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                      W R I T I N G   W O R L D

A World of Writing Information - For Writers Around the World

                    http://www.writing-world.com


Issue 9:19           9,429 subscribers           October 1, 2009
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SPECIAL NOTICE: Please DO NOT REPLY to this e-mail; any messages 
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IN THIS ISSUE:
=================================================================
 
THE EDITOR'S DESK:  by Moira Allen
THE INQUIRING WRITER: Social Networking, by Dawn Copeman
NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF WRITING
WRITING JOBS AND OPPORTUNITIES
FEATURE: Speaking Without Butterflies, by Moira Allen
COLUMN: Free Stuff for Writers, by Aline Lechaye
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
The Author's Bookshelf

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FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK
================================================================
 
Permanence vs. Accessibility (and My New Website)
-------------------------------------------------

As I was web-surfing the other day, I started thinking about the
impermanence of the Internet.  A great site can be here today,
packed with loads of information or delightful stories -- but gone
without a trace tomorrow.  And once it's gone, it's gone -- though
there are sites that "archive" the Web, the average reader is never
going to find that information again.  For that very reason, when
my husband does research online, he always copies and saves
articles he references, so that he can support the reference later
even if the site has disappeared.

It's humbling to think that while today, Writing-World.com is
visited by over 100,000 readers every month, one day it, too, will
vanish into the ether, without a trace.  It is, after all, nothing
more than a nicely arranged collection of pixels and electrons (or
something like that).  It has no fixed existence; it is not
"permanent."  It may have more than 600 articles, but there is
nothing you, the reader, can hold in your hand (except what you
print yourself).  

To be permanent, something must be physical.  That, I think, is why
we writers (and readers) are still drawn to "real" books -- by
which I mean a construct of paper and ink that can be held in the
hand.  It's not just that many of us still prefer to curl up on the
sofa, or a deck chair, or by the fire, or even in the pool, with a
"real" book.  It's partly the knowledge that even when we put that
book down, it lives on.  It will endure.  It can be handed on,
perhaps to a friend or relative, perhaps via a used book store, or
even a library sale.  (In February I talked about the roads taken
by some of the books I've read in "Why We Do What We Do," at
http://www.writing-world.com/coffee/coffee08.shtml.)

We also know that if the lights go out, we won't be reading the
latest article on Writing-World.com.  We'll be reading whatever we
can read by candle-light (OK, maybe some of you will be reading
your Kindles by battery light...).  After "the great Seattle
blizzard" of 1996, I invested in an Aladdin kerosene lamp, which
puts out a light equivalent to a 60-watt bulb -- more than enough
to read a "real" book by.  (I consider it something of a lucky
charm; since I bought it, I've never needed it.) And if the day
should come when the lights go out all over the world, once again,
it will be paper and ink that endure, not websites.  That, I think,
is the reason so many of us want to see our words in ink, on paper
-- knowing that copies of those words will last even after we are
gone, that paper survives people.

The reality of that sort of "permanence" came home to me as I began
to indulge in a new addiction I discovered in England: Victorian
magazines. I love holding in my hand a book or magazine that was
published, read and enjoyed more than 100 years ago. Had these been
e-zines, they'd have vanished, never to be recovered.  And yet...
There's a flip side to "permanence," and that's "accessibility."

As I began to enjoy these long-lost fragments of history, I began
to think about how other readers might enjoy them as well.  But
unlike a paperback mystery that might be found in nearly every used
book store in the country, Victorian magazines are relatively
scarce (particularly on this side of the pond).  Nor are they
typically in big demand -- if I were to resell mine to a dealer,
chances are they'd sit on the shelf for another decade or more
before someone else came along to read them. (Nor is that so
different from what we magazine writers experience today: While the
articles I've written for magazines may still "survive" in a nice,
permanent physical form in a publisher's warehouse, those articles
are as "lost" to the world as a dead website.) 

