Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Myths Of Writing: Have You Bought Into These?

by: David B. Silva

There is an image most people carry of the artist (think Van Gough's self-portrait, the one with his ear bandaged), working in solitude in a barren garret in a dark corner of the city. Everyday is a struggle. He continually walks between moments of brilliance and moments of insanity. It's a romantic image, I suppose. Built around the belief that an artist must suffer for his art.

This applies not only to the painter, mind you, but also to the actor, the dancer, the photographer, the writer. We all must suffer for our art.

But image and reality are often two different things. Writing, for example, does NOT have to be a torturous process of endurance and pain. In fact, it should be exactly the opposite. Liberating. Joyous. Enlightening. Why else would you want to invest so much of yourself in it?

So let's take a closer look at a few common writing myths.

This first one actually applies in all areas of a person's life. Simply stated: Having a big ego is a bad thing. It's unbecoming. It's boastful. It puts you in a negative light.

The truth is … if you want to be a success at anything, you need an ego. It motivates you, keeps you moving, pushes you to do your best. It's not your enemy. It's your ally.

The key to making it work for you is to keep it directed inward. Pump yourself up silently. Let it fill you with pride and a sense of possibilities. That's what the ego does best. Used wisely, it will move you toward your writing goals, not away from them.

Our next common writing myth is one you hear all the time: you have to write something original.

What is originality?

There's only one thing in the world that can make your work original. That's you. Because that's all you have to bring to the table as a writer. Who you are. Your history. Your experiences. Your family. Your beliefs.

When a publisher says he wants something original, he's saying he wants something fresh, something that reflects you the writer. He wants your voice, your honesty. The world already has a Stephen King and a Mary Higgins Clark and a John Grisham. It doesn't need more of them.

Our final common writing myth (though there is no shortage of such myths, we are limited by space): the slower you write, the more time you spend with each and every word, the better your writing will be.

The catch to this one is simple: there's a time and place for writing, and there's a time and place for editing.

When you mix the two activities (which are very different in their requirements and purpose), you rarely do either one justice. If anything will suffer, it will be your writing. Because suddenly you'll be under the constraints of the editor sitting on your shoulder. You'll be fretting over the words while losing perspective on the more important elements of the story. Does the scene work? Are your characters being true to their nature? Does this move the story forward?

The truth is this: your writing will ALWAYS be better when you write in the moment. Remember when you were a child? When you could spend hours building a sand castle or playing catch or flying a kite? Those were moments when nothing else in the world existed because you were completely absorbed in the activity. Write with that same captivation, as if each scene were unfolding right before your eyes, and you'll find your writing will not only be vivid and powerful, it will flow faster than you ever imagined possible.

Writing does not have to be a torturous, exacting process.

Allow yourself to have fun with it, and you'll be a better writer for the effort.

About The Author

Copyright 2003. All rights reserved. David B. Silva is a professional writer, editor and publisher. For a FREE mini-course on the best way to make writing that novel faster and easier, Click Here ==>

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Avoid Crafty Traps in Essay Writing

by: Linda Correli

Hidden pitfalls are on watch for your paper success in every paragraph of the essay you write. They are notorious misprints, insidious misspellings and numerous stylistic, syntax and format errors. Indeed they are your restless essay writing enemies, which are always on the alert, putting obstacles on your way to excellent grades for your writing assignments.

The drastic truth is that even slight mistakes make you freak out and lose the train of your thoughts. They evoke a fear of losing the main thread, give rise to uncertainty in your strengths and potential, dissipate your motivation to write and give the way to other distractions. Ultimately, make it challenging for you to complete your task at hand.

These minutiae seem to be minor for the inexperienced writer, but in fact they obscure an overall picture of your essay and occur to be crucial for the estimation of your work by professors, reflecting on your poor grades. Hence, essay writing pitfalls must be eradicated by all possible means.

Take these helpful hints to avoid crafty writing traps and forget about poor grades for your writing assignments once and all the time.

