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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


Issue 11:05           12,325 subscribers           March 3, 2011
MANAGE YOUR SUBSCRIPTION: See the bottom of this newsletter for
details on how to subscribe, unsubscribe, or contact the editors.

THE EDITOR'S DESK: Talk to Us, by Moira Allen 
THE INQUIRING WRITER: Ten Years Ago, by Dawn Copeman
FEATURE: Kill The Adverbs - by Kathleen Ewing
HUMOR: How To Write Really Bad Fiction And Enjoy The Benefits Of
Rapid Rejection, by Hank Quense
COLUMN: Free Stuff for Writers: On the March, by Aline Lechaye
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
The Author's Bookshelf

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Talk to Us!
Usually, we use this newsletter to talk to YOU.  However, we want
to remind you that we love it when you talk to us as well!  In case
you didn't know, here are some areas where we want to hear from you
-- the good news AND the bad!

1) Advertising

Have you had a problem with one of our advertisers?  If so, we want
to know.  Firstly, if you let us know about a problem (e.g.,
someone doesn't send a product that you ordered), often we can help
you resolve it.  Secondly, if you have a problem that does not get
resolved, or if we hear from several people who have had a problem
with the same advertiser, we can take action by removing the ad. 
But we need to know!

Please note, however, that we mean a GENUINE problem.  We do not
"screen" advertisers (though we certainly have a list of companies
that will never, ever appear on these pages).  If an advertiser
doesn't "look" legit to you, that's nice to know, but we need more
than that to disqualify them.  We also expect a certain degree of
common sense from our readers.  If, for example, an advertiser
declares on their website that they'll "guarantee" your book will
be published if only you let that person edit it, well... duh.  (On
the other hand, if you did find such a promise, I probably WOULD
remove that advertiser...)

2) Errors

If you spot an error in one of our articles, please do let us know.
 It's embarrassing to discover, for example, that for years the
lack of a single word has led to an article saying something like
"please send flaming e-mails to an editor" instead of "please DON'T
send flaming e-mails to an editor."  Likewise, if you spot a typo
or grammatical error, we want to hear about it.  This is a site
about writing, and about writing well, so we try to ensure that our
articles reflect that goal.  However, our material comes from
dozens of different contributors, and we don't always catch every

We have one caveat: We welcome corrections so long as they are
presented COURTEOUSLY.  Every so often, someone sends an e-mail
along the lines of "your flagrant misuse of a comma in your article
on such-and-such spells the imminent death of civilization as we
know it."  I have learned, from bitter experience, that there is no
hope of communicating with such writers (apparently,
self-immolation is the only acceptable solution to such a hideous
gaffe), so I no longer even bother.  That's what the delete key is

3) Dead links

If you come across a broken link, please let us know.  About once a
year, we update the link section of the site, but we do NOT have
the time and resources to check every link in every one of our 600+
articles.  (Actually, we did that in 2010, and it was such a
ghastly job that I do not foresee doing it again in the next
decade.)  Thus, we rely upon our readers to let us know when a link
leads nowhere (or worse, to a porn site).  When correcting a link,
however, PLEASE be sure to give us the title of the article in
question, or better yet, the actual URL.  Just saying, "There's a
bad link in your article on getting published" isn't going to help!

4) Kudos and complaints

We LOVE hearing that we've done a good job.  It's one of the things
that keeps us going -- and encourages us to try for another ten
years.  And if we're doing something wrong, well, we certainly
don't want to do THAT for another ten years.

Speaking of complaints, yes, I KNOW the ads on the website are
distracting.  They're also the reason the site exists.  As a
writer, I believe our contributors deserve to be PAID for their
efforts -- and when the day comes that I win the lottery or
otherwise become fabulously wealthy, the ads will go.  Until then,
those ads are what keep us going -- and if any of our advertisers
are reading this, thank YOU!  

5) And finally, here's what we can't do...

For the record, we cannot:

* Help you find a publisher or an agent.  We cannot recommend
publishers or agents or help you locate an "appropriate one."

* Review your manuscript, article, short story, poem or whatever.
There are many excellent writers' groups and critique groups online
(visit http://www.writing-world.com/links/critique.shtml for some
examples) who can do that; we can't.  

* Tell you "how to get started as a writer."  That's what our
"basics" section (http://www.writing-world.com/basics/index.shtml)
is all about.  

You'll find more details about contacting us on our "About" page at

We really do look forward to hearing from you!

