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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 13:17          13,253 subscribers         September 5, 2013
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MANAGE YOUR SUBSCRIPTION: See the bottom of this newsletter for
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IN THIS ISSUE:
=================================================================

THE NEWSLETTER EDITOR'S DESK: Moving On, by Dawn Copeman 
CRAFTING FABULOUS FICTION: What Should They Talk About? 
by Victoria Grossack 
NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF WRITING
WRITING JOBS AND OPPORTUNITIES
FEATURE: Seven Tell-tale Signs That You Need to Break up
With a Client, by Jennifer Brown Banks
FREE STUFF FOR WRITERS: Mix and Match, by Aline Lechaye   
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
WRITING CONTESTS WITH NO ENTRY FEES  
The Author's Bookshelf   
                           
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DON'T GET SCAMMED!  Choose the right Self Publishing Company for
your book. What you need to know before choosing a self publishing
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http://dogearpublishing.net/self-publishing-companies.aspx
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FROM THE NEWSLETTER EDITOR'S DESK: Moving On
=================================================================

Today is a momentous day in the Copeman household: my daughter is
starting secondary (senior) school. She is nervous and excited in
equal measure, whereas I am simply terrified. 

For most of her school life she has been home-schooled. Last year
she started at a very small primary (elementary) school with only
38 children in the school and only 8 in her class. That was a big
enough shock to my system.  I had to get used to her not being
around. 

However, at least I could walk her to and from school and even got
a job working at her school for a term, so we were close. 

Now, however, she will be walking to and from school on her own (it
is far too embarrassing to have your parent walk you,) and she will
be joining a school with over 1200 students.  It is a big step,
both for her and for me. 

She is, however, taking it in her stride.  She is excited about
starting her secondary education, thrilled at learning new subjects
and having so many after-school opportunities open to her. 

I find myself panicking over her crossing roads, getting lost and
getting bullied. 

In short I am living in fear. 

Not only fear for my daughter and her future and happiness, but
also fear about my writing career.  It had a big setback recently
(see last month's newsletter), and now I feel as I'm starting out
all over again.  I live in fear of not being able to meet my
clients' needs, fear of not gaining new clients, fear of not being
able to deliver articles I've been commissioned to write, fear of
trying out new markets and fear of being 'found out' for not being
a proper writer. 
  
That last fear, incidentally, is one shared by many, many writers,
as Carole Tice of Freelance Writing Den confirms in her blog post
here: http://www.makealivingwriting.com/tag/overcoming-fear/ 

I've corresponded with countless writers who also feel fear: fear
of trying new markets; fear of sending out their short stories and
poems; fear of well, writing. 

Now fear, I read somewhere, offers two possible applications.  We
can Forget Everything And Run, which is, sadly, what most of us do,
or we can Face Everything And Rise. 

That is what I am trying to do.  I've walked the school route with
my daughter countless times over the summer to make sure she knows
the way and the safe places to cross roads.  I've reminded her that
if she has any problems at school not to keep them to herself but
to tell me and we will work them out together.  I've prepared her
and myself as best as I can and am using my fear positively. 

And that is what we need to do as writers, too.  Sure, we can run
from our fears and never send out those articles, never seek new
clients, never try new markets and hide our writing light away. Or,
we can face our fears, write our articles, try new fields, try new
markets and gain in experience as writers. 

If we stay in the same place, doing the same thing, things will
never change. Or as Albert Einstein put it, insanity is "doing the
same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

As writers we need to move on or we will stagnate. We need to face
our fears, face everything and rise if we are going to sell our
work and continue to grow as writers. 

Moving on is scary, sure, but if we want to grow, to sell our work,
to develop and not to stagnate, then we can't let our fear stop us
from moving on.  

-- Dawn Copeman, Newsletter Editor


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Are You a Joiner?
-----------------
Writing-World.com has just added a new resource: A list of nearly
100
organizations for writers.  There's something for everyone here:
Organizations for Christian writers, children's writers, genre
writers,
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or go to the bottom of the page).  Plus, links to a couple of great
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where you CAN find it - check out the topic list at
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-- Moira Allen, Editor

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YOU WILL NETWORK WITH 30+ EDITORS
Read by over 1,000 children's book and magazine editors, this
monthly
newsletter can be your own personal source of editors' wants and
needs,
market tips, and professional insights.  Get a FREE issue to start.
    
