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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Point-Of-View: Closer Look

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

What's Point Of View?

I'm going to take a closer look
at point of view in fiction.
Point of view is the perspective,
angle, from which a story is told.

The points of view are: the objective
point of view, first person point of
view, third person point of view,
limited omniscient point of view, and
omniscient point of view.

Objective Point Of View

Using the objective point of view, an
author, writer, describes the story
from what he/she can see.

Actions and dialogue from characters are
the indicators of what's happening in a
story.

The author, writer, isn't allowed to
explain what a character is thinking,
feeling.

First Person Point Of View

The author, writer, tells the story
from the viewpoint of a character.
The character shares his/her thoughts,
feelings, and behavior patterns.

This is the "I" viewpoint or voice.

I like to work with this viewpoint.

Personally, I feel it's easier for
beginners to work with.

This viewpoint character can't tell
what other characters are thinking,
doing. He/she can make guesses from
what other characters said or done.

Third Person Point Of View

The author, writer, is uninvolved in
the story. Characters are referred
to as she, he, and they.

The author, writer, conveys what's
going on, and interprets behaviors.

This point of view is used most by
writers.

Some say, this point of view is easier
to work with.

It's used in most genres, except young
adult fiction.

Limited Omniscient Point Of View

The writer, author, is limited to
knowing everything about one
character.

The author, writer, explains how the
character feels, thinks, hears, and
sees.

The author, writer, can't see or
hear what other characters are
thinking and feeling.

Omniscient Point Of View

Everything is seen, known, from the
omniscient point of view.

The author, writer, can disclose the
thoughts or actions of any character.

The author, writer, can explain the
situation from any character's angle,
viewpoint.

Experiment with different viewpoints.
Which viewpoint works better for you?
Is one easier to use?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Writing Ideas: Where To Get Them?

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

Writing ideas are sprinkled around
the doctor's office, seated at the
family's get-together table, paraded
in-out of malls, and splashed
everywhere on the streets of your
state.

Be prepared to capture writing ideas.
Carry a pad, pen, recorder, or text
yourself enough of the idea to later
write about it.

Make a note of the idea as soon as
it appears. Don't wait. Memories fade.
It'll be impossible to retrieve the
original writing idea.

"I've been waiting too long to see
the doctor!" Someone blurted at a
crowded doctor's office.

Writing ideas exist in those words.
Take a look.

The first idea surrounds a lady who
forgot to take her medicine. She hops
up, demands to see a doctor.

The office staff tries to calm her.
The doctor bursts through the door
with a syringe in hand.

Only, the lady...

What twist would you put on the idea.
Or, what notes would you scribble down
to explore later?

At a family dinner, the secret family
cake recipe discussion came to the
surface.

The person who handled it last turned
her/his residence upside down looking
for it, to no avail.

Members of the family argue with each
other, accuse one another.

The writing idea can swirl down several
paths.

Shake-up the writing idea. Look at it
from more than one view-point.

A conversation at the mall is over-heard.

"Grandmother, they're my family too." A
teen argued at the elderly lady.

"This isn't the time to talk about it"
The lady sighed.

"But..."

"Not here." The elderly insisted.

Your writing idea on it?

Perhaps, you'd write an essay on
children raised by maternal
grandmothers. Other ideas?

The only limit to writing ideas is
your imagination. It's best to
twist ideas upside down, and
find as many writing ideas as
possible from the original.

Here is an incident from the
street of my state.

Two young men stood on a
corner whispering between
themselves as people passed.

A female with three-inch gold
earrings paced near the
young men.

The guys looked at each other.
One of them grinned, and
without warning...

What's your thoughts on
the writing idea?

Writing ideas are everywhere.
Capture them for future
writing ideas.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Query: How To Write It?

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

A query letter is one page long,
but detailed enough to provide an
agent, publisher, with all that's
needed to contact you. They are
always looking for new voices, or
the next big project, best seller.

An effective query letter is
important. It's the deciding
factor as to whether an agent,
publisher, will represent,
sell, your work.

The query letter is written in
a business format.

The following explains how to
write an effective query letter.

1. Start with an interesting
writing idea, hook. What was
the deciding factor for you?
Why did you turn the idea into
a novel, article?

Narrow down your answer into
a sentence, and then spin the
answer into a question.

The final question opens your
query letter.

2. The question asked by you is
left open. Send the publisher,
editor, a certain view-point,
angle, to consider.

3. Explain what your story is
about. In no more than two
paragraphs, expose your plot,
problem in the story.

4. Give specific details. Draw
the publisher, agent, in by
tapping on structure, and how
you plan to develop it.

5. Do not disclose the ending.

6. Elaborate on why you're the
best person to write it. Establish
the fact that you've written related
articles, or you're a published
author.

7. Close with asking if he/she would
like to see the completed manuscript.

8. A self-addressed stamp envelope
is included.

Repeat the process to each publisher,
agent, on your list. However, be
certain your work is what a publisher,
agent, want, represent.

Request guidelines and research a
publisher, agent, before you query.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Fiction: How To Start?

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

Fiction is exciting, fun, to write
about. Find an idea that awakens your
imagination, and has wide appeal.

Fiction is invented, imagined,
or created stories. Characters
are placed in a setting to solve a
problem(s). Look at the idea upside
down, right side-up.

The writing idea is looked at from
different view-points to decide
how best to show-case it. In
other words, make sure the writing
idea appeals to a large segment of the
population, and stirs-up your writing
ability.

Answer the following questions.

What problem will be addressed?
Perhaps, an issue from your life.
A story out of the head-lines. A
friend's plight.

A lost recipe in a certain family
member's house disappears? He/she
claims it was there before anyone
arrived.

The possible plot, problem, is which
relative took it, and why?

The plot's options are too many to
discuss. Actually, the only limit to a
plot is your imagination.

Every story has a beginning, middle, and
an ending.

Allow characters to show what is happening.
Take a look.

"I saw whole thin,'" Beverly explained.
"Pyra ran out da house with da knife in her
hand..."

"Wait," Carrie interrupted. "I don't get
it. She ain't have no knife when..."

Populate the story. Who will be the main
character? Antagonist?

The main character is Pyra in my example.

The antagonist is the person stopping your
main character from reaching his/her goals.
Or, the person pursuing the main
character.

In my example, the antagonist is the
guy in braids.

"She tried to kill my sista." The young
guy in braids spat . "Cops betta catch
her befo street justice does."

Make profiles for each character. How they
look, talk, act, relevant experiences, and
anything you feel should be included.

A main character must try, at least, three
times before reaching his/her goal.

My example will swirl Pyra and the guy
in braids together three times. The
encounters will end in fights, possibly
death.

One problem is handled in short fiction.
Longer fiction stirs-in a major problem,
and a minor one. Add as many problems
in long fiction as you can handle.

Mix-in suspense. Give the impression
something is going to happen. Build it
up, and then allow some event to
explode.

The scene, explosion, can last two
paragraphs, or run for pages.

It, too, has a beginning, middle, and
an ending.

If, for some reason, you have a problem
writing, or have writer's block, write
anything that comes to mind. Or,
write about an object on your desk,
outside, pet, or why a color is your
favorite.

Keep writing until you're ready to start
on your writing project.

Usually, a new writing idea is discovered,
or material for your current writing project
dawns.

All problems must be solved at the end,
or given a satisfactory conclusion.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

How To Create Writing Ideas

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

Writing ideas surround us. Everywhere
we go writing ideas await.

Pick a writing idea with mass appeal.
I'm referring to ideas that a large
segment of the population would
read, and it must excite your
imagination.

Jot down ideas as you find them.

Every story has a beginning,
middle, and an ending.

Let's look at how writing ideas are
picked.

1. Have you met a person during the
day? This person was over-dressed
for the place you saw him/her at.

He/she jumps to his/her feet, from
time to time, and starts dancing.
There isn't any music playing when
he/she does it.

