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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 14:01          13,240 subscribers          January 2, 2014
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THE EDITOR'S DESK: A New Year, a Blank Book, by Moira Allen
CRAFTING FABULOUS FICTION: The Satisfied Reader Experience, 
by Victoria Grossack 
FEATURE: How to Think Outside the Blog "Box" to Increase Your
Productivity and Creativity, by Jennifer Brown Banks
FREE STUFF FOR WRITERS: Write Better, by Aline Lechaye
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A New Year, a Blank Book...
I confess, I love the beginning of the year.  (And that's not just
because New Year's Day is my birthday and I get cake and presents!)
 I like beginnings.  I like the feeling that I have an opportunity
to "start fresh."  To me, the New Year seems like a great, blank
book.  Nothing, as yet, marks its pages.  They are mine to write
upon.  And as the bells of the New Year ring, I can imagine writing
anything, everything, upon that open and inviting expanse.

But as those bells ring, I'm also reminded that they are also meant
to be "ringing out the old."  As I "close the book" on the old
year, I realize that before I tackle those fresh new pages, I need
to take a look back.  After all, I started 2013 with the same high
hopes, the same sense of expectation and "all things new."  So
before I start asking myself what I WANT to do in 2014, I need to
ask one small, possibly uncomfortable question:

What do I WISH I had done in 2013?

What plans did I make, one year ago, that I didn't fulfill?  What
dreams did I have that never became reality?  What goals did I hope
to achieve, but missed?  In short, what is about to get penciled
onto my 2014 "to-do" list, because it DIDN'T get done in 2013?

By the time you read this, the New Year will be here.  So here's a
proposal for these first days of 2014.  It's not a resolution. 
Rather, it's a suggestion.  As you plan ahead for 2014, take a look
at the plans you made for 2013.  What remains undone?  What is on
your "I wish I'd done this" list?  What remains unfinished?  What,
for that matter, remains unstarted?  What did you want to do, but

The next question to ask, of course, is why. If we go forward as
before, declaring once again that "this is the year I will finally
(fill in the blank)," without asking why it didn't get done LAST
year, or the year before, then we risk going ON adding it to our
New Year's list over and over and over again... without ever
getting any closer to actually accomplishing it.  There are reasons
why things don't get done -- and they'll continue to not get done
until we identify those reasons.

Now, at this point, it's easy to fall into a hog-wallow of
self-condemnation.  It's easy to start blaming yourself, berating
yourself, or assuming that you're just not capable of turning your
dreams into reality, so why bother? So before you start telling
yourself that you're a failure, let's remember something else about
the New Year.  Yes, it's like a blank book that we have a chance to
write upon.  But we're a bit like blank books ourselves.  We don't
just DO the writing; we also get written UPON.  Life writes its own
story on our pages, and all too often, it's not the story we
plotted.  Unforeseen events intrude.  The needs and problems of
people in our lives take priority over our own carefully laid
plans.  Little nuisances like government shutdowns wreak havoc with
our schedules and our finances.  A bout of flu can cost weeks of
time, and still more time lost in recovery and catch-up.

As you look at the things left undone by the end of 2013, start by
identifying all the unforeseen events that upset your plans. 
Instead of saying, "I guess I'm no good at this," or "Maybe I just
wasn't cut out to be a writer," identify what REALLY happened. 
It's considerably more useful to realize that the reason your novel
didn't get finished is because you vastly underestimated how much
work would be involved in researching the culture and customs of
13th-century Norway -- or because you didn't realize that
homeschooling your 8-year-old was not just a full-time job, but
more like two!

You can't solve the problem of why something didn't get done (e.g.,
"why my novel didn't get written") without identifying the actual
causes of that problem.  Self-blame isn't identifying a cause; it's
just an emotional reaction to the outcome.  Recognizing, however,
that research is taking longer than you expected gives you an
opportunity to re-evaluate the time-frame you've set for your
project, or perhaps the depth of the research you wish to
undertake.  If your time is being consumed by another task, that
also helps you to re-evaluate your goals and develop a more
realistic time-frame for their completion.