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COLUMN: CRAFTING FABULOUS FICTION: What Should They Talk About?
by Victoria Grossack 

=================================================================
Many articles have been written about dialogue; I've even written a
few myself.  Most that I've seen address the mechanics of
conversation on the page: how to do dialogue attribution and how to
avoid the appearance of talking heads.  Fewer discuss the issue of
deciding what your characters should talk about.
        
There are good reasons for not tackling this topic.  First, nearly
anything can be in conversation, so it is a challenge to cover in a
column.  Your genre makes a difference, too.  If you are writing a
romance, you can expect more languid conversations about feelings,
whereas in a mystery the dialogue is more likely to be of the
question-and-answer variety, in which you scatter clues both true
and false.  Finally, your decision of what your characters should
talk about is an artistic one, up to you, so making recommendations
is it is awkward to give advice.  Still, I think that it is
possible to develop some principles to help you create and manage
the conversations you show on the page.

Dialogue, when given verbatim, is, by definition showing and not
telling, creating an immediacy, a sense for the reader of actually
being there.  That is why many columns on creative writing
recommend including more dialogue.  When you put something into
dialogue, you are signaling that it is important, that it will be
interesting to the reader.  Nevertheless putting something into
dialogue only indicates that it is supposed to be interesting; that
does not mean it IS interesting.  Certainly we all know bores in
our real, non-virtual lives; they exist in stories, too.

Let's go through several types of conversation, and consider how
they will affect your story.  Will they pick up the pace or put
your readers to sleep?  Do you want to have your readers talk about
these topics, or would you prefer to put them into the narrative?

Salutations and Farewells  
-------------------------
When your characters meet each other, what do they say?  When they
leave each other, what do they say?  Should you even show this? 
Here's a possible example:

Joanie was skipping along the sidewalk when she saw a gray-haired
woman across the street.  It took her a moment to recognize that
the woman was Joanie's second grade teacher, for Joanie had never
seen her outside the school before.  "Hello, Mrs. Keys!"

Here's a different approach:

Joanie was skipping along the sidewalk when she waved and called
hello to her second grade teacher across the street.

These are very different.  In the first we have the greeting
verbatim; in the latter the greeting is mentioned.  The first
example is showing, whereas the latter is telling.  Does that mean
that the former is better?

Not necessarily.  Like nearly everything else in this column, the
answer will be, "it depends."  Do you want the passage to slow down
and focus and give your readers lots of information, or do you want
to speed up?  Second, where is the story going and how does the
dialogue serve your direction?

Greetings and good-byes can be written in such a way that they give
useful information, such as reminding the readers of the names of
characters.  They can convey emotional hits, too: your protagonist
may be intensely relieved or reluctant to say hello or good-bye. 
Or they can serve as a padding paragraph, which is not always a
bad.  Finally, of course, they help do something important for the
story: they move your characters in and out of scenes and
encounters.

The Mundane
-----------
"Pass me the salt."
"Would you like the pepper, too?"
"Sure."

Perhaps your characters' conversation covers the mundane, such as
the weather, past, present or predicted; the food and drink they
are consuming; or other everyday subjects.  Are these good topics
of conversation or not? Again, my "it-depends" answer comes with a
few considerations to help you decide.

NATURAL: These subjects are discussed all the time, so they will
help your readers feel at home with your characters and your story.
 It is a chance to show what your characters normally talk about --
their concerns and priorities -- as well as how they talk.

SETTING: The discussion of the mundane can help readers relate to
your setting.  It helps put them in the world you are trying to
create.  

INFORMATION: Key plot information can be released in discussions
about the mundane.  This is especially useful when you want to hide
information in plain sight, such as clues that as an author of a
detective story you must in all fairness give to your readers but
to which you don't want to draw attention. 

Generally, however, a conversation on these topics, without a lot
of emotional content, slows the story down.  

Exposition 
---------- 
"Exposition" is fancy writer-lingo for paragraphs of dialogue or
narrative that cover backstory.  Often this information is
necessary for the readers to understand the significance of current
events. Nevertheless, exposition can create some difficulties when
it occurs in conversation.

TELLING NOT SHOWING.  Even though verbatim dialogue nearly always
falls into the showing instead of telling category, exposition is
telling instead of showing.  As such it can slow down the readers'
experience of current action.

LOGICAL FOR YOUR CHARACTERS?  Another challenge with backstory is
that it should generally be known to your characters.  If so, it
may be odd for your characters to talk about something they already
know in detail.  One way to solve it is to have one of the
characters not know the backstory.  Another solution is to
recognize it as a piece that has been discussed before: the
listener can be eager for the story, like a child listening to a
favorite bedtime tale, or else resentful and bored, annoyed at
having to hear the same information again.

