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Writing Tricks 101's Journal
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Date:2009-11-14 22:40
Subject:Invitation to Join need_a_beta!

Hello everyone!

Are you looking for a fun, active, and interactive place to get beta help for your creative writings? Want a place where you can get grammar help, character development assistance, feedback about plot holes and story logistics, help with pacing, and also post and discuss writing topics, brainstorm ideas, request and get prompts, and participate in occasional writing games?

Well then,[info]need_a_beta may just be the place for you!

Check out our community rules here.

Our[info]need_a_beta community welcomes writers and readers of fanfiction and original fiction- and we are looking for new and active members! Come join us, there are plenty of ways and opportunities to participate, as a writer, reader, or both, but most importantly we’re all about writing and having fun!

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Date:2006-09-07 20:16
Subject:Dream Journey

I just started a course in school, first lesson today, on English Language. Our first focus is creative writing. I've written a lot of fan fiction before, but that's it. As a warm up to the course, today we had a bit of a creative writing session using the following techniques. I'll include what we did, and what I wrote. Any tips on my own writing are appreciated, as I'm not used to original writing and barely write at all in the first person. It actually felt quite awkward.

One: Imagine yourself walking done a path, and write a paragraph describing this pathCollapse )

Two: As you walk along the path, you find a key.Collapse )

Three: You come to a body of water; it could be a stream, a river, a puddle or even a random bathtub. What is it, and how do you cross?Collapse )

Four: Describe a tree you come across on your journey.Collapse )

Ahead of you, there is a bend in the path. Describe walking towards it, and seeing a man coming around the corner and walking towards you.Collapse )

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Date:2006-01-29 17:17

Hi guys, I haven't written anything in a loooooong time ever since my A levels started, so I just wrote this over the weekend, to warm up...or something. It's completely unedited, and I haven't written in a while so its probably pretty crap, but I wanted to get back into writing again, so please be BRUTALLY honest...

obsession...Collapse )

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Date:2005-08-07 12:46

Hello everyone, I don't know if this is allowed but I would like to ask a question. Does anyone have any useful links for me on 'How to find the right title for your novel' or something along the same lines. Any help would be much appreciated.
Thank you!
(If this isn;t allowed please delete it)
X posted

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Date:2005-01-09 20:05
Subject:Getting in the habit
Mood: artistic

My goal is to complete a novel by the end of the year. 2004 was a pretty crazy year from me. I had 3 different jobs and I moved twice. As a result, I have fallen out of the habit of writing regularly. I would like to get back into the habit. Things have calmed down, I have one full time job and I signed onto a year lease at this apartment. However, I'm having a hard time getting back into writing regularly. Any advice?

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Date:2004-10-11 23:54

Since no one has posted since March, I thought I would.

Hi everybody. :)

How are you doing?

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Date:2004-03-23 19:47
Subject:Software to help you freewrite

It's here.

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Date:2004-03-18 08:37
Subject:Writing for Pay
Mood: curious

Does anyone know what I should charge someone who wants me to write a novel based on his life? Do I charge by the word or the page? And how much? Note: I am not famous, so I do not want to charge a lot. However, I have been published and I have had 2 plays produced, so I am experienced.

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Date:2003-10-18 15:56
Subject:Join me!
Mood: excited

Novel in November

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Date:2003-10-13 10:18
Subject:Freelance writing
Mood: curious

Does anybody here do freelance work? I'm inteersted in doing freelance work but am unsure of how to start. Does anyone have any advice or suggestions for me? Are there any god outside resources I can consult, like books or magazines?


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Date:2003-08-28 07:55
Subject:Lost Motivation
Mood: discontent

I've recently moved back to my hometown and I feel like it has sucked the creativity out of me. I've had to make some big adjustments in my life and I have lost all motivation to write. I don't want this to happen. Does anyone have any suggestions for me?

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Date:2003-07-18 09:13
Subject:Time to write . . .
Mood: creative

When do y'all find is the best time to do your writing and why? I tend to write in the mornings because there are fewer distractions and I can think more clearly. My roommates aren't awake yet and I'm not tempted to turn the TV or radio on. I need silence to write. Plus, my dreams sometimes make for some interesting material . . .

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Date:2003-06-03 21:09
Subject:Writer's Block/Laziness
Mood: busy

For the past month I've been lazily attempting to combat writer's block. Actually, I'm not sure if it was writer's block or pure laziness. But, I bought a book of writing prompts and have been making it a habit of doing at least one prompt every morning. The book that I got is called The Writer's Idea Book by Jeff Heffron. It's really jump started my writing again and I've been working on my plays regularly again.