As I look back on 2013, I see a host of accomplishments that I'm
proud of.  (If you're not tracking your accomplishments, 2014 is a
good time to start!)  But I also see a pattern of unfinished
projects.  There are many possible reasons why things don't get
done; here are just a few of mine:

1) A project is too big, too important, too "scary."  It's often
easier to focus on projects that can be completed relatively
quickly and provide an immediate payoff, or at least feedback. 
Bigger projects keep getting moved onto the "tomorrow" list. 
SOLUTION: Break big projects into smaller stages, and focus your
to-do list on a step or stage, rather than on finishing the entire

2) Too many projects.  One reason a lot of my projects don't get
finished is because I simply have too many.  I try to do too many
things at once, and the end result is not that a lot of things get
done, but rather, that a lot of things don't!  SOLUTION:
Prioritize!  My one-year plan tends to look more like a five-year
plan, so figure out what will just have to wait until, say, 2017!

3) Boring projects.  Let's face it, some things we take on just
aren't that exciting.  And there's only so much tedium one can
take, so it's easy to get tempted by something more interesting. 
The problem is dragging oneself back to the boring stuff. 
SOLUTION: Reward yourself!  Bribe yourself with a treat for
spending a specific amount of time on the boring job -- even if the
treat is just the chance to work on a more interesting project

4) The NEXT project.  I'm a sucker for every new project or idea
that comes along, and I have a tendency to drop everything and jump
on it.  The trouble is, just as I'm halfway through that project,
another new project comes up, and I've ALMOST finished that one
when yet another one comes along, and...  Before I know it, I have
a trail of unfinished projects in my wake.  SOLUTION: If you like
to project-hop, do so in a circular route.  Go from A to B to C to
A, instead of trying to backtrack.  You'll have a better chance of
catching up.

5) Underestimating how long projects will take.  These days, things
seem to take longer than they used to.  Sometimes it's an external
problem (like a web program that didn't work "as advertised" and
cost hours of wasted effort).  Sometimes it's distractions. And
sometimes it's just thinking something will take ten minutes when
it really takes an hour.  Added to that is my tendency to be
reluctant to give up on a project once I've invested a lot of time
into it.  SOLUTION: Arbitrarily double or triple your time
projections.  There's no downside cost to finding out that
something takes LESS time than you expected!

6) Tackling the small stuff first.  One of the first things I do
each day is e-mail, which can mean a host of small projects.  Each
may take only a minute or three -- loading a new ad, answering a
question, preparing a contract.  But ten 3-minute mini-tasks adds
up to half an hour on "administrivium" -- and it's easy to squander
one's creative energy on such tasks before ever getting to the
day's "main event."  Worse, you'll never, ever run out of "small
stuff."  SOLUTION: Put off the small tasks until AFTER your main
task, rather than saying, "I'll get to my story just as soon as I
polish off these few little things."

These are some of the reasons I haven't been able to write "The
End" to so many of my plans for 2013; you'll probably identify a
host of your own.  My hope is that, by identifying some of the
habits and distractions that consistently interfere with my
projects, I'll be able to prevent some of those projects from
turning up yet again on my to-do list for 2015!

Happy New Year!

-- Moira Allen, Editor
This article may be reprinted provided the author's byline, bio and
copyright notice are retained.  (For an author bio and complete
details on reprint terms, please visit 

Link to this article here:


A WRITER'S YEAR is the ONLY 365-day planner designed specifically
for writers!  It helps you plan your schedule, track your billable
hours, organize your tasks, keep track of important deadlines and
due-dates, and track your progress and achievements!  Each week
brings an inspirational writing quote.  Best of all, it's F*R*E*E.
To download an electronic version in PDF or Excel, or information
on how to order a hardcopy (this year in two formats!), visit


COLUMN: CRAFTING FABULOUS FICTION, The Satisfied Reader Experience

By Victoria Grossack

It's the start of a new year, and with it I'd like to introduce a
new topic to consider, a theme that I plan to continue in future
columns. And that is the "satisfied reader experience." 