And so, to bring some of these delightful articles and stories back
to the "light," to make them accessible to today's readers, I've
launched a website to make available selected articles from my
collection of Victorian magazines.  Already, more than 3300
visitors have explored the collection -- probably about 3299 more
than would ever have encountered these articles if they were
available only in "physical" form.  While it is the physical
"permanence" of these volumes that has made it possible for them to
survive to this day, it is the ephemeral presence of the Internet
that makes it possible for thousands of readers to enjoy them once
again.  And so we come full circle: Words endure when captured in a
permanent, physical form -- but sometimes it requires an
impermanent, non-physical form to enable those words to spread and
find an audience once more.  

Perhaps this is the ultimate answer to the apparently endless
debate over ink vs. electrons, and the possibly silly question,
"which will win?" Perhaps, in fact, it's not a competition and
never was.  Perhaps, instead, it is a remarkable partnership.  The
printed page gives our words endurance; the electronic page gives
them wings.  Why would we want one to triumph over the other, when,
as authors, we gain so much from having both?

Oh, yeah, about that website...
-------------------------------
My new website is called "Mostly-Victorian.com," because its
content will be MOSTLY from the Victorian period (but some
publications will predate that period and some come from the
Edwardian period).  It's a wonderful place to research "what life
was like" during the Victorian period directly from the
publications of that period itself -- covering social issues,
women's issues, fashion, crafts, food, home decor, Victorian life,
Victorian London, world travel and cultures, history, royalty, and
much more.  There are already more than 500 articles on the site,
and I plan to add about 100 more per month.

But it's not just a place for "research."  It's a place for fun. 
While many of the articles I've posted are excellent research
tools, others are just plain fun to read -- and I'm also posting a
selection of classic Victorian stories from magazines like The
Strand.  These aren't transcriptions; all the articles are posted
exactly "as is," in PDF format, as scanned directly from the
magazines.  

To get things started, I've also transcribed and posted (here) two
articles from 1881 that offer "advice to writers" that could, for
the most part, have been written today.  After 120 years, we're
still trying to tell writers the same things...  

Literary Work for Girls 
http://www.writing-world.com/fiction/GOP1.shtml 
How to Write a Story - 
http://www.writing-world.com/fiction/GOP2.shtml 

For the rest, please stop on by at http://www.mostly-victorian.com
and take a look around!   

-- Moira Allen, Editor
        
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THE INQUIRING WRITER - Social Networking, By Dawn Copeman
=================================================================
Last month I asked if any of you use social networking sites to aid
you with your writing. I wanted to know if you used MySpace or
Facebook to help you with interviews, and whether you'd found any
work via social networking sites, or found them to be a virtual
support group. 

As I said in the last newsletter, I have dabbled on MySpace and do
have a FaceBook account, which I access about once a month. I
personally had doubts whether social networking could be any more
than a distraction for most writers. You know, ten minutes checking
for messages and playing games, then back to real work.  It seems,
however, that I was wrong.  In fact it appears that if you know how
to use it, social networking can be a valuable writing tool. 
 
Penny Leisch is very experienced when it comes to Social
Networking.  She wrote: "I have used, or presently use, Facebook,
MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, BlogSpot, and my own website Wordpress
blogs. That said I'm sure there are many people with more
experience out there. I'm not a person who lives with these things
24x7. There would never be any time to write, which is the biggest
challenge for writers who are a one person business. The question
is, is it worthwhile? Yes. Can it take over and get out of hand?
Yes."

However, there can be positives associated with the hassle of
social networking, as Penny has discovered. "My social media
connections resulted in solid online references that potential
customers can see and contact, as well as many new connections. In
addition, I connected with two potential jobs within the first week
on Twitter. One is sending me a contract, and the other is still
pending."

Another writer who regularly finds work through social networking
is Resmi Jaimon. Resmi wrote: "I use LinkedIn extensively to find
professional contacts -- i.e. to find sources for my interviews,
and people also approach me with assignments. On an average,
through LinkedIn I receive three to four assignments per week."