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Date:2003-03-10 23:45
Subject:Serious suggestion please
Mood: hopeful

I am writing a story. The main character is a woman who has a man helping her to find information on the internet.
I need a serious name for a biochemical weapon. It must be completely original. If I put the name you come up with into a search engine, i need it to come up blank, I can't afford to deal with copyright laws or any other stuff.

Either comment or visit the poll in my journal to enter the name by clicking HERE

The best idea gets the winners name printed in the thank-you's section of my book

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Date:2002-12-10 11:43

I'm stuck. I always wimp out on my endings, so my instructor says. More specifically she told me to expand on the consequences of the plot in my endings. But I am not sure how to do this without jumping to another scene.

So....I was wondering what tips do you guys use when it comes to endings? What do you keep in mind when ending your story? Do you have a formula you follow? Do you summarize the story? Add a few words of wisdom to the events?

I would appreciate any advice you may have.

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Date:2002-11-18 09:33

I had fun with this week's writing assignment, so thought others might enjoy it too.

"One to two pages. Make a list of all the objects you remember from your
childhood home. Don't stop until you reach at least fifty. Don't use any
particular order or many adjectives. Don't censor yourself - something
seemingly unimportant may evoke strong impressions.

Read your list and circle the objects that evoke the strongest feelings
and memories of events. What are these events? Now write one page and
describe one of these events. Rely on topography. Where exactly did it
happen? What objects were involved?

Objective: To let your home begin to write stories for you. Memory is
your best source of settings.

Check: Go over the details and cross out the ones that don't evoke
strong impressions. It's good to bring out many details and then select
one that work best; select a few, condense. Your reader will appreciate
this economy. Don't be sentimental, in other words, don't mention the
sentiment. For example, "I walk down the yellow marble stairs where my
grandfather slid one winter and broke his hip. That was the last step he
took; he died shortly after the injury. In the space beneath the
staircase I find my old dog's house, with his shaggy hairs caught in the
rough edges of the wood planks, although the dog is long gone." If you
don't dwell on the emotional significance of the grandfather and the
dog, but move on, you avoid sentimentality. If the grandfather is
important, show us in a scene, an interaction with the man so we can
experience him and your loss of him. We won't miss an abstraction about
the man."

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Date:2002-11-04 20:34
Subject:How to Get Published & Other Cinchy Stuff

This got posted as an answer to a member question, but I thought I'd cross-post it here on the main community page. Thanks, Khatnip, for asking.

Do I have any tips for getting published?

1. Get hold of a guide on how to prepare manuscripts, either online using a search engine, or borrowing or buying something like The Writer's Digest Guide to Manuscript Formats. Even though many publishers take electronic submissions and have their own formatting needs for that, nothing beats a hard-copy manuscript and cover letter which looks absolutely professional.

2. Follow the rules. Subscribe to a writer's magazine...there are many out there which cover all forms of writing, and there are also genre-specific mags, and all of them have good articles by seasoned professionals which give you information on how to look for publishers, query them, and submit your writing. The idea is to not look like a rank amateur, and when you know the ins and outs, it's easy.

3. Get, borrow, or find online a list of current markets. This will give you the names of editors, their editorial needs, and a short rundown of what they want and don't want. Always write or email editors...never phone! They generally consider it a waste of their valuable time to get a phone call from someone they do not know and whose talents are completely unknown to them. Bookstores, libraries and writers websites are great sources for information on markets. At bookstores that let you sip a cappucino while you peruse their books, you can grab a Writer's Markets book off the shelf and take notes without buying the book. I guess you really are paying in part, given the price of a good cuppa joe these days! [grin]

4. Fiction and non-fiction have different rules. Generally, you can submit short fiction and poetry with a cover letter "over the transom" (unsolicited). Your submissions will be read by an assistant to the editor from what is called "the slush pile" and if it's something which that particular reader thinks will work for their needs, it's bumped up the line for consideration. Novels need either a strongly written query letter before sending out, or a literary agent. In general, it's bad form to send an entire manuscript over the transom. It'll most likely be ignored by the staffs of most publishing houses, who have enough work reading the solicited novels they get from agents or through queries. Usually, the first three chapters and a strongly written and complete synopsis is sent when an agent or editor requests it. You will only need a literary agent if you begin to sell a lot of short fiction, or if you are only selling novels. Your chances of selling a novel are hugely increased if you work with an agent who is experienced and excited about your work. There is plenty of information out there on how to find an agent.

Non-fiction can be submitted unsolicited or with a query letter, but be prepared to submit it to another editor the minute you get a rejection letter. While some publishers will take "multiple submissions" (manuscripts sent to several publishers at a time), most don't. Rejection letters are usually form letters stating that your submission doesn't meet their editorial needs at this time. Sometimes an editorial person will write a personal note about why they have rejected it, but don't be discouraged. Your "baby" may simply not be right for this particular editorial team. Read it to see if it needs a little tweaking, then send it back out to another publisher.