However, I must begin with two caveats. First, the satisfied reader
experience is not, as far as I know, a technical term that you're
going to find in textbooks on writing. It may be there; it may not.
The phrase may be used by other writing folk but with a different
meaning. My apologies if I cause confusion. 

Second, I can't claim that I've mastered the art of creating a
satisfied reader experience. Nevertheless, I think it's extremely
important so I'd like to forge ahead, even though I may be groping
in the dark. 

What Is a Satisfied Reader Experience, Anyway? 
A satisfied reader experience is one where the reader closes the
book with reluctance. A satisfied reader experience is one where
the reader looks for more books by that author, buys copies of the
book as presents for friends, talks about it enthusiastically and
recommends it to others. 

Think back to your own most satisfied reading experiences, and how
you behaved. I remember how, when I was a teenager many years ago,
I picked up Margaret Mitchell's "Gone with the Wind." Fortunately,
it was the summer vacation and I was too young to have a job, so I
could read straight through. And read straight through I did,
finishing the book in three days of virtually non-stop
page-flipping, reaching the end while straining the limits of my
physical endurance. I skipped meals, took no exercise, and I spent
all my time with my nose in the book instead of bothering with the
basics such as showering and dressing and sleeping. I truly read
myself sick. 

I think one way to identify a satisfied reader experience is by the
BEHAVIOR of the reader. 

Hopefully you have all had satisfied reader experiences. If you
yourself have never experienced one, then I don't understand why
you're looking at this column. For, if you don't love reading -- at
least reading sometimes, there's no need to feel passionate about
ALL literature -- perhaps you should not be writing. 

Still, it's one thing to be able to identify a satisfied reader
experience, and a completely different ball of wax to be able to
create one. This little article won't even scratch the surface of
the how-to aspect. In fact, in this article we're not even going to
get through each of the terms: "satisfied," "reader," and
"experience." Instead, even though this means going out of
sequence, the rest of this column will focus on the "reader." 

For Whom Are You Writing and Why? 
Now, be honest when you answer these questions. Are you writing for
yourself, or are you writing for your audience? What is it that
you're trying to accomplish? When you think about writing, do you
fantasize about how your name will appear on the book jacket, and
how readers will come up and tell you much they enjoyed the book?
Or are you so caught up in your characters and their lives that
your heart and mind dwell inside the book? Or do the words which
you weave together speak to you; are they enabling you to mine your
innermost thoughts and secret memories, to understand the crevices
of your soul?
I'm not passing judgment on your answer. Writing for yourself can
be of enormous benefit; journaling has tremendous therapeutic
value. Furthermore, journaling can benefit the rest of humanity,
too: think of how much the world has loved and learned from reading
"The Diary of Anne Frank."

There are other reasons you could be writing. Perhaps you are
writing to persuade someone -- for example, you may be writing
something political. Perhaps you are writing for the sake of the
story. There is a story that you simply have to tell -- true or
fiction -- and you are writing so that it will stop tormenting you.
If you are writing to make money, well... making a lot of money
through writing is not impossible, but there are many surer ways to
do it. 

So: for whom are you writing and why? Answer as honestly as
possible, for then you can direct your efforts in the most
efficient manner. If, after serious searching, the goal of writing
for others still remains, then you need to consider your audience. 

Who Are Your Readers?
Assuming that you are not writing for yourself, consider your
audience. What will make them happy? What will satisfy them?
There's no one-size-fits-all answer. Readers differ from each
all had the experience of picking up some book and not being able
to get "into it" -- and then, days, months or even years later,
stumbling across the same volume again, and having it speak
"volumes" to you. 