 - Moira Allen, Editor


editors contribute their unique news and views each year. That's
news and views to improve your chances to get published. Your first
two issues are FREE.  http://www.thechildrenswriter.com/AE372


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The Inquiring Writer: Ten Years Ago
By Dawn Copeman

Last month we celebrated our tenth birthday and I wanted to know
what you were doing ten years ago and when you decided to become a

Some of you, like Thomas Shirtcliffe and Jasmine Fahmy, make me
feel OLD.  "Ten years ago I was eleven and trying to figure if
being Batman or a Jedi was a better career choice... actually,
those options are still pretty good, even today," writes Thomas.
Jasmine was "still playing with Barbies. I was seven years old. And
do you know what I did with my Barbies? I played out scenes. Now I
won't pretend this is some amazing proof of my writing genius from
a young age, I know there are a lot of kids who do that, making up
lives and personalities for their teddies and dolls, but for me
that was where it started."

Thomas' turning point came in High School when he was in Grade 12,
and as he states: "In all honesty I did not have a clue what I
wanted to do with my life. But I did find in my English class that,
when given the option, I always chose to write a story over writing
an essay. At that point it did not mean much to me, but when I
received my marks back for the year-end English exam, I was
extremely happy. Not only because of the mark I got but also
because, since I wrote a story instead of an essay, I had found
what I wanted to do in my life."

Jasmine made her decision at an even earlier age.  She wrote:
"Three years after that, when I was ten years old, I decided to be
a writer. Or rather, I tentatively pressed the letters on my
keyboard and hoped no one was going to kill me for daring to dream
of being a writer.

"I finished my first fan fiction at eleven and swelled with the
pride of a mother with her newborn baby. I was a genius, I'd
decided. It was time for something original. I'd be like a young
J.K. Rowling! I'm sure I don't need to mention that it was a Harry
Potter fan fiction, and that it was Hogwarts that enchanted me into
writing. I'm also sure I don't need to mention how spectacularly I
failed. And I've been failing ever since.

"And I love it. Because I realised I don't want to be a young J.K.
Rowling anymore, and I shouldn't. I just want to be me, Jasmine
Fahmy, and have my own wizards (mages now) with their own dark
lords (who don't look like snakes, because they creep me out) and
their own amazing adventures. I'm hoping that one day a little girl
will look at my book(s?) on her shelf and sit down at her desk, and
then, as her hands are poised over the letters, decides she doesn't
want to be like me."

For most of us, however, writing is a second, not a first, career. 
Jaqueline Seewald wrote: "I had reached the age that my mother was
at when she died and realized my own mortality. So I took an early
retirement from teaching and became a fulltime writer, something I
always wanted to do. I now have ten published books of fiction, a
new mystery novel to be published in May and another in 2011. Not
making a lot of money, but I have no regrets."

"In February 2001 my much longed-for son was 6 months old," wrote
Abby Williams. "I had been told it would be 'a miracle' if I
conceived but, against the odds, I did. Prior to my pregnancy I had
worked as a PA in various stressful London jobs, then I retrained
as an aromatherapist, but after his birth I re-evaluated my life
and decided that I didn't want to carry on with either of those
careers. I sold my flat in London and moved to the Midlands, rented
a property, then bought a run-down property which I renovated. 

"I had always enjoyed English and writing so when I was settled I
began submitting letters and fillers to magazines -- my son was an
endless source of quotes and photo opportunities -- and was
delighted to see them in print, sometimes even the star letter. I
then started sending out some 'real life' pieces and eventually
around 2004 I got my first big break with the UK women's weekly
magazine My Weekly who, in total, commissioned me to do around 15
articles over the years.  My second big break came with my local
county magazine, which I rang on the off-chance of some work. For
two years I wrote advertorials and a beauty column for them. Since
then work has been more fragmented and sometimes I still fall back
on my letters and fillers. Sometimes I wonder what I have done in
the last ten years but then reading back this synopsis I feel I
have accomplished quite a bit although there is always so much more
to do!"

"My turning point was similar to yours," wrote Diana Lynn Tibert.
"I didn't have a career unless you call going from one boring job
to another a career. When I found myself home with my first child,
I dug out a story I had written in my late teens. I had always
planned to start at the beginning with these characters, but never
did... until I became bored as a stay-home mom. And I decided I
wanted to see if something I had written was worth publishing.
Turns out, it was. I've always wanted to write, but between one job
and another, I never made it a priority. I could say I never had
the time, but I seem to have less time now, yet write a whole lot
more. It's all about priorities.

"What was I doing ten years ago? I was caring for two babies,
waiting for my third, writing in every spare moment and getting
things published in newspapers and magazines.