The bottom line? Do your homework. Use the internet to your advantage by checking out sites with information on how to get published, and stop by prospective markets (magazines, periodicals, online and offline) to get their "guidelines." These spell out in detail what their needs are and how best to approach them with your writing. You might want to print out the guidelines for each publisher and put it in a binder, so you will have them accessible when you have that perfect piece to offer them. And check back with their websites every three or four months, as their needs may change.

That's it in a nutshell. Writing is a joy, but as a business it's a highly competitive field and like all occupations, you need to learn the lingo and approach it like a serious business, even if you're only planning on a part-time career.

Hope this helps! Good luck!

Copyright © 2002 by Annina L. Anton, All Rights Reserved

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Date:2002-10-29 16:09
Subject:Mutual Of Omaha's Wild Kingdom......of Books!

I've found a very cool website that has less to do with writing and more to do with books and a love of books and sharing books. It's a site called Book Crossing, in which I take random books that I no longer want, tag them with a special label and tracking number and then take them someplace and leave them. Hopefully the person who finds my book will read it, enjoy it, go to the website and let me know that they found my little prezzie. It's like Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kindom for books.
I think it's a fantastic idea.
Unless you're planning on releasing a copy of "Resurrection Angel" - then I think it's a mean awful and cruel, cruel idea, as my baby doesn't like to be left out alone like that :>

"I'll stay here in the helicopter while Jim goes down there and wrestles with that copy of "The Grapes of Wrath"".

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Date:2002-10-28 16:03
Subject:Newbie, take it easy :)
Mood: geeky

A funky introduction. Hi! I'm from Hawaii and only recently, I've gotten interested in writing. Being a teenager, anything that relates to school in any way, i would hate. Especially writing. Seeing that English is my second language, I was never good at writing, (mostly grammer problems). Everytime I turn in a paper, it comes back with so much red correction marks that if you were to see it, you would think I wrote that paper in red pen. So why the sudden interesting in writing? I read someone's journal one day. He was a hip hop MC, so he had a very creative flow to his words. It just blew my mind how he written his entry so beautifully. The topic wasn't even about anything really. It was intellectual yet not boring, very hilarious with comparisons he would make, and his choice of words were perfect.
Well anyways, to make a long story short. After that, I wanted to broaden my writing skills. I was always ashamed of joining any writing communities due to my beginner level of writing. But what the heck. i need to start somewhere. hehe. Anyways, thanks for your time, i hope to grow more on my writing skills, from here. :)

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Date:2002-10-28 14:23
Subject:Whisper In Their Ear

This is my first posting to this community; and I guess it's about time since it was my offhanded comment that caused it to exist. But much, much love and kudos goes to lisaloo for actually taking the initiative to make it happen.
Maybe I'm just an idea guy :>

My posts will be in one of two areas, fiction writing or inspirational/self-improvement.
This one will be for all the fiction writers out there. My speciality is mysteries, but this applies to anyone who writes fiction, I'm sure.

Some of you may be familiar with The Actor's Studio, a famous acting traning school for such luminaries as, well, almost anyone - let's say James Dean for right now. Lisa is more than welcome to elaborate :>
One of the most famous instructors at the studio was Lee Strasberg. And Strasberg was famous for getting the best out of every actor. Here's one of his tricks that you can use in your writing before you start a scene.
Strasberg would take each actor in the scene aside and whisper in their ear. Let's say the scene was about something relativly innocuous, maybe buying a loaf of bread.
In one actor's ear he would whisper "You have just found out that your wife is cheating on you with your best friend."
In another actor's ear he would whisper "You have just come back from your mother's funeral."
Now in the scene, character A wants to buy a loaf of bread. He's pissed off. Character B is probably pretty upset and may not be the most efficient bread seller on the planet right now. Character A will probably have the shortest fuse in existence. Character B will probably be pretty raw and exposed, and will also have a short fuse, for an entirely different reason. Character A will be mad at the world. Character B will want some sympathy and compassion.

This creates CONFLICT. This creates EMOTION. Conflict and emotion sells books.

Many of my scenes involved sleuths investigating crime and ferreting out clues. Can you see how by whispering something into each of their ear they might have very different emotional states while going about gathering that info?

What are you going to whisper into the ear of each of your characters at the beginning of the scene? Take time to think about it. What do they want? What is driving them? What emotional state are they in? What's boiling just beneath the surface?

Go ahead. Whisper.

(c)2002 William Mize

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