# Say No to poor thesis statement

Everything you write should develop around a clear central thesis statement. Good thesis statement zeroes in one main idea and states it clearly, avoiding ambiguous and vague phrases.

It should be specific, analytic and has to evaluate the significant insights of your essay. Strong thesis statement usually introduces the original approach to the traditional view on the problem.

# Avoid weak introduction and open-ended conclusion

Focus on one primary function of the introduction - to introduce your thesis statement clearly and precisely so that to grab the attention of the audience. The success strategy of writing your introduction is to start with the broad statement of your main idea and to close it with the actual thesis of your essay.

Don’t leave the unfinished and open-ended feeling at the end of your essay. Always remember that your paper must make its point clear right from the beginning and up to the logical ending.

Make your conclusion coherent and smooth and be sure to stress the significance of your work in the concluding part of your essay, pointing the ways in which your invaluable contributions can be applied.

# Beware of undeveloped essay

This problem is particularly common and results from not understanding clearly the essence of the chosen topic. Selecting your essay topic make sure to familiar with it completely and to ask yourself what you really feel passionate about and don’t forget to research it preliminary very thoroughly.

Your paper won’t produce an undeveloped impression if you provide your work with a solid argumentative ground, explaining clearly your view on the researched topic and elucidate the past attempts of the solution of this problem. So that to show the professor that you’ve got the core of the chosen topic at your finger tips.

# Never use slang language

Bear in mind that slang language and curse words are absolutely inappropriate in your work. Always remember that your targeted audience is educated professors. More over that college writing commonly implies the utilization of the formal style, which has definite frameworks.

# Don’t just recollect the events in your paper

Simple recollecting of the events is boring and unrecognizable to the reader and can become an absolute failure to the writer. “A good essay is one with imaginary appealing to the five senses.” Try to harness this strategy in your essay writing. Make your audience feel, taste, smell and hear everything you are narrating about.

Hope that these useful hints will help you gain the upper hand over your restless essay writing enemies, strengthen your writing skills and ultimately help you get excellent grades for your writing assignments.

About The Author

Linda Correli is a staff writer of She helps students write college research papers, term books, admission essays, book report and many other types of writing assignments: from personal statements to professional case studies. Article sponsored by

Monday, September 28, 2009

Have You Tested Your Theme Against Your Plot?

by: Nick Vernon

Creative Writing Tips –

How we usually begin the preparation stage in the writing process is…

  • We think of an idea for a story
  • We think of a suitable theme
  • We plot

Once we come up with a theme and we begin plotting, we have to see how the theme and the plot match up. Sometimes as we plot we find that the theme we had initially chosen won’t do.

For example…

‘Winning The Lottery Makes Your Life Easier’

Plotting with this theme in mind, we have our characters pay off all their debts, go on endless shopping sprees, go on holidays, etc. We find though that this won’t make a very interesting story. So we spice it up, adding to the theme or coming up with a different one.

“Winning The Lottery Makes Your Life Easier But Everything Has Its Price.”

We can show the characters living the life of the rich for a while before they realize that being wealthy has its problems too...

  • They now fear for their safety
  • Their friends and relatives are constantly harping at their door asking for assistance
  • Etc

This second scenario creates more problems for the characters, so it’s more interesting for us readers.


The preparation stage is there to prepare before you write. It’s our workbench where we figure everything out. We test our theme, we test our plot and once everything passes the test, then we begin writing.

You can change the theme as many times as you feel it needs changing, while you are in the preparation stage.

The main thing is to make your story interesting.

It’s not a good idea to keep changing the theme when writing the story because then you will have to keep changing the story. This means rewriting.

Figure everything out then write.

Have you tested your theme against your plot?

About The Author

Besides his passion for writing, Nick Vernon runs an online gift site where you will find gift information, articles and readers’ funny stories. Visit

Sunday, September 27, 2009

How You Can Take Advantage of the Increasing Demand for Freelance Online Writers

by: Niall Cinneide

The freelance writing market is a growing market to be in. There are many jobs available, but sometimes, it can be hard to find the work that you want, and available at the time you want it to be. All opportunities will help you to develop a career in the field in which you want to, though.

