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Archive for February, 2008

Avoid Writing a Weather Report

Have you ever been told by a reviewer that you’re writing a ‘weather report’ and wondered what it meant?

Novice writers often make the mistake of becoming a Meteorologist. Or they take on the job of the narrator at a Fashion Show, or Travel Guide – even Real Estate Agent. In other words, all these things are done to fill up that most important area – the opening of your story. By the time the weather is established and the characters are fully dressed, the reader may be gone.

Too much description is boring, (more…)


Writers hear a lot about the nastines…

Writers hear a lot about the nastiness of the sludge pile and dread the thought of their novel becoming stuck in it. But personal sludge piles can be good things. Somewhere in that pile of scribbles may be the outline of a first published novel. When you’re out of story ideas and sort of discouraged from critiques, it’s time to rummage through it, read a little and be surprised at what good ideas you had. You’re really pretty good, aren’t you? Reading old stuff can renew your faith in yourself as a writer, and remember, you’ve learned a lot about the craft of writing since you tossed these aside.

New writers know the story, the part that can’t be taught, in their minds, but tell it badly. They rush in on the adrenaline high that we all know so well, (more…)

Story Ideas Getting Low? Harvest the Family Tree.

I’ve sat and watched the cursor blink on the clean white page for a week. What shall I write about? Yes, Louise, even newsletter editors lack inspiration at times.

Having no direction, my mind wandered toward the family. Natural, eh? I skimmed my genealogy page and wham, the proverbial ton of bricks fell. Of course! Use real people and you can write about anything.

I picked up a few lines here and there and my goodness! I found a writer’s jackpot, and you all have one. It sits neatly among the limbs of your own Family Tree. Have you discovered it yet? Think of the many genres and topics a good writer could get out of this. (more…)

Writing for Sale – As Is

“Writing For Sale By Owner – As Is”

If you watch Home and Garden TV (HGTV) for any length of time, you will eventually see a program that involves getting homes ready to sell. You’ll see real estate agents walk through the sellers house and point out what’s wrong and what’s right. The home owners are advised to change this and remove that and those comments can sting. I’ve noticed how some folks are kinda hurt by the comments, but real estate agents, truthfully, are not thinking about what the owners think.

They are thinking of what buyers look for, and what needs to be done to make this house sell. It’s their job – listen to them. (more…)

Green Writer Egos and First Drafts

New writers shouldn’t use or be encouraged to use the services of a critiquer or proof reader before the ink dries on that first draft.

Asking for tough criticism and in-depth reviews too soon is the worst thing you can do for your writing confidence. Don’t stick your first draft out there and hope you can handle what comes back in the form of feedback.

Neither first drafts nor first-time writers are ready for intensive criticism. Would you expect your newborn to be able to run? Of course not. Neither is a novice writer prepared to survive a gauntlet of in-depths. First drafts are only the bones of a finished story, the writing of the idea, the first thoughts. First drafts are as fragile as the egos of the new writers who wrote them. There will be many changes before either is ready to publish. (more…)