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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 15:20           13,371 subscribers         October 15, 2015
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GUEST EDITORIAL, by Devyani Borade
     Dealing with Success
CRAFTING FABULOUS FICTION, by Victoria Grossack     
     Exposing Exposition (Exposition, Part I)
HUMOR: Who Am I? By Sula Moorthy
     Event Tools
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Before turning this space over to our special guest editorializer, 
I want to take a moment to thank all of you for the wonderful notes 
of congratulation, encouragement, and understanding that followed 
last issue's announcement.  I do plan to respond to each of you 
personally, but wanted to thank you publicly as well.

"Moving on" is a bit of a scary step!  I'm glad that my readers 
understand the need to take it.  It does feel like an adventure!  
I'm using the remainder of 2015 to get my desk as clear as it 
can be, so that I can set forth in 2016 looking forward rather 
than continuing to clean up "things still undone."

Here's one thing I've managed to finish off:

Yep, the annual "Writer's Year" planner/engagement calendar is 
now available.  As always, there's a free downloadable version on Writing-World.com.  You can download "A Writer's Year" in PDF 
format or in Excel.  This year, I've built the submission tracker 
directly into the planner (it's included in the PDF version but 
you still have to download it separately in the Excel version).  
And, of course, a print edition is available on Amazon.  

I've listened to the feedback on last year's edition, and made a 
few upgrades for 2016.  This year, the planner covers a full 
24-hour day, because writers really don't tend to work 9-5 hours!  
The submission tracker is built in to the PDF and print versions.  
I've added some extra pages for notes, and included a list of 
monthly holidays and awareness months at the beginning of each 
month.  (For format reasons, these appear in the PDF edition but 
NOT the Excel edition.) And this year I've included a brief 
introduction with some tips on ways to manage one's writing s
chedule.  As always, the planner is full of inspirational quotes 
for writers.  

For more information, please visit 

GUEST EDITORIAL - Dealing with Success
by Devyani Borade

Imagine getting a story accepted today. Yay! Now imagine getting 
another one accepted tomorrow. Fabulous, right? And now imagine 
getting yet another one accepted the day after. OMG, are you 
kidding? Totally awesome! But wait, there's one more acceptance 
waiting for you the following day, another one the next day and 
one more, and one more, and so on... until days turn into weeks 
into months into a year and soon you've had all your stories 
accepted for publication. It sounds thrilling now, but how would 
you be feeling at the end of the year? As excited as before?
It's not too difficult to guess that after so many acceptances -- 
a 100% publication rate, three hundred and sixty five days of 
overwhelming positivity -- you'd be feeling far from overjoyed. 
You'd be bored.
It's like having ice cream for dessert every single day. You'd 
literally get sick of it after a while.
Much as a scenario like this may be in the realms of fantasy, the 
basic premise remains true. Too much of anything -- even a good 
thing -- fails to make us happier. The reason is that you need 
balance; you need something to equalise all that goodness. If life 
is one constant high, you lose the ability to distinguish, discern 
and enjoy the high. You need an occasional low to be able to 
appreciate those highs to the maximum. You need an occasional 
rejection. It makes the taste of victory sweeter.
We all dream of success. It's the one hope that keeps us going, the 
jackpot at the end of the rainbow. If we start having too much of it, 
however, it can make us complacent. And complacency is deadly. 
Absolutely fatal. Complacency makes you think you've reached the end 
of the road and won. And just as you're slowing down, savouring the 
moment you cross the finish line, BAM! Someone else appears out of 
nowhere, streaks ahead of you, and pips you to the post. Someone else 
wins that exclusive publishing contract with that very popular agent, 
someone else bags the best feature space in that $2-a-word magazine, 
someone else signs that lucrative syndication contract for that 
high-circulation daily newspaper column. Before you know it, it is 
someone else whose book is hitting the stands, while yours 
languishes in your desk drawer wallowing in self-pity. Complacency 
kills. It kills your drive, it dilutes your goals, and it messes 
up your record.