Still, what do you know about your readers? Have you listened to
them? How are they different from you? For example, if you're
writing for children, do you have more to go on besides your memory
of your own childhood? The last may be enough, but it might be a
good idea to see what they're like today. And even if you have
children of your own, spending time with kids who are less under
your personal influence could give you additional insight.
Assuming your readers are not you, here are a few things you might
want to consider:
- THEIR GENERAL DEMOGRAPHICS. Consider their sex, their age, their
income level, their education level, and how much time they tend to
spend reading -- as well as how they spend the rest of their time.
These different items can all influence how you write your story.
For example, an agent told me that the vast majority of historical
fiction readers are women -- so I should strengthen the roles of my
female characters. 

- THEIR INTERESTS. Just because you find something interesting
doesn't mean that they will. I remember one year when I had my
niece Kathryn out for Thanksgiving -- and halfway through the meal
I leaned over to her and said, "Do you realize that next to you,
I'm the youngest person here?" Her bleak response -- "Are you bored
too?" -- took me by surprise. For all my perception of her
maturity, I had forgotten that what interested me would not
necessarily interest her. (I immediately arranged a game to make
sure she felt included.) 

- IS IT INTERESTING TO ANYONE? Note, please, that "something being
interesting" is not just a matter of appealing to the right
demographics. Think about the long-winded folk you know -- we all
know some -- who tell the same story over and over. Your eyes, like
Pavlov's dog at the sound of the bell, glaze over even BEFORE they
begin to speak. There are those who insist on relating minutiae
about their excitement about finding a parking place before the
store, or the amazing amount of lint they cleaned out of the dryer
last week. Again, the audience -- even if the audience consists of
people JUST LIKE THE PERSON RELATING THE STORY -- may not care much
about such details. If you're not sure, consider your dullest
acquaintance forcing you to listen to this information. Consider
the story, which currently fascinates you because you happen to be
the narrator -- and ask how much you would care, if it was related
to you by your boring neighbor or aunt.
I once read a lovely little piece (unfortunately I've forgotten
where, so, alas, I can't give credit) about how a young woman at a
dinner-party told everyone the most lurid details of her love life
-- at which point another at the table asked her if she might be
OVER-SHARING. Evidently the woman flushed red. Well, I think it is
possible to over-share on the dullness scale, too. 

Great storytelling may overcome all these hurdles. Some masters
craft sentences so marvelous that millions would pay to read what
they have to tell us about laundry lint. Still, I think it behooves
to ask yourself if what you want to say is truly worth the precious
time of those you perceive as your readers


The "satisfied reader experience" is a concept I'll touch on
occasionally in these columns.  In fact, I already have -- the
piece on the changing experience of reading with e-readers focused
on "experience" and the piece on satisfaction through frustration
considered the "satisfied" past of phrase.  And, for the beginning
of 2014, even if you have a resolution to write two thousand words
per day, I'd also like you to take time to recall what it's like to
have a satisfied reader experience. If you haven't had any
recently, perhaps it's time to pick up a few books, read them, and
see how you feel.


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; and Antigone & Creon), based on Greek myths and
set in the late Bronze Age. On her own she has written The Highbury
Murders, in which channeled the spirits and styles of Jane Austen
and Agatha Christie.  Her newest novel is Academic Assassination (A
Zofia Martin Mystery) - available now on Kindle and coming soon in
print.  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 2014 Victoria Grossack. A version of this article
appeared at Fiction Fix.

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

Want to learn more about crafting fabulous fiction? Victoria now
offers one-on-one writing classes; find out more at: 

Link to this article here: 

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. Deadline: 01-16-2014.
Visit http://www.dreamquestone.com for details and enter now!