There are many avenues to take
with the idea.

2. A prank that turned out funny
makes interesting reading.

3. Certain slang words can be the
start of a plot.

A character's use of certain
words ends him/her up in
murder.

4. A news head-line turned upside
down provides excellent writing
ideas.

5. A saying a relative repeats.
"Mark my words, if you go
there only misery will follow."

Pick a setting, place, and
start your plot.

6. An animal does something
funny, odd, or silly.

Spin the writing idea into
an interesting tale.

7. Write a story around an
out-dated piece of clothing.

8. You heard a funny story.
Write about it.

Select the characters for the
story.

Start the problem, issue, of the
story on page one.

Stir-in suspense. Suspense is
indecision, doubt, anxiety. Sprinkle
around suspense if you're working
with a western, romance, mystery,
or any genre. Suspense pulls
the reader into the story. It keeps
the reader wanting to know what
will happen next.

Each page should contain something
exciting. A threat of an approaching
doom, and few descriptive paragraphs.

Hint at the abduction of the main
character, for example. Perhaps,
the main character's belongings are
misplaced, rearranged.

What will happen next?

Let the characters show the story
through actions and dialogue.

Tie-up loose ends.

Set your story aside. The longer
your project, the more time you
need away from it.

After three-fourteen days away
from your project, critique it.

Have you found an interesting
writing idea today?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Easy Steps To Writing An Adventure Story

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

The adventure story takes the
main character, protagonist, to
a new place, different from his/her
own. The place should be dangerous
for the main character to be in.

Read adventure stories. Take them
apart, and re-write them from your
imagination.

Take notes. Did you see a better
writing idea? Jot it down. Make
sure the writing idea is from your
imagination.

Let's look at steps to make writing
an adventure story, novel, easier.
The following steps will fill-in the
story, and bring it to life.

A. What adventure will the main
character have?

1. A person finds an ancient coin,
but it's a door-way to the past.
The right spoken words will
unlock the door.
2. How will the main character
find the words?
3. Will he/she want to?

B. A time period is decided on.

1. The coin, from the above example,
takes the main character from
our current century to the eighteenth
century.

C. Pick the characters for the story.

1. Will a male or female be the main
character?
2. Will friends make the journey?
3. A main character and his/her pet?

D. The reason for the adventure?

1. The main character is always
complaining how boring his/her
life is?
2. A small town kid looking for
an adventure?
3. An adult looking to explore,
has something to prove?

E. Show-case the events.

1. The main character goes to
a library, and accidentally
happens upon the correct
words?
2. A person discovers the secrets
of the coin?

The story is started in the middle
of a problem, issue.

The main character is transported
back in time, for example, opens
the story. He/she grabs his/her pet
before disappearing. Or, a friend
jumps into the hole before it closes.

Gather-up, share, the other ingredients.

The antagonist is a person opposing your
main character. Make his/her presence
known in the opening scene.

He/she wants to steal the object, thing,
that made the main character's trip
possible.

The main character struggles, at least,
three times with the antagonist before
succeeding.

The main character's goals are to get
back home, and stop the antagonist from
returning with him/her.

The antagonist is willing to kill for
the coin.

Self-preservation is the main
character's motivation.

The antagonist wants to slide in and
out of time periods. He/she wants
to change pass mistakes, lives.

The antagonist is motivated by curiosity,
possibly greed. He/she will stop at
nothing to get the coin.

As with any other writing idea, turn
it upside down. Select an idea that
most excites your imagination.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Writing Time: How To Maximize It

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

Writing should last, at least,
two hours everyday. Perhaps, you'd
prefer six days a week. The more
you write, the better you'll become.

You treat writing as a profession, and
your writing time is five days a week?

Writing has to be balanced with your
life-style.

Find a place in the attic, spare room,
basement, or any area designed for
writing.

Every book, sheet of paper, should
pertain to writing.

Make a habit of jotting down
ideas as they bump into you.
Write down sentences about
the idea.

When you return to the idea,
you'll have a reminder of
your original thoughts.

It saves time, and allows
maximum writing time.
You skip the step of
pondering why you made
a note on the writing idea.

Keep your ideas in a file,
folder, box, to easily refer
to them.

A filing system maximizes time.
It stops you from searching in
every corner of your writing place.
Simply, look in your writing idea
file.

A suggestion is to file writing
ideas alphabetically, or categorically.
Or, devise your own filing system.

Work on more than one project
at a time.

Boredom slows you down. Working
on one article can get dull. You'll
tap a tune out on the desk, stare
at your computer screen, or train
a pet to sing.

Instead of wasting time, pick
more than one writing idea to
maximize writing time.

Return to the original writing
idea tomorrow, or the next day.
Time away allows thinking about
it, and refreshes you for the
project.

If an idea for an article, for
example, tires you, avail yourself
to writing pages for a novel. Start
a new article, write a poem, do
research on a topic of interest, or
start scribbling down ideas for
greeting cards.

You have a certain amount of
time for writing. Make the most of
writing time by having various
writing projects.

Maximize writing time by turning-off
the cell phone, telephone, television,
and radio.

However, some people work well with
the radio on. It's a matter of what
inspires your creative flow.

Make the most of your writing time
by getting projects completed. It
means actually writing, and ignoring
distractions.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Character's Name: How To Pick It?

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

There are other factors to consider
when picking a name for a character.
It's not wise to select a name because
it's pretty.

A character's name should be memorable,
impressive.

Origin, race, is stirred-in when choosing
a character's name. Usually, names
correspond to a character's family.
Or, a character's personality,
appearance, could be the focus when
naming him or her.

A tale revolving around an Irish-
American neighborhood, family, means
the characters will have the Irish
names.

Characters who are African-American
will have African-American names.

An aggressive character, for example,
is called, Fister.

He/she tends to use fists to settle
disagreements.

A character with black hair is named
Raven.

The name given to a character reveals
much about him/her, supposedly.

Also, a character from a certain time
period will reflect it. A character
placed in a 18th century setting
would have a name from that time
period.

Still, names shouldn't be so difficult
to pronounce until readers put your
story aside.

Take time in picking names for your
main characters. They are in more
scenes, and you want people to
remember them, your work.

The main characters have a relationship
with readers. Readers see them as
people. They want to hear their tale,
and see how it's solved. Readers look
at how characters react to their names,
sometimes.

How a character feels about his/her
name gives insight into the character.
He/she likes his/her name? He/she is
at odds with his/her heritage, family?

The same name isn't given to more
than one character in a story. It
causes disorder, confusion.

Similar sounding names are avoided
unless it's written in your plot.

It's a good idea to pick a character's
name and stick with it. Now, other
characters in a story can nickname each
other. One nickname per character.
Us the name, nickname, constantly.

Will your character have a nickname,
just a first name, whole name, or referred
to by his/her last name.

A character's name is picked after
you profile him/her.

If a character's name isn't a good fit,
for one reason or another, change it.

Now, names can be plucked from
television, head-lines, magazines,
books, history, and anywhere your
imagination reaches.

It's interesting to add to a name.
The name Raven becomes Ravina,
for instance. Ryan spins into Ry.

However, in my novel, Grave Street
House, the main character's name
is Amanda. It's an ordinary name,
nothing striking about it. Amanda
is undistinguished.

Yet, she manages the courage
to unravel a murderer. This
wasn't easy for her.

The above steps are guide-lines
to naming your fictional characters.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Madonna Building School In Malawi

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

Madonna builds a school for the
underprivileged.

Madonna is building a multi-million
dollar girls' school.

In the village of Chinkhota, Malawi,
outside of the capital of Lilongwe,
the school will hold 500 students.

It's scheduled to be ready in 2 years,
at a cost of $15 million.

