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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 11:07           12,477 subscribers           April 7, 2011
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THE EDITOR'S DESK: The Second Time Around (Or, Creativity vs.
Drudgery), by Moira Allen 
THE INQUIRING WRITER: Insurance, by Dawn Copeman 
FEATURE: A Rose By Any Other Name... Means You Weren't Paying
Enough Attention In Science Class, by Devyani Borade
COLUMN: Free Stuff for Writers: Spring Writing, by Aline Lechaye
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
The Author's Bookshelf

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The Second Time Around (Or, Creativity vs. Drudgery)
Last summer I completed the first draft of a novel.  It was an
occasion for rejoicing -- for me, an unprecedented achievement. 
And make no mistake, I'm very, very proud of that.

However...  When it comes to novels, the words "first draft" and
"completed" are something of an oxymoron.  A first draft doesn't
mean one has completed a novel.  It means that one's work has just

When I started that first draft, I played a mind-game that you've
probably heard of: The game of telling myself that it didn't MATTER
whether the writing was good.  All that mattered was getting the
words on the page.  All that mattered was moving the story forward,
scene by scene and chapter by chapter, from "Once upon a time" to
"and they lived happily ever after."  It is an excellent mind-game
and I highly recommend it to anyone struggling with that
all-important first draft.  It WORKS.

Unfortunately, it doesn't work on the second draft.  Because, by
definition, one wouldn't be DOING a second draft if quality didn't
matter.  Absolutely the only reason to even undertake a second
draft is to make your book BETTER. The second draft is where you
accept the fact that while the first wasn't bad, it also isn't
everything it should be -- or that you want it to be.  And if your
book is ever to become what you want it to be, you have to get back
into that chair and begin again. (And sometimes again and again...)

And now I will take a moment to offer an apology to several writers
out there whom I've chafed, in years past, over the need to "edit."
 I've known several very good writers who would, I was convinced,
have crossed the line to GREAT writers if they'd only have been
willing to follow through with a second draft.  The general
rationale for not doing so seemed to be that the writers in
question just didn't feel any creative spark, any enthusiasm, any
motivation when it came to REWRITING.

Well, old friends, I hear you now.  You're absolutely right.  When
it comes to second drafts, "sparks" quite often just aren't in it. 
Motivation is dim.  The creative urge is on holiday, or
contemplating the deep fulfillment to be found in rearranging the
cupboard for the fourth time.  If I thought it was difficult to
keep butt in chair for the first draft, now I find myself scanning
the calendar, muttering, "Don't I have a root canal scheduled for
today?  No?  Drat!"  In short, a synonym for "second draft" might
well be "drudgery."

However... A synonym for "drudgery" might also be "work."  And
there's another mind-game that is common amongst writers (myself
included) -- the notion that "creativity" and "work" are opposites.
 If I have to WORK at coming up with an idea, a story, a rhyme, or
whatever, it's not real creativity, is it?  Creativity, we often
imagine, is something that flows spontaneously, like water from a
stone.  (Unfortunately, I suspect there are quite a few
"creativity" teachers who foster this notion.  I remember one
rather vague lady who tried to jolly my class into writing poetry. 
When I chose to draw a picture of a willow instead, I was still
lauded for being "creative" -- even when I knew darn well I was
simply being lazy.)  

On the flip side, I can also remember assisting my father, who was
a graphic artist -- something I thought of as quite a creative
profession (though, to be honest, he didn't).  I don't know whether
he honestly wanted to help me learn the ropes, or whether he just
needed a pair of willing hands, but one of the tasks he set me
(this was in pre-computer-graphics days) was to rub away all the
oozy bits of rubber cement from his paste-ups.  Now, this could
possibly account for why I did not choose a career in graphic arts
(though I suspect my lack of drawing talent might also have
contributed) -- but it also taught me an unpleasant, but lasting
lesson: There is no job so creative that it doesn't have its
rubber-cement-rubbing side.  

So now, with my novel, I find myself where the rubber cement hits
the road, so to speak.  I have a choice.  I can put it aside and
draw a willow tree, and convince myself that this is all I need to
be a "creative genius."  I can tell myself that it's "good enough"
and start shopping it around to agents.  I can tell myself that
it's totally brilliant, and if the agents don't want it, that's
THEIR mistake.  Or...