While not all freelance work is glamorous, it is still quite a profitable market. There are careers in proofreading as well as in copy writing. In proof reading, the client will want you to proof a piece of their work. You will have to ensure there are no mistakes in spelling and punctuation but you will also be looking for grammatical errors as well as those where the flow of the piece is thrown off. In copy writing, there is a large market for those able to write copy for websites and e-books.

In all of the opportunities that are available, education and skill are necessary. Online work means that you work for yourself, but that also means that all of your education, training, and jobs have to be provided by you, not someone else. Vacancies are available to those who strive to meet the demands of those looking for writers.

Providing a good service to a customer once can make or break your career. Many of these people will talk about how well you did and offer you more referrals than you can imagine. But, if you do a bad job, employment may become tough to find. Work wisely in order to succeed.

When you get your foot in the door you are likely to find a great future writing online.

About The Author

Niall Cinneide

Visit for more Articles, Resources, News and Advice about Proofreading Jobs.

Copyright © All rights reserved. This article may be reprinted in full so long as the resource box and the live links are included intact.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Write Science Right

by: Ann E. Power, Ph.D.

Write Science Right "" is a group of native English-speaking professional scientists with experience conducting scientific research as well as reading, writing and publishing scientific articles. It is our mission to provide affordable scientific editing services of the highest quality to our colleagues around the world. All scientific editors associated with Write Science Right have earned PhDs in their areas of specialty. Each client is matched with the scientific editor that is most familiar with that client's specialty. Within forty-eight hours of submitting an express order, you will be contacted by your scientific editor.

For your convenience, your scientific documents may be submitted directly online via the express order form, electronically as email attachments, or sent by mail on CD, diskette, or zip disk. It normally takes 4 to 6 business days for this scientific editing process to be completed. But if you are in a hurry, for a 20% premium you may request a rush order for editing of your research articles or other scientific language documents. We provide 100% confidential science writing editing. For more information about issues of confidentiality, please read our privacy statement.

Your Write Science Right editor will begin working on your order at his or her soonest convenience. Before any changes are recommended, our editorial process begins with several careful readings and a close study your writing. Your editor's recommendations are guided by your central arguments throughout the editing process. This editor will be in direct contact with you throughout the editing process. If there is any ambiguity in your writing, your editor will email you with questions. This communication ensures that your ideas are always faithfully maintained. Your documents will continue to be read and revised, and read and revised, and read and revised further until your editor is fully satisfied with the quality of the writing.

Your documents will be returned to you as an email attachment with all suggested changes tracked. You may elect to accept or reject each editing suggestion individually in your edited documents. Reviewing these editorial suggestions can greatly improve your future scientific writing in English… and save you money in future editing hours! As clients generally choose to accept all recommended revisions, for your convenience you will also receive a version of your edited documents with all recommended editorial changes already accepted.

Write Science Right has the highest standards of scientific writing quality and provides superb scientific English revision services. Great care is taken to present your ideas clearly, concisely and effectively so that you will be able to present your findings and ideas with confidence. We provide scientific English revision for all kinds of scientific writing including original research articles, scientific review articles, poster presentations, slide presentation, theses, dissertations, manuals etc. Native English-speakers who struggle with the writing process are welcome to employ this service.

About The Author We are a professional online scientific editing service by native English-speaking scientists enabling effective communication of findings and ideas.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Career Advice On Freelance Writing Jobs

by: Niall Cinneide

Sometimes the freelance writing jobs available are those that no one wants. Or, they are those that new businesses are looking to fill. You will not find postings for the best jobs and employment because many of those jobs go to individuals who already have an established career or a good working relationship with those businesses. For those looking for career advice to find the best freelance writing jobs available, they can find a few things here that will help them get the experience they need or at least get a foot in the door.

The most important aspect of getting the jobs that you want is to present a well written portfolio. Any writer can create pieces of work to show to individuals who want a sample. You do not have to be commissioned to write, you can write just for the sake of filling your portfolio. Just remember to put the best of the best work you have in there.