Reading a Novel Stimulates the Brain for Days
Well, we've always known this, but now scientists have proven that
reading a novel stimulates the brain for up to five days.  The
researchers at Emory University focused on the lasting impact of
reading a piece of narrative. Participants read "Pompeii" by Robert
Harris, and the researchers found increased activity in the brain
for several days after, compared with students who had not read the
novel.  For more on this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/o5h37fd
US Court Says Authors Can Use Sherlock Holmes Figures in Own Work
The District Court in Illinois has ruled that authors in the US may
now use the figures from Sherlock Holmes stories in their own works
without fear of breaking copyright laws or having to pay a license
fee to the heirs of Conan Doyle.  The ruling relates only to
characters who appeared in Sherlock Holmes stories written before
1923. In Britain all the works of Conan Doyle have been in the
public domain since 2000.  For more on this story visit: 

Amazon reports record-breaking sales on Cyber Monday
Amazon has revealed that on December 2, Cyber Monday, it sold 36.8m
items (books, ebooks etc.) This equates to selling 426 items a
second.  For more on this story visit: 


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:


Writing Jobs and Opportunities

Strangelet Literary Journal Open to Submissions
Strangelet is a new journal of speculative fiction, accepting
fiction, poetry, nonfiction, graphic stories/comics, and artwork.
It is now open to submissions of short stories, graphic fiction,
poems and essays.  It is a paying market. 

Stories about Grandmothers Wanted for Anthology
Robyn McGee is seeking true life stories about grandmothers for her
upcoming anthology: " Grand-mothers Who Stand Watch During the Day
and Howl at Night." All submissions must be original, not
previously published anywhere online (including social media sites
or personal blogs) and must be in essay format - no poems. 

Payment is $30 for stories between 500 and 2000 words in length. 
The anthology will be published later in the year as either an
ebook or traditional book.  For detailed guidelines visit: 

Shakespeare-Inspired Prose Sought by Misfit Journal
Edition 3 of the Misfit Journal coincides with the 450th
anniversary of William Shakespeare's birth, and so the journal is
seeking prose and poems with a Shakespearian inspiration. 

They are seeking poems, short stories, essays, memoir, creative
nonfiction and artworks that are inspired by Shakespeare. 

All work must be original.  This is a paying market.  Written work
receives a $100 payment, artwork $25 per image.  All contributors
also receive a copy of the Misfit Journal. 

For more information visit the website. 


EVERY WRITER NEEDS A HOLIDAY!  Moira Allen's new "The Writer's
Guide to Holidays, Observances and Awareness Dates" offers 1800 of
them for instant inspiration on those days when you can't think of
a thing to write about?  Holiday topics are a perennial favorite of
magazine editors around the world -- so fuel your inspiration and
jumpstart your articles today!  Available in print and Kindle
editions; visit http://www.writing-world.com/year/holidays.shtml


FEATURE: How to Think Outside the Blog "Box" to Increase Your
Productivity and Creativity

By Jennifer Brown Banks

Sold on the benefits of blogging, many writers today construct
sites with all the bells and whistles, and believe it will be the
"magic bullet" to a successful career.

If only it were that simple.

The problem? With millions of blogs launched into the blogosphere,
it's an extremely crowded and competitive field.  In fact, "Google"
writing blogs and you'll receive over 1,500,000 search results.

Adding insult to injury is that in order for blogs to help build a
platform and sustain a popular following, updates must be made on a
regular basis. Experts recommend weekly. That's a tall order.

So how can bloggers infuse their sites regularly with interesting,
informative, engaging content to capture an audience, avoid
burnout, and stand above the competition?

By redefining what a blog post is. It's time for a paradigm shift...

First let's examine the "original" definition of a blog post. 
Once upon a time, blog posts were considered "textual" entries
appearing in reverse chronological order on a blog (also known as
an online journal). Bloggers would often use posts to rant, raise
awareness of important causes, and even to showcase their creative

Enter 2014...