So how can you emerge unscathed or stronger from a string of 

1. Rejoice in the now!

Celebrate your success, however big or small. Every little 
achievement in one step closer to your larger goal. So break out 
the bubbly and get that party going!

2. Don't get carried away.

After you've feted your success, put it on the shelf: to be taken 
down and dusted and admired from time to time, but not to beholden 
your future to, not to come in your way. Just because you've 
received $500 for a couple of articles in the past does not mean 
that every article you sell from now on should fetch you the same 
amount of money. Next time around, the recession may be worse, the 
publication may be smaller, the editor may be different. Set new 
goals, but make sure they're realistic. Getting $100 for a short 
story is not a personal affront, nor is getting $1000 for a 
detailed travel feature a sign of things to come. Don't get 
greedy; know how much is enough.

3. Believe in yourself.
Acknowledge your success. Don't downplay it. Don't feel it was 
undeserved. Don't deprive yourself of the joy of it. Don't sabotage 
yourself. You've accomplished something. Don't tell yourself (or 
others) "it's nothing." Forget about the guilt, the doubt and the 
defensiveness. Pursue that success with all you've got. You've 
very bit as much right to it as the next writer.
4. Share.

Be generous in your success. Share the credit: a lot of people may 
have contributed to your success in little ways and big. From the 
garbage collector who keeps your trash cans empty and your backyard 
clutter-free so that you can enjoy a calm relaxing evening in 
preparation for your next assignment, to your favourite television 
actor who entertains you and helps your brain unwind after a hard 
day's graft -- there may be a lot of invisible helpers behind each 
successful writer.
5. Move forward while staying grounded.
Look to the future and focus on your next task. Along the way, 
remember what is important to you and remain true to your principles, 
the values you hold dear: they keep you grounded. If you're more 
altruistic than business-minded, admit it to yourself without 
feeling ashamed, and then don't get waylaid by a deal that offers 
truckloads of cash in return for unethical reportage. If the reverse 
is true, don't get taken in by the next sob-story of a desperate 
publication on the brink of going under "unless it receives 
your help".

6. Accept the new.
Things change with success. You move in different circles, you do 
things differently, your mindset undergoes subtle but significant 
change. Expectations are raised, stakes may be higher, people 
around you may become envious, sycophantic or turned off. The world 
suddenly contains exciting new things, to which you will react 
differently. Handling them may require more effort, perhaps a 
greater commitment. Completing one book puts the pressure on to 
win a three-novel publishing deal. Accepting a regular commission 
means being able to churn out the same high-standard quality words 
on a remorseless continual basis. Yes, it's tough, it's scary, but 
it's inevitable and the quicker you accept it the easier it is to 
deal with. Prejudice, fear and perception will hold you back. 
Let it go. Pull up your socks and move on.
7. Diversify.
Escape ennui and change the game. If you've gained mastery in 
one genre, challenge yourself in another. Start at the bottom of 
the ladder and work your way up. Again. And again. Stretch yourself 
out of your comfort zone. Had fun with science-fiction short 
stories in print? Cool, now why don't you try writing memoirs for 
an e-book? Been making tracks in the poetry scene? Super, how 
about trying your hand at current affairs journalism? As you 
conquer each vertical, you're expanding your horizontal repertoire 
across a wide range of genres and media. If you're not using your 
skills, you risk losing them.
Success is what you make of it. You need to work at it to achieve 
it, you need to work at it to keep it. Be confident. There's such 
a thing as "too much success" only if you think there is.

Copyright 2015 Devyani Borade

Devyani Borade writes for magazines across the world. She has 
successfully negotiated higher payment rates for the majority 
of her articles and stories, and survived to continue writing. 
Visit her website Verbolatry at http://devyaniborade.blogspot.com 
to contact her and read some of her other work.