Secondly, there are many types of freelance writing jobs available. Yes, it is not just the book or prized article that you should look for. Look for vacancies in smaller areas as well. This will help you to develop relationships in the field.

Strive to meet the client’s needs. This will mean that you meet deadlines. It will mean that you offer the best material you can. But, it needs to meet the client's specified requirements, not necessarily what you think they should be.

Be professional, and build a website. Most businesses these days are centered around their websites. Being professional means presenting yourself in the most appropriate way.

In any case, there can be be many freelance writing jobs available to you once you are in the know. When you learn how to write to your clients needs and meet those needs properly with each and every assignment that you do, employment will be available to you. To find the assignments to start with, you may have to present yourself outright. Simply always do so in a positive, professional manner.

About The Author

Niall Cinneide

Visit for more Articles, Resources, News and Advice about Freelance Writing Jobs.

Copyright © All rights reserved. This article may be reprinted in full so long as the resource box and the live links are included intact.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Travel Writer Jobs, What Are They And How To Find Them

by: Niall Cinneide

Travel writing jobs are few and far between. Getting into this field is hard to do and requires a lot of training and experience. But, there are many benefits to them. There are many individuals who would love to get employment opportunities in this field. And, because the world is faster and faster becoming accessible to more people, increasing employment availability can be found for travel jobs as well. But, how does a person get in and how do they do their job?

Travel writer jobs belong mainly to freelance authors, travelling far and wide. They learn about the amusements, the attractions, and the little secrets of the towns, cities, and countries they visit. Then, they provide this knowledge to the general public in the form of articles, books, or even transcriptions. It is amazing that many people go from location to location by simply learning about different areas and using this knowledge to write. But, this work is far from easy. It may be costly to afford to do this type of traveling. It often does not pan out as a worthwhile adventure anyway. It is often difficult to find publishers or employment vacancies in this area as well.

To get these types of jobs, it will often take experience in the writing field and the researching field. Freelance opportunities, in which the author will visit locations at his own expense, are necessary. In other, simpler cases, a breakthrough into the business can be done by working for the local newspaper or through a magazine. In any case, though, it will require time to develop the necessary knowledge.

When looking for vacancies like these, it would be wise to realize that it will take time to build up the reputation needed to get these opportunities. Perhaps working on less glamorous writing jobs will have to be taken in order to have stepping stones out into the travel writing world. If you have the funds and the talent it is easy to go out and find locations to write about without being commissioned to do so. But, there is no guarantee of any of this type of work paying off. Patience may be the only way to get into and maintain a career in this field of writing.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Interviewing Your Characters

by: Sarah Playle

One of my favorite techniques for getting into the head of my characters is, interviewing them. This relies heavily on rapid writing, so be sure you fully understand that concept first. If you don't, you can read my article "Rapid Writing" on my den. Interviewing characters is exactly how it sounds. You sit down with your characters and interview them, just like you would if you were a reporter.

To start, take out a blank piece of paper or start and new word file. Decide where you are going to meet them; in their house, coffee shop, or somewhere else. Now rapid write about it. Go in and meet them. Say hi. Record what he looks like, how he acts etc. Now the fun part. Ask questions. Ask your characters about themselves, and about the story you're trying to tell. Get them to tell you their story, in their own words. Let them tell you what happened and how it affected them. You may gain new insights into your story. The important part is to not think or judge what you're writing - just rapid write. Don't worry, you're mind will fill in the blanks. Write until you think you know enough about your characters or stories. If you run out of questions, write about there being a lull of silence in the interview. If you get past the 'wall' something else will come. Just don't stop writing until you feel you have enough new insights to go back to writing.

This technique also works If you get stuck in the middle of writing or plotting your story. You can go back and talk to your character about the section you're stuck on. Let him/her tell you what happened.

To help with this exercise, I have included some sample question that you can ask. You can use these, but also allow space for your mind to come up with questions on it's own.

