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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.

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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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