"When did I decide I wanted to be an actual writer with books to
their credit? I think I was eight. I wanted to be a writer because
I loved creating stories. Before then I just wanted to write but
not be a writer. Does that make sense? I'm sure there are people
who write, but do not aspire to be writers. I didn't decide to get
published until I was thirty, home, bored and looking for a way to
make a few extra dollars with something I loved to do."

"Ten years ago I was a stay-at-home mom with a 1, 3 and 6 year
old," wrote Stephanie Romero. "I had dabbled in writing but at this
point in my life I was too busy raising my children.  Eventually
they went to school and I began to write more.  I started
submitting work but was always met with rejections.  I thought my
line of work was to be education so I took some online courses,
worked for a short time as a special education aide and then became
a preschool teacher.  It has been only about a year that I was able
to quit my job as a preschool teacher and work full-time from home
as a writer.  My main source of income comes as an independent
contractor for a company that writes web content for law firms. 
However I also do some blogging that adds a little to my income. 
If you would have asked me 10 years ago if this is what I would be
doing I would have said no way... but I guess dreams do come true!"

Some of you, like Wendy Scott and Christine Venzon, were already
writers ten years ago and have been with us since the beginning,
for which we thank you. "Ten years ago I was bemoaning the loss of
Inkspots, and greeting the 'new' Writing World. I guess you could
call it concurrent glee and gloom," wrote Wendy.  She continued:
"The beginning of this writing decade also marked the launch, in
our local paper, of my human interest and travel column, 'Pebbles'.
My little town, Riondel, is on a large lake in the British
Columbia's Kootenay country. My husband and I moved here thirteen
years ago and soon discovered the hallmark of all small towns -- an
abundance of acquaintances. If you don't know the couple down the
street, you know about them, and with a few inquiries you can
scratch up enough history to create something of interest. That,
and the fact that Riondel's community is about 80% retired, is how
my second 'occasional column', came into being; in ten years I have
penned over seventy tributes.

"Riondel's Centennial Year, 2007, was a clarion call for me, which
I answered with a book-full of tales spanning those 100 years;
tales of the Riondel people. "A Recollection of Moments" sold out
quickly to residents, their friends and relatives, and anyone else
who had an interest in this old mining town. That has been my
decade. I continue to write columns and tributes, and hope to
gather another collection for publication before Writing World
completes the next ten years."

As for Christine, she wrote: "Ten years ago, as Writing-World was
breathing its first, I was a struggling writer recently moved from
Illinois to southwest Louisiana. I'd survived my first winter, one
of the coldest on record, in an insulation-challenged house, a
chronic condition in the cheap "rent houses" I could afford. I was
seriously wondering whether I was cut out for this life or was
(gasp) too old for it.
"Mardi Gras fell on my 37th birthday that year. A writer friend, a
fellow Illinois ex-pat, and I ventured to the town of Mamou, known
worldwide for its country Cajun Mardi Gras celebration. We watched
grown men dressed like pinatas parade in on horseback from a day
spent going farm to farm begging for the fixings of a community
gumbo, which was served to the crowds that night. I remembered why
I'd moved there: you can get away with stuff in Cajun country like
nowhere else -- what great inspiration for a writer, especially one
looking to reinvent herself."
Some of us were writing ten years ago, and then real life
intervened and put a temporary stop to it, as is the case with
Suman Singh and Julie Morgan King.  Suman wrote: "Ten years ago I
was teaching and just learning the ropes of professional writing
and one of the first newsletters I subscribed to was Writing-World.
I picked up the rudiments of writing from the Writing-World
website. For a while I did well, won prizes for my poetry and saw
my fiction published in magazines. I had to let go of writing as my
teaching career progressed and I had no time for writing. I didn't
unsubscribe from Writing World though, simply because I knew I'd
write someday. And whenever I was free, during holidays, I would go
through the newsletters even if they were months old. I just kept
absorbing the craft of writing.
"3rd January, 2010 I quit my job as my mother was ill and she
needed me at home. I naturally took up writing again as I could
work from home. This time round too I have managed some published
articles, but I need to be more professional and I'm reading lots
on Writing-World again."

"A little over ten years ago, probably just before Writing World
was launched, I was in deep trouble," emailed Julie. "I was very
ill and needed an operation which would put me out of action for
two months. I had used up all my leave entitlements and could not
request any more time off from my job as a university lecturer. My
mother was diagnosed with a fatal illness on my birthday in January
and died mid May. I had three small children aged nine, eight and
six years.

"On mum's advice I resigned my tenured academic position and had
the operation. As I healed I started to write. I knew I had a
reasonably proficient writing style: many students had commented
time and time again that my writing was clear, concise and lacked
the mysterious confusing academic jargon used routinely by my peers.

"I began writing opinion pieces and other nonfiction pieces and
although I spent too much time trying to get work published and too
little time actually writing, I was pleased and fulfilled with my

"My writing came to a dead halt when a reader accused me of
defamation and threatened legal action. Though the matter was
dismissed, I was left feeling vulnerable and frightened. I stopped
writing for six years.

"I am back writing now and once again, the business of finding
outlets for my work dominates my time. I have a blog up and running
of which I am most proud: http://www.julesdog.blogspot.com. I am
exploring work options. Along the way I have made an important
discovery. I do not write for myself. My days of journal writing
are over! I write to be read. I need my voice to be heard. That's
what makes the writing journey authentic to me."

As for the rest of us, well, we are a diverse bunch and have come
to writing from all sorts of directions. Two of us, Gray Roman and
Susan Black, have come to writing via teaching in China!  Jack
Dietz, Tom Botts and Howard M. Erlbaum came to writing quite
reluctantly! As Jack wrote, "the idea of writing a book was last
thing on my mind -- I was too busy reading them. Then it happened
and I never saw it coming.

"I volunteered as a Fire Lookout in the San Bernardino National
Forest. The idea of being 30-40 feet in the air, in a small glass
enclosed cabin watching for smoke, enjoying the scenery, placed me
in the right environment. It just so happens that this particular
lookout tower is the only one that the public can rent for
overnight camping experiences. So, since I had a regular job during
the week, I was usually in the tower on the weekends when people
rented it. I met all types of people from all walks of life. As I
talked to them, they of course opened up and told me their
background etc. I in turn wrote about 'their stories' in our

"One night I sat down behind the keyboard... decided I would try to
write a story. Months later... My first book was completed. NOW,
I'm a writer... I'm editing my second book... I hate editing... but
it is a must; I really want to get an agent."

Tom Botts' writing career began when people kept asking him why he
had moved to Southeast Alaska. He had moved there from an "end-time
farm, a religious community that believed the world would end soon.
 The ten years I spent there were the most miserable of my life." 
People told him he should write a book about it and "hence
'Wilderness Blues, A Tale of Outhouses, Rutabagas and Other
Unsavoury Subjects' came about. I didn't aspire to be a writer in
particular, though I would like to be able sell some of what I have
written, aside from the book. I'm presently working on a second
book about the local commercial fishermen; primarily the old timers
and their lives here on the last frontier." 
Howard Erlbaum's writing career began when he was in his teens and
"a very erudite cousin wrote to me and demanded an answer. I
discovered we had writing material in our house and responded,
leading to a peripatetic correspondence that lasted his lifetime.
This practice resulted in a correspondence while traveling through
the western U.S. and Canada with the girl who was to become my wife
for all eternity. Surprisingly enough, considering my playful
beginnings of swimming, fishing and sailing, I became an engineer
and even began to think about the world around me. Most of my time
was taken with career and family; however those roving thoughts
needed a residence and found themselves on paper.

"After retirement, I returned to my sailing, big time, and spent a
great deal of time on the blue water. Without thought, I recorded
these cruises in words and pictures, each occupying a separate
album. I also accompanied my wife to an occasional writing course
and even to a workshop. We continue with the workshop, as much for
the friendship, as to hone whatever skills we may have as writers.
Not to waste time and as a result of a short attention span, I
wrote short stories and became an active participant.

"Although I've dabbled in a variety of genres including sci-fi and
fantasy, I've created two characters I mostly write about. Martin
Luther Gittleman is a 35-year creation and there are currently
about 135 Marty stories on a flash drive. Another series is 'Me and
Jim' about the activities of a couple of 12-13 year old boys,
mostly what is on their minds as they pursue their daily activities.

"At the urging of the members of the Workshop, I've self-published
a collection of the Marty stories in a book titled, 'Were You
Talking to Me?' available at Amazon Books and on Kindle. I never
decided to become a writer, it just happened. I never intended to
publish, that too just happened. And it so happens I'm working on
other documents that some day may also find themselves in the
published domain."

Thank you to everyone who replied to this question; there were far
too many replies this time for me to use them all.  

Now on to this month's question. We have had two separate requests
this month, from Kathy Ashby and Jason Rizzo, on the topic of
insurance for writers.  Jason wants to know about business
insurance, whereas Kathy found that following her house being hit
by lightning, her household insurance wouldn't pay out when they
discovered that her husband wrote for an online website. Yet the
fact she writes and publishes books is not a problem.  Do you have
insurance?  What type of insurance do you have?  Do you know of any
insurance company that provides insurance for writers?  Do you have
liability insurance, health insurance or just insurance for your
equipment? Email me with the subject line "Inquiring Writer" at

Until next time, 


Copyright (c) 2011 by Dawn Copeman


WRITING COMPETITIONS - One-Page Story (300 word) and Poetry (200 
word). Firsts get €1,000 each and the best 10 published in the 
Fish Anthology in July. Chris Stewart judges the One-Page and 
Brian Turner the Poetry. Entry online €14. Close March 31. 
Details at http://www.fishpublishing.com info"at"fishpublishing.com


evaluation! Discover what you can do to make agents and publishers 
sit up and notice you. Get a detailed critique of your book.
See http://www.stephaniekain.com 


HarperCollins Seeks to Limit Library EBook Lending
HarperCollins has limited the license it provides libraries to only
allow them to lend ebooks a maximum of 26 times to 'protect' the
rights of ebook authors.  For more on this story visit: 

Tolkien's Heirs Take Author to Court Over Use of Tolkien's Name
The heirs of JRR Tolkien have taken author Steve Hillard to court
over his use of the name Tolkien as a character in his book,
"Mirkwood: A Novel About JRR Tolkien".  In the novel, Tolkien
appears as himself but in a fictional role.  For more on this story
visit: http://tinyurl.com/5sa6mdw

10% of Bloomsbury's Sales are Now Ebooks
The latest sales figures from the Bloomsbury show that they sold 18
times more ebooks in 2010 than in 2009 and that ebooks now account
for more than 10% of total sales in the UK and 15% in the United
States. For more on this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/6gdnruy


SPRING FEVER On-line Poetry Contest! Prizes 50, 30 & 25 plus
publication in print anthology. ONLY 100 ENTRIES ACCEPTED! Entries
close 21st March, 2011 - http://www.writelink.co.uk/springfever


Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest. Write a poem, 30 lines
or fewer on any subject and/or write a short story, 5 pages max.
on any theme, single or double line spacing, neatly hand printed
or typed for a chance to win cash prizes. Visit
http://www.dreamquestone.com for details!




Mind Wings AudioBooks Seek Short Stories
Mind Wings Audio is seeking short stories in a wide variety of
genres for publication on audio books.  Short stories must be
previously unpublished and be between 7,800 and 11,800 words. 
Successful authors will receive royalties.  For more information
and to get detailed submission guidelines visit: 

Mundania Press Seeks Quality Manuscripts
Mundania Press is looking for novels and young adult books in the
genres of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, horror, and steampunk.
 Books should be between 30,000 and 120,000 words but prefer
submissions of around 60,000 - 80,000 words.  For more information
visit: http://www.mundania.com/submissions.php

Hopscotch Open to Submissions
Hopscotch Magazine is aimed at girls between 6 and 13, with most
readers being 8 - 10.  They are looking for articles on timeless
issues such as pets, nature, hobbies, science, games, sports,
careers, simple cooking, and anything else likely to interest a
young girl. They are always in need of recipes, crafts, riddles and
jokes.  Payment is five cents a word.  For more information visit:


Want your novel to be represented by A.P. Watt?
Want your short story to be published by Ether Books?
Want professional feedback from The Literary Consultancy?
Come to www.circalit.com, a portal for professional writers.


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FEATURE:  Kill The Adverbs 
By Kathleen Ewing

I am not a cheerleader. In fact, I dislike the cheerleader
mentality that motivates someone to sit on the sidelines shouting
empty phrases while others do the job. Whether I'm writing a
feature article for a demanding editor, or polishing a piece of
fiction for the third time, don't tell me "Go! Fight! Win!" Give me
a coach who can provide the practical tools I need to get the job
done. Like a double left jab, a jump shot from the top of the key
or a drag bunt for a suicide squeeze play.
For a writer, those tools should look something like this:
1. Read aloud what you have written. You will hear this advice
repeatedly. Do it. You may think you have a good feel for the flow
of words, your own words in particular. You can't judge until you
hear the words spoken. Listen for the rough spots, for the content
that doesn't make sense, or for the sentence that doesn't get the
message across with enough impact. 

2. "If you see an adverb, kill it." Mark Twain offered that advice.
The reader doesn't want to watch your characters walking quickly or
hear them speaking softly. Pick a verb with some starch in its
shorts. Make characters jog, march or stride. Make them mumble,
mutter or whisper. If you begin with a hairy-legged verb, you won't
be tempted to accomplish the action slowly, urgently or hopefully. 
3. While you're at it, kill ninety percent of your adjectives as
well. We've all read sentences that have at least two adjectives
hitched onto every noun. At some point in our careers, we've
written a few ourselves. "The lush, slender green leaves contrasted
with the rough, peeling light brown bark of the gigantic old
sycamore tree and the crisp, unbroken cerulean blue of the bright,
early morning summer sky." The sentence sounds like a steam
locomotive unable to pick up speed because there are too many
freight cars between it and the caboose. A noun is the engine of
the sentence. If a noun can't pull its load, find a stronger
engine. You may think you are painting a vivid scene for your
readers, but hooking on the adjectives derails the train of thought.

4. If you're still in the mood for murder, off the italics and the
bold type. Find a way to put the emphasis in the proper place with
your word selection, not with format gimmicks. The same holds true
for the exclamation point. If you have a character say "Wow" or
"Hey" or even "Damn," is it any less effective if you omit the
exclamation point? Reading a paragraph with half a dozen
exclamation marks is like driving through downtown at rush hour.
Stop! Go! Stop! Go! Stop! Go!

5. Parentheses are another prime target for elimination. I have a
friend who laces her writing with parentheses or with dashes
bracketing parenthetical clauses as each new thought occurs to her.
On many occasions, I have had to read her writing two or even three
times to understand the message she is attempting to communicate.
You may think parenthetically and speak that way. Most people do.
In writing, it is a disruptive device, sidetracking your reader
from one thought to the next and then switching them back to the
main line again. Mental whiplash. When polishing a piece, find a
way to rephrase your writing to incorporate all those parenthetic
points which occurred to you as you were writing the initial draft. 

6. Do you need that that? "It was then that he decided that he
would jump ship." If you read the sentence aloud, you realize how
clunky it feels, like wearing cowboy boots to perform a ballet. The
words lose their dramatic impact as well. The test for an
extraneous "that" is simple enough. If you can purge it without
harming the meaning of the sentence, you will improve the flow.

7. Listen for colloquialisms, those little idioms you picked up as
a kid in the Bronx or Baton Rouge or International Falls, phrases
that have become habitual for you but clutter your writing without
adding value. I once edited a nonfiction book where in four
instances the writer admonished readers to do something "so as not
to" cause something else to happen. While the writer may be
comfortable with that phrase, to most readers it is an unfamiliar
speed bump disrupting the flow of words. 

8. Listen for repetitions. "Problematic" is a popular word these
days. If you use it to describe every other awkward or challenging
situation in your essay, it becomes boring. At some point, the
reader will yawn and toss your article or story aside, feeling like
a grade school student learning a new word by rote. If it is
difficult for you to pick up on those words you have used too
often, ask someone else to read your piece before you submit it.

9. Check your grammar. How many times have you read the phrase "one
another" instead of "each other" in a scenario involving two
people? Imagine the confusion the readers of your romance novel
would experience if you used that phrase when you had led them to
believe there were only two people in that bedroom. Don't expect an
editor to catch all your blunders any more than you expect your
computer's spell checker to catch the use of a properly spelled
word in the wrong context.

10. If you have never done so, sit down with a comprehensive and
current grammar text. Read it from cover to cover, now, before you
go any further in your career, before you make some slipshod
mistake and have to look at it in print for the rest of your life.
Boring, you say? As with any other professional, a writer must know
and understand the tools of the trade. You are a writer, aren't
you? Or do you want to remain a cheerleader?


Kathleen is an award-winning freelance writer from Arizona. She has
written feature articles for Art Calendar, American Falconry, Bend
of the River, Hobby Farms, and Trailblazer magazines, and online
for FundsforWriters and Writing for Dollars. Visit her site at

Copyright 2011 Kathleen Ewing

For more information on editing your fiction visit: 

services offered by Sigrid Macdonald, author of "Be Your Own 
Editor". Perfect your prose and ensure that your work is 
error-free, well-structured, readable and ready for publication. 
http://sigridmacdonald.blogspot.com (sigridmac"at"rogers.com). 


ARE YOU A WRITER WITH A DAY JOB?  Do you steal moments late at 
night or on your lunch break to write?  Then The Nighttime 
Novelist: Finish Your Novel in Your Spare Time, by Joseph Bates, 
is the guide for you, with techniques, mini-lessons, exercises 
and worksheets to help you get that novel finished. From Writer's 
Digest Books. http://tinyurl.com/28zl756


HUMOR:  How To Write Really Bad Fiction And Enjoy The Benefits Of
Rapid Rejection
By Hank Quense  

I'm an author of five books and over forty short stories, along
with a number of fiction writing articles.  From my experience,
I've learned a number of important lessons and I want to pass them
onto others.  One important lesson involves getting a book
published; it changes your life.  No longer can you sit in your
office and spend your time writing more fiction.  Once you become a
published author, you also become the book's marketing manager and
its sales manager, a terrifying situation if you're not prepared
for it.

To protect others from the trauma of this situation, I've put
together a list of fiction writing techniques that will guarantee
non-publication.  Following them will ensure a rapid reply from
editors who will use a preprinted form or a terse email. This rapid
reply will allow you to maximize the rejections you receive in a
given period of time.

Here is the list in no particular order:

-        Always use adverbs!  Lots and lots of adverbs.  One of your
writing objectives should be to use an adverb to modify at least
fifty percent of your verbs.  And don't forget about using them in
dialog tags.  Why show the reader a woman shredding a paper tissue?
 Make it easy on the poor readers.  Tell them the woman is nervous.
Thus, "He's making me so fidgety," she said nervously.

-        A naked noun is evil!  Adjectives exist to be used. Their primary
purpose is to modify a noun, so make use of this most excellent
writing technique. Load up your nouns with modifiers so the reader
will have no doubts about the noun.  "The skinny, ugly guy wore a
hideous, ripped t-shirt, dirty, baggy pants and shredded sneakers."
 Here's an even better example of clever adjective usage: "The
scrawny boy used his undersized biceps to try to pick up the clumsy
weight and place it in the old-fashioned truck before the
foul-mouthed old man became aware of his clever trickery." Get the
idea?  Remember, a naked noun is e-v-i-l! 

-        Use conversation.  Don't limit yourself to dialog.  Conversation
is the stuff of life.  Don't allow your characters to be stuck
inside the story by restricting them to dialog that moves the story
forward.  Make your characters more life-like by letting them
engage in idle conversation just like real people do.  
        " How you doing?"
        "I'm cool. What's up?"
        "I'm good.  Couldn't be better.  Watching the Yankees tonight?
        "Who they playing? . . . Yada, yada, yada.
This stuff doesn't move the story along like dialog does, but it
shows the characters are just as boring as real folk.

-        Motivation is over-done.  To properly show motivation requires a
lot of creativity, time and words.  It is much better to skip over
that part and get right into the action. So what if the guy
disarming the ticking bomb is only doing it because his shift
doesn't end for two hours and he doesn't have anything better to
do.  The character doesn't have any motivation, but who cares; it
keeps the story moving and doesn't slow it down with a lot of words
explaining the motivation.

-        Don't worry about Point Of View rules.  POV is perhaps the most
technical of all aspects of writing and handling it correctly is
time-consuming and requires advanced planning.  Who needs all that
extra work when there is another scene to write or another crisis
to defuse.  Most of the readers will figure it out and sort of
follow the story.

-        It's wise to develop writing habits such as peppering the page
with -ing words.  This technique will give your writing a pleasing
sing-song effect.  "Opening the door and running down the corridor
while waving her hand, she tried shouting, calling attention to her
life-threatening situation." Doesn't that sentence make you want to
hum along from all the -ing words? 

-        Use empty words.  Very, really, ever, still, just and others are
words with no meaning but they do fill up sentences and make them
look more impressive. Fiction writing is filled with opportunities
to use these words and titillate the readers.  With a bit of
imagination, you can also use these words to punctuate the

-        Why bother with multiple-dimensional characters?  Flat characters
work just as well.  Flat characters can fight, love and die just as
well as the more complicated ones, but take considerably less work.
 The simple approach gives you more time to write still more

-        Character Voice.  This attribute allows the reader to identify
the characters from their dialog "voices."  What nonsense.  That's
what names are for.  Just use the names in all the lines of dialog
and the readers will be able to keep the characters straight.

Keep this list near your keyboard and refer to it frequently. 
Within a short time, your friends and family will be impressed by
the huge stack of rejection notices you've accumulated.  A side
benefit is that your family will know you're really doing something
in your office. Right now, they probably think you're goofing off
and playing computer game.

Hank Quense writes humorous and satiric fantasy and scifi stories
and novels along with an occasional article on fiction writing. 
His collection of short stories and novellas, Tales From
Gundarland, has been short-listed for a Epic award.  His latest
novel, Zaftan Entrepreneurs, was released in January of this year. 
He is also the author of Build a Better Story, an ebook filled with
advice and technique on writing fiction.  The ebook is especially
useful for new or inexperienced fiction writers. You can get more
information on all these books at Hank's website: 


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. 


By Aline Lechaye

Spring's just around the corner (although, where I live, it's still
kind of cold and feels like late fall), and by now you've hopefully
hit your writing stride. (Remember those New Year Resolutions?
Year-long writing projects?) 

Need some help? This month, we've got tons of free stuff for you:
newsletters, ebooks, writing tools. Let me know if there are any of
them you found useful, fell in love with, or recommended to friends!

Jennifer Mattern over at All Freelance Writing has a special
section on the site that's completely devoted to Free Stuff for
freelance writers. There are free tools (hourly rate calculators,
word count trackers, planning sheets), free themes for WordPress,
free ebooks, and, well, lots of other free stuff waiting for you to
use. Drop by http://allfreelancewriting.com/free-stuff-for-writers/
and see the goodies for yourself. 

Do you subscribe to tens of writing newsletters... that you never
read, either because the content fails to interest you, or because
you simply don't have the time? Sign up for "Publication Coach"
Daphne Gray-Grant's free newsletter, "Power Writing." Each weekly
installment a) takes just three minutes to read, b) is practical,
inspiring, and interesting, and c) is sent directly to your email
inbox (so you can read it on your smartphone if you happen to have
one!) Read a sample of the newsletter or sign up at 
http://www.publicationcoach.com/. If you have time while you're
there, check out Daphne's free articles (
http://www.publicationcoach.com/free-articles.php) as well.  

Listen to writing-related articles at Freelance Writing's audio
articles database (
http://www.freelancewriting.com/audioarticles.php). You'll find
tips on overcoming writer's block, how to save money as a freelance
writer, how to write for the Internet, and much, much more. Also,
free podcasts for freelance writers at: 

Does English grammar give you a headache? Daily Writing Tips is
giving away a 34-page long ebook called "Basic English Grammar",
which was compiled and edited by them. You can get the book for
free by subscribing to their Daily Writing Tips at 
Tips on grammar, spelling, and writing will then be sent to you
whenever they're posted. 

If you enjoy reading or writing books for children/young adults,
you might be interested in visiting WriteOnCon. The site hosts free
online conferences for children's authors, and also hosts a free
live event every month, inviting authors, publishers and editors in
the business to participate. Find out more at http://writeoncon.com/

Paranormal romance writer Kait Nolan has a free downloads section
on her website. Freebies include helpful spreadsheets and templates
-- perfect for scene analysis and character development. Get the
downloads at: http://kaitnolan.com/downloads/. But wait, there's
more! Kait's currently giving free e-copies of her book, "Devil's
Eye," to readers who subscribe to her (also free) newsletter. Snag
a copy for yourself at: 

If you're an avid reader as well as an avid writer, you might want
to consider signing up for a free account at Good Reads. Bond with
people who like the same books as you, recommend your favorites,
and have other people's favorites recommended to you. You won't
ever have "nothing to read" syndrome again! Take a look at the site
on: http://www.goodreads.com/.

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

Copyright (c) 2011 by Aline Lechaye


Poetry Dances
This site offers loads of tips and examples of a wide range of
poetry styles.  Site members contribute samples of the poetry types.

Great Writing
This site has lots of author interviews in their articles on
writing section.  Plus it offers a community where you can post
your work and get feedback and advice from fellow community

I stumbled upon this site quite by accident, but I'm glad I did. 
This is a huge site with lots of mini-sites within it dealing with
every aspect of writing you can think of from tips on how to write
horror to being a writing mentor to turning your writing into a


WIN PRIZES AND GET PUBLISHED! Find out how to submit your stories,
poetry, articles and books to hundreds of writing contests in the
US and internationally. Newly updated for 2010, WRITING TO WIN
by Moira Allen is the one-stop resource you need for contests
and contest tips. Visit Writing-World.com's bookstore for details:


SERIOUS ABOUT WRITING? Join the National Association of Independent
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career-building difference. We partner with you to create a
strategic online presence with genuine credibility. You get a free
NAIWE-linked website (and more) so you'll be where people come to
find writers. Join us today at http://naiwe.com!


AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers

Upon the Breasts of Heaven, by Rick Zabel

A Nose for Hanky Panky, by Sharon Cook

The Writer's Guide to Queries, Pitches and Proposals
(Second Edition), By Moira Allen

Find these and more great books at

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