Or, I can put the butt back in the chair, and get to work.  Because
if "work" and "creativity" are opposites, they are coin-side
opposites; one cannot exist without the other.  Without creativity,
there is no motivation to do the hard work; without the hard work,
the creativity will never have a chance to shine.  I can think of
it as rubbing away rubber cement -- or I can think of it as
polishing a diamond.  

So let me leave this with a salute to all my fellow drudging
diamond-polishers out there -- I know you are many!  And I know
that it often feels as if there's more drudging than diamonds.  But
what we're really talking about here is dreams, right?  And at the
end of the day, nothing shines much brighter than a dream come true
-- no matter how hard we have to work to get there!

-- Moira Allen, Editor, Chief Bottle Washer and Diamond Polisher


CHILDREN'S WRITERS' PUBLISHING NEWS Over 1,000 children's editors
have it delivered to their desk each month. You can too - and get
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The Inquiring Writer: Insurance
By Dawn Copeman

Last month we had two inquiries about insurance for writers. Jason
wanted 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.  

We only had one response to this topic, which isn't surprising as I
don't know that many writers with specific business insurance. 

Our reply came from Elizabeth Creith, who wrote: "My husband and I
have been self-employed for a lot of our working lives.  Currently
he owns a pet store, and I'm a full-time writer.

"We've never had a problem with house insurance. We were required
to have it when we had our mortgage, and have simply never let it

"I'd say Kathy needs to talk to her insurance agent about this
insuring company. It sounds like rank prejudice to me. What is
their justification for refusing insurance coverage? She, after
all, is probably on the insurance, too, and by their own standards
is insurable. Reread her agreement. Be prepared to take them to

"We have disability and critical care insurance through Combined
Insurance of America. We've had this for nearly twenty years. If
one of us in injured and can't work, we have enough coverage to
scrape by."

Moira had also prepared a response for Jason. She wrote: "I'm not
entirely sure what you mean by 'business insurance.'  It's not
something, typically, that freelance writers look for!  (Generally,
we're more concerned about managing to obtain health insurance.)

"I assume that 'business insurance' is meant to protect the
business, rather than to insure you, personally.  Since, again, I'm
not familiar with it overall, however, I don't know whether you're
looking for insurance against loss of income should your business
fail, or whether you're looking for some sort of liability
protection (e.g., in case someone tries to sue your business).

"If you are not yet earning an income from your business, I doubt
it would be possible to obtain any sort of insurance against 'loss'
of income, because the income doesn't exist yet.  If you are
looking for a form of liability protection, basically you can't
insure your 'business' as separate from yourself unless you
incorporate or become an LLC.  As long as you remain a 'sole
proprietor,' your business is you -- and that means any liability
incurred by the business falls to you and is not limited to the
business itself.

"If you are looking for some sort of property insurance protection
(e.g., you don't want the delivery person to trip on your sidewalk
when he's bringing a box of envelopes to your door and sue you),
this is usually managed through basic homeowner's or renter's
insurance.  The same applies to any property involved in your
business, such as your computer.  That's covered, or should be
covered, under whatever form of insurance you're using to protect
your home and its contents."

I did some checking around and you can purchase insurance aimed at
authors and writers, which basically, or so it seems to me, cover
you as would home and contents insurance, but they also cover
professional indemnity too.  

To get an idea of some of the insurance on offer and to compare
quotes simply type 'insurance for writers' into your search engine. 

And now for this month's question, which comes from Diana.  She
would like to know "How do you kick-start your writing day?  I find
I spend more time doing anything but write.  I know I'm
procrastinating but I find it hard to get writing. How do others do

If you have any answers for Diana, email me with the subject line
"Inquiring Writer" at editorial"at"writing-world.com

Also email me if you have a question to put to the Writing-World

Until next time, 
Copyright (c) 2011 by Dawn Copeman


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). 