The AIDS epidemic left a million children
orphaned there. There are 13 million
impoverished people in Malawi.

The singer has adopted 2 children from Malawi.
Now, she's giving opportunities back to other
underprivileged girls in the region.

"Growing up in a privileged life, I took
education for granted, but coming to Malawi
taught me lots of things. I have learned to
appreciate what life gives," Madonna said.

She plans to build other schools in the
surrounding African districts. Also, she
wants to construct schools in other
countries as well.

Source: http://thecelebritycafe.com/features/35078.html

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Scene: How To Write It?

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


A scene has a beginning, middle,

and an ending. It moves the

story along. The scene has

a purpose. A scene flows

smoothly.



A scene is a few paragraphs,

five pages, or twenty pages.

It depends on you.



Any word not doing its job

is deleted. Bloated, meaningless,

words take-up space, and slow

the story-line down.



The scene informs the

reader, shows the conflict

a character is having.



A character's conflict is

between nature, or against

man.



A character fighting a wild-fire

is an example of man against

nature.



Neighbors on different issues

involving politics represents

man against man.



The initial scene introduces

characters, sets a mood,

back-ground information

can be given, suspense

is stirred in, and the

reader meets the view-point

character.



The scene acquaints the

reader with the character.

Don't give too much information

at one time, or discuss many

characters in a scene.



The first scene's focus is to

present the main character.



Perhaps, you'd like readers

to know how the main character

handles problems, the issue

at hand.



Is the character aggressive?

He/she likes his/her fists to

meet mouths, teeth? Or,

he/she starts confusion, and

disappears. Will he/she

repeat him/herself?



Give an idea of his/her faults

in the scene.



Set the mood. Is the day

dark and gloomy? The

character is seeing shadows,

argues easily?



The back-ground information

given should be what's

necessary. Select carefully

the information shared.



Conflict dissolves confusion

into the scene. In other

words, suspense is sprinkled

into the mix through a problem.



Suspense keeps the reader

wanting to know what happens

next.



I suggest that you work

with the first person

view-point, I.



This particular view-point

character isn't in every

scene, and readers find out

information through

that character.

Still, the first person

view-point is easy to

work with.



Now, it's good practice

to read the work of

your favorite authors.

Read works of authors

in general.



Take note of how they

write scenes. How are

the scenes started?

The middle? Ending?



Re-write the scenes

from your imagination.

Are you happy with

the scenes? The

more you practice,

the better you'll

become at writing

scenes.



Did your scenes resemble

the original?



If no, well done.



The scenes should be from

your imagination, thinking.



If yes, try writing from a

different angle. Always

look at ideas upside down

and inside out.



A suggestion is to write

a scene with everything

you want to put in it. Go

back to slice-away

useless words, and words

weighing down the story-

line.



The result is your scene.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Titles: An Alternative

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

"I'm still not sure how to
title my work." You said.

Let's look at an alternative
method of picking a title.

Slowly read through your
work. Write down the
words that are mentioned
frequently.

Make lists. Select the words
that are attention grabbing,
and creative.

Search engines like Google,
Yahoo, and MSN sift through
their databases looking for
pages that satisfy the words
submitted to them.

Key-words make excellent
titles.

Key-words are typed in a
search engine when someone
is looking for something.

"How to figure out what key-
words to use?" You pondered.

Determine what words best
describe your work. Or, what
words will people type in a
search engine. Think of anything,
everything, people would type in
the search engine about your topic.

Prepare a list of key-words that
pertain to your article.

The best words describing your
work is selected as a title. Also,
the words in the title are sprinkled
throughout the piece.

Take a look at the excerpt.

Critique and Write: How?


Read through your story, essay,
article, poem, or draft. Do it once.
Put your work aside.

You need a mental break from
your work. Talk to friends. Start
a new project, treat yourself, or
join a writer's forum.

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.

Reading out-loud allows you to hear
errors.

Subjects and verbs match?

Have you done this?

It just happen, and I didn't get
a chance to respond.

Correction

It just happened, and I didn't
get a chance to respond.

Use plenty of strong verbs.
Adjectives are used, but not
often.

Was the wrong word typed?

You meant to type here, but
hear was written. Or, pair was
intended, and pear graced your
page.

Glide through the editing process
slowly. Go through your work as
many times as needed.

The bigger the writing project, the
more times it needs critiquing.

Remember, easy to read text
appeals to a wider audience.

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

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

During the critiquing process, answer
questions from the reader's point-of-
view.

Or, answer commonly asked questions
about your work.

What would you ask? Is a point
confusing? Clear-up jumbled
information.

In fiction, 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 process is more
challenging than the writing. Still,
it's part of the writer's job.

It's, certainly, my least favorite
task.

Follow these easy, but effective,
steps to critiquing your work.

Source: http://www.printcasting.com/content/critique-and-write-how

What key-words would
you pick?

Possible key-words are:
how to critique, edit, write
better, step by step critique,
critique fast.

What did you come-up with?

Note: There's a tool to help with
checking for key-words. It's called
Google Adwords Keyword Tool:
https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Writing: It Picked You

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

Sometimes, in life, a
path picks you. You
want to pursue a different
goal, but find yourself
engulfed in writing.

You read a book. It was
last week.

"How did it get published?"
You pondered. "I could have
written it better."

You have the urge
to re-write it. It
plays over in your
mind.

Writing picked you.

You've read many
greeting cards, and
each one you complained
about.

Your creative ability
is ignited. You, actually,
wrote down greeting
card sentiments. People
compared your writing to
greeting cards purchased.

Everyone raved that your
writing of greetings outweighed
purchased cards.

Writing picked you.

A newspaper article
was poorly written, in
your opinion. It wasn't
one article you read,
but many.

You've read several
daily papers, and they
lacked something.

Writing picked you to
do a better job. Or,
it's your green-flag
to write articles.

You commented on
a second book.

"Why didn't the author
write it from another
view-point?" You
asked.

You find yourself
asking the same
questions.

This is how writing
picked you.

Was English a
favorite subject of
yours? Have you
always had a way
with words? People
have remarked on it,
but you decided
against writing.

Still, for one reason or
another, you're asked
to write the review, business
proposal, and/or greetings for
occasions.

Writing picked you.

However, you don't want
to write full-time. Continue
at your present job. Try
writing when it's convenient,
do-able.

It's a waste of time, energy,
to complain. Simply, start
writing.

"I'm not sure." You looked
at the door.

Some of you have a
head-start. You're
writing already. Take it
to the next level.

Work on a project.
Don't let anyone see
it. Some prefer it that
way. Or, let people
know what you're
doing.

The word-of-mouth
advertising brings
more business than
a paid ad.

Get the opinion of a trusted
friend. Show him or
her.

The point is to find
time to write. It
picked you.

"Still not sure writing
picked me." You
shared.

There is one way to
find out, and that is to
begin writing.

If it's not for you,
move on.

You will know if writing
is a fit. The passion for
writing burns from within,
and constantly calls your
name.

Start writing something
that excites your creativity,
and go from there. Or,
write the first word that
pops into your mind.

Connect the words into
fiction, or non-fiction. Shuffle
the words around, and add
more words. Write a new article
using the new version of words.

When writing picks you,
there's no choice but to
write.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

AT&T Called Google A Violater

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

AT&T wrote a letter, to the Federal
Communications Commission, explaining
that Google violated the fair
competition principle.

AT&T and other phone companies aren't
allowed to block any numbers. It's
known as the common carrier laws.

AT&T alleged Google's call blocking
is in direct violation.

According to Google, the principle
don't apply. They offer a software
application that's helped by other
companies, and it's free.

The Federal Communications Commission
doesn't have any say, jurisdiction,
over software applications.

AT&T and others have been in opposition
to Google. It's rumored that's why
Google Voice application for Apple
iPhone was turned-down.