With hundreds of niches, themes, approaches, and professional
goals, a blog post can differ depending upon who's doing the
blogging and the blogger's objective.

For example, a food blogger, seeking to promote and sell her
recently launched cookbook, might share a "blog post" in the form
of her favorite recipe. Here's some "food for thought:" you can

But before we discuss how, here are four key things to consider in
crafting blog posts that will resonate with your audience (no
matter what your niche), and allow you to work "smarter, not

1. Who is your target audience?
You need to identify who they are. Are they stay at home moms?
Other writers? Business owners? Teachers? Aspiring photographers?
Male or female, or both? What's your demographic? And more
importantly, what's your goal in connecting with them?

2. Your expertise
What types of posts will allow you to showcase your creative
strengths and expertise? Are you a technical person? A "how-to"
guru? Skilled at expository writing? Assess and apply.

3. Your lifestyle
How much time can you realistically devote to coming up with ideas,
posting them, and responding to comments and answering readers'
questions? Given your other creative projects and personal
commitments, can you update your site once a week or even once a

With that in mind, what types of posts will help you deliver high
quality content and achieve your goals, without being extremely
time consuming or taxing? The clearer you are, the more focused and
strategic you can be.

4. Readers' expectations
Different blogs fulfill different needs. For example, I read some
blogs for their entertainment value, and others for educational
purposes, to expand my knowledge base and my bottom line. What will
you provide for your readers? 

These are guiding factors you'll want to keep in mind to make the
most of your blogging efforts.

What are the criteria for a blog post?
To diversify your blog content and provide for more innovative
posting, here are some examples of different techniques and tools
used by today's successful blogger. Try one or all of these to
expand your blogging horizons.

A blog post can be:

* A writing prompt

* A recipe (often used by food bloggers). You can use family    
recipes or food as a metaphor for another concept even.

* Photographs or images

* A You-Tube Video

* A book review

* A music review

* A rant (often used by younger bloggers or recreational bloggers)

* An info-graphic

* A how-to/tutorial (often used by tech sites or teaching sites)

* Links to other interesting sites/ resources 

* A listing (top 10 reasons)

* An interview

* A guest post (provided by other writers in your niche)

* A survey or poll

* A debate on a current issue or controversial topic (school
reform, immigration)

* A poem

* A contest (to promote a book, product, or service and to increase

* Quotes (TinyBuddha.com attracts a mega-following based upon this
simple practice) 

* Quick tips (decorating, gardening, shopping)

* A success story or failure - for example, "10 Mistakes I Made in
2010", a post I penned on my writing site, was a big hit. 

Get the idea here? A blog post is limited only by your imagination.

Darren Rowse of Problogger.net goes further to suggest that
bloggers should "experiment with different types of posts" to help
battle with what he calls "blogger's block".   

Now that you know the different types of blog posts that are
potentially possible, here's how to deliver. 

Recognize that a blog post doesn't have to be of epic proportions.
Size doesn't always matter; substance is equally important. For
example, sometimes I will share motivational quotes and a beautiful
image on a Monday, to help inspire other writers for the rest of
their week.

Remember that passion is a prerequisite to successful, long-term
blogging. Choose a topic that excites you, and most times your
readers will be excited too! A good approach here is to consider a
blog based upon your hobby or profession.

Consider the benefits of guest bloggers to help you to keep up with
the demands of blogging. You can either pitch people you admire and
ask for a guest post, or create general guidelines for guest
posters and place the information in a prominent place on your
site. Make sure to include the length, acceptable topics, and
desired format.

Make sure to encourage reader feedback to determine what
method/technique works best for your particular readership and

For greater blogging success in 2014, think outside the blog box
and follow these timely tips. By increasing your productivity and
creativity, you can ultimately increase your bottom line. 