1. Tell me about the story I'm writing. In your words, what happened?

2. How did the events affect you?

3. Are there any details or events in the story that I've forgotten?

4. Describe yourself. What are your hobbies, dreams, hopes etc?

5. What was the most important thing that happened to you during the events I'm writing about? How did that change you?

About The Author

Sarah Playle is the author of "The Distance Between Us," the gripping, emotional tale of family, friendship, and the coming of age in a dangerous world. To order, or to view more of her work visit

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How Anyone Who Knows How to Type Can Write an Article in 30 Minutes or Less

by: Rodney Boettger

It seems that one of the fastest growing recommendations
flying around the net these days is about writing articles.

Of course as something starts to pick up momentum it brings
forth a myriad of products, all wanting your hard earned

Recently I picked up a product by Melanie Mendelson called
"The 30 Minute Article Writing System."

In The 30 Minute Article Writing System Melanie teaches a
step by step system for creating articles on virtually any
topic in 30 minutes or less. Instead of just giving you
more content you are given a clearly defined set of steps
and a time limit for each one's completion.

Although the system is straight forward the largest obstacle
would be the system assumes you have some knowledge of the
topic you are writing about.

This is easily overcome with some quick search engine
research on your topic, however if your not very versed in
your topic it will take you more than 30 minutes factoring
in research time.

Melanie Mendelson, although she has only been working online
for a little more than 3 years has been able to create a
full time income for herself.

Creating her own products, Melanie uses article writing as
her top strategy for attracting customers.

In "The 30 Minute Article Writing System" I found the
simplicity of the system to be it's most powerful quality.
Knowing the exact step to take and having a pre-determined
time limit for its completion keeps your article writing on

The system is powerful enough to have you create very well
written articles even though you may have very limited
knowledge on the subject of your article.

Using the program definitely eliminates any type of writer's

There is also a huge list of sites included in the book for
submitting your articles to for massive exposure.

Although the information is not new the way Melanie presents
it in a clearly defined system is rare and very refreshing
even for someone who has never written an article in their

I must admit I was a little skeptical about the following
sentence from Melanie's sales letter:

"If you are a complete novice, you will be churning out
articles like you've been doing it all your life."

However after going through the system I can see where she
has the proof to back this statement.

Understanding that "The 30 Minute Article Writing System" is
designed to be a quick system for writing articles, I do
wish Melanie would have maybe touched somewhat on the
subject of quick research for topics you might not be
familiar with.

After purchasing the product and using it I believe that
everything stated in the original sales letter was true and
I was left with no unanswered questions or concerns.

If you are at all interested in attracting more search
engine traffic or publicity to your business or affiliate
programs, then this article system should prove very

An informative article can draw huge amounts of traffic to
your website and business and I would give this product a 7
out of 10 recommendation to help you with your article

For more information on "The 30 Minute Article Writing
System", please visit Melanie's site at

In the future I sincerely hope that Melanie Mendelson
follows up on this product with something discussing related
topics. A few examples may be quick research for your
article writing or the ins and outs of article submissions.

About the Author:

Mr. Boettger’s consulting firm helps business market
effectively without spending more money on advertising
through a growth performance guaranteed system. An extensive
DIY small business action plan is available free on their
website at

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Freelance Writing Markets, Poetry Markets - Highly Paid -v- Unpaid

by: Consulting Editors,

Amazing as it may sound, there is a real shortage of good writers and poets. Try telling that to the thousands of writers and poets who get daily rejection slips.

As far as they are concerned, writing is virtually impossible to break into no matter how hard they seem to try.

There may be a number of reasons why they don't succeed:

Their writing is not up to standard - as far as the particular publishers or editors are concerned;

They don't bother polishing their writing before submission;

They knock on the wrong doors - sending materials on a random basis;

They have failed to do basic research;

The list goes on.

1000s of publishers

There are of course thousands of publishers, especially online, who are willing to publish your work without payment. Such publishers can't or won't pay writers or poets.

Professional writers on the other hand command handsome fees. They make a good living out of writing.