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

Link to this article here:

So many people never get their stories out, and those stories are
lost forever. Don't let this happen to you!  Surprise your family
and friends with your legacy book. *Memoir Writing Made Easy*


Textbook trivializes slavery
A World Geography textbook used by schools in Texas describes 
"an influx of English and other European peoples" as having come 
to America "as indentured servants to work for little or no pay", 
but does not clarify how Africans came to the country. Instead, 
they are described simply as "workers". The publisher McGraw-Hill 
Education has apologised and said that it would change the 
caption in the digital and print versions of the book to describe 
the arrival of African slaves in the United States as "a forced 
migration." For more, visit: http://nyti.ms/1hosYWR

Amazon Kindles disappearing from Waterstones' shelves
Thanks, in part, to an increase in sales, print books are 
regaining some lost ground in the brick-and-mortar world. 
Waterstones in the UK has seen a slump in the sales of Kindles, 
and is replacing the e-Reader devices with real books on its 
shelves. Amazon, on the other hand, claims that the momentum 
and distribution of the tablet sales has been positive and 
encouraging. For more, visit: http://bit.ly/1FRgD9z

Introducing... the new (and improved?) Shakespeare
Shakespeare is being translated. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival 
has announced the launch of a 39-play, three-year commissioning 
project called "Play on!" Bringing together "the nation's 
leading playwrights, dramaturges, theater professionals, expert 
advisors and emerging voices in the field, the goal of the project 
is to increase understanding and connection to Shakespeare's 
plays, as well as engage and inspire theatergoers, theater 
professionals, students, teachers and scholars. Play on! also 
will provide translated texts in contemporary modern English 
as performable companion pieces for Shakespeare's original 
texts in the hope they will be published, read and adapted for 
stage and used as teaching tools." 
For more, visit: http://bit.ly/1PT8wsV

Folio Prize cancelled for 2016
The Folio Society will not be renewing its sponsorship of what 
was originally called the Literature Prize, in favour of pursuing 
"many opportunities that we look forward to in the world of fine 
book publishing." This year, the bounty was worth £40,000 and was 
won by Akhil Sharma for his book "Family Life". For more, visit: http://bit.ly/1OspAZz

Scholastic offers aid to Syrian refugees
The global childrenís publishing, education and media company has 
announced a total donation of up to $50,000 to "Save the Children" 
to help with immediate relief efforts. Apart from these funds and 
their culturally relevant, age-appropriate books, Scholastic 
provides timely, age-appropriate news coverage and resources for 
children, parents and teachers about the current Syrian refugee 
humanitarian crisis. For more, visit: http://bit.ly/1OspNvO


CRAFTING FABULOUS FICTION: Exposing Exposition (Exposition Part I)
by Victoria Grossack

Today we're going to start an examination of exposition.  It's a 
big topic, so this month we'll only discuss what it is and why it 
has such a poor reputation.  In next month's column we'll review 
some ways to improve how you use exposition in your own stories.


Let's start with a definition:

From Wikipedia: "Exposition is the portion of a story that introduces 
important background information to the audience; for example, 
information about the setting, events occurring before the main plot, characters' back stories, etc."

Please notice that the word "important" has been included in the 
definition.  Often your readers really need the information so that 
they can comprehend what is going on in your story.  So why does the 
word "exposition" tend to make people groan?  Besides being a four-
syllable, rather user-unfriendly word, that is?

One reason is because exposition is sometimes done in the form of 
an information dump, which calls attention to itself.  The story's 
momentum can come to a screeching halt while readers are lectured 
on what is going on.  Ironically, because the momentum stops, readers' 
eyes may glaze over and they may not even pay attention to what they
need to know.  Exposition is often the epitome of telling and not 
Yet, as we said, sometimes the readers really need the information.  
Hence, exposition is done in many ways: in the narrative, through 
dialogue, flashbacks, character's thoughts, background details, 
media or the narrator telling back story, either in the frame or 
elsewhere.  Let's go through some examples and discuss the problems.

Exposition in the narrative

Just telling background information within the narrative is the 
easiest way to get the information to your readers.  You may choose 
to set it off in a separate section, such as a prologue, or simply 
baldly insert it in a paragraph or two.