Agreement and Disagreement
--------------------------
"I think we should take the path going south."
"OK."
"And you should carry a few extra water bottles."
"That's a good idea too."

It is pleasant in life when others agree with you, but stories
become dull if your characters agree on everything.  Although you
could write out the above, you could also summarize it with a
sentence such as "They took extra water with them along the
southward path."  

Compare the passage above with the following:

"I think we should take the path going south."
"Forget it!  I'm not moving."
"And you should carry a few extra  water bottles."
"Did you hear me?  I'm not moving, so I'm not carrying nothing."

Most readers would feel that in the second passage the story is
moving even if the characters are not.  Certainly verbal
disagreements -- one type of conflict so useful for stories -- can
energize a passage.  Nevertheless, agreements have their uses too. 
Perhaps an agreement signals the happy end of your story, where the
hero is at last proven right.  Perhaps it is a respite from
conflict within your story.  Or perhaps it is actually adding to
the tension, as the characters are agreeing with each other but
should not.

Praise and Ridicule  
-------------------
Here are some examples of praise:

"You're so wonderful!" 
"Stop it!"

"You're the most beautiful woman on the planet!"
"Thank you."

"You're brilliant, Jack!"
"Tell me more!"

Although including some praise is useful, only those who are the
subject of compliments -- and their devoted parents or partners --
can listen to page after page of praise.  There's also the question
of what exactly should be said in response to words of praise from
"Aw, shucks," "Stop it," "Thank you" (or what I would say, "Tell me
more!" )  Praise works fairly well towards the end, when your
heroine has fulfilled her difficult quest, though and only
intermittently in the middle, when characters need some
encouragement.

There's also ridicule:

"You're so disgusting!"
"He's the creepiest guy I know!"
"You can't get anything right!"

These phrases also have their place in dialogue.  You can go a lot
further, too, by adding colorful words and specificity to the
insults.

Your protagonist can either respond -- defend himself or agree with
the assessment -- or simply eavesdrop and not respond in the
dialogue at all.  These words can serve as a turning point for your
story, because this sort of negative talk can be so emotionally
devastating that it motivates a different course of action for your
protagonist.  Perhaps he attacks in anger.  Perhaps she runs away. 
Perhaps he overcomes his difficulties and becomes the high school
quarterback and the homecoming king.

Complaining
-----------
"I can't stand him.  He leaves his socks in the middle of the
bedroom floor, the toilet seat up, and does he ever thank me for
everything I give him?"

Reader can often relate to complaints; in reasonable doses, they
can be very entertaining.  Complaining can illustrate character,
motives, dialogue and setting; it also provides another opportunity
to hide plot points which in all fairness should be revealed to the
reader but which you, as the author, do not want to make too
obvious.

Revelation  
----------
"So, I have a confession to make."
"What?  Did you take the money?"
"No, but I know who did."

Revelation in dialogue is similar to exposition in the sense that
it often answers questions about the characters.  One way it
differs from exposition is that it often reveals questions that
your readers and characters have about the story (exposition often
answers questions that the readers did not know that they had).

What is revealed depends on the rest of your story.  If it is
romance, it may be a declaration of love.  In a mystery, it may be
who the killer was -- or how the deeds were done.

Conclusion
----------
I'm sure there are many other areas of conversation which could be
discussed, but I was not trying to be exhaustive.  Instead, I have
tried to show how different topics of conversation will impact your
readers' experience of your story -- how they can intensify the
reading experience or relax it.  The experience you wish to give
your readers, however, is up to you and your story.  
 
>>--------------------------------------------------<<

Victoria Grossack studied Creative Writing and English Literature
at Dartmouth College, and has published stories and articles in
publications such as Contingencies, Women's World and I Love Cats.
Victoria is co-author with Alice Underwood of the Tapestry of
Bronze series (Jocasta; Children of Tantalus; The Road to Thebes;
Arrow of Artemis), based on Greek myths and set in the late Bronze
Age. On her own she has written The Highbury Murders, in which she
did her best to channel the spirits and styles of Jane Austen and
Agatha Christie. Besides all this, Victoria is married with kids,
and (though American) spends much of her time in Europe. Her
hobbies include gardening, hiking, bird-watching and tutoring
mathematics. Visit her website at http://www.tapestryofbronze.com,
or contact her at tapestry (at) tapestryofbronze (dot) com.
Copyright 2013 Victoria Grossack.  