Anyone can become a professional writer. You just need the determination to succeed. If you don't have a natural gift, you can learn to write well. This can be by self-study, online, or at a college or school near you.

High quality professional writers demand anything from $1000 to $5000 per project - and the best earn substantially more. A project may involve just one page or a few poems.

Why do most aspiring writers and aspiring poets fail?

In a recent survey conducted on behalf of, it became apparent that most writers and poets were not willing to invest time or effort in training or acquiring the necessary skills.

The survey revealed that most writers and poets were happy to plod along by trial and error rather than investing in a decent course. They accordingly fail to reap the rewards that are there for the taking.

They remain amateur writers and poets whilst their professional colleagues cream off the best paid writing markets.

The survey compared writers and poets to other professions. Lawyers, Accountants, Doctors, etc., are all highly paid. They all undergo training before the rewards are forthcoming. Yet, most writers and poets believe that the riches will come to them without spending $1 on training or developing skills.

One per cent. of writers or poets may get lucky. They may have been "born writers or poets" - they succeed without any training. The rest slog away - hoping that one day they may make some money from writing.

The good news

The good news is that there are 1000s of paid writing markets that are waiting to be exploited. There are more assignments than writers or poets.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Writing Tips For Novice Authors

by: Patty Apostolides

If you are reading this article then you probably have asked yourself at some point in your life, "Do I have what it takes to become an author?"

I believe that successful authors, those who actually write and finish that novel, or book of poetry, or even that book of short stories, and see it all the way to publication, have certain characteristics.

Characteristics of Authors

1. They like to sit for hours in front of a computer screen (or with pen and paper), typing (writing) away.

2. They think about their book, even when they're not writing.

3. They are motivated to finish their book.

4. They are motivated to proofread, edit and revise their finished book until it is the best it can be.

5. They are motivated to publish their book.

6. Once they publish the first book, they are already working on the next one.

If you answered yes to anyone of the above, then you have a good chance of attaining your dreams of becoming an author. Don't listen to those people who say it's a competitive market out there. Don't listen to those people who say they've written five books and haven't had one published yet. And don't listen to those people who send you back your manuscripts! Listen to yourself. Listen to that inner voice, the one that is whispering now. But wait until you get started. Once your book is written and published, that inner voice will be roaring! And the whole world will hear about it.

I know, I know. I tend to be the optimist. But we have so many pessimists in the book business, we sure need some more optimists around!

For you, the novice writer who would like to start writing that first book, the best way to begin is to start writing. Yes, just sit down and do it. Stop the other activities, the television, the reading, the shopping, the chatting on the telephone, and find the time to devote at least one hour a day to writing.

What’s one hour a day in the scheme of things? It comes and goes like this, poof! What do you have to show after an hour of television? A lazy yawn? If that same hour were spent on writing, then there would be a product in your hands, something that will be shared, hopefully, one day with others.

So, go ahead, shut the door to the rest of the world for one hour (or more) and make yourself comfortable in front of the computer screen (or pen and paper). Let’s take the first step to becoming an author.

How To Begin


Just like a construction company which builds a foundation to a home, you also need to prepare a foundation for your career in writing. Don't skip this step, it's important.

Your "foundation" will consist of basic writing skills. Remember those English courses you took in high school and college? If you don't remember anything from those courses, then it wouldn't be a bad idea if you found your old English textbooks, dusted them off a bit, and looked through their pages to refresh your memory.

If you haven't taken any courses in creative writing, you might consider signing up for one. Check with your local community college. They often offer weekend and evening classes, and sometimes even online classes. If you're on a budget, then visit the public library and sign out books relevant to writing.

In addition, it would be very useful to join a writing group (online or in your local area) that critiques your work and gives you the opportunity to critique also. The group provides wonderful support and an avenue to sharpen your skills as you gain experience in writing, as well as exposure to other people's writing. For example, is a good example of an online resource that provides many opportunities to share your writing, and get your work rated and reviewed. If you want to join a critique or review group, it offers that also.