Random House Joins With Game Maker to Produce Games About Books
Random House has joined up with game make THQ to design games based
around books. The aim is to produce ebooks, graphic novels and
games for online and console use. For more on this story visit: 

Literary Agent E-Publishes Cookson Backlist Herself
Literary agent Sonia Land has recently digitally published all of
Catherine Cookson's titles as ebooks herself rather than through
Cookson's traditional publisher TransWorld.  Land took the move
because she is angry over the low rate of digital royalties paid to
authors and feels publishers should increase royalty payments for
digital rights.  For more on this story visit: 

Europe About Five Years' Behind US Regarding Ebooks
According to a report in the New York Times, the market for Ebooks
in Europe is far behind that of the United States. The main reason
for this is a lack of digital book reader devices being sold
anywhere in Europe apart from Britain.  For more on this story
visit: http://tinyurl.com/3ze6m7s


Freelance Advisor Site Needs New Writers
Freelance Advisor is a site that offers advice and articles of
interest to freelancers in all industries.  They need new writers
who know a thing or two about freelancing, contracting, finances
and technology.  They need both regular and occasional
contributors.  If this sounds like you then drop us a line at
jobs"at"freelanceadvisor.co.uk with a quick blurb about yourself and
some of your previous work, and they'll be in touch! 

Christian publisher offering excellent royalty rates to fresh &
seasoned authors of Christian theology, fiction and lifestyle, or
writers of fictions exploring faith and morality issues. For
details visit http://www.blueboxpublishing.co.uk


FEATURE: A Rose By Any Other Name... Means You Weren't Paying
Enough Attention In Science Class
By Devyani Borade

Like Stephenie Meyer, who woke up one morning with the entire
Twilight saga all mapped out and neatly compartmentalised into a
trilogy in a dream, you too may find yourself struck by inspiration
on the evening walk to the corner curry shop. While the man at the
till is taking his time totting up the bill, you fret and agonise
about being five hundred yards away from your trusty laptop. The
minute the curry is in the microwave, you are furiously scribbling
the main outline of the plot that promises to shake up the world...
you are only about twelve months and one willing publisher away
from your destiny... you are getting down to fill in the details,
flesh out the meat of the story... you are... stuck. Your first
snag? Names.

As writers, we know better than anyone the power of the right word.
A carefully picked verb, an aptly placed adjective -- these are the
things that make us tick. We could probably live forever off the
high of a perfect rhyme and a thundering opening sentence. So when
we find ourselves reaching the point of naming the characters in
our story, it is a task we don't take lightly.

Memories are taxed for family, friends and acquaintances with
uncommon names. Many a tense moment passes when we wonder if Jack
wouldn't go best with Farnwell or if Violet mightn't be a better
bet than Emily. We try out the permutations and combinations on our
near and dear ones until they start pretending to be deaf to avoid
another dreaded "does this sound ok to you...?" question. But
somehow or the other, we still end up with our delicate and
sensitive heroine named a stout Jackie Mason and our dastardly
villain called a cheerful Charlie Merriweather and we despair if we
will ever hit the nail on the head.

Having recently been plagued for the umpteenth time with this same
trouble, I decide to put the problem to the best minds in the
business and settle the matter once and for all.

"Hmm, nobody's ever asked me that before," admits author Rebecca
Tope, surprised at my query. "In my first book I used some 'coded'
names, which came from the names of cows we had when I was a child.
One was Cleodie, but I have forgotten the others now. As a general
rule I aim for unusual and memorable names -- Genevieve and Thea,
for example. A girl in my class at school had a sister called Thea,
and I always liked it. I try to avoid Susan, Jane, Jenny, Liz, etc.
for main characters, but a few ordinary ones do slip in for minor

She confesses, "I deeply regret using Den and Drew because they
look so similar, and since I've begun to put them into the same
book, it's even worse. I find men's names more difficult than
women's. I find I use Celia and Cecilia a lot, and actually had to
change a Celia to something else in one of the books! I do have
favourites, sometimes not entirely consciously, and that's one of
them. I occasionally trawl through the pages of forenames at the
back of my dictionary, for inspiration."

Tope tries to avoid names of her immediate family. "But I have used
the names David, my son's, Roger, my brother's and Bruce, also my

She continues, "As a reader I get cross with similar names in a
novel -- and realise that it's the look of it, more than the sound
of it, that matters, especially the initial letter. A good name (I
am very proud of Genevieve) is an easy way to establish a character
in the reader's mind, so they remember who she is throughout the
book. This seems to me more difficult if it's Jane or Liz."

This sentiment is echoed by others. Popular historian fiction
writer Bernard Cornwell says, "For the Saxon books, I comb the
reference volumes looking for names. For The Fort, I used the real
names of the people who were there -- that was easy! For other
books? Well, I scratch around in indexes and even telephone
directories. I avoid using the names of friends!"