Another fan of LinkedIn is Paula Hendrickson.  She wrote: "I don't
do Facebook or MySpace, mostly because I don't have the spare time.
While I'm hesitant about Tweeting, I am LinkedIn. (As an obsessive
knitter I'm also on the knitting/crocheting social networking site,
Ravelry, which also has several groups for writers who knit and
crochet.)

"Last November I was writing an article about the pros and cons of
social networking when it comes to applying for a job. As a
full-time freelancer, I didn't think LinkedIn was for me since I
wasn't looking for a full-time job. But two of my sources said
LinkedIn was great for freelancers who are always looking for the
next big assignment.

"A complete LinkedIn profile becomes your virtual CV. You can list
past and present jobs, volunteer work, and all pertinent
information you want without worrying about keeping it to one or
two pages. Simply adding the URL for my public profile -
www.linkedin.com/in/paulakhendrickson - offers potential editors a
quick way to check my credentials.

"Adding recommendations from past and present editors and clients
helps verify the information in your query letter or on your
resume. Even without recommendations, having those editors
connected with you adds veracity to your claims. I've written for
some major entertainment publications, so it's natural that some
new editors might think I'm padding my resume. Having editors from
those publications among my contacts helps quell those doubts. 

"Joining LinkedIn groups introduces you to hundreds of writers and 
editors. Sometimes you wind up advising them (thereby positioning
yourself as an expert), but you often wind up learning valuable
tips from them. You might find occasional job leads, too. 

"If you're having trouble finding sources for an article, LinkedIn
can help. Check groups for experts. Pose a question on the Q&A
page. Ask for leads in the groups you already participate in. Or
simply update your status. I found a terrific lead for a tough
article after one of my contacts updated her status about a PR
project she'd just finished that was exactly what my article was
about."

Thanks for that, Paula. I've been invited to join LinkedIn several
times, but I must admit I never saw the point of it, until now.

So social networking can be a source of employment, but can it
serve any other role?  Leona Wisoker believes so.  She is one
writer who uses social networking as a virtual writing group. Leona
wrote: "I have found Facebook both a blessing and a curse; the
latter, of course, because it's so tempting to waste hours playing
Farkle. But a blessing too because although I've learned to mask
it; I'm very uncomfortable in most 'real world', group social
situations. On Facebook, however, I can edit and revise posts to
say exactly what I want, without fear of stammering or looking
foolish. 

"Also, I'm a touch competitive; so when I see another writer
announce a sale, I reach for a dormant tale of my own to fix up and
submit somewhere. When someone posts about producing 3000+ words in
a day, I turn off the games and get back to work. I've found
inspiration for blog posts (most recently, one about Cushing
Academy's decision to remove their library books and replace them
with laptops and Kindle readers) and even stories in the links that
pass along from one friend to another. And I know that when I post
my own good news, my fellow creatives on Facebook will post my news
on their sites and pages, just as I do for theirs. So obviously,
I'm a fan."

Before I move on to this month's question we have had a reply from
Anne, who asked us about publishing her e-book.  She wrote: "I want
to thank all the readers of the newsletter for their help. My free
e-book is now available on scribd. The book is simply called
'Norway,' and answers some common questions people have about my
country. I hope a lot of people will download it and read it. It is
free!"  

And on the same topic, Elissa Malcohn has contacted us with yet
more sites that publish ebooks for free.  She wrote: " To follow up
on sites that support free e-book distribution, I suggest
Manybooks.net  http://manybooks.net/ and Finding Free E-books
http://www.finding-free-ebooks.blogspot.com/

"My blog post at "The MobileRead Forums at http://www.mobileread.com/ 
are also good for free e-book publicity."