Jennifer Brown Banks is a veteran blogger, freelance writer,
popular relationship columnist, ghost writer and Pro Blogger with
over 600 published clips. She is the former Senior Editor of
Mahogany Magazine and is on the board of the CWA. Visit her website
at: http://penandprosper.blogspot.com 

Link to this article here: 
For more advice on blogging, check out this article:   


A publishing revolution is sweeping the industry. We explain what
is happening and show you how to self-publish your own eBooks.


By Aline Lechaye

Sometimes it can be hard for us to see the flaws in our own
writing. Some sentences and phrases just come so naturally to us
that we don't realize that they might be confusing to other people.
Sometimes we use the same words over and over without noticing.
Sometimes we spell the same word differently. 

Wouldn't it be great if you had an editor that could instantly
point out all the flaws in your writing - for free? This month
we've put together a list of some online editors that can help you
make your writing better. Are they as good as real live human
editors? Maybe not (occasionally they do come up with incorrect
spelling and grammar "corrections"), but they're a good place to

Pro Writing Aid (http://prowritingaid.com/) is a free web-based
editor that does not require any downloads or installations. You
can use the site as an anonymous user, or you can sign in using
your Google, Facebook, or LinkedIn account. The editing process is
fairly simple - just paste text into the text box provided, and the
site instantly comes up with a full analysis report of your
writing, checking for overused words, cliches, passive voice,
grammar mistakes, and spelling errors. It also analyzes your
sentence length, paragraph length, and the pacing of your writing.
The summary report gives you a quick overview of the problems in
your writing, and you can then click to see more detailed
individual analysis reports. The Pro Writing Aid also has an
article section (http://prowritingaid.com/Article.aspx) with
articles on how to write better. For fun, you could also try out
Pro Writing Aid's Word Cloud Creator (
http://prowritingaid.com/en/WordCloudGallery/CreateFrom). Paste
text into the text box provided to generate a word collage!

Paper Rater (http://www.paperrater.com) is another online editor
that does not require downloads or installations to use. The site
appears to be geared towards academic writing (a plagiarism
detection is one of the functions included in the editor), but it
seems to work well for other types of writing as well. The site
runs an analysis of the title, originality, spelling and grammar,
word choice, and vocabulary usage of your writing. You can click
the individual tabs to the right of the screen to see each analysis
report, or simply click the button at the bottom right of the page
to generate a printable summary report containing all analysis
reports. The writing sample you pasted in for analysis is placed at
the top of the summary report for easy reference. If you're looking
for a way to add to the words in your vocabulary, Paper Rater also
has a Vocabulary Builder (
http://www.paperrater.com/vocab_builder#), which is basically a
vocabulary flash card generator. 

As online editors go, it doesn't get much simpler than After the
Deadline (http://www.polishmywriting.com/). Paste your text into
the text box provided, click the "check my writing" button, and the
site will underline your spelling, grammar, and style problems in
different colors. Click on the underlined phrases for more
information. That's it. No downloading, installing, or signing up.
After the Deadline also works as an add-in for Chrome, Firefox, and
various other platforms. Go to 
http://www.afterthedeadline.com/download.slp to learn more. 

Copyright Aline Lechaye 2014

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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For those of you in the US who may now be inspired to write your
own Sherlock Holmes story, this site is a must visit.  It contains
all the information you would ever  need to know about Sherlock
Holmes and his world. 

Social Media Today.com
If you are thinking of starting or restarting a blog this year,
make sure you visit this site.  It not only has a fantastic 101
tips guide on blogging for beginners but also covers other hot
topics for today's blogger, including infographics and best
blogging practices. 

Have Scotch, Will Write
I came across this blog by British YA author Joe Ducie by accident
and am hooked.  His blog has lots of practical advice on writing,
including managing time, writing logs and marketing as well as
information about his prize winning books.  Check out the home page
and scroll down for some excellent writing advice, whatever your


AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers
The Writer's Guide to Holidays, Observances and Awareness Dates, 
by Moira Allen
The Writer's Year: 2014, by Moira Allen, 

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