Famous author David Baldacci does not have any set formula either.
"It's usually what hits me as a commonly acceptable name for the

Veteran writer Jonathan Kellerman agrees with that strategy -- or
lack of it. "There's really no simple answer. Rarely, I engage in a
pun. For example, the manic-depressive man Richard Moody in my
novel Blood Test.  But more often, names just float into my head."
He discloses a rather curious predicament that he now finds himself
in. "After thirty-two novels, I've 'created' thousands of
characters, so the challenge is not to duplicate!"

"I don't find it difficult to choose names for characters. They
seem to arise quite naturally," says bestselling author Debby Holt.
"I suspect many of them are influenced by people I've known. For
example in my novel, Recipe for Scandal, there is a young woman
called Hannah who is not unlike an old school friend of my
daughter's. Her name, of course, is Hannah! On the other hand,
another character in the same book is called Alberta in order to
illustrate a quirk of her mother who named her after Albert Camus.
So, there are no hard and fast rules."

Author Janet Evanovich also tends to simply make up the names.  "I
chose to set the Stephanie Plum books in Trenton, NJ because of the
ethnic mix -- lots of Eastern Europeans, Italians, African
Americans, etc.  That's why there are a lot of names with those
origins. On a very rare occasion, I'll go to the phone book if I'm
stumped on a name for a character." Like her counterparts, she,
too, avoids using names of real and famous people who happen to
live in the area.

However, other authors opt for more methodical approaches. UK
author David Nobbs, for example, best known for his Reggie Perrin
series of books, occasionally uses, for surnames, names of places
he's been to or of people he knows or of names he's seen on
businesses and shops. "Once or twice I've used a few names from the
worlds of football and cricket -- two sports that I love -- but in
the main they just seem to come to me, and people seem to think
that I have a good feel for them." He admits, though, that he
sometimes has trouble before he can find himself at ease with a
Christian name. "Christian names are more difficult.  In books you
have to be careful not to give the wrong impression of a person.
The Christian name will be part of the information the reader uses
to form his or her own picture of the character.  Also, Christian
names are heavily influenced by fashion and one has to get that
right for the age of the person."

Nobbs reveals, "When we began the modern updated version of Reggie
Perrin we did face a slight problem in that Reginald is no longer a
fashionable name.  However, we felt that we couldn't change it as
it is so well-known from the previous series." 

He has company in fellow American author Jeffrey Archer. "I simply
watch the credits at the end of films on television or at the
cinema for first or second names. Or I might see a surname in a
newspaper which I like, and will keep all such names on a list. 
Then, when the time comes to begin writing, I'll look back at that
list and pick out the ones that best suit the characters that are
going to appear in my book. I never pick a real person's full name."

Thus one learns from the secrets given away by some of the most
popular names, pardon the pun, of the writing world. For more
sparks of inspiration, another avenue worth exploring is websites
like http://www.babynames.com that list names. Try also adding the
suffixes "son" or "man" to most common nouns to create passable
Anglo-American surnames. For example, "hen" and "son" gives Henson,
"white" and "man" forms Whiteman. Appending "er" at the end of many
action words, or verbs, also meets the mark many a time. For
example, "stoke" gives Stoker, "strike" gives Striker, etcetera.
Re-arranging the spellings of numbers can yield some quirky
results, like Fortys Even. Even more simply, a trick I like to do
is reverse spellings of things to make up a new name. Places or
everyday objects can be easily used. For example, "Paris" reversed
gives Sirap, who could be a wicked-sounding rascal. "New York"
yields Kroy Wen, a possible exotic person from the Far East. A
humble "Layer" can similarly unveil a majestic Reyal. There really
is no end of possibilities -- it is limited only by your
imagination! However, do be careful of the pitfalls of this method,
though. If you're not watching, a Su Chang can end up in the same
family as a Mbwango and an Ahmed!

Finally, if all else fails, pick up the first name of your
favourite author and the last name of your most hated editor and
combine the two. Anyone for George Quall?!


Devyani Borade is a published writer of short light-hearted
articles on topics drawn from everyday life. She likes chocolate
cookies, Calvin & Hobbes comics and trying her husband's patience.
Visit her blog Verbolatry at http://www.devyaniborade.blogspot.com
to enjoy the adventures of Debora, her alter ego.