Google wants an open Internet, and
more free bandwidth to broadcast TV
channels.

AT&T and other phone companies feel
differently.

Google and AT&T, both, have supporters,
lobbyists.

The Federal Communications Commission
hasn't given its opinion on the latest
issue, and there's no indication when
it will.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Write For Toddlers: How?

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

This post will address writing
for toddlers. Specifically, pre-
school age children.

Picture books are geared toward
this age group.

There are three categories of
picture books. The age groups
are: two-six, six-ten, ten and up.

Picture books are thirty-two pages
long.

Direct or target the age group
you're addressing.

Toddlers are interested in
pictures, color. Big pictures
should surround a simple story.

"What do you mean by simple
story?" You asked.

A story about sharing a toy, fear
of a loud noise, or why nap time
is important.

Toddlers like stories that are
fun, surprising, and humorous.

A toddler refuses to share a toy,
for example. Turn it into a story.

Take a look at my story idea.

It revolves around how a child
shared his toy. He/she allowed
others to play with his/her toy.
The toy disappeared, and the
children hunted for it.

In the end, the story
character found out
that it was more fun
sharing.

A possible start follows.

"Wanna play with my bear?"
Randy asked Sam.

Sam grabs the bear, bounces it.

"I want it back."

Sam runs. He's chased by
other children.

Sam laughs. He spins around,
hides in one room and then
another. He slips in a closet,
tips out. He finds himself
scrunched down in a bath-tub,
but the toy had disappeared.

How would you write it?

The second story start is a
toddler afraid of the noise
vacuum cleaners make.

Dan stares at his mother as
she opens the closet. He backs
away. She pulls out the monster.

"Too loud." Dan ran to another
room.

His mother goes behind him.

"It can't hurt you." She smiled
at him.

She brings the vacuum cleaner
to him. It accidentally...

Continue the story.

Finally, a nap time story
possibility.

"Not sleepy." Zack yawned.

"It's bed-time." Zack's mother
said.

"No, no."

I have an idea to help you
fall asleep...

Your Idea?

Also, toddlers like to interact
with the book.

A sing-along book to teach
counting is a way to hold
the toddlers attention.

Now, it's a good idea to
visit book-stores. See what's
on shelves, and the types
of books publishers are
buying.

Put your ideas into
stories, books.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Poet: Awaken It

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

Awaken the poet in you by reading
the works of other poets. Take note
of their style. How is imagery used?

Imagery is the descriptions selected.
The mental pictures you want to
float through minds when your
poems are read. They stimulate
the reader's imagination.

Tickle the imagination, and it
filters in other senses.

Metaphors and similes allow the
reader to feel, see, and experience
your poems.

Metaphors finds a similarity between
two unrelated things.

Let's look at examples of metaphors.

Susie is an eagle.

Susie is called an eagle, because
she's smart. It's a comparison
between Susie and the eagle. It's
creative, and more interesting for
the reader.

Gary is a bull on the run when it
comes to painting. I tried to
compromise on the color, but he
wouldn't listen.

The bull describes Gary. A
similarity is found between Gary
and the bull.

Critique my poems.

I Stand

I'm rooted a tree
Years of storms
Have stabilized my resolve
I bloom from harsh world winds

=====================

Choice

My choice is success
Not to sit and wish
But a turtle to a goal
Reaching it in time

==================

Similes compares two dissimilar things.
Also, similes describes by using like or
as. Specifically, one thing is like or as
another.

Examples of similes follow.

1. Tim is as thin as a stick person.
2. The rain tapped at my window pane
like a pecking bird.
3. His skin was like leather.
4. Belle's hair is black as coal.

Look at similes used in poems.

Flint
An emerald is as green as grass,
A ruby red as blood;
A sapphire shines as blue as heaven;
A flint lies in the mud.

A diamond is a brilliant stone,
To catch the world's desire;
An opal holds a fiery spark;
But a flint holds a fire.

Christina Rossetti
1830-1894



Source: http://library.thinkquest.org/J0112392/simileclassics.html

========================================

Good People Rise

The corrupted hearts of a few
use confusion like a joke-
boost about their deeds,
but good people rise above them.

=======================================

Start writing poems by describing
a friend, family member, pet, or
an interest.

Write about an experience in
your life. Perhaps, a news head-
line, story.

Think about how you feel about
a friend, the experience, pet,
or story.

Write down everything about it.
Add metaphors, and similes.
Keep the words that best depicts
it.

In other words, poems must
be critiqued too.

Now, it's time to awaken the
poet in you.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Writing Goals: How To Reach Them?


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

Every goal needs a plan.
It's not enough to say,
"I'll write when possible."

"Why?" You asked.

Time will never be found to
write. There will be
more important activities
in your life, and you'll push
writing aside.

"One day, I'll write that book."
You declared.

You have to take an action,
not just talk about writing a
book.

The day will never
come.

Sit down. Plan out
the time for writing.

Will you write in the
morning? Before others
awake in your house,
apartment, or living-space?
Perhaps, just before bed
is best for you. Pre-dawn
is more appealing to write?

The point is to find time
for writing. It's important
to write, at least, two hours
per day.

It must become a habit.
When possible, write more
than two hours everyday.

Is there something you
need to start?

Do you need to
get a refresher course?
Colleges offer them
online, offline.

My blog is stuffed
full of writer related
information.

The link is
http://critiqueandwrite.blogspot.com.

What will you write?
Fiction? Non-fiction?

"I'm not sure." You
shared.

Try writing about the
topics that interest
you.

Pet care have a special
meaning to you? Share
your thoughts, experiences,
on the subject.

A certain illness? Do
research. Find out more
about it.

Take small steps.
There's no need to
write a novel, at first.

Start-off with
writing a short story.

Do you prefer to
write an essay?
Greeting cards?

Business related information
is more your style? Begin
writing about it.

Here's an idea. Take an area
that isn't covered, and write
an essay. Or, jot down
information on a topic you
feel isn't written about enough.

There's no hurry.
Sample. See where
your niche is.

Niche is your place.
The writing works
well with your creative
flow. You and this
field is one, your
thing. It's a reachable
goal.

A reachable goal is
one that's right for you.
It's comfortable, and
attainable.

Let's look at a goal
that's not reachable,
unrealistic.

A plan to write a
novel in three days
is unreachable.

It would put unnecessary
stress on you. I'm sure
other areas in your life
would suffer too.

In other words, a writing
goal must fit into your life-
style.

Sometimes, you have to
re-arrange, stop, something
to have time to write. Avoid
a trip to the club, for example.
Instead, scribble notes on a
subject.

In order to reach a writing
goal, you have to plan for
it.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Title For A Story: How?

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

Right Title

The right title grabs the reader's
attention. It's the title's job.

Titles ask questions, throw-
out statements, and enlighten
readers with information.

Story Title

I'm going to discuss how
to title your story, fiction.
It has to spark an interest
for the reader.

The goal is to keep the
title within the three-to-five
word range. One or two
word titles are effective too.

Creative Titles

Titles must be creative.

"How do I pick the right
title?" You asked.

The title does more than
hint at what the story is
about. The title sums-up
your story.

The title involves joy, sorrow,
hate, or sadness. Likewise,
the title should fit the genre.
A thriller, for example, requires
a different title than one for
a Western.

Adapt the title to your
story.

"I don't get it." You shared.

How To Pick The Right Title?

Sit down. Read through your
story slowly. Jot down words
that describe it.

Which words, combination of
words, best describe your story?
Select words to stir-up the reader,
and display your creativity to an
editor.

You want readers to say, Hmm.
What's that about? Or, it sounds
like I'll enjoy reading the story.

Title Example

Let's look at a title for a story
about a character who claims
someone is following him or
her. A few friends of the
character trailed him/her
to catch the alleged stalker.

Friends weren't able to
catch, see, him or her.

"Who wanted to do that,
and why?" One friend
asked.

Is the character making it up?
The character wants more
attention from someone?
Possibly, the character is
insane.

Possible Titles

What is the best title?

1. Followed

or

In The Shadows

2. Stalked

or

Is Someone Looking?

3. Dark

or

When Darkness Descends

Pick the best title from the
examples above. On a scale
of one to three, pick the best
titles. One is the best suited
title, and three the least suited
for the story.

Best Titles

I'll select what titles are
best as well.

1. In The Shadows

2. When Darkness Descends

3. Is Someone Looking?

Did your choices match
mine? What were your
selections?

Reasons For My Choices

My story is a mystery, possible
thriller. So, my title has to
reflect it.

My title choices are eye
catching enough to grab
the reader's attention, and
show my creativity to an
editor. I want the title to
ignite fear, concern.

My titles meet the three-
to-five word criteria.

Conclusion

Use these easy steps
to write eye catching
titles.

Note

I welcome differing
opinions.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Novel Vs. Short Story Writing: A Closer Look


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

The Novel

Writing a novel is an
exciting undertaking.
It takes passion,
determination.

First, with a novel,
narrow down ideas.
What will the novel
be about. Select
the idea with mass
appeal. Specifically,
what kind of plot?

Plot

Plot is the problem in
the novel. A book
length work can handle
more than one problem.

Usually, there's a major
problem, and one minor
issue. As you become
more experienced, you
can include as many
problems as comfortable.

Who will have the
problem? Male?
Female?

Show-Case The Plot
Immediately

The problem, plot, starts on
page one.

"Why start the problem
on page one?" You
questioned.

It gets the attention of
the reader. The reader
will want to know what
happens next, possibly
care about the character,
or is interested in seeing
how it's resolved.

So, on page one conflict,
plot, begins.

You can always go back,
and explain how the main
character's circumstances
happened.

Actually, let the character
or other characters in the
novel explain it.

Character Profiles

Make character profiles.
Describe your character.
Long hair? Bug eyes?
Always smirking. Tastes?
Dislikes? Educational
level? Put anything in it
that you feel the character
is. Or, include details
about him/her that's
pertinent to the story.

Character profiles are
information to keep close
at hand. When writing
about various characters,
you'll forget something
about one or the other
character.

I, often, referred to character
profiles. My novel, Grave
Street House, had characters
from different backgrounds.

I'd forget how a certain
character reacted
to specific circumstances.
I'd pull-out the profiles
to refresh my memory.

Protagonist/Antagonist

The main character is the
protagonist. The character
opposing the main character
is the antagonist.

The protagonist isn't a
perfect person. He/she
has flaws. Perhaps,
he/she talks too much,
isn't brave, and/or stares
at walls.

Likewise, the antagonist
isn't all bad.

Secondary Characters

Stir-in other characters
as needed. They are the
secondary characters.
The secondary characters
play small roles in your
novel.

Theme

The theme is the
message of your novel.
It's a statement made by
you through your work.

The theme of my novel,
Grave Street House, was
you get back what you
send out, bad or good.

Critiquing

Set your completed work
aside for, at least, seven
days before editing.

You are emotionally
involved with your work.
You have to take time
away before you're
able to critique it.

The break allows you
to come-back refreshed,
and full of new ideas.

Short Story Writing

This discussion is
about short stories,
five to six hundred
words.

Plot

As with a novel,
you pick an idea
to write about.

A problem, plot,
must exist for the
main character,
protagonist.

Space is limited
in a short story,
and one problem
is addressed.

Character Profiles

Each character is
profiled.

"Why?" You asked.

You are better able
to tell the story. If you
forget a character's
flaw, look it up.

In a crisis, how should
a character handle the
circumstances? His/her
character profile reminds
you.

Theme

Every short story, too,
has a theme. It's your
comment about the world,
life.

Critiquing

Place the short story
in your desk. Take a
break from it.

Conclusion

It's time to start
writing your short
story, or novel.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Health-Care: An Observation

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

"Don't kill grandma!"

"I voted for reform."

"What is he talking about?"

I'm sure you've seen, heard,
other comments about
President Obama's health-
care plan.

Stop. Listen to what the
President is saying, and
push fear to the curb.

"If you like your private
insurance, you get to
keep it." President
Obama said, several
times.

The confusion is
boomer-ranging from
people who aren't
paying attention to
President Obama's
messages.

As we all know, a change
is needed.

It's been a practice
for conservative talk
show hosts, lobbyists,
to flame doubts of the
afraid, confused.

The public's fears
are blown-up, pushed
at us online. The
media neon-lights it on
radio, television.
The bigger the protest,
the more people watch,
listen, and they get
higher ratings.

We, the people, tend
to add our fears without
getting to the truth.

A talk show host, media,
hints at a statement made
by President Obama.

It isn't necessarily true,
because a talk show host
said it, for example. The
next step is word-of-mouth
fear.

After you understand
President Obama's
health-care plan, give
your opinion. Make
informed comments,
decisions.

"All those protesters
can't be wrong." You
pointed out.

It takes one to
start chaos,
and others will
follow.

Yes, a group, protesters,
can be wrong. Often,
people, protesters, can be
misinformed.

Don't hide behind
the current health-
care system, or
blanket yourself
in the status quo.

The current health-
care system will
continue to spiral
downward.

Instead of repeating
what others say,
find out the truth
about President
Obama's health-care
plan.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Social Network Attack: Twitter

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

"Twitter's down!"

"No more Twitter. Anyone
there?"

"Why Twitter?"

They were only a few
of the statements made
about Twitter's offline time.

All over the Internet, people
were hurt, outraged, about
the attack on Twitter.

Have people allowed their
lives to be ruled by Twitter?
No, addicted to Twitter?

Is this a comment on how
technology influences present
day lives?

Shortly after I started
tweeting, the web site
pushed me to write better.

Writers tend to be chatty, and
Twitter forces one to be precise.
It has over-lapped into other
writing areas.

Still, Twitter is a social
network. I keep it in
perspective.

Naturally, life, what exists
within it must be taken in
small amounts. Twitter or
any web site shouldn't
dominate one's life.

Or, if one selects to immerse
into a social media web site,
maintain a balance.

There's no need to panic.
Twitter lives.

An idea is to jot down
what you'll say when
you return to Twitter.

It was more than one attack
according to Kazuhiro
Gomi, an officer at NTT
American Hosting Services,
which hosts Twitter's Services.

Twitter went offline due
to spam, e-mails, the
first time.

The denial of service
attack happened next.
Hackers pointed lots
of computers to the
Twitter web site. It
stopped legitimate
traffic from connecting
to the web site.

The Twitter web site
is used by many people,
businesses, celebrities,
and news services.

Twitter isn't just used for
expressing personal details
of one's life, but to get insights
about celebrities. World news
is shared on Twitter.

The attacker of Twitter hasn't
been caught, and held
accountable.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Senses: How To Write With Them?


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

Touch

The senses are touch,
taste, hear, smell, and
sight.

The body's sense of touch
allows one to glide one's
hand, finger, over an object
or surface. One can feel
the coolness, warmth,
or how smooth, rough,
it is.

Likewise, two objects
can be compared
through touch.


Taste

The mouth is the gate-way
to taste. The texture, flavor,
of food, drink, is realized
through the mouth.

This experience is
called taste. You
determine whether or not
it's pleasing, like-able.

Hear

The act of hearing
comes through the ears.
Sounds and language
are filtered to one's
understanding.

Smell

The nose is the agent that
picks up fragrances, odors.
Some smells are more
pleasant than others.

Sight

The eyes are the vehicle
for sight. Sight allows us
to see the world around us.

Writing With The Senses
Individually

I'm going to use one sense
at a time to write with.

Let's start with the
sense of touch.

Find an object to
touch. Run your
hand across it, turn
it over. Is it heavy?
Light?

Write down everything
you can about it.

My Object--Phone

I have a mobile phone
in my hand. Now, I can
write fiction or non-fiction.

Possible Essay

Mobile phones changed
the way we communicate,
our social life, and started...

I can write a short story
revolving around the
mobile phone.

Fiction Start

"I looked for two days,
and couldn't find my
cell." Mary explained to
Katherine.

"When did you have it last?"

"The night we went out with
your cousin."

"No way..."

The next sense is taste.

Taste can be researched,
and taken in any direction.

Question: Why is taste one
of the senses? Hmm.

Your answer?

Fiction Idea

A tasting contest is given,
and someone dies. Accident?
Murder?

Third Sense Listed

Sit quietly. Listen. What
is your sense of hearing
picking up?

Write about it.

The Fourth Sense

The sense of smell telling
you anything? Sniff.

Write about your findings.

The Last Sense

Look out of your window.
What do you see? People
scattered about? Kids
playing? A dog crossing the
street?

Jot it down.

Write With The Five Senses

The Fire Truck (sight) raced
down the street, roared (hear)
as it went.

The stench (smell) of the burning
house attacked my nostrils, and
made me cough.

I stumbled, fell against the
truck (touch). I steadied myself,
headed home.

I entered my house, washed
my hands.

I grabbed a bottle of water out
of the refrigerator, sipped (taste)
it. My mouth filled with the odor
of burned material (taste).

Was it my imagination reacting
to my experience?

What are your thoughts?

In closing, the five senses
gives you many fun writing
ideas. Try it. Let me know
your results.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Successful Article Writing: The Secret


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

In the age of multi-tasking,
everything has to be done
yesterday.

The secret to writing
a successful article
is to have a compiled
list to pick from.

Scan through writing
ideas you haven't had
the nerve to tackle.

Don't forget the ideas
that came across your
path during the day.

The list is researched
before you sit down
to write. All ideas
are researched to see
which idea is best to
write about.

"What do you mean
which researched idea is
best to write about?"
You asked.

I'm referring to the idea
that excites you, your
imagination. Is there an
idea that has mass appeal?
Pick that idea.

If there is more than
one idea that's interesting,
select the one you like
best. Save the others
for a later date.

Make an outline for
the article.

"What should the outline
include?" You pondered.

An outline includes the
headline, introduction,
body, and it concludes.
A link-resource paragraph
is added too.

Headline

The headline should be
five to seven words
long. Its job is to
grab the reader's
attention.

Introduction

Second, the introduction
is displayed. The problem,
issue, you'll address is
explained.

It's an accepted
practice to share
an experience you've
had with the problem,
issue.

Body

Third, the body gives
solutions to the problem,
issue, you mentioned in
the introduction.

Walk the reader through
it.

Each point is made in
different paragraphs. If
there are seven points, for
example, your article has
seven paragraphs.

Sub-headings are
recommended.

"Why?" You questioned.

It's easier to read for a
society who multi-tasks.
Sometimes, specific
information is required,
and sub-headings will make
it clearer, faster to find.

Also, people prefer to
read what applies to them,
and not the entire piece.

Conclusion

Fourth, the conclusion
restates the main points
of your article.

Link-Resource Paragraph

Lastly, a link-resource
paragraph mentions your
URL, or other information
you want to share with the
reader.

Suggestion

It's best to write your
article as if talking
to a friend, informal. Leave
technical terms out where
possible. Or, technical
words should be scattered
throughout the article.

Leave The Article Alone

After the article is written,
leave it alone. Take a
break from it.

A three-to-five day vacation
away from your article
will allow you to come
back refreshed.

Edit

You return to your
article looking for
weak verbs, words
taking up space, and
grammatical errors.
Always spell-check more
than once.

The secret to a successful
article is to have a
thought-out idea, outline,
link it back to your web
site, and edit.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Who Else Wants To Reach A Writing Goal?


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

Everything worth having in life,
writing, requires that you plan
how to get it.

"I'm not sure how to reach
my writing goal." You said.

Sit down. Decide on a goal.
It couldn't hurt to set more than
one goal. However, your focus
must remain on the primary goal.

Let's say, for example, your
goal is to write a book. Still,
you'd like to explore other writing
areas.

Write two-three pages of your
book everyday, and then try
writing other projects.

There will come a time when
you're tired of editing the
book.

Put it aside for a week or
two. Pull-out the other
projects to work on.

It keeps you busy while
allowing much needed
time away from writing
on your manuscript.

You'll go back to writing
on your manuscript
refreshed. New
ideas will jump-out
at you.

The point is plan to reach
a writing goal, create steps
to it.

"How?" You questioned.

Simply, write each day.

In your writing place,
create word pictures.

Sometimes, a main project
gets boring. Or, you need
a break from it. This is when
other work-in-process becomes
your assignment.

The bigger a project, the longer
break you'll need from it. More
than thirty minutes, for instance,
is needed after completing a
manuscript. It takes time to
mentally break-away from it.

Take your mind to something
new, different, or a piece you're
working on.

Treat yourself after reaching
such a goal. It can be
something you wanted to do,
but couldn't because of writing
the manuscript.

Next, there will be moments when
you think it's not worth the time,
you're not moving along fast
enough, or your work is rejected.

Writing is your goal, dream, and
any goal takes perseverance. You
have a course of action. Stick to it.

Use time to work on reaching
your writing goal, and not
worry about how long it's
taking to achieve it. keep
creating.

Rejection is part of the
writing life. It helps us
write better.

"How?" You pondered.

The fact that a piece
was rejected makes us
look at it closer. A search
of why it was rejected is
started. Find the reason,
correct it, and send the piece
out.

Don't take rejection
personally. Although,
rejection isn't comfortable,
and can cause you to
doubt yourself. Don't
let it.

Always refer to
your writing goal.

Look at rejection
as a motivator.

A writing goal is reached
step by step. Figure out
your goal. Draw-up
a plan, create, and keep
writing through obstacles.

In time, you will reach
your writing goal.

You must, first, believe
in yourself.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

25 Relaxing Ways To Get Writing Ideas


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

There are relaxing ways to get writing
ideas.

"Just twenty-five?" You asked.

There are limitless ways to get
writing ideas, but here are
twenty-five.

Take a look.

1. Think of a happy moment
from childhood, something
interesting happened earlier
in the day, or on the way
home?

Write about it.

2. Read a book that you
wanted to. How would
you re-write it? Could
you write an essay
from it?

3. What can you
write about your
favorite color?
Poem?

4. A favorite recipe.
What makes it a
favorite? Suppose
it was a family's
treasure? Only,
a family friend wants
it.

What tale could you
tell about it?

5. A dream.

6. A song that
you like.

7. The day a truth
revealed itself to
you. Or, the day
you figured it out.

Turn it into a mystery.

8. A word you heard
during the day, and it
stands out.

Decide on the
characters that best
fit the scenario.

9. What are the benefits
of eating ice cream?
Test it yourself, and have
friends, family, take the
survey.

Write-up your findings
in an essay.

10. Look around your
living space. What's
the ugliest structure
within it?

11. What does splash
mean to you, and how
would you write about it?

12. Finish the following
sentence.

The day it happened...

13. Where were you
on July 4, 2009?

Did something interesting
happen? What? Write
about it.

14. What can you write
about your street sign?
An essay? Romantic
story? Mystery?

15. Swimming is?

Explain the advantages
of swimming. Is it
therapeutic, and how?

16. What setting is
snow used for? What
story works well with
snow?

17. Numbers exist to?
What would you say
about numbers?

18. Place the market
you visit in a setting,
and write a short
story. Or, carve an
essay. Research the
idea, and see where
you want to go with it.

19. Why is exercise
good for you? Or, is
it?

20. When you see
someone laughing, do
you smile? How about
others?

Test it on friends. See if
it works with family, and
then experiment at a mall,
shoe store, etc.

Write your findings
in fiction, or non-
fiction.

21. Touch. How
can it be explained?

22. Digestion. What is it?

23. What is there to
say about your life? What
category would it be in?
Comedy? Mystery? Or,
another?

24. A DVD as a topic
to write about? There
are many directions
to go with it.

25. Write about the
noises where you
live. City? Suburbs?
Rural? Other?

Now, some of my
neighbors provide plenty
for me to write about.

A few of them are clouded
in ignorance, and disrespect
for human laws.

Of course, they show
disregard for God's laws.

What do they see in the
mirror? Or, can they, even,
approach a mirror?

Finally, take the
relaxing ways to
get writing ideas
a step further.

Look at the writing
ideas upside down,
and inside-out.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Who Else Wants To Write Attention Grabbing Short Stories?


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

Write an attention grabbing
short story by using every
word. Select words wisely.
Every word moves the story
along, and contributes to
the story.

Paragraph one must grab
the attention of readers.
Pull them into the drama,
issue of your fiction.

I'll show you how paragraph
one grabs the reader's
attention. This happened
to me.

The mail-person knocked
at my door, and I opened
it.

It was a package delivery,
I thought.

I cracked the door, and
a powder was blown into
my face.

I quickly shut the door.

I began sneezing,
and my nose felt
clogged.

Yes, it was the United
States Post Office.

Also, my mail feels
like there is powder on it.

When I see mail at someone's
house, I feel it. It feels different
from mine, no powder on it.

As a matter of fact, UPS
and Fed-Ex delivered packages
have the same powdery feel.

Now, here's a possible
paragraph one scenario.

"Who is it?"

"Delivery."

"Leave it."

"I need a signature."

I slowly pulled the door open,
and a hand reached out...

What are your thoughts?

The drama, issue,
curves-out your plot.
How the drama, issue,
is resolved unfolds your
plot.

In other words, plot is
the problem in your story.
How the problem is solved
reveals your plot.

"How?" You asked.

Your main character and
his/her issue, drama, is
introduced. Show the
character's mood, age,
and play it out on a
specific setting.

Hint at something is
going to happen. Stir-in
other characters.

Allow the characters to
chat, gossip, about what
they think will happen. Of
course, their accounts are
worse. Perhaps, a character
is right? It depends on how
you want the story disclosed.

I suggest that you work
with the first person
viewpoint, I.

This means the story
is told by a specific
character.

Some say that's a
disadvantage.

"Why?" You
questioned.

The viewpoint character
isn't in every scene,
and readers find out
information through
that character.

Still, the first person
viewpoint is easy to
work with.

Remember, a short
story's pace is fast.
There's no room to
give long descriptions.

The word count on a
short story is from
500-900 words.

Naturally, it addresses
one issue.

Every report is brief,
to the point.

The idea is to excite the
reader's imagination,
emotions.

Use dialogue to mix-in
joy, sorrow, love, or hate.
Dialogue mimics speech.
It stirs-up conflict, sets a
specific mood, and
contributes to advancing
the story.

Let's look at an
example.

"How are you, today?"


The greeting is boring.
Instead write, "How ya?"
or
"What up?"

A character learns,
grows, from his/her
encounter. The end of
the story brings a lesson
learned about life, him/herself,
the world, and he/she is
changed.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Michael Jackson: Lost Child-Hood

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

The young boy who danced, moved, in
ways unseen. He changed the pop
world, challenged causes, and
charmed the world.

There was something mysterious
about him. We saw the heights
and lows his life took.

Fame is two-sided. Few realize
that fact until it's too late.

There's a price to be paid
for fame. You must give-up
something, lot, for it.

Sometimes, it's too
costly.

Along the rode to his
dream, fame, he gave-up
his child-hood.

As result, we saw the
darker side of this giant
talent.

A talent that knew no
boundaries. One which
could have reached any
star.

Only, sexual abuse allegations
against children scarred his
reputation. Although, they
were unproven.

The years of longing for a
child-hood, loneliness,
and illness took its toll
on him.

It seems to be the norm
to fill the hands of
our talented, giants,
and icons with
drugs in any form.

He, too, fell into
the trap.

One that is under
the influence of
chemical substances
can't say, "No!"

Who speaks for one
that is under? Whose
fault is his death?

Or, blame can't be
placed?

The pop icon was worshipped
in different cultures. He paved
the way for others.

The man created a home
children would adore.

He wanted his child-hood
back, but life doesn't
work that way.

You can't change an
instance in life, mis-spoken
word, or re-live your
child-hood.

Still, it's no denying
his robust energy, the thrill
he gave audiences, and joy
he projected from the stage.

The eleven-year-old kid that
splashed on stage grew
into a prince, institution.

He left a global star.
One achievement was to
open main-stream music
for Blacks. They, now, show-
case their tunes to the main-
stream in music, and doing
well.

Michael Jackson showered
the world with his unique
flavor, style. Now, he rests.

Friday, June 26, 2009

What Everybody Ought To Know About Transitions


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

Transitions takes the reader,
by the hand, from one idea
to the next. They help people
understand how a point was
reached, and smoothly connect
it to the next point.

A transitional word, sentence,
or phrase smoothly moves
the reader along, and establishes
a logical approach to paragraphs.

A transitional word is written at
the beginning of a new paragraph,
but can be placed at the end of
a paragraph too.

Strange odors come from my
neighbor's house. The smells
resemble sulfur, and some
my nose have never encountered.

In the market, a broken down
refrigerator had an offensive
odor. The same kind of smell
comes through the wall from
my neighbor's house.

"Where did that come from?"
You asked.

I didn't use a transitional
word or sentence. Therefore,
you were thrown-off the
smooth path of logical
reading. It shook you,
and you wondered if you
missed the point.

Here's an example of
using transitions.

I arrived late at
the meeting, and
my back burned from
the eyes barreling
down on it.

In spite of it, I managed
to get a long applaud
after my presentation.

In spite of it leads you
smoothly to the next
sentence.

I'll list some transitional
words, phrases.

At least, however, in spite
of, on one hand, nevertheless,
in contrast, and rather.

I'll give another example.

The two boys bickered,
and fought all night. I
tried to get them to
compromise. They, even,
disagreed about that.

However, I gave them no
choice, and they decided
to talk about the problem
next week.

At least, the line of
communication is...

Now, transitional words
are used to distinguish
a sequence of events
as in the following.

First, they took the
house apart, and left it.

Second, I called their
boss, and he...

Next, I gathered the
courage...

Finally, the owner...

Look at another example.

I'll explain what happened
on that frightful day.

First, I arrived. There were
no tell-tale signs of what
awaited me inside.

Second, I found the
emergency key, and slid
it in the lock.

Third, a man snatched the
door open.

"Where is Tara?" I asked.
"We agreed to meet at
the mall."

Her brother joined
the man at the door.
Her brother, Joe, rolled
his eyes to the ceiling,
coughed.

Finally, he grabbed...

Are you beginning to
see how transitions
are used?

How would you have
written the above
paragraphs?

I suggest to write
transitions in non-fiction,
or fiction. Place the
transitions in, and
re-arrange them. Make
the piece better by shifting
the transitions.

Keep editing until
you've decided
it's ready.

In closing, what
everybody ought to
know about transitions
is clear. They make
your writing easier to
understand, and more
enjoyable.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

You Want To Write A Book?


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

"I want to write a book."
Several people have told
me.

It's a rewarding journey.
It involves writing, re-writing,
but well worth the effort.

I know the excuses that
you give yourself.

I gave myself reasons to
avoid writing book length
work too.

I don't have time, not sure
where to start, no one
will like my book, and/or
where will I write?

You're giving yourself
excuses for not writing.
Instead, find time during
the day or night to write.

It takes several weeks,
years, to complete a
novel. It depends on
you.

What will your book be?
Fiction or non-fiction?

My book is a work of
fiction.

Your writing time should
be in a place just for
writing. Tune-out
everything else.

This means turning-off
your cell phone, television,
ignore loud neighbors,
and write your book.

Today, I'm going to
discuss fiction.

Start by deciding on
what the book will be
about. Create characters,
and a setting.

My setting was any urban
city USA.

Where will the
story take place?
Locked Library?
City? Rural?
In the middle of
a crowded
restaurant? Or,
a country different
from your own?

Make a profile for each
character. Will the main
character have a limp, blue
eyed? Or, a female with
a rude manner? Still,
she has many friends? Or
not? Educational back-ground?
Employed?

Profiles contain any information
you feel a character should
have.

What problem will the main
character be forced to resolve?

The main character in my novel
had to find a way out of a dare,
and handle her female boss'
sexual harassment.

Long fiction, book length,
has more than one problem
to address.

Chapter one introduces
the main character, and the
problems he/she is engulfed
in.

Other characters are stirred
in. The secondary characters
must move the story along,
and not just take-up space.

Write two or three pages daily.
Write for, at least, two hours.

The first write-up is a
draft. There will be time
to edit. For now, write.

Make sure, there's
plenty of conflict,
suspense.

A character must try
to succeed a minimum
of three times before
reaching his/her goal.

Throw obstacles at him/her.
Have a scene where the main
character almost makes it,
but some force ruins it. Or,
the opposing character
spoils it.

Show the character's reaction
to this disappointment.

At the end of the story,
a character is different.
Perhaps, he/she learned
to stand-up for him/herself.
Found a new meaning to
his/her life?

The change is for the
better, or worse.

Always explain any
issues introduced
during the story, or solve
them.

Don't dream about writing
a book. Do it. I know
you can.

Simply, believe in yourself.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Here Is A Method That Is Helping Me To Write More


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

There's a method that is helping me
write more. I had no idea inspiration
comes from this source. It's easy to
over-look this vast source of writing
ideas.

I'm sure this ready-supply of
ideas are all around you too.

"What is it?" You questioned.

The method that's helping me
write more is people's behavior.

Yes, people's behavior.

People around you, at work,
those you pass outside, people
in various places like the market,
some making news, and
celebrities.

There exists endless writing
ideas based on people's
behavior. Shape the writing
ideas into fiction, non-fiction,
essays, or poems.

Some of my neighbors, for
example, bird call in the early
morning hours.

Yes, they imitate the sounds
birds make.

This morning, it started
around 3:30 a.m.

"Why?" You pondered.

I have no idea, and don't
want to know.

Are they insane?

However, it stirs to mind
writing ideas.

The behavior can be
researched, and an essay
written.

Possible title: Joblessness
Plays With The Mind.

Joblessness hurts some so
badly until they find ways to
harass others. They see it
as funny, but their actions
reflect badly on them.

It's truly sad when they
have their children
acting in such a
disrespectful manner.

I don't want to think
about the cruel adults
those children will
spawn into.

The behavior depicts...

A second idea follows.

It's of teens roaming
out of control. He/she
steals, sell drugs, and
anything else he/she
wants to do.

Specific behavior
come to mind? What
will you write?

I, too, see this kind
of behavior in my
neighborhood.

People gun their
vehicle engines as
they pass my house.
Buses, cars, and trucks
do it.

On June 7, 2009, people
roared their engines from
the early morning hours
until night.

Now, the street is small.
Accidents have happened
on it.

One day, a corner house
leaned, and fell to the
ground.

Now, I can't be certain
the buses, cars,
and trucks toppled
it.

One idea is to pin-point
the male who had an
accident at the corner.

He couldn't stop, and hit
a wall.

Only, the next day, the
wall looked like usual.

The car was gone.

Hmm. Who removed
the car, and fixed the wall?
Human or other?

In conclusion, there are
many writing ideas that
can be based on people's
actions. Sift around your
neighborhood, and see
the writing ideas that
jump-out at you.

Notice people's behavior.
Jot-down the writing
ideas that you want to
explore.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Writing Ideas From Life


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

In high school, an English teacher
noticed my flair for word creations.


"You have a way with words."


"Uh huh." I nodded, didn't mean
much to me.
.
I continued my education, and
began to appreciate my writing
ability.


Still, I pushed away the idea of
taking it seriously.

The degree and I found a job,
planned to retire from it.


The unthinkable happened. I was,
unjustly, fired.

Devastated covered only one of
the emotions I felt.

"Why?" you asked


My former manager and
co-workers weren't happy
with taking away my
livelihood.

They took it to the street.

My neighbors began being
rude, to put it lightly. Now,
I spoke to them, but they
weren't friends.

Strangers bumped into me
as they passed on the
street.

I was forced to call the
Philadelphia Police.

They were the first on
the scene to take me
seriously. They came
to my aid. I was a person
with no money, and no
connections. Yet, they
found my complaint had
substance.

The tears dried up.

I turned to writing a detailed
account of what happened at
my former job, but fictionalized
it.

Besides, I was unable to
get a job. I sent out over
one-hundred resumes.

All kinds of doubts
invaded my thoughts
about my novel.

Can I do it? Would anyone
buy it? Publisher? Maybe,
an agent?

I shoved those writing-stoppers
away.


I wrote the novel, not sure where
to go with it.

I found someone to critique it, but
her rates were too expensive.

"I'm cheap compared to others."
She assured.

"It's just that my funds are limited.
My elderly mother shares her food
with me."

"Good luck."

I trashed paragraphs, and improved
the plot. From time to time, peppered
it with more suspense.

I crossed paths with an agent, sent
him the manuscript. He returned it
with a scribbled note that read,
"Work on it."

I did. A telephone call or two from
him showed me my book was
not on his submit to a publisher
list. I moved on.

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

Of course, my manuscript failed
to get picked.

I tried a second attempt at taking
the course, and my manuscript
was tossed back into my hands.

It was time to read on my own.
The goal was to get a better
understanding of plot, suspense,
and breaking into the writing
world.

Surprisingly, no one explained
the reason(s) my manuscript
wasn't acceptable.

So, it was up to me.

When I critique someone's work,
I explain my comments. I tell
people why their work will be
rejected. It's the humane thing
to do.

After studying on my own, I
managed to pin-point, correct,
errors.


Meanwhile, my search for a
publisher went on.

My efforts paid-off.


Life gave me the writing idea,
and I had the courage to use
it.

My novel, Grave Street House, was
published.


At any given moment, life will
throw dirt at me, you. I'll write
about it. What will you do?

In closing, life gives us many writing
ideas. Some are funny, and easily
written about. Others take effort to
write about.
*******************************************
An excerpt from my novel, Grave Street
House.

"Amanda, few of us are goin' to the club.
Come with?"
"No, I have to get home, because my
mother wasn't..."
"Not gonna last long 'round here with
that attitude."
"I'll go another time."
"Has to be now."
"Why didn't you let me know before the
last minute?"
"That's why they say stuck-up using ya're
name." She rolled her eyes.
The trust I had for them added up to
zero. The thought of going out with them made
me uneasy. A trick? The way they talked
openly, loud in the work area. It showed they
were capable of doing anything. I preferred
not to be in their company.
On the other hand, if I joined them at the
club, how bad could it be with others around?
Plus, if I go now, never again.
"All right, I'll go out with you one time."

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About Me

My photo

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


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


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


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


Meet Marcella Glenn on Twitter: http://twitter.com/marcellaglenn.



Grave Street House Interview
Authors Show Radio Announces Interview Lineup For Week Of February 16, 2009
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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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