And whilst we are on the subject of ebooks, Peter Lyons would like
to remind us all that we still need to protect the copyright of our
work. He wrote: "I recently published an e-book using my own
internet provider as the web base.  It cost me nothing excerpt a
lot of work on my part to put it together.  The internet provider
worked perfectly.  

"One thing to remember.  Even though the book is 'free' to the
reader, always, always, always, make sure you claim COPYRIGHT. 
Don't give your work away for free, only to have someone else use
it to make money.

"The reason I emphasise this is that I recently came across a story
in a collection of short stories that was an exact copy of one of
my stories.  I contacted the person claiming to be the author and
(metaphorically speaking) made a lot of noise.  I also made sure
the publisher of the collection was aware of the dastardly deed and
subsequently had some success in having my original effort
recognised.

"I wish all e-book writers success in their endeavours."

Now onto this month's question. A few years ago, when I was a very
green newbie, I remember Peggy Tibbetts, who wrote the Writer to
Writer column, asking if any writers used email queries.  I
remember it clearly because it was the first time my name ever
appeared in Writing-World when she published my reply (along with
many others).  Times change and this month I want to know if any of
you still send any queries by traditional mail?  Have you come
across any publications that still will only accept written
queries?  Are you an editor who prefers snail mail to email?  Email
your responses to me with the subject line "Inquiring Writer" to
editorial"at"writing-world.com.

Until next time, 
Dawn
 
Copyright (c) 2009 Dawn Copeman

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NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF WRITING
=================================================================

Dickens out but Pratchett and Hilton are in
-------------------------------------------
This is the shocking news from the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.
 The new edition has over 20,000 new entries from such luminaries
as Terry Pratchett, Barack Obama and yes, Paris Hilton, but to make
room for them the book has dropped many quotations from famous
authors of the past. For more on this story visit: 
http://tinyurl.com/y8egvus


How does James Patterson do it?
------------------------------- 
The prolific thriller writer has recently signed a seventeen book
deal with Little, Brown, all of which will be published by 2012. 
The deal is for eleven adult titles and six children's books and
apparently the author has already finished writing twelve of them! 

http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6695002.html

Self-Published Book Gets Police to Re-open Murder Case 
------------------------------------------------------
This true-life story seems like the stuff of fiction. Tomas Ray
Crowel of Indiana became interested in the story of a girl who died
in mysterious circumstances in 1996.  In asking around he
discovered that many townsfolk believed the girl had been murdered
but that the police case had been dropped.  Crowel asked around
then wrote a fictionalised account of the event, which has now led
to the case being reopened by the police.  For more on this story
visit: 
http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6698141.html?industryid=47144

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UNPUBLISHED GUY - *Nearly serious* diversions for writers.
Whether you are a casual or more active writer, visit this site
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WRITING JOBS AND OPPORTUNITIES

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Animal Articles Wanted
----------------------
Animal Wellness, a natural pet magazine published in North America,
takes pride in providing readers with the information they need to
make wise health care choices for their animal companions. They
welcome unsolicited articles and story outlines. Articles range in
length from 500 to 1,500 words. View website for details.
http://animalwellnessmagazine.com/p/awsubmit.htm

Experience Life Call for Submissions
------------------------------------
Experience Life is a progressive health/fitness/quality-of-life
magazine and a membership magazine of Life Time Fitness -- a large
and rapidly growing health and fitness organization with dozens of
industry-leading facilities. The magazine is written for a general
audience of active, educated, discerning people who are interested
in good health and passionate about self-improvement, well-being
and living a good, satisfying life.  They welcome submissions. View
website for full guidelines. http://tinyurl.com/ydubn5d

Erotica Writers Wanted
----------------------
Xcite books is looking for new writers. Payment is 50 per story. 
For more informationm visit: 
http://www.xcitebooks.com/writersguidelines.html

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FEATURE:  Speaking Without Butterflies

=================================================================
By Moira Allen

Let's face it -- most writers would far rather communicate via the
written word than the spoken word.  But once you become even
moderately successful with the first, there is no avoiding the
second.  Sooner or later, someone is going to ask you to talk about
your work.  