	The Aztec treasure in the large old chest is cursed.  Anyone who removes even a single gold coin will not be able to die.  Nor will he be able to taste food, or wine, and the pleasures of the flesh will be denied him.  He may not be able to die, because he is already dead, but nor can he enjoy life.  

	The only way to break the curse is to return each and every coin, with an offering of blood from each thief.

This sort of exposition may work well in short doses, but if you 
have a lot of information to convey you will slow down your story 
and you may even lose your readers.  

Exposition in dialogue

Some authors are tempted to put explanations into conversations 
being held by the characters.  Many automatically class dialogue 
as showing instead of telling, and so the authors mentally 
congratulate themselves for avoiding too much telling.  However, 
there are several times when this is especially awkward.


This is sometimes called the "idiot lecture" -- in fact Wikipedia 
prefaces it with the opening phrase, "As you know, BobÖ"  The 
problem here is that the characters already know the information, 
so it makes no sense for them to be having the conversation.  The 
conversation is being held for the reader, who has generally not 
seen/heard it before, and who may need it to understand what is 
going on (an especial challenge exists when some but not all of 
the readers know the information, a situation that you may encounter 
often if you are creating a series).

Of course, in real life people repeat themselves all the time, and 
if a subject were of particular importance to your characters, you'd 
expect the topic to come up more than once.  For example, in "Harry 
Potter & the Deathly Hollows," the trio of Harry, Hermione and Ron 
are hunting Horcruxes.  It would make sense for them to spend a lot 
of time discussing where those Horcruxes might be.  

However, novels do not always imitate life and this is one of those 
instances where art should abridge reality.  Readers notice if 
conversations repeat, and generally, they become bored by the 
repetition.  Oddly, storytellers can get away with this sometimes 
in movies, with some variation, "Groundhog Day" being perhaps the 
most famous example -- but what is being repeated is generally 
not exposition but action with different twists.

There are some ways to get around the problem in your story.  One 
way is to have one of the characters not know, so that he is asking 
for information.   Another way is to acknowledge the repetition, but 
instead of introducing it with the phrase, "As you know, Bob," have 
one of the characters object to the conversation:

	"We've talked about this before."
	"I know, and until we figure it out, we're going to talk about 
	this again!"

Still, awkwardness often remains and your readers will probably 
sense it.

In some cases, to make it clear to readers the relationships 
between the characters, the author will have the characters use 
names and even titles or roles in conversations to each other.  
Here's an example:
	"Wife, what are you doing?" Charles asked.
	She looked up from her book.  "Running a marathon," she said.

The problem is that the use of titles feel forced and artificial 
on paper -- even though, oddly enough, people actually DO 
sometimes use them in real life.  Sometimes it is better not to 
put it in the dialogue but keep the information just outside, as 
in this example:

	"What are you doing?" Charles asked.
	His wife looked up from her book.  "Running a marathon,"
	she said.
In my opinion identifying the woman with the phrase "His wife" 
in a sentence just outside the dialogue is less intrusive, but 
it is a subjective matter, and you will have to decide which 
method best suits your story.


In many books, the villain confesses to the hero, explaining 
why and how he has committed his evil deeds.  This can be 
extremely convenient for getting information to the reader, who 
should be curious about how and why these evil deeds were 
committed.  Yet would the villain truly do such a thing?  And 
then continue to attempt (and almost always fail) to kill the 

This is a situation for which I, thankfully, have no real-life 
experience, but I can attest that it happens frequently in books.  
It is a standard trope, and yet, I can actually imagine it 
happening (possibly because I have read it so often).  The 
villain may be feeling triumphant, but to whom can he brag about 
his cleverness?  Only to someone about to die!  Then how come 
he's so incompetent afterward and fails to kill the hero?  If 
you use this technique, try to come up with some reason for the 

Variations on these last confessions exist.  Often the hero-
detective, such as Sherlock Holmes or Miss Marple, explains 
everything that has happened just before the story concludes.  
These may be emotionally comprehensible, and even quite satisfying 
to the reader, as we learn who did it and why.  Nevertheless, 
these conversations often strike me as odd, because you'd think 
that the sleuth would have told someone else, if just for the 
sake of caution, beforehand.


Sometimes writers will have expository dialogue run on for many 
pages.  This can also weary the reader.  I would argue that when 
you have conversations in which one character is telling another 
something that happened, your writing has switched from showing 
into telling.

However, note that what wearies a writer may not weary a reader.  
Writing, for most authors, takes a lot longer than reading.  You 
may not be able to judge how a passage would strike a reader until 
you have put it down for a while and come back to it fresh, with 
the eyes of a reader instead of the feelings of the author.

Other Approaches

Nearly all of your story will take place in either within the 
narrative or within the dialogue, because that is mostly what 
story is.  There are a few other ways to do it, however: prologues, 
maps, inserts, pictures, newspaper articles, and so on.  These 
can work well.  They can also be skipped completely by your readers, 
who often only read the text proper, so that your efforts to give 
them the information that they need to know will frequently fail.

Conclusion (or rather, intermission)

In this column we have defined exposition, explained why it is 
necessary, discussed some of the ways it appears in fiction, and 
why it is sometimes so disliked and despised and other times why 
it is tolerated.  Next month, we will review some techniques that 
storytellers can use to improve their exposition.


Victoria Grossack studied Creative Writing and English Literature
at Dartmouth College, and has published stories and articles in
such publications as Contingencies, Women's World and I Love Cats.
She is the author of Crafting Fabulous Fiction, a step-by-step
guide to developing and polishing novels and short stories that
includes many of her beloved columns. With Alice Underwood, she
co-authors the Tapestry of Bronze series (including Jocasta,
Mother-Wife of Oedipus; The Children of Tantalus; and Antigone &
Creon), based on Greek myths and set in the late Bronze Age. Her
independent novels include The Highbury Murders, in which she does
her best to channel the spirits and styles of Jane Austen and
Agatha Christie, and Academic Assassination (A Zofia Martin
Mystery). 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 2015 Victoria Grossack 

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

Link to this article here: 

Want to learn more about crafting fabulous fiction? Get one-on-one
guidance with Victoria Grossack's personal writing class; visit

DO YOU LOVE LANGUAGE - how words work to thrill, convince, dazzle,
and excite?  THINK LIKE A WRITER will help you corral your writing
ideas - and saddle up the stories you've always wanted to write!
Discover tools, strategies, and prompts that bring your unique
perspective, experience and ability to life on the page.  Now 
available from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Y3TWNGI 

HUMOR: Who Am I? 
By Sula Moorthy

I love to paint pictures, but I use no brush
I sprinkle seeds to take root, but I'm neither a farmer 
	nor a gardener
I do cut and chop at times, but never in the kitchen
I produce talking snakes and flying pigs out of thin paper, 
	but Iím no magician
I travel many places without leaving my seat, but I'm 
	not a heavenly being
I sit, stare and sigh most my working hours, yet no one 
	dares to fire me
I receive no pension nor a monthly salary, yet I choose not 
	to quit my work
Others know me by my voice rather than my face
I marvel at othersí work, but my very own I tend to doubt a lot
Silk and scent do not entice me as books and blogs do
I hold a wealth that counts so much, yet others see me as 
	poor and unemployed
Who Am I?

Copyright 2013, 2015 by Sula Moorthy.  
Originally published on Inscribe Writer's Online blog on 11.21.2013

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

and nonfiction; memoirs a specialty!  Over 15 years experience 
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in-residencies; author and published poet.  Moderate rates.  
Contact me by e-mail to discuss your project: Richard Lee Van 
Der Voort, psychicmind.vandervoort231@gmail.com

By Aline Lechaye

Writers tend to be solitary creatures as writing is primarily an 
activity that we do on our own. However, events such as readings,
book signings, and scavenger hunts can help to generate interest 
in your work and your characters, and they can also be a lot of 
fun to attend. Read on for some free and awesome tools that you 
can use for organizing or hosting an event. 

Organizing an event is always the hardest part, especially if 
there are lots of people involved and a lot of coordination needed. 
If you're looking for a quick and efficient way to communicate with 
members of a team, try Slack (https://slack.com/). Sign up for a 
free account, invite others, and start collaborating instantly! 
The free account comes with unlimited users and integrations with 
up to 10 services. You can upload files, paste screen grabs, 
organize discussions by topic using "channels", and search through 
up to 10,000 messages. Like Twitter, you can use the @ symbol when 
addressing a particular member of your team, and the # symbol when 
you wish to post something to the entire group. Slack also has a 
bunch of emojis, which help to keep conversations light. You can 
use Slack in any web browser, and the mobile (iOS, Android, and 
Windows) and desktop (Mac, Windows, and Linux) apps mean that you 
can stay on top of all discussions while on the go. Download the 
Slack app at https://slack.com/apps. 

Scavenger hunts are great fun, but the logistics can be difficult 
to manage. How can you ensure that everyone follows the clues in 
the correct order? How do you keep track of all the groups 
participating? GooseChase (https://www.goosechase.com/) is a user-
friendly tool for organizing scavenger hunts and is free to use 
for up to 10 teams. For organizers, setting up a new scavenger 
hunt is easy: fill in relevant information about your scavenger 
hunt (event name, description, event photograph), and then add 
tasks ("missions") for players to complete. You can also add a 
start and stop time and date for your scavenger hunt if you 
wish. At least one player in each group needs to download and 
install the GooseChase app in order to participate in the 
scavenger hunt. Participants can use the app to view required 
tasks, track their opponents' progress, and submit photographic 
proof upon completion of tasks. Organizers can view submitted 
photos in real time, making it easy to track participant 
progress. The GooseChase app supports both iOS and Android. 
(By the way, Halloween is coming up and GooseChase is the 
perfect tool for a haunted-house themed event!)

Hosting a reading, book-signing, or other type of event? Why not 
put up an event website beforehand to help generate some buzz and 
give potential attendees some information about you or your event? 
Splash (https://splashthat.com/) can help you create a website for 
free. Choose a pre-built theme and customize your page with images, 
videos, and social media integrations. Add a RSVP button to your 
site to collect names and emails of interested attendees. If you're 
looking for simple, user-friendly, and well-designed, Splash is 
the site for you. 


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


Copyright 2015 Aline Lechaye 

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

A WRITER'S YEAR is the ONLY 365-day planner designed specifically
for writers! Plan your schedule, track billable hours, organize
tasks, and track your progress and achievements. And it's F*R*E*E!
Download an electronic version in PDF or Excel, or access the print
edition: http://www.writing-world.com/store/year/index.shtml


"An archive of free short stories from acclaimed and award-winning 
authors you can download and read on whatever platform you desire." 
Also has a section for short story reviews.

Articles and resources (books and courses) to help writers get 
published. The irregular blog was last updated in February, but 
the existing articles may be worth a dekko.

This charming video  covers the essentials of copyright, drawn 
extensively from Writing-World.comís article on same and presented 
in an excellent, easy-to-follow approach.

In our October issue: Ghosts and more ghosts; Halloween fortune-
telling and frolics; the etiquette of being a guest; "objectionable"
wedding customs; curious costumes; a week's meals for under $10!

ADVERTISE on WRITING-WORLD.COM!  For details on how to reach more 
than 100,000 writers a month with your product, service or book 
title, visit http://www.writing-world.com/admin1/adrates.shtml


Writing World is a publication of Writing-World.com

Readers are welcome to forward this newsletter by e-mail IN ITS
ENTIRETY. This newsletter may not be reposted or republished in
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unless otherwise indicated.

Editor and Publisher: MOIRA ALLEN (editors"at"writing-world.com) 
Copyright 2015 Moira Allen

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