The second step to becoming an author, is to have the right tools.

Tools Needed

Besides a comfortable chair, plenty of lighting, and a quiet room, you will need a computer with a word processing program (e.g., Microsoft Word), a printer, and plenty of paper.

Why a computer? First of all, publishers typically will request a copy of your files sent to them on a floppy disk. More importantly, working with a word processing program will aid you in many ways towards becoming a published author. It will provide the opportunity to save your work as a Word file, without having to use up tons of paper (as with a typewriter). This greatly aids you in keeping your work organized. It also gives you the flexibility to edit and re-edit large sections of your work quickly by allowing you to utilize the copy and paste functions.

Other advantages of using a computer word processing program is that it provides spell check capabilities, and also helps you count the number of words per page. In addition, when you want to spice up your vocabulary (For example, if you like to use the word "walk" often, and are getting tired of that word), place your cursor on the word "walk", hit shift F7. It will give you a list of synonyms you can choose from - like stroll, amble, etc.).

The time saved by using a computer is very valuable. It gives you more time available to write! Of course, if you don’t have the above materials, don’t let that stop you from writing that book! Using a pen and paper is perfectly fine. Books were written with these two basic tools for centuries.

Let’s assume you are using a computer and a Word processing software. First of all, before you begin writing, form a subdirectory that you can add all your chapters to. Maybe you know the title of your book already. Fine, then form a subdirectory using the name of the title. After you finish writing that first chapter (oh joy!), just save it as Chapter 1 under the subdirectory. If you are writing a book of poetry, then you might want to save each poem as a separate file.

When I write my chapters for my novel, I format them in double space mode, with a Times New Roman 11 font. All the margins are at least one inch. This way it will be ready for manuscript submission.

Try not to add your page numbers until the very last revision. Page numbers constantly change when you’re revising, so wait until the end.

Finally, another reason for having a computer is for Internet access. As a writer, you will have opportunities to submit your fiction online, such as, or even your articles online for e-zines, such as Any chance you can get to write online, do it. As long as it doesn't take too much time away from your book. It's also a free way of promoting yourself before the book is even published.

So you need to balance your time in writing that book, honing your writing skills, submitting your work along the way for others to critique, and promoting yourself. Can you do it? Of course you can!

The third step to becoming an author is:

What to Write

If you are planning to write a novel, it would help to know what general category your book is going to be in. Will it be in the romance, mystery, or science fiction category? If you don’t know, take some time and think about it. Read some books in those genres. Which books seem to attract you the most? It’s highly likely that you’ll be writing in the category that you like to read. My preference is romance because I read those types of books the most. Once you decide the category, then you are closer to writing that novel!

For poetry, you might start by writing a poem and submitting it to a poetry journal, or a poetry contest. Gain exposure for your poetry. Join a critique group so you can sharpen your poetry skills. A chapbook usually consists of about 25-35 poems. For a poetry book, you'll need at least 60 pages of poetry, if not more.

Types of Novelists

I have found over time, that there are two types of novelists. The first type is the writer who prefers drawing up a proposal or plan of what they will write about. The second type prefers to write whatever comes into their mind at that moment.

You decide which writer you will be.

Type 1 Novelist

They begin by describing the characters, their names, personalities, and sometimes their motives. Then they decide when and where the setting will take place. When will it take place? If it takes place before the 1900’s, then it will be considered historical. Also, will the setting be in the country, in a city (which city?), in a house (whose house), on a cruise ship? That needs to be defined also.

Once those decisions are made, they write brief sketches of each chapter. It could be a page or two long. Once all this is done, then the real writing begins. If this method works for you, then feel free to use it. It may take some time, but you will become more confident about what you’ll write once you go through this initial process.

Type 2 Novelist

What if you’re the type of person who doesn’t want to spend all that time writing proposals and character sketches? What if you’re like me, who prefers to just write whatever comes into your head? Then do it! Sit down and start writing. Write anything.