Being able to speak about your writing, confidently and
comfortably, is a vital step in promoting that writing.  You may
find yourself with an opportunity to speak to a small group, offer
a seminar at a conference, give a radio talk or interview (or even,
as happened to me just the other day, a Podcast) -- or the ultimate
butterfly-generator, appear on a television interview.  If any or
all of these options make you want to cower in the restroom with a
bottle of Pepto-Bismol, take heart: There are ways to make public
speaking not only less fearful but actually enjoyable (for you and
your audience).  

1) Think "Conversation," not "Talk"
-----------------------------------
The first pitfall of public speaking is to think of the event as
"giving a speech."  Nothing fills the tummy with butterflies so
much as the idea of having to write a speech and deliver it to a
room full of potential critics.  (Part of the problem, of course,
is that we imagine the room IS full of potential critics, prepared
not so much to listen to us as to judge us.)  

Sadly, all too often, speeches are a turn-off.  When you think of
having to give a talk, quite probably what comes to mind are all
those dreadful graduation or after-dinner speeches you've tried to
stay awake through -- and subconsciously, you assume that this is
exactly what your audience imagines it will receive from you.  You
want to avoid it, but you don't know how.

So don't think of it as a speech.  Think of it as a conversation. 
Don't think of yourself as talking to your audience; think of
yourself as chatting with your audience.  One good way to do this
is to plan to spend half your time talking, and the other half
answering questions.  (A tip, though: Be sure to prepare enough
material to cover that other half in case there are no questions.) 
Instead of thinking, "I am going to tell these total strangers
about my book," think, "I am going to chat with a bunch of
interested people about my book."

2) Get Inside Your Book
-----------------------
Whether your book is fiction or nonfiction, no one knows it like
you do.  The trouble is, however, that when someone asks you to
"talk about your book," there is a tendency to see that book as an
object -- literally, to envision it as a closed book sitting on a
table.  It is suddenly something outside of you, an object that you
must explain and "make interesting."

The solution: Don't talk about your "book."  Talk about the SUBJECT
of your book.  This is particularly easy if your book is
nonfiction; whatever the topic, you know it inside and out.  If,
for example, you've written a book about reducing the risk of heart
disease, don't talk about "my book about heart disease."  Talk
about heart disease.  Talk about the five best ways to reduce one's
risk.  Talk about the most interesting people you've interviewed
for your book.  Talk about the experience that led you to feel that
it was essential to write this book.  Talk about someone that you
know this book has already helped.  In short, get back "inside"
your book and talk about the things that made you write it in the
first place.

If your book is fiction, think about the things that made it "real"
to you.  For example, if your book is set in a particular
historical period, talk about what makes that period interesting to
you (note that I said "to you," not "what you think might make that
period interesting to others").  Why did you choose to write about
colonial America?  What did you find most interesting, most
surprising, about the period?  What were some things that you
learned that you had never imagined before?  Talk about your
characters; what makes them real to you?  You know more about those
people than ever went into your pages; what makes them "tick"?  How
might you compare them to "real-world" characters that everyone can
identify with?  (E.g., "My frontier robber-baron cattle rancher has
a lot in common with today's mega-corporation CEOs... You can just
imagine him writing Seven Secrets of the Successful Cattle
King...")

3) Put Yourself in Your Audience's Shoes (or Seats)
---------------------------------------------------
One of the best ways to prepare for an interview or develop a
"talk" is to ask yourself what questions you would have if you were
a member of the audience.  What would you want to know about this
particular book -- or more accurately, about the subject of this
particular book?  What might you want to know about the author of
the book?