This article may not be reprinted or posted without the written
permission of the author.

Link to this article here:
http://www.writing-world.com/victoria/crafting27.shtml
Want to learn more about crafting fabulous fiction? Victoria now
offers one-on-one writing classes; find out more at
http://www.tapestryofbronze.com/VictoriasWritingClasses.html.

 *****************************************************************
PLANNING AN HISTORICAL MYSTERY OR CRIME STORY? The new book by the
author of the award-winning Forensic Science for Writers can help.
Take a look at Criminal Investigators, Villains, and Tricksters: A
Trip Through History. Available from Amazon and other bookstores.
For details, visit http://forensics4writers.com.

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

NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF WRITING
=================================================================
Authors Can Interview Themselves on Smashwords
----------------------------------------------
Smashwords is a site where authors can self-publish their books and
it has just announced a new feature that enables authors to
interview themselves. Smashwords Interviews allows authors to
answer a set of questions and then have that 'interview' published
alongside their books. For more on this story visit: 
http://tinyurl.com/n2z9mn7

American Newsrooms Have Fewer Staff than in 1978
------------------------------------------------
We just came across this report from Journalism.org and it is a
depressing read.  According to the Pew Research Center, there was a
decline of 6.4% in the number of staff employed by American
newspapers in 2012 compared to 2011, and the total number of staff
employed by newspapers is now the lowest it has ever been since the
first survey on employee numbers was carried out in 1978.  For more
on this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/mhho699

Publisher Withdraws Publication of Book Because Author is Gay
-------------------------------------------------------------
This is the bizarre story of how a Mormon publisher cancelled
publication of a book they'd already contracted to publish, because
one of the two authors is gay.  The bizarre part is that they
apparently knew the author was gay when they signed him up. For
more on this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/mtowzxb

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MARKETING YOUR MAGAZINE ARTICLES: INSIDE SECRETS OF A SUCCESSFUL
FREELANCE WRITER. A complete manual on how to sell your articles
to magazines, newspapers, in-flights, websites. I've sold more
than 800 articles globally in six years using this innovative
system. Freelancing success all comes down to sales and marketing
because selling your stories is just as important as writing well.
My marketing system will help you sell more articles than you can
write! For more information please go to:
http://www.roy-stevenson.com/freelance-writing-for-magazines.html

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

Writing Jobs and Opportunities
=================================================================
Cyborg Stories Needed for Anthology
-----------------------------------
Clarkesworld is seeking stories featuring cyborgs for a new
anthology.  Payment is 7c a word. Stories need to be between 1000
and 1800 words.  Submission deadline is Sept 15.  

You can find out more details here: 
http://neil-clarke.com/books/submission_guidelines/

Editor Wanted for Unity Magazine
--------------------------------
Unity Magazine is seeking an experienced editor to manage the
editorial process of Unity Magazine, the publication voice of the
Unity Movement.  They will consider remote working. 

Candidates should have a bachelor of journalism degree as well as a
minimum of 5 years' experience in writing and editing the editorial
content of a widely distributed periodical. They should also have a
minimum 3 years' leadership experience directing a combination of
in-house and external production staff and freelance contributors
and a minimum 3 years' demonstrated experience managing editorial
projects to strict publishing deadlines. To apply send resume to:
unityresumes'at'unityonline.org

Salon.com Open to Queries
-------------------------
Salon.com has a new Editor-in-Chief, David Daley, and he has
announced that Salon.com is open to submissions of article ideas,
outlines and queries.  

Salon.com is a paying market; rates, however, are not provided. 
For more information visit: http://www.salon.com/about/submissions

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

EBOOK SELF-PUBLISHING EXPLAINED
A publishing revolution is sweeping the industry. We explain what
is happening and show you how to self-publish your own eBooks.
http://www.PublishYourOwnEbooks.com

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

FEATURE: 
Seven Tell-tale Signs That You Need to Break up With a Client
 
=================================================================
By Jennifer Brown Banks

As Neil Sedaka summed up in a popular song of the '70s, breaking up
with people is hard to do. 

But most of us, at some point in time, will face the inevitable
truth: that a relationship simply isn't working out. And if the
relationship is of a professional nature, the decision to part ways
may be even more difficult. Such a relationship involves not only
the "heart strings", but the "purse strings" as well.