Copyright 2011 Devyani Borade

For more information on choosing character names visit: 

For links to loads of baby-naming and character-naming sites,
visit http://www.writing-world.com/links/names.shtml


By Aline Lechaye

Spring break is just around the corner, and if you've got kids and
a long car trip planned to somewhere, you might want to check out
Mom's Minivan (http://www.momsminivan.com/printables.html) for free
printable games to bring with you on the road. Games include bingo,
battleships, scavenger hunts, and some off-site links to coloring
pages from Crayola and National Geographic, all downloadable in
.pdf format. Most games work just as well on plane and train trips,
so print them out and pack them up! Your kids will be so engrossed
that they won't even have time to ask, "Are we there yet?"

Once Written has a great free stuff section for writers. You'll
want to sign up for the free weekly newsletter, Writing Sparks,
which contains writing prompts, contests, interviews, marketing
tips, and more (http://www.oncewritten.com/WritingSparks.php). Avid
readers will want to stop by the "First Chapter Excerpts" to get
introduced to new authors and genres. (
http://www.oncewritten.com/First-Chapter-Excerpts.php). If you're a
webmaster or a blogger, you can add the "writing contest" or
"writing prompt" sidebars to your website for free at 
http://www.oncewritten.com/FreeWebsiteContent.php. The content of
the sidebars are updated constantly by Once Written, so you can
have fresh content without working for it!

Speaking of webmaster tools, Bravenet (http://www.bravenet.com)
offers quite a large collection of free web tools and resources you
can use to transform your website. (Most of them are ad-supported,
which can be mildly annoying at times.) They also provide web
hosting, so if you're looking for a place to build your site, you
might consider trying them out. A basic (VERY basic) knowledge of
code is needed, but if you already know how to copy and paste,
you're halfway there. 

Still on the topic of webmasters, JavaScript Source (
http://javascript.internet.com/) has all sorts of fun webpage
effects and games you can code right into your website. Again, a
basic (VERY basic) knowledge of webpage coding is required. 

A friend emailed me about a new site called BookBuzzr (
http://www.bookbuzzr.com). Apparently this is a site that takes the
mystery out of new technologies like Twitter, Kindle and Facebook,
and shows you how to market your book using these new platforms.
Helpful articles are posted at least three times a week on the
blog, and you can sign up (for free!) on their site to get their
weekly newsletter, a cute little book widget for your website, and
a few other goodies!

And lastly, because everyone around me has been obsessed with their
iPhones lately, I thought I'd end with three free iPhone apps for
the busy (iPhone lover) writer: 

AuthorJotter: Exactly what it sounds like. An app for you to jot
down your thoughts -- in paragraph or chapter form -- and email
them to yourself for later. Their slogan: Become an author. There's
an App for that. (Download at: 

WriteChain: A word tracker to see how many words you write every
day. Set word goals and watch your productivity soar! Love the
ancient typewriter, by the way.  (

Wikipanion: A free app that takes you to Wikipedia and formats the
content for your iPhone so that it is easier to read. Just goes to
show, a little info does go a long way. (

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


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. 


Short Stories: 10 Tips for Creative Writers
This is a very handy guide for anyone who is just starting to write
short stories.  It is actually an article on Jerz's Literacy
Weblog, which also has blogs on many aspects of writing. 

This is a blog by a San Diego Momma who is also a writer.  Every
Tuesday she puts up challenging writing prompts or thought starters
for other writers; you don't have to be a momma.

What Makes a Good Ghost Story?
This is a free pdf file of a ghost story writing workshop run by
the BBC.  There are some good activities here, especially for
anyone new to writing ghost stories or stories in general.  I found
the ten minute story particularly challenging. 


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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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

Mirror of Our Lives: Voices of Four Igbo Women,  
by Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko

Patty Ratty and her New Tap Shoes, 
by Marion McKibben

Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer (Second Edition), 
by Moira Allen

Find these and more great books at

Have you just had a book published?  If so, let our readers know: 
just click on the link below to list your book.


on how to reach more than 100,000 writers a month with your 
product, service or book title, visit


Writing World is a publication of Writing-World.com

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

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

Copyright 2011 Moira Allen
Individual articles copyrighted by their authors.
Back issues archived at

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Subscribers are welcome to re-circulate.

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,
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For more information please contact Moira Allen, Editor