There are, of course, some "evergreen" questions that are asked
over and over (ad nauseum, in my opinion), such as "who are your
favorite authors," "why did you write this book," and the
ever-popular "where do you get your ideas?"  Another common
question is "what is your typical day like?" (to which I always
want to answer, "Well, it usually starts in the morning and ends at
night.")  Be prepared to answer questions like that if they come up
-- but also be prepared to dig deeper.  

For example, if you've written a nonfiction book, what would be the
one most important point or lesson that you'd like the reader to
"take away?"  When I wrote Coping with Sorrow on the Loss of Your
Pet (http://www.pet-loss.net/coping.html"), the key message I
wanted to convey was that grieving for a pet was normal. 
Everything else was secondary to that essential point.  If you've
written a new exercise guide, don't inundate your audience with
twenty different exercise tips; instead, focus on a core principle,
such as "exercise can be fun."

If your book is fiction, you probably still have a "central
principle" or theme that you can share with your audience.  What
drives your characters to overcome the obstacles they face in your
story? What lessons, if any, do your characters learn from their
experiences?  What issues, if any, did you want to address through
your story?  How might your characters serve as role models to your
readers?  

By asking yourself what sort of questions you might have upon
reading your book, you'll pave the way toward better audience
interaction -- and be better prepared to answer the questions your
audience will raise.  This, in turn, will help move your talk more
in the direction of "conversation" -- and leave your audience
feeling that you genuinely connected with them.

4) Don't Over-prepare
---------------------
The first time I taught a class, I wrote out everything I wanted to
say -- and read it.  Within minutes I could see my audience's eyes
glazing over, but it was too late; I didn't have a backup plan.  At
the end of the session I realized I had a choice: Give up public
speaking forever, or learn how to do better.

Once you realize that you are the expert on your subject (whether
it's the world of your fictional characters or the topic of your
nonfiction book), preparation becomes much easier.  You don't need
to write down everything you want to say, because you already know
it.  It's in your head.  You don't need a script; what you need are
simply a set of reminders to help you move from one part of your
topic to another.

Again, get into your audience's head.  Think about the questions
they are most likely to ask.  Filter those down to the five or six
most important points you'd like to make about your subject.  Write
down those points on a 3x5 card.  For example, if your book is
about exercise, one question might be "why is exercise so
important?"  Chances are, you don't need to write down the answer;
if someone asked you that question at a cocktail party, you'd be
off and running.  Similarly, if someone asked you, "how is your
exercise program different from others?" you'd know exactly what to
say.  You can even start your talk with a line like "one of the
questions I've often been asked is..." and go from there.  

If someone is interviewing you, they may be willing to share their
questions ahead of time.  If so, again, don't over-prepare your
answers.  Let the questions serve as a starting point, but don't
turn them into a script.  Otherwise, you're likely to sound stilted
and over-rehearsed, rather than letting your responses flow
naturally.  

If you're giving a face-to-face talk or seminar, it's important to
be aware of your audience.  Make eye-contact with different people
in different sections of the room.  Watch for reactions: Are people
looking alert and interested?  Are they starting to look bored? 
Are they looking confused and bewildered?  You may find that you
need to change directions mid-stream -- you may need to tone down
your talk for an audience that needs more explanation, or skip the
basics for an audience that is already familiar with your topic.  

5) Be Comfortable
-----------------
Having butterflies in your stomach is bad enough without also
having shoes that pinch, clothing that itches, and sweat trickling
down your skin.  If your talk is "face to face," it's natural to
want to look your best -- but it's vital to balance that with
FEELING your best.  

First and foremost, don't overdress.  If you're a man, chances are
that there are few situations (outside the business environment) in
which you'll actually need to wear a suit and tie -- so unless you
actually enjoy that sort of thing, don't wear them.  Wear a
comfortable shirt, slacks that enable you to sit and change
position easily, a sweater or casual jacket, and above all,
comfortable shoes.  