Which is why you need to be sure. And equally important, why you
should proceed with caution.

With business breakups, you don't have the luxury of "make-up
text," or apologetic poetry, or rekindling the flames later. Once
you say goodbye, it's as permanent as a tattoo. 

To make matters worse, if not handled properly, burning bridges
could compromise future relationships with potential clients.
There's great validity to the statement that "the world is smaller
than you think," and you really never know who knows who.

But don't be intimidated by potential consequences. Avoiding the
wrong clients is just as important as choosing the right ones. Much
like a romantic relationship, if the compatibility isn't there, it
causes strained relations, unmet needs, and gives new meaning to
the phrase: "Not now, I have a headache."  

Here's a case in point. Last year, after working with a client for
more than a decade, I decided to call it quits. It was a decision
that caused me pain, because on a personal level, this editor was
top-notch. Not only was she a sweet person, she helped me to learn
a lot about the publishing business, and helped me to grow as a
writer.

But like so many long-term relationships, she gradually started to
take me for granted.  My emails would go unanswered for long
periods of time, my pay rate stagnated, my contributions went
unrecognized, and I wasn't growing.   
  
Fast forward... A year later, I can honestly say that I don't miss
the stress and the anguish of not feeling valued. I'm not bitter;
I'm better. And I'll always cherish what we had, confident that our
time together was well spent. After all, not all hook-ups are meant
to last forever.

But perhaps you're in a place with a client where things are not so
clear cut. You can't decide for sure. Well, as Oprah often used to
say, "The signs are always there."

Here are a few signs that signal it's time to part ways and
pink-slip your client:

You're incompatible on many important levels. 
---------------------------------------------
The client waits until the last minute for everything, and you're
more time-conscious and planning-oriented. Or he's an owl and
you're a lark. Or perhaps your work ethic is vastly different.
Sure, opposites attract, and some differences actually complement,
but if there are too many issues where you don't see eye to eye,
ultimately your match will not be successful or progressive. Better
to cut your losses early.    

The client requires excessive "hand holding."  
--------------------------------------------
Sure, in the beginning hand-holding is nice. You like being needed.
It makes you feel special. But sometimes it backfires. And without
realizing it, you've created a monster -- a co-dependent client. I
realized this a while ago when I spent time counseling a client
over the phone (for almost thirty minutes en route to a funeral)
when a woman he was dating broke his heart. It was partially my
fault (the half hour of advice, I mean, not the broken heart). I
tried to be his "Super Woman" as well as his service provider.  

In retrospect, bad idea! No matter how "nice," co-dependent clients
can be mentally and physically draining. Not only can they rob you
of your peace, they often rob you of your time and effectiveness.
And remember, time is money.

The client is always comparing you to someone else. 
---------------------------------------------------
He tells you that his other copywriter didn't do it the same way.
Or his other service provided didn't charge him as much as you do
for editing. Then it becomes like a competition. The result? You
always feel inadequate, or that you have to jump through hoops to
win him over. Most times, you never will.

You have communication issues. 
------------------------------
Instructions and details are always ambiguous. You said one thing,
he thought you meant another. For every answer you provide, he has
another question. Or you can't bring closure to a lengthy project
because the client is non-responsive. "Houston, we have a problem."
 

Instead of pulling your hair out, or saying something you may
regret, have the courage to just call things off. Tell the client
something like: "It's not you, it's me." Then give two weeks'
notice, make a break and don't look back.  


The client is too controlling. 
------------------------------
In other words, he gives you a project, tells you to "run with it,"
then micro-manages and over-monitors every step of the way. He
gives way more input than is required to successfully complete the
assignment. In actuality, if he really had all the answers, he
wouldn't have needed to hire you in the first place!   

The client doesn't observe respectful relationship boundaries. 
--------------------------------------------------------------
I once had a client that hired me to help build his readership
through professional blog posts. In many ways, it was a great gig.
I loved the energy of his audience, it was a highly regarded site,
and I made more than the average blogger back then. There was just
one problem. He was insane. Apparently he didn't read the fine
print: that while clients can own the works of the freelancer, they
don't actually "own" them as property. To top it off, he used to
send me emails laced with profanity and aggressive language. It
didn't take long to realize that this guy was bad news. And I
bolted.     

