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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,

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 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?

Show-Case The Plot

The problem, plot, starts on
page one.

"Why start the problem
on page one?" You

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

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

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.


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


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.


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


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

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

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

Character Profiles

Each character is

"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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

It takes one to
start chaos,
and others will

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

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

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

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

"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

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

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Senses: How To Write With Them?

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


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

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.


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.


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


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


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

Writing With The Senses

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?

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

"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?

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

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

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.


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


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

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


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

Walk the reader through

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

Sub-headings are

"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.


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


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.


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.

Blog Archive

About Me

My photo

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

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

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

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

Meet Marcella Glenn on Twitter:

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

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