If you're a woman, aim for looking "nice" but stop somewhere short
of "elegant."  The last thing you want to do is stand in front of
an audience for an hour wearing stiletto heels.  Pay attention to
the fabrics you're wearing: In a situation where you're likely to
perspire, don't encase yourself in non-breathing polyester or
acrylic.  In cold weather, beware of dressing too warmly; it may be
cold outside but studio lights will be nice and hot.  If you feel
more comfortable in slacks, wear slacks.  If you don't normally
wear earrings, don't wear earrings.  If you don't usually slather
yourself in makeup, don't start now.  

If you're going to be recorded on video, find out what colors work
best and what colors to avoid.  For example, if the video is going
to be shot against a "green screen" (where a background will be
filled in later), don't wear green or greenish blue.  Dark colors
generally work well; loud prints generally don't.  Overly flashy
jewelry can be a problem in bright lights, so go for something more
understated.  Also, find out whether the video team will include a
make-up expert.  

Food is another comfort factor to consider.  If you're extremely
nervous, you may prefer not to eat a large meal before giving a
talk.  It's wise to eat something, however; nothing is quite so
embarrassing as having your tummy start rumbling in the middle of
an interview.  Be sure to drink fluids before your talk, and if you
can, bring a water bottle with you; you'll be amazed at how quickly
your throat can dry out when you're speaking.  

Public speaking doesn't have to be a nightmare.  We've simply been
conditioned to assume that it is.  We've been taught that getting
up in front of an audience is intimidating, so we're automatically
intimidated.  Once you stop assuming the worst, you may actually
find (as I have) that speaking about your favorite subject -- your
book -- can be great fun. In fact, it's a lot like writing -- just
without the pen! 

>>--------------------------------------------------<<

Moira Allen is the editor of Writing-World.com (
http://www.writing-world.com), one of the world's largest websites
for writers.  She is the author of more than 100 articles and
several books for writers, including Starting Your Career as a
Freelance Writer; The Writer's Guide to Queries, Pitches and
Proposals; and her latest book, Writing to Win: The Colossal Guide
to Writing Contests. 

Copyright (c) 2009 by Moira Allen

For more information on speaking in public about your writing check
out the following links: 
http://www.writing-world.com/promotion/interview.shtml and 
http://www.writing-world.com/promotion/speak.shtml

****************************************************************

WRITE FOR MAGAZINES! Order your copy of the eBook "The Weekend
Writer: Launch Your Writing Career (Part-time)" for only $11.99.
You'll learn to write query letters, juggle writing with other
work, & secrets from other weekend writers. Visit 
http://www.weekendwriter.net to order. Sign up for the free
newsletter and get a FREE essay markets report!

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COLUMN: Free Stuff for Writers - Muse, Meet Inspiration

=================================================================
By Aline Lechaye

"I'm stuck!" screams your inner muse. "And I have a deadline
tomorrow. I need help!"

We've all had some form of this happen to us. The creative process
is going fine, when suddenly you find that you need a name. A
Japanese name.

But the only Japanese you know is sushi. (Can you call a Japanese
girl Sushi? Hmm...)

Times like these, you need a name generator. But there will be days
when you need a plot generator. And days when you'll need
characters.

The Story Starter
-----------------
http://www.thestorystarter.com/

This is as simple as it gets. Click a button, and you can get a
first sentence for your story (or you can use it as the second or
third or fourth sentence if you want. The point is that you've got
a starting point.)

Random Story Generator
----------------------
http://www.school-for-champions.com/fiction/random_story.htm

This site shows you a simple plot, and proceeds to illustrate the
simple plot with the help of a random story. All the stories follow
the same pattern and always feature a guy named Bevis (I generated
four stories and all of them had a Bevis), but the site is good for
a laugh and some plotting help.

Serendipity
-----------
http://nine.frenchboys.net/index.php

I love this site. The name "Serendipity" is just too perfect. There
are generators for names, stories, places, and characters. The
generated content isn't too long; mostly just a couple sentences to
get your brain kicking. But you didn't expect to get a whole novel
by clicking a generator, did you?