The client has a poor track record with payments. 
-------------------------------------------------
Your contract states payment within 30 days, yet on day 44 you're
sending another invoice as a "friendly reminder" that you haven't
gotten paid. Or he'll send you a check and ask that you hold it for
a few days before depositing it. Sound familiar? If this is his
M.O., you may want to sever ties before he bails owing you large
sums of money and you have to seek legal assistance to collect.

If you've been faced with any of these scenarios and you've had it
with your client, here are a few ways to break it off gracefully
and professionally:

* Make sure all your projects are tied up, and don't take on any
new ones after you've made the decision to move on. Nothing is more
frustrating and unfair than to have someone jump ship in the middle
of a project, and someone else has to figure out the missing pieces.

* Send a thank you note or a parting gift along with your
resignation; it will help to lessen the sting.

* Offer feedback in a way that is more constructive than critical.
For example, cite "creative differences" if pressured for a reason. 

Though breaking up can be hard to do, staying in an unfulfilling,
stressful relationship can be just as detrimental. Weigh your pros
and cons. Then follow your heart.

Don't hold on to incompatible clients, once you discover it's a
poor fit.  The sooner you release them, the sooner you each can
find partnerships that inspire passion and mutual respect.  

Because, ultimately, good business relationships should be
"profitable" beyond money.  

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

Jennifer Brown Banks is a veteran freelance writer, ghost writer
and pro blogger with over a decade of experience in various genres.
For more tips, visit her award-winning site: Pen and Prosper
(http://penandprosper.blogspot.com/)

Copyright 2013 Jennifer Brown Banks 

Link to this article here: 
http://www.writing-world.com/business/breakup.shtml
 
For more advice about working as copywriter visit our copywriting
section here: http://writing-world.com/tech/index.shtml
 
*****************************************************************

FREE STUFF FOR WRITERS:  Mix and Match

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

This month, we'll be looking at some nifty tools that will
hopefully make writing easier (or at least marginally less
stressful). Also, if you feel like going back to school this
September, we've got a list of free online courses for you to check
out. 

Ever wish you had a personal assistant to proofread your
manuscripts and catch all your spelling and grammar mistakes? Or at
least a decent spell-check software that can tell the difference
between "being" and "been" or "accept" and "except"? Claimed to be
powered by 1.5 trillion sentences, Ginger is a free proofreading
software that will fix your grammar and spelling mistakes and it
also offers suggestions on how to better rephrase awkward
sentences. Ginger is compatible with Microsoft Word and most web
browsers and runs on PCs and Android mobile devices. Download the
software for free here: http://www.gingersoftware.com/. 

As writers, we tend to work with a lot of text files. (That's kind
of in the job description, isn't it?) The problem is that the more
text files you have to handle, the more likely you are to lose
track of things. Where did you put that file with the notes for the
new project? Is it in "new projects" or "pending" or in that folder
thoughtfully labeled "Misc"? TextCrawler is a fantastic free
software that allows you to perform batch searches of all your text
files. Better still, you can find and replace text over multiple
files (as when you need to change a character's name). You can also
use the Text Extractor function to "rip" a portion of text out of a
file and save the ripped text to a new file. All in all, it's a
great tool to have in your writer's toolbox. TextCrawler runs on
XP, Vista, Win7 and Win8 PCs. Download the software for free here:
http://www.digitalvolcano.co.uk/textcrawler.html. 

Google may be the quickest way to find an answer to any question,
but that's only when you know very specifically what it is you're
looking for. If you've only got a hazy idea of what it is you want
to know, or if you're just interested in learning more about the
world (you never know when something might come in useful, after
all!), why not take a few online courses offered by top US
universities? 

This page (http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses) on the
Open Culture website contains a list of 750 free online courses
ranging from topics as diverse as photography, Greek history, and
science fiction. If you're looking for something writing-specific,
try looking through the Creative Writing section of the free
courses offered by The Open University to see if anything catches
your eye
(http://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/culture/literature-and-creative-writing/creative-writing?seeall=1).


What are your characters really like? What kind of personalities do
they have? Test out your characters using the free Jung Typology
Test (http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes1.htm) or the free
demo version of the Risk Attitudes Profiler test (
http://www.humanmetrics.com/rot/rotqd.asp) on the HumanMetrics
site. If there is romance involved in your novel, you might also
consider trying out the free demo version of the Jung Marriage Test
(http://www.humanmetrics.com/infomate/InfoMatedemo.asp) offered on
the site. 
 
>>--------------------------------------------------<<

Copyright Aline Lechaye 2013

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

This article may not be reprinted without the written permission 
of the author. 
 
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