As the story develops, something wonderful begins brewing in your mind. Something called creativity. I’ve caught myself hours after I finished writing a chapter, and I’ll be preparing dinner, or walking somewhere, and a scene from my novel will begin to unfold. It’s called creative problem solving. My mind is working to solve the problem that the writing presents it, even though I’m not actively writing. When I get those urges, I immediately stop what I’m doing and jot down my thoughts. It’s helped me many times, particularly when everything clicks together.

How Long Will It Take?

It took me almost two years to write and find a publisher for my first novel, Lipsi’s Daughter. For other people, it may take longer or shorter, depending on the amount of time they allow for writing and how many pages they are writing. I know of authors that took six, seven, up to twelve years to write their first book. I also know of a famous author who writes two novels a year!

So unless you begin writing that first page of your book, you'll nev

About The Author

Patty Apostolides is an author and poet. She has written several articles as well as published the novel "Lipsi's Daughter." More information can be found on her website:

5 Benefits of Keeping a Personal Journal

by: Patti Testerman

Everyone who has kept a personal journal knows that writing is a therapeutic process that helps integrate seemingly unconnected life events. Some believe the process works because the physical act of writing (using your hand-eye coordination) occupies your left brain, leaving your right brain free to access emotions, intuit connections, and create new insights.

How else can journaling help?

1. Journaling reduces stress by getting “monkey mind” thoughts out of your head. Mind chatter is a powerful stressor, stressor is a powerful health-buster, and journaling the chatter is a proven chatter-buster.

2. Writing about problems gives your right brain food for creative problem-solving. It’s amazing what happens when the creative part of your nature starts working on a problem—you’ll soon find solutions bubbling up from your subconscious.

3. Keeping a daily diary is one of the best techniques for discovering patterns, particularly those that are self-defeating. For example, a diary kept over the course of several months will clearly show any reoccurring difficulties like overeating, stress eating, poor (but similar) choices in relationships.

4. Want to better know yourself? Journal. Writing can help clarify your thoughts, your emotions, and your reactions to certain people or situations. In addition, as you read back through past journals, you’ll have ample evidence of the things that make you happy and those that are distressful.

5. Journaling can help clarify events, problems, or options. When you’re beset with a mind full of fuzzy, disconnected thoughts flitting here and there, writing about the event or issue will help bring focus and clarity. It will also help you decide on which action to take, or option to choose.

About The Author

Patti Testerman is content manager at, the only online site that analyzes your writing and then gives you instant feedback. Want to discover self-defeating patterns, or find better ways to communicate in a relationship? Check out our site.

Writing for Local Veterinary Hospitals

by: Brian Konradt

Freelance writer STANLEY BURKHARDT has a passion for animals. He loves animals so much, he crafted himself a new career. For the last eight years, Stanley has made a career out of writing for local veterinary hospitals -- and getting paid for it.

Burkhardt admits, "I am probably the first writer you have met who has written for veterinary hospitals. My opinion is that many writers don’t see the profit or work potential in writing for vet hospitals, and don’t attempt to secure work from this industry. The other reason is that writers try many approaches to secure work in this industry and fail."

Burkhardt has overcome these obstacles, and many more. Now he's ready to spill his secrets. He has penned an ebook, "Profiting on Puppy Love & Cat Care: A Freelance Writer's Guide to Writing for Local Veterinary Hospitals & Practices," in which he shows writers how they can craft a career out of writing for local veterinary hospitals, just like he has done.

Burkhardt says, "I think it’s important to know that I had no experience or knowledge writing for the vet industry, when I first started out." If you harbor a deep love for animals and enjoy writing and researching, Burkhardt says you are already “halfway there to breaking into this industry.”

The other skill is selling. “Selling is considered by many beginning freelance writers to be the ‘curse’ of commercial writing because it usually requires you to spend more than half of your time selling yourself to prospective clients — and swallowing many rejections — than spending time writing.” In time, selling becomes easier. “Most of my work now comes from referrals and word-of-mouth,” says Burkhardt.

Burkhardt has perfected the way he secures first-time clