for writing

material. One idea should bring

several leads, or possible writing


Store ideas away. Keep them for

later writing projects. There is no

such thing as useless ideas. What

you can't use, save for another

writing session.

Here is another possible article.

One evening, a family gathered for

dinner. During the meal, a dog

walked in. Shock, fear, crossed their

faces. He sat down. The family

glanced at each other, not sure

what to do. Fear filled the room.

Why? They didn't own a dog.

The dog disappeared. It made no

barking noises.

What an interesting idea for a book

length work. What do you think?

How would you use it in writing?

Ideas for writing fiction and non-

fiction are all around us. Be a

sponge, and absorb them. Rinse

them in your creations.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Take Time To Nurture Your Talent

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

"I don't have time, or a place to

write everyday." You said.

Slip, at least, a couple hours into

writing 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's loud where I live. So, I learned

to concentrate on what I'm 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


Scoop-up the there's no time to write

excuse, and turn it into fiction. It

should be no longer than one

thousand words.

It's 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'll become. You'll develop

an editor's eye to critique

your own work.

Now, that isn't to say, you will

not make mistakes. However,

you acquire the skill to see/correct

them, and that's a plus for writers.

Who knows? It could be something you

do for a fee.

I'm referring to critiquing or teaching

to make extra money.

I believe, it's 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 then do it for others, for a fee.

Some teens, in my neighborhood, were

making noises on the street I live. I

took notes, on different days:

-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


My essay start follows.

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 is common. How sad, but

it's 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


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

"You shoulda cleaned your face before

coming home." Jeff opened the door to

their house. "Seeing that would upset


Tom pushed Jeff into the door. They

fell to the floor, struggled.

"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.

The few notes supplied 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 unintentionally over-heard a

conversation at the mall? Something funny

or unusual happened 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." The teen whined.

"They're my family too."

"But they didn't want anything to do with

you. Now, you inherited..."

I quietly left. 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


There are numerous ways to move with it.

At the family get-together pin-down an

idea. What stood out at this gathering?

You will be amazed at the ideas floating

around, and success is yours. You must

believe in yourself.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Poems Heal

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

Writing a poem is one's life, and
an out-let of expression to others.
Some situations, in life, are painful.
They require you to sit down, and write
about them. It's therapeutic while
energizing the healing process.

"How do I start writing a poem?" You tapped
a pen on the desk-top.

Simply, jot down what you're feeling. Don't
worry if the poem is free verse, or another
form. There are many forms of poetry. You
can research, the various forms, at a later

The goal, for now, is to pour-out
problems, issues, on paper or a computer.
Mold, re-arrange, your poems when you've
written a few.

I'll write one, off the top of my head.
My poem is free verse. Free verse is


Thunder lightens the sky
slams any in its path.

It stomps
looking over
your town and mine
for the next invasion.

Simply, write down what you feel.
This form of expression can be painful,
but it's therapeutic, and it heals. It
soothes the discomfort, and brings joy.

The act of writing relieves the mind of
tension, gives it a channel for negative

The loss of jobs, rising gas prices,
late stimulus checks, or any number of
issues can pull you into frustration.
Sometimes, worse.

Write it down, include everything that's
bothering you. Start with the most
nagging problem.

Look at the words. Harmless words.
Put them in context. Think. One
problem at a time. How do you feel
after writing them down? Give it a
few days, if necessary.

What steps can you take to make
your life better, happier? Remember,
there's no need to, constantly, concern
yourself over what can't be changed.

"If I can't change it, why try?" You rolled
your eyes.

It's about not giving up. Make adjustments
in your life.

You, actually, took the step to writing
poems. The one step is a major
accomplishment. Now, move
around an issue that can't be changed.

Fill your time with pleasant tasks.
Keep your mind occupied, stuffed with
matters within your control.

Full article at:

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Creative Writing Activities

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

"Is there an easy way to write a story?"
I've been asked.

I thought about it, and came up with
creative activities anyone can do.

This writing lesson is fun, teach it to
your children, and mold it to fit your

Before starting to write, think.
What kind of people will populate
the story? Is the leading role for
a male or female? Whose the
bad person? Or, the person with
a different point of view than the
leading character?

What was the disagreement over?

Keep in mind that every work of
fiction has a beginning, middle,
and it ends. Once the problem is
solved, conclude the story.

Short fiction works, well, with
one problem, but long fiction
has room for more.

Begin the story as the problem

"Man, you stepped on my foot!"
Rodney shouted.

"Said sorry." The short man
walked away.

Rodney ran behind him.

See how the suspense, tension,
pulls the reader in? He/she will
want to know the story's end.
Perhaps, he/she has been in a
similar situation, or know
someone who has. Or, dislikes
one of the characters, and will
read to, the story's end, see
how the situation is resolved.

In conclusion, have in mind a
problem, and the characters
you want to solve it. Characters
shouldn't be flat. Give one slurred
speech, for example.

The main character almost
succeeds, at least, three times.
Each time something, someone,
stops him/her from reaching the
goal. Also, new information is
uncovered, each time, to help
move the story along.

Characters are changed, for the
better or worse, when the story
is over.

Note: This is a game to help
children's writing skills. An option
is to have children act out a story,
character's role. It adds to the fun.

Monday, June 9, 2008

In Your Opinion

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

"What's this about?" You frowned.

I'm going to explain how to gather writing
ideas from your opinions. Here are twenty
writing ideas.

1."Going Green" talk is everywhere. The
conception points to being safer, easier on
humans, and better for the environment. In
your opinion, what's the best way to start
the process?

Would you write an article, essay? A
short story detailing how a couple murdered
over the price of a solar roof.

2. If someone walked up to you, gave you
twenty dollars you didn't drop, would you
accept it? Write down your reaction to
the situation.

3. A friend helped him/herself to your
idea. In your opinion, out the person?
Talk to him or her, and come to a

A possible writing idea is a character,
in short or long fiction, caught with a
set of two company books.

4. You arrive home to find your front
door open. You go in? Call someone?
Write about it, how?

5. You gained knowledge of a friend
by accident. It makes you nervous,
uncomfortable around the person.
In you opinion, what writing ideas
could you curve.

6. A recipe has been passed down
in your family for generations. You
shared the recipe with a few at your
last family-get-together.

You went to the kitchen to pull it out,
weeks later. You looked in every
corner, between shelves, but the
recipe was gone. Your opinion?

7. In you opinion, life is what you
make it. Someone in your circle of
friends disagree.

Write your thoughts about it down.
What spin can you put on it?

8. A red ball, one day, appeared
in your house. The ball wasn't
there when you went to bed.
In your opinion, where did it
come from?

9. Someone knocked on your
front door. You answered, but
no one was there. Your
imagination? Jot down your
opinion in fiction, no longer than
2,000 words.

10. A stranger followed you around
the market. Dial 911? Call someone

An essay on stalkers? A whodunit?

11. You heard a voice of a child outside
your window. You looked out of curiosity,
found no one. The thread for a thriller?

12. An animal kept walking in the living
room. Only, you didn't own one. Opinion?

13. Summer, this year, bought out nosy
neighbors, but one was missing. Idea?

14. Someone called your name. Woke
you out of a sound sleep. No one was there.

15. The clock worked backwards. Opinion?

16. Your favorite cup fell off the table. What

17. You heard crying. You paced to the
room, empty. Hmm.

18. You dreamed of a far away place.
Only, in your bedroom, evidence of that
place was found. How?

19. On the rode driving, a car passed you.
It looked like the first car you had, years
ago. Impossible?

20. You kept seeing the same numbers.
Why? How will you write about it?

The above writing ideas will help your
creative flow. Make the writing idea
yours. Turn it inside out, upside down,
to see what comes to mind.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Write Too

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

It's necessary to pick a time, during
the day or night, for writing. A moment
when your creative flow is bursting to
explore, form. Is it dawn? Perhaps,
midnight suits you better.

Allow, at least, two hours. Slip on
comfortable gear, slippers. Turn-
off the cell phone, telephone, television,
and close the window. This is your time.

The requirement for writing is passion.
It doesn't matter how many rejection
slips, or doubters. Continue to improve
your writing skills.

If I, for example, believed people who
thought I didn't have what it took, my
novel, Grave Street House, would
have never been published.

You must, first, believe in yourself,
and dreams will come true.

The amount of rejection slips you're
getting can make you second guess
yourself. Still, muster the courage to
work toward your goal, write.

Every writer, unless perfect, receives
rejection slips. Look at rejection
slips as a motivator, work harder.

Make sure your work is suited for
the publication you have in mind.
Perhaps, you need to edit, again.
Sometimes, a publication printed a
similar idea. So, your work wasn't
published because of your talent,
or lack of.

The secret to writing is doing it.
Yes, it has to be a ritual. Each
day write a chapter start, finish
a chapter, poem, essay, two pages
of non-fiction, or re-write an earlier
piece of yours.

There are no short cuts, for most
of us. Writing has to become part
of your life.

Make a game of it. Time yourself.
How many words, today? Last
month? Six months ago? Are you
a better writer compared to one
year ago?

What would you write about yourself,
this moment? How would you write
an essay about yourself? A friend?
An article on your favorite charity?

Start writing what you most like to
read. Have you read something, and
thought you could of done a better job?
Re-write it, for practice.

The secret to writing is you do it, often.
It doesn't matter where, what, you write.
You must, simply, write.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Writing Ideas From Letters

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

Letters hold, countless, sources of ideas
for writing. A written letter, for example,
explains inner thoughts, feelings, and

You sent an e-mail, text message, or
snail-mail to a friend, and your feelings
were reflected? Your have concerns
about the rising, no end in sight, gas

"If the gas prices go up, one penny,
higher, I'll have to dig-out my bike."
You wrote several paragraphs about

Now, think in terns of writing ideas.
How to stir-up your dissatisfaction into
a writing idea.

Here's a suggestion. You haven't
been in the attic for years, since
the bike was crammed in there.

In order to get your bike, a trip
to the attic is necessary.

You approach the door. It refuses
to open. You kicked it, several times.

The moment you turned to walk away,
it creaked open.

"This is weird." You complained loud
enough for a neighbor to hear.

A shadow splashed on the wall. Fear
or something riveted you to the floor.
A hand from...

There isn't a specific method to
peeling ideas from letters. It's
taking situations, places visited,
and developing writing ideas.

Use your creative talent to form
a new situation. Whirl out a work of
fiction or non-fiction unique to you,
your writing ability.

The situation can come from real life,
television, a movie, or book. Change
names, places, what happened, and

If, for instance, a jewelry store was
robbed, your idea would surround a
farm. Certain animals disappeared,
nothing was left behind. How would
you finish it?

"Why can't I write how it happened?"
Several people questioned.

Aside from causing hurt feelings
before people have healed, you
avoid the L-word, litigation.
Imagine reading about an emotional
incident that filled your space. You
had no idea it was in the world's domain.
It touched you emotionally, deeply.
Some of the turmoil spread to friends
and family.

It's not hard to see why you, anyone,
would file a law-suit, and that's the,
main, reason facts are changed.

The point is to see a word, phrase,
problem, that flames your creative

It's bad form, violates moral standards,
to re-write someone else's work, and
call it your own.

Do you have a friend living in a
different culture? The two of you
share letters about each other's

It's interesting to put characters in
a setting new to you. Try writing an
essay on a specific place, food, in
your friend's country. A poem about

There are many ways to weave writing
ideas from a different culture.

Pull-out letters you've had for years.
Read through them. Jot down the
writing ideas as they pop-out at you.
Did you discover something you
missed before? A new understanding?
See the person in a different light? Would
it make a good writing idea?

Look at an idea upside down, inside out,
side-ways, and backwards. Get as much
use as possible out of it.

Writing ideas from letters is another way
to channel creativity. Change actual facts
to avoid a, possible, law-suit, and/or painful
memories for those involved.

Before writing from letters, ask yourself
questions. How would I feel in the same
situation? Have I changed any identifying
references? Will writing this bring a law-suit?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Fifty Relaxing Ways To Find Writing Ideas

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

You have tried the game to writing, remarks heard, sayings,
and your creative flow refuses to show itself.

Perhaps, it's time to move away from your computer,
typewriter. As a matter of fact, take your mind off
writing. Do something amusing, fun.

Here are fifty ways to relax while writing ideas
pop-out at you.

1. Play with your bird, cat, or other furry friend.
The act of rubbing your cat's head can spark
an idea. The following is a possible writing

You dozed. Before you fell asleep, you had
a cat in your lap. You were awakened by
your snoring. To your surprise, a lion sat
in your kitchen, and you were no longer in
your house.

"What am I?" You rubbed your eyes.

2. Take a walk. Who did you see?
What did you see? You find your

3. You turned on the television. A scene
from a movie, commercial, ignited your

4. Go to the beach. Soak up material for

5. Someone at the salon called you another
person's name. Hmm. Imagine the avenues
of writing ideas.

6. A name from the past. Take each letter
to make new words. Sam turns into:

--Saturday, Arrives, Mocha

How would you churn out a writing idea
with those words?

Saturday night, Russ charged over to us in
a rage. His skin appeared mocha colored.
He attacked...

7. Pace to a friend's house.

8. Let the sunshine press against your skin.
Any ideas for writing come to mind?

9. Listen/look at people as they enter and leave
the mall.

10. A color that caught your attention.

11. Dress differently than usual. Ideas?

12. Act like a person you know. How would
you write about it?

13. Write about laughter.

14. The funniest moment of your day.

15. The strangest person near you.

16. The lowest point in your life.

17. A person who dislikes you.

18. Write down a problem existing in
the world.

19. The last dollar you spent.

20. Detail an incident.

21. Comment on a blog.

22. Describe your favorite food. Why
is it?

23. Explain emotions. How does sadness

24. What is happening outside the room
you're in?

25. What happened Saturday?

26. Write about a name you like.

27. Write, step by step, instructions on
how to swim.

28. How many pages should an e-book

29. Recall a happy moment with a cousin.

30. Can you sing?

31. Stand on one leg. What comes to mind?

32. Why use a fork?

33. Is the sun up? Describe it.

34. Rain does what?

35. Snow brings about?

36. To study?

37. If you won a million dollars, what
would you do first?

38. Crying clears the...

39. Birds fill the air with...

40. My life is...

41. I'm aiming for the stars.

42. The stimulus rebate.

43. No one writes.

44. Is there a writer in you?

45. How many words do you write daily?

46. Peace is...

47. Coffee is good for...

48. A new car...

49. I want a_________.

50. When I reach the writing level of ______.

Monday, May 12, 2008

How To Write Attention Grabbing Fiction

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

There exists more than one factor to writing interesting
fiction. Fiction leans toward the imaginary, invented,
made-up, and inspired. Of course, writers want to
entertain, and invoke the reader's emotions. Hopefully,
the reader becomes involved, and puts the story
down after the last page has been read.

A key to writing fiction well, in my opinion, is plenty
of suspense.

Suspense is indecision, doubt, knowing something
is going to happen, awaiting, and anxiety.

It doesn't matter if you're writing a mystery,
romance, or science fiction. Suspense pulls the
reader in the story. Begin suspense with
paragraph one.

Start the story in the middle of a crisis, problem.
This is where the reader's attention is grabbed.
He/she has something to be concerned about,
wants to know how a character(s) will resolve the
issue. Perhaps, the reader identifies with a
character, knows someone in a similar situation,
is cheering for the protagonist, and/or is gripped
by the plot.

Plot is the problem in the story, and how it unfolds.

The pages of a story should have something new,
exciting, or, even, a threat of an approaching doom.

"Do you ever pause?" Someone asked.

Yes, there are brief pauses. The idea is to keep
the reader buried in suspense.

Take a look at my example.

I opened the front door, heard my cousin

"Pete!" I shouted. "What's goin' on?"

"Call..." He fell on the cement steps before

The strange man started toward me...


How would you have started the first
sentence? Could it be laced with more
suspense? Would you continue to read
the story?

In short fiction, there's a concern for space,
word count. Publishers adhere to a
specific number of words, and so should

One problem is enough for short fiction.
In longer fiction, more than one issue is

Make every word earn its place. Every,
suspenseful, word should move the story
forward, not just take up space. Words
holding up valuable space must be

It's been my practice to keep cut lines,
paragraphs. They can be re-worked,
placed somewhere else, spark a new
idea, and a tool against writer's block.

The more you write, the easier it will be
to include that major factor, suspense.

Take a look at the following.

"'Member our dare?" Barb asked.

"Don't think it's a good idea." Tish
dropped her hand.

"Ya shoulda thought 'bout that before
sayin' crap 'bout bein' as tough as me."

"Was a joke."

"Be there, or..."

"You'll harass me?" Tish interrupted Barb.

"Tell everyone ya're a punk.

"I'll be there."

Do you get the feeling the dare isn't something
positive, upbeat? Could be dangerous? Are
you curious about it? Are you pulled in the story?

Fiction is written well when its smeared with
suspense, on practically every page. A grammatically
correct story is boring without suspense. Suspense
is the, must include, factor a story can't do without.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

How To Stop Writer's Block Twelve Ways

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

You get writer's block when you're tired, stressed,
in a hurry, must meet a dead-line, or want your
creative flow to, just, hic-cup. Don't panic. Sit back.
Take a few deep breaths to relax before starting.

"My mind is full of ideas." I heard a friend say.
"Can't sleep, might forget them.

I explained the twelve ways to stop sleepless
nights, and drag writer's block to the curb.
I, specifically, recommended number one to

1. A mind full of writing ideas require jotting
down. Or, use a tape recorder to capture

2. Start writing about anything, just to extract
your creative flow. Ideas will form as you
continue to write.

3. Pick any subject to write about. Use an
interesting angle. An angle that's new for
you to write about. It will test, inspire,

4. Keep a journal. Refer to it on the days
when writer's block has your mind blank.

"Suppose, I'm stressed and can't write?" You
sipped coffee.

5. Write down what's bothering you. Pluck-out
writing ideas. Use stress as a spring-board
to writing.

6. Look around the room you're sitting in.
The first object that your eyes see, write
about it.

"What do you mean?" Someone asked.

I, first, saw a pencil. I'd use the word in
an essay, for example. A possible angle:
How many pencils are used by six-year-olds, in
a week. My target would be the neighborhood
grade school.

Or, the writing idea points to a disappearing
pencil. It was a gift passed down for four
generations. Why did it disappear? Is it
connected to murder? Everyone who comes
in contact with it gets sick or dies.

7. Pick a phrase to write about. A phrase
is more than two words. The phrase can
be a remark made by your co-worker, news
head-line, quotation, etc.

8. Choose two colors to write about. Your
favorite color, and a color that looks bad
on you.

9. Write about the, first, moving person,
animal, to cross your path. You're in a
room alone, and there's no one or
animal to disturb you? Look out the
window. Write about whomever, whatever,
you see. A bird? Cat? Human? Car?

10. Write about the funniest moment so far in
your life.

11. Scribble down thoughts on the, most
informative, article or non-fiction
book you've read. How did it help you?
Why was it one of the better books, article?

12. Are you a writer? Why are you a writer?
Show what a writer does.

Writer's block is stopped by writing through
it. The secret to stopping writer's block is
to gather-up ideas around you, from a journal,
and/or write about something that happened
to you. The next step is to turn those ideas
into master-pieces.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Sixty Writing Ideas

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

Here are 60, free, writing topics, ideas. They can
be used in fiction, non-fiction, poems, and essays.

Look at a writing topic. How would you write about
it? Turn the topic upside down. Any new ideas come
to mind? What popped in your mind when you looked
at a specific topic? Write from the viewpoint of another
person in regard to an idea.

Allow your creative side to mold the topic. Let all
your senses in.

1. The birds chirped at dawn, everyday
2. He toppled backward after witnessing the murder
3. Someone hollered, "Fire."
4. The actions of a few made them, all, look guilty
5. The rabbit and cat napped together
6. Memories of that day haunt me
7. When I look at the ocean it reminds me
8. That sound took my mind
9. The smell of flowers
10. The worse day in history

11. Depression is
12. Writers
13. When the cow
14 A friend stands
15. Blue reminds me of
16. Celebration happens
17. Winter
18. Hats are made
19. It's time to
20. Waste disposal is

21. Coffee drinkers
22. Tea is best brewed
23. Beer is taken
24. Cola tastes
25. Milks flows in a
26. Alcoholic beverages are better during
27. The lemon juice splatter
28. Grape juice is
29. Water swirls in
30. Chocolate milk tends to

31. My last encounter with him showed
32. The last breath he took sent
33. She delivered several
34. They swung
35. People, first, must stand for something, or
36. The activities planned by them
37. She trembled with
38. The child broke all the
39. It wasn't him
40. Someone or something took over

41. Darkness melted into
42. The quiet summer night
43. The Spring breeze tapped against my
44. The warmth of the sunshine didn't help
45. Fear caught us in the cold, damp, basement
46. The snow rumbled, rolled, toward us
47. Rain fell on the tree as it hit the
48. The wind blasted the door open as we slept
49. Ice dropped from the sky
50. Froth slid across the beach as we

51. The day my sister arrived
52. The brothers in that family is
53. Brothers and sisters
54. His younger sister slapped
55. Their sisters caught the
56. We laughed at her brother at first
57. Only, his sister enabled
58. The brothers are
59. My sister had a long walk before
60. Sisters in name only
Take the idea, make it yours.

I'm going to take an idea and develop it.
I'll work with idea 2.

I dragged in after a long day at work, dug in my
hand-bag for the keys. I glanced up to see the
front door open.

"What is going on?" I ran toward the steps.

A man, unknown to me, stepped out of my house.
My brother, Jack, backed out of the front door.
He stared at me, and toppled down the stairs.

"Jack! Jack!" I shook him.

I rushed in the house to dial 911, but...

See how one idea spins off into a chapter
start, opening, in fiction?

Stir in more than one idea in your plot. Make
it interesting.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

How To Critique And Write

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

Non-fiction and fiction demands to be
critiqued. Of course, this eliminates
those who get it perfect on draft one.
Some never have the task of critiquing
their work, for the sixth time.

Most of us must strengthen our editing

"How do you edit?" You coughed.

Read through your article, essay, poem,
chapter, or term paper once. Put it down.

Take a walk. Read the book you meant
to last year. Clean off your desk, start
an exercise program, or telephone someone
you've wanted to.

On day two, read it out-loud. You're
checking for mis-statements, typos,
omissions, syntax errors, grammatical
slip-ups, and weak writing. Is the
correct phrases situated in your
writing? Take notice of run-on
sentences. Form every sentence according
to standard English.

Reading out-loud allows you to hear words.
Say them slowly. Did the sentence(s)
sound right? If not, find out why.
Determine if the subject and verb match.

"I stand to get a better look at who
screamed, but it was a prank."

In order for the subject and verb to
agree, stand should be changed to stood.

Are there too many adjectives? Use strong
verbs where possible. Did you use the
wrong word?

"What do you mean?" You sighed.

I'm referring to typing a word you didn't
have in mind. You typed bear instead of
bare, for example. It isn't hard to tap
out hear when here is the intended word.

Walk through the editing process slowly.
It's better to do a good job when you
critique than get a rejection.

Write as if you're talking to an
acquaintance, friend, in non-fiction.
Provide easy to understand wording,
and be direct.

When non-fiction or fiction is read,
questions arise. So, look for
possible questions as you critique.
Anticipate questions, and answer them.

Fiction yearns for an exciting plot.
Plot is the steps taken to solve a
story's problem.

Characters grab, hold, the reader's
attention. Often, readers escape
into the story world, because it's
written well. Many times, people
identify with a character, dislike,
a character's best friend, know a
person similar to the villain, and/or
something in the story makes him/her
angry, happy.

The critiquing of any piece of writing
is complete when every word has been

The editing process is more challenging
than the writing.

Spend time on dialogue. It mirrors
speech. It's an imitation.

Let's look at examples.

How many people say?

"Who is going with us?"

They'd probably utter.

"Whose goin' with?"
"Whose goin' with us?"

What is most likely to be said?

"I have been around."
"I've been 'round."

I'd use the second sentence.

There are books on writing
dialogue, but I learned, more,
by listening to people talk.

Editing is a segment, part, of
writing. The act of editing
will make you better at the craft.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

How To Use Writing Prompts

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

A writing prompt is a technique, word(s)
association, to ignite your creative process.
It's for the times you're at your desk, and
can't write a word. You looked out the
window, tapped a tune out with a pen, threw
balls of paper in the waste-basket, drank four
cups of coffee, and couldn't come up with a
single writing idea. You sat, dozed, and wasn't
able to write anything.

Some people keep prompts by their beds
to start the day off. Yes, I'm referring to before
they are seated in their writing places.

"How does that work?" You turned the
television off.

--Some use quotes
--Remarks they've heard
--Something a relative use to say, or says
--Make-up their own
They write them in a journal, for example.

People awake from a night's sleep, and
look through the journal. They go through their
routine. The quote swirls around the mind,
forming writing ideas.

By the time they reach their desks, they're
geared up, and ready to paint word pictures.

The condition has a name.

"What condition?" You asked.

The condition of sitting with a blank mind,
not being able to put five words together.

It's called writer's block. We have, all,
faced the problem at one time or another.

Let's look at quotes.

1. "I wish they would only take me as I am."
Vincent Van Gogh

2. "History repeats itself, and that's one of the
things that's wrong with history."
Clarence Darrow

3. "Ideas are the root of creation."
Ernest Dimnet

4. "You must, first, believe in yourself
to soar."
Marcella Glenn

Remarks open the doors to writing ideas.
Have you heard a remark that plays over in
your mind?

**Try, or you're always wonder what if.

**Money follows money.

**Success comes after an action has been

A family member, often, says,

5. "Read or your brain will starve."

6. "Chalk it up to life."

7. "Keep trying."

Let's discuss Ernest Dimnet's quote: "Ideas
are the root of creation."

Read it out-loud, several times. What does it
mean to you? Are ideas the root of creation?
What do you want to write about the quote?

Write anything, everything, that comes to mind.
Don't worry about grammatical, syntax errors,

Correct them at a later date. The idea is to
write. Try to write five hundred words about
the quote.

Stir in characters, plot, and dialogue. Use
more than one quote in your writing idea.

Allow yourself, at least, two hours for
writing, more if needed. It's up to you,
determine how long to spend on it.

The goal was met, and that was to start
your creative flow.

Use writing prompts to spark your creative
side. A word, sentence, or quote will stir-up,
break through writer's block.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

How To Write A Business Letter

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

A business letter represents you,
your business. Everyone can't afford
the services of a secretary. The business
letter is simple to write.

It can be as many pages as you like.
Often times, a business letter is written
to offer a service/product, to get information
about products/services, and/or, just to
understand terms between two parties.

The business letter is single spaced,
except between paragraphs.

Your name, business name, address,
city, state, fax, and telephone number
starts the letter off. Those lines are single

Next, double space to date it.

Again, double space. In single spaces,
write the name, title of the person its
intended for, address, city, state, and
zip code.

Double space, Dear Mz. M., is the
person its intended for.

Double space, the first line states why
you're contacting her. The paragraph
should be clear. People are short on time,
and if the first paragraph is confusing, the
rest of it will not be read.

The second paragraph is more specific.
Expand on major points, any contact that
you've had with the person.

If there is something you need to mention,
write it in the third paragraph.

Is a fourth paragraph necessary?

Close the letter. I'd like to thank you for
your time.

Double space. Sincerely is typed.

Double space, twice. Type your name.
Sign the letter above your typed name.
Your position with the company is typed
below your name.

1234 Main Street
Anywhere, USA 1234-4567
Fax: 123-456-7890

April 8, 2008

Mz. M.
Business Editor
567 Race Drive
Anywhere, USA 8900-1234

Dear Mz. M.

This is where you explain why you're
contacting Mz. M.

The second paragraph gets specific.

Paragraph three includes what needs
to be mentioned.

A fourth paragraph necessary?

Close the letter. I'd like to thank you
for your time.

New Products Manager

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

How To Out-Line

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

An outline will keep you on the
focal point of your paper, article,
essay, fiction, or non-fiction. It's
easy to jump from what you meant
to a distant point.

"Yeah, I've done that." You smiled.

Most likely, all writers have.

An outline introduces itself. It
acquaints the reader with the
subject, grabs their attention. The
beginning promises to be interesting,
not boring, and advances the reader on.

The body pin-points issues, problems,
a writer wants to make. This is where
anything relating to the main point
comes into being. Sometimes, it's
necessary to divide your outline into
parts, for better understanding.

Conclude by repeating, in different
words, your introduction.

The, above, outline will keep your
work flowing smoothly, you'll be less
stressed out, and able to write better.

The Outline Format









V. Conclusion

Saturday, March 29, 2008

How To Write Whodunit

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

"That's hard." You looked at the title.

The first step is to have a good idea.
One that has been thought through from
beginning to end. Or, research an idea.
You're looking for what would make an
interesting book. Is there a specific
topic that grabs your attention?

Pick a subject that's appealing.
You don't want to reach chapter
five, and nothing else to write.
It, even, bored you. The topic should
be exciting for you, and appealing to

After you've settled on an idea, start
your chapter outline. Write out what
each chapter will be about. Jot down
as much as you need to. Edit later.

The plot, is how the problem gets
solved, exposes murder, for example.
There has to be a main character,
others, to find out why Mr. X was
murdered. Along the way, murders

The main character realizes she's being
stalked, more confusion.

The twists and curves have to be worked
out through the characters.

Each scene moves the story forward. A
scene can be a paragraph, or pages long.
It's up to you, the writer.

Writing the whodunit requires an idea,
topic that appeals to the masses, and
a good plot.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

How To Write A Newsletter

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

A newsletter is something that's informative
to readers, and fun for the editor to write.

A newsletter should begin with a comment,
word, thought, or insightful share with
readers. It is your section. Share
something about yourself.

Pick topics out of life to chat about.
Did a stranger walk-up to you, thought
you were someone else? Your furry friend,
pet, helped you in some way. Were you
published somewhere? You received a

Make sure the newsletter is, stuffed, full
of theme material. Give tips, new buzz on
that industry, certain technology help,
or explain a niche.

Feature a contest(s) from others, and have
your own.

Tackle a debate. How many people hit snooze,
four times, before getting up? Most likely,
89% percent of the population.

Dress up or down the newsletter as you see
fit, include anything you like.

Writing a newsletter opens up a new world
to you. Have fun with it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

How To Write

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

A few months ago, I thought-up a worst word
list. Here's an example of what I mean.
The words can come from anywhere, everywhere.
Take a look.

The worst three, tasting, drinks happen when
the brewing process goes, horribly, wrong.
They are:
1. acid tasting black coffee
2. tea brewed too many times in the
same pot
3. white lightening liquor

I can take one or all the answers to write
about. It's possible to take words, thought-
up at randow, write fiction or non-fiction.
The process keeps writer's block at your
neighbor's house, and away from you.

My writing idea is to have a, young,
couple move into a house. They find
a coffee pot, that the wife cleans to use.

"Park, you're so thoughtful." Brent turned
over in bed. "The coffee smells good."

"I smell it too, but..."

"So, you like our new house?" Brent jumps
out of bed.

Before Park can say another word, her
husband goes downstairs to get a cup of

Park hurries behind him.

The coffee pot hiccups, and then it leaps

It's easy to get writing ideas from
rejected articles, poems, essays, fiction,
or words you heard.

Try your hand at writing from any word.
Most likely, you'll come-up with more
than one writing idea from a, word,
phrase. At the same time, writer's
block is kept at a distance.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Turn Life Into Writing Ideas

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

I believe life is exciting,
challenging, wonderful, demanding,
and stuffed full of writing ideas.

I wrote a piece on best friend
shopping, which didn't make the

Now, I can sit around complaining,
or find another place for the

Let me share some of it with you.

This story idea is from living
life, and ideas do come to you
this way. You must act like a
sponge, find a fit, for rejected

**Best Friend Shopping**

Your eyes roll skyward, knowing
a gift is needed for him/her.

"What do I get?" You twisted
a piece of hair.

You don't want to get a gift like
last time. You saw the disappointed
expression as it was unwrapped.
Even though, he/she tried to disguise

Of course, you pondered, fussed, over
getting the right item. Times like
these test a friendship. Sure, you
can grab some bobble. Possibly, your
friend will feel the uncaring that
went into that.

Or, shop for what your friend likes
best. Search for the object that
most appeals to your friend. No
one knows that better than you.
It's best to start shopping early.

The sponge process started for a
story idea. A character was at
a Used Clothing Store, looking
for something unique.

"I've been to five other stores,
nothing caught my eye." Chell's
eyes rolled along the floor.
What is that?"

It appeared to be a clown.

"That would be a fun gift, life
size clown."

She bent down to inspect it,
noticed it was a dead body...

The plot unfolds in any
direction of my choice. Also,
other ideas can be spun from it.

I can travel down a fiction road,
roll-out essays, or jot down poems.

I suggest to take any writing idea,
and look at it for other avenues
to writing.

When your work is rejected, look
for other ways to show-case it.
A sponge drips everywhere, soaks
in everything. Be the sponge when
it comes to writing ideas.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

How To Write About An Encounter

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

I had the opportunity, chance, to
meet an odd person. Perhaps, I
should say different.

"Why is she odd?" You read the
paragraph, again.

People talked about a serious
subject, on numerous occasions.
Cathy would burst out laughing.
Cara appeared, one day, with the
same mannerisms, likenesses, as
Cathy. Yet, they claimed not to
know one another.

This is how I'd take that reality,
and turn it into a work of fiction.

My idea is to have Cathy working
in a school. Cara is unemployed.

At school, one day, Cathy began
talking, acting, like Cara. The
people around Cathy wondered what
was wrong.

"Mornin', Cathy. " Mr Berg Spoke.

Cathy looked at him, seemed not to
recognize him.

Cathy wondered around the school,
missed her scheduled classes.
Suddenly, for no reason, she

See how easy it is to take something,
someone, from reality to write about.

How would you continue the story?

Make sure to change actual
circumstances, names, dates,
addresses, and physical

"Why bother?" You looked around.

Aside from the fact, it can cause
hurt feelings. Using such
information without written
permission can end you up in a
court room.

All stories have a beginning,
middle, and end.

Start off with a question, narrative,
or startle. You want to grab,
hold, the reader's attention to the

Your title should stop the reader,
and pull his/her eyes to your
work. The middle builds up, comes
down to a satisfactory conclusion.

Take note of the odd encounters in
your day. Pick out, at least,
one to write about. Spin reality
into fiction to always have a
writing idea.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Why Write A Second Novel

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

It had been my plan before my first
novel, Grave Street House, was
published to serialize the main
character, Amanda Dukington.

I had no idea how successful,
unsuccessful, I'd be with my
novels. The urge to write,
create a story world, was something
I couldn't ignore. I tried, for a
second, to leave writing alone. Try
something else.

Is that how you feel as a writer,
sometimes. You'd rather not write,
but it itches. You have to scratch,

My novel, Grave Street House, floated
to mind when I worked elsewhere. I
had those, I'm not sure I can do it
moments. At times, it seemed, I wasn't
being taken seriously as a writer. So,
I went back to dallying with my

I pulled out paragraphs, made a scene
more suspenseful, looked for a publisher,

It was published, and I didn't make
any money. I wasn't deterred from
writing the second novel.

It felt right to place the main
character, Amanda Dukington, in a
murderous setting.

"Why a murderous setting?" You asked.

She solved the mystery, murders,
that had a community terrified.

My second Novel

Every second Saturday, Amanda plays
cards in a neighborhood, when loud
noises are heard, people dive for the

The four card players laugh, catch-up
on the gossip, bring food, and
enjoy each other's company.

On this particular Saturday, they
bickered with one another. The
atmosphere filled with tension, and
they, actually, clawed at each other.

A visit from Mr. Bailor, Joann's father,
another card player, heightened the strain.

Joann leaves, to go home, for a few minutes.

The three remaining players hear what could
be a car's engine. Two of the card players
drop to the floor.

Amanda ventures to the front door, can't
understand why they're on the floor. She
ignores pleads to come back.

To her shock, dismay, she finds Joann shot
on the street.

Monday, February 18, 2008

How To Write Non-Fiction

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

Ideas arrive from living life, an
echo in your mind from something
you heard, a funny remark by one
co-worker, or a dream. Did
you pass a group of kids, and a
diamond ring was mentioned? At
the mall, you saw the face of
someone on a "Wanted" poster.
What will you do?

There are no shortage of ideas to
slice non-fiction from.

Settle on a topic.

"I'm not sure which idea to pick
for my non-fiction project." You
stared at your journal of ideas.

It can benefit you, in the long
run, to keep ideas, thoughts, in
a journal or file.

Pick an idea that excites you.
It should be of interest to others.

"How will I know if other people
will like the idea?" You asked.

There isn't a one-hundred percent,
sure, way of knowing.

You can research the non-fiction
idea. A second way, to get a feel
of how well it will be received, is
to ask friends, family. Take note
of their reactions.

The next step is to decide on what
your non-fiction article, book, will

Write down each point you want to
include. Develop, write, a
particular thought. Under the
thought, expand on it.

Your article will start off with a
general discussion. It could tell
a story, ask questions, or shock
the reader. The aim is to engage
his/her attention to the end.

With a book length work, more
information is included.

Your presentation gets more
involved, detailed, as the
middle is written.

As the non-fiction idea moves
along, anticipate questions
about it. Supply answers.

Make sure to cover the areas
you promised, mentioned, in the

Pick a title, if you haven't
already. It should state the
benefit(s) a reader will get.

Titles are three to five words
long. Squeeze into the title
everything the article is about.
If three to five words fail to
capture the meaning of your work,
make it longer. Ultimately, the
title is what works best with your
non-fiction project.

Non-fiction starts off with one of
the, many, ideas in, around, us.
Research a non-fiction idea that
wants to be told, exposed, when in
doubt about it. The idea must
excite your imagination. There
must be passion for it.

As with anything else, the more
you write non-fiction, the better
you'll become at it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

How I Went From Unknown To Novelist

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

I looked at my novel, Grave Street House,
worked on it for years. The paragraphs
I've plucked out, added, are too numerous
to count. The updated, re-peppered,
scenes have been limit-ness.

I found an agent, that relaxed me. He
returned my manuscript with a, scribbled,

"Work on it." The sticky memo said.

I did. I telephoned him, more than once.
It became clear my manuscript wasn't on his
submit to a publisher list. My manuscript
and I departed.

I enrolled in a writing, mail-order, course.
The instructor had the option of recommending
a student's work for publication, with the
school. My manuscript failed.

A second attempt at the course delivered
the same results. Again, I was the only
believer in the manuscript.

I read books, tried to get a better
understanding of suspense, plot, dialogue,
and sentence structure. I didn't know why
my work wasn't acceptable.

I felt the novel had potential, and the
necessary talent was in me. I, simply, had
to keep writing, practicing. It didn't matter
how many times my manuscript was rejected. I
dared to believe in myself.

I started scanning Craigslist. It offered
opportunities for writers, too.

According to Susan Mactavish Best,
Best Public Relations, Craigslist gets
more than five billion views a month.

I examined the list for writing
opportunities. Perhaps, a new writing
project would inspire me to push my novel,
even harder.

On second thought, advertising my
critique, manuscript, services would
be a better idea.

Craigslist is kept current. There's
up to a forty-five day limit on ads.
The cost is free or nominal. I tried
it, but decided to work on my own
manuscript. My aim was to make
it publication ready.

What was my mystery novel missing?
Why wasn't anyone picking it up? It
boiled down to me. My writing
wasn't good enough? I was the
only person who could find out
the answers.

I knew it had a beginning, middle,
and ended satisfactorily. My scenes
were suspenseful, tried to show
more than tell. My plot unfolded
to plenty of conflict. I stated my
theme, through the characters.

"Let me take a look at this novel
you've been talking about." A family
friend said.

I preferred to have the novel in a
publisher's hands before anyone
viewed it.

"Not sure, but all right," I said.
"Well, I'll let you look at one chapter."

"I felt in the middle of the problem."
He looked at me. "I'm not sure it
should begin like that."

I wanted that effect, but he didn't
like it. I made a toddler size

My reply was on the order of,
wait for the finished product.

I sat the manuscript aside for
several weeks. I worked on other
pieces. It gave me a much needed
break. My manuscript stayed in the
back of my mind. Will anyone see
its potential? Had I done all I could
to make it the best? I was a writer?

No matter the rejection slips, I
continued to believe in myself as a
writer. Although, the learning
process was, is, never-ending.

I, through writing, created games
to halt writer's block. It didn't
matter what I wrote. I received joy
from, the act of, writing.

Hmm. I was, is, a writer played
over in my mind. Was this the stuff
of writers? I didn't know.

I became tired of editing my
novel. So, I looked through
Craigslist for a new writing
idea, product.

I ventured into the editors section.
My eyes rolled across an online
publisher. I had concerns about
exposing my manuscript to another

I collected myself. I realized,
rejection is one of the factors in
writing. It makes you better, try
harder, and don't take it personally.

I asked the publisher questions. They
were answered. I didn't have to pay
them, that was refreshing, different.

I liked working directly with the
publisher. I was given space, control
over my work.

I'm a novelist, still, unknown. I
reached a goal, small one. I'm working
on my second novel. Yes, me. One who
was shunned. The same person who
dared to believe in herself.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Write From The Known

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

"What is this about?" You asked.

The known is what you know, understand,
and/or is true. It can be a person,
place, or thing.

It is easier, sometimes, to write from
the known.

"Why?" You read the sentence, twice.

It's easier to write from the known,
because you're familiar with it, you
have the four-one-one on it, or have
a fixed image in your mind of it.

I was sitting in my bedroom, glanced
at the perfumes. A question stirred
in my mind.

How many people have designer
fragrances? I thought about it.
I guessed, many. It stands to reason,
people with designer fragrances use
less. They don't pour it on

I stopped. I couldn't think of an
interesting story surrounding the

However, fragrances stayed on my mind.

The second idea was one involving
the design of a fragrance. The
business was ran by two sisters.

The popular sister insisted her
name should adorn a bottle.

Now, the intelligent sister wanted
to make the business a success.

"First, let's find a new fragrance,
start working on it, and then
decide on a name," Giltress suggested.

"No, it should have my name, father
would of wanted it that way, too."
Pukela turned her back to Giltress.

"I think we should concern ourselves
with the promotion of it." Giltress
wanted her sister to agree, at least,

"I'm the pretty one, and people will
agree with me." Pukela stormed out
of Giltress' office.

My fiction starts to take form. It
can roam into long or short fiction.

I can, easily, see murder creeping
into the plot.

What are your thoughts on it?

Writing from the known invites
a new twist to a project, opens your
imagination up to look at the same
object differently, and is fun.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

How To Find Your Writing Niche

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

Niche is a rank, comfortable place, or
position that explores your talent. It
feels right, and you excel at it. You
perform it, very well. Also, you enjoy

"How do I find my writing niche?" You

Most writers like to read. I did, do.
Try to create, write, the fiction or
non-fiction that you prefer to read.

Ask some questions. How would you write
it? What should be written better?
More suspense? You didn't like the plot?
It needed an attention grabbing title? It
could of used a different setting? You
thought a female should of played the
secondary role? A rabbit in the cast of

Answering questions will help pin-point
your writing niche. In the process, you'll
come up with other questions.

Try dabbling with how-to articles, greeting
cards, and essays. In search of your writing
niche, sample everything.

Study the area of writing you chose. You
picked greeting cards to write, for example,
then discover how they are written. Go to
your local store, or browse online, for
knowledge. Which cards tickle your urge to
write? Humorous greeting cards?

Purchase the cards that grabbed your attention.
Use them as a guide for writing your own.
Don't copy.

Prepare some to give to friends and family.
What kinds of reactions did you get?

Having your work evaluated, criticized,
can be helpful. It exposes weak areas,
where more effort should be applied.

Put advice, analyzing, about your work
in perspective. It isn't wise to view it
as a personal attack. Besides, you're
looking for a writing niche, and opinions
are just that.

If I'd listened to some, I would not have
written a novel, articles, poems, or dared
to own a blog.

My point is, most times, the voice to listen
to is yours. It's not the well meaning
or doubters, that determines your writing niche,
but you.

It takes time to find the niche with the exact
fit. You fiddle, try, until you find it.

Take time to reach, develop, your writing
niche. Aim for the stars.

Monday, January 21, 2008

What Is Good Writing

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

"Yeah, I'd like to know how to do that."
You tapped your fingers on the desk.

First, the head-line must grab, hold, the
reader's attention. Its job is to
fill-in the person on what to expect, from
articles, the story.

It's not uncommon to have an idea, write
about it, and then pick the head-line from
the finished project.

The head-line is three to five words. It
can be informative, ask a question, bring
an emotion, or make the reader laugh.

Good writing is clear, makes a point. The
writer's idea or what he/she is describing
must be sharp, defined.

"I'm not sure what the author meant." One
person said.

The above, seven, words mean the author didn't
do good writing. Writers will provoke anger,
fear, happiness, but it's in their career
description. Good writing invokes some

Paragraphs flow smoothly, grammatically
correct. Good writing has a starting point,
works a path to the middle, and concludes

"I don't agree with what you wrote." A
person will say.

It's all right for people to disagree with
you, a particular article. You engaged
their attention, and that was the point.

As with life, everyone will not see your
point of view. It's part of living,

Good writing sparks interest, opinions,
and disagreements. The head-line stirs
curiosity. The body spells-out points,
entertains, angers, brings happiness, or

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

How To Write Everyday

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

Write everyday, install more, on your
fiction or non-fiction projects.

"How?" You asked. "I have a life."

Peel away, at least, two hours everyday
to write. It doesn't matter what time
of the day or night. Give yourself
that time. Some days, you'll write for
longer periods of time.

"I have writer's block, what then?"
You pointed out.

Stress, environment noises, the thoughts
of how many other things you need to do,
kids, relatives, and, even, pets can
distract you. Any one of the above can
cause writer's block.

The only cure for writer's block is to
keep going. Write through the block.

Jot down whatever comes to mind. Or,
pick any word to write about. Scribble
down, for example, what a word means to
you. After a few sentences, writer's
block will ease away. It's all right
if it takes you longer, than a few
sentences, to halt writer's block.
Once it has dissipated to your
neighbor's space, put away your writer's
block, busting, word.

Start on the project you wanted to
before writer's block. Or, you might
prefer to continue with what you're

Write everyday to get better, create
new master-pieces, and to stop writer's

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Last Word Fiction

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

"What is last word fiction?" You asked.

Take the last word of a paragraph,
newsletter, business article, argument,
or poem to write a story.

Let's look at the paragraphs from my
novel, Grave Street House.

I ran for the bus, only, to find it
crammed to its rear. Drone after drone
entered the vehicle, each headed for a
work-station, or school. I breathed a
sigh of relief when the air conditioner
breezed over me.

One graying at the temples, beer bellied,
short, rude, drone whispered to me, "Stand
close to me, baby. I'll block ya fall."

The man looked old enough to be my

The last word, of course, is grandfather.
My idea follows, and it's not related to
the novel.

Grandfather Beany, each morning, goes to
the field, few minutes later, returns.
He has a, new, burst of energy.

He dragged to the field, but, practically,
ran back.

One day, Jeff, fourteen-years-old, decided
to spy on his grandfather. Jeff wanted to
know why the old man visited the field.

As far as the eye could see, it had weeds,
and over-grown grass. Jeff sat his alarm
clock for three a.m., because he wasn't
sure what time his grandfather left. He
heard his mother, father, and other adults
talk about it.

The alarm rang out.

"I just fell asleep." Jeff yawned.

He dozed.

He heard the screen door snap shut.

Jeff jumped, quickly paced toward
the front door. He rubbed his eyes.

The summer air tapped him on the face.
The dampness, in the air, woke him up.

He ran back inside to get a flash-light.

He stumbled, fumbled, to where his
grandfather was.

"Oh no, grandfather!" Jeff shouted.

"No." The old man pushed the boy down.

Later that morning...

See how my idea unfolded? There were
many roads to travel down with it.

How would you write about grandfather?
Would your story be a mystery? Fantasy?

If the last word wasn't one that inspired
you then use another one. Take the last
word from a different sentence to write

Last word fiction, writing, is a method
to start your creative juices flowing.

"What if I've written something, but
writer's block stopped me from completing
it?" You looked at the title. "Can last
word fiction help me?"

I've never used last word fiction to
combat writer's block, but let's apply

Read the last paragraph of what you've
written. Take the last word, and write
what comes to mind. Or, use the same theme.

"Same theme?" You questioned.

I mean use the theme of the piece that gave
you writer's block.

Throwing out, around, the theme can,
possibly, curtail writer's block.

Stirring in a new twist to old writing will
keep you from getting bored.

Sometimes, the editing process takes us over
the same project more times than we like.
It can get tedious. There is no better way
to challenge our creative passion than to
mix in a new factor.

It doesn't matter where the last word comes
from. It can provide the needed encouragement
for writing ideas.

Last word fiction is a fun, creative, way
to get writing ideas, provide that extra
nudge to get a project completed, and fight-
off tasks that has dulled from being edited.

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About Me

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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'.

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