Seventh Sanctum
---------------
http://www.seventhsanctum.com/

This is the grandpapa of all story generator sites. I don't think
I've ever seen a site with more generators then they have. (If you
know of one, please feel free to email me and correct my misguided
notions.) 

They have the usual name, character, and story generators, but they
also have generators for things like equipment (magic items,
weapons and so on), powers (super powers, special abilities and so
forth), and even a technology generator for the gadget lovers.

Even though there are already so many generators, the site
continues to come up with new ones, which is good news for all
writers. We need as many ideas as possible to work with!

Bonsai Story Generator
----------------------
http://www.critters.org/bonsai/

Okay. I personally do not like this generator. But I know someone
(not the friend of a friend's cousin sort of someone, this is
someone I know on a first-name basis) who ran something through the
generator and came up with a novel, so I'm including it in hopes
that someone else will find it useful.

This generator is more of a mixer-up. You start with a bunch of
writing (it needs at least a few hundred words to work): just grab
a few paragraphs from Google and paste it in. Then the generator
will mix everything up and spit out crazy sentences. According to
the fans, the content will not make sense in terms of grammar or
logic, but the muse can apparently read between the lines, because
people who have read the mixed content have been known to write
great things afterwards.

Try it; it's not as if you have anything to lose.

>>--------------------------------------------------<< 

Aline Lechaye is a translator, writer, and writing tutor who
resides in Asia. She can be reached at alinelechaye"at"gmail.com.

Copyright (c) 2009 by Aline Lechaye

****************************************************************

WORLDWIDE FREELANCE WRITER - You can download a free list of 
writing markets if you subscribe this week. Discover almost 
2,000 writing markets from USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Australasia.
http://www.worldwidefreelance.com

****************************************************************

THE WRITE SITES
=================================================================

How to Break into the International Market: 
An Interview with Moira Allen
-------------------------------------------
Moira Allen's new Podcast on breaking into the international
magazine market is available from:
http://www.bloggingauthors.com/
http://www.authorsaccess.com/ (scroll down, then click the photo)

Bluezoowriters
--------------  
A  place for writing ideas, tips, and more, especially for middle
school and young teen writers! We'll offer info on good contests.
And lots of fun writing ideas. And a place to ask questions. We'll
suggest places to submit your work. We'll offer fun stuff to help
you with all your writing projects: poetry, stories, articles for
your school paper, book reviews, etc.
http://bluezoowriters.wordpress.com/

Market2Editors
--------------
This is a syndication service with a ton of useful writing
information in the "FAQ" section.
http://market2editors.com/

*****************************************************************

AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers
=================================================================

From A-Bomb Juice to Zonked: Slangisms About Rotgut, Guzzling and
Puking Your Brains Out - by Randall Platt

Dying to Live: Confessions of a Suicide - by G.E. Wilson

The I Love To Write Book: Ideas & Tips for Young Writers
by Mary-Lane Kamberg

If They Don't Learn The Way You Teach... Teach the Way They Learn
by Jacquie McTaggart

The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil - by Ruth Mossing

The Weekend Writer: Launch Your Freelance Writing Career
(Part-Time)
by Denene Brox


Find these and more great books at
http://www.writing-world.com/books/index.shtml

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just click on the link below to list your book.
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Writing World is a publication of Writing-World.com
http://www.writing-world.com

Editor and Publisher: MOIRA ALLEN (editors"at"writing-world.com) 

Newsletter Editor: DAWN COPEMAN (editorial"at"writing-world.com) 

Copyright 2009 Moira Allen
Individual articles copyrighted by their authors.
Back issues archived at
http://www.writing-world.com/newsletter/index.shtml

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Copyright © 2017 by Moira Allen. All rights reserved.
All materials on this site are the property of their authors
and may not be reprinted without the author's written permission,
unless otherwise indicated.
For more information please contact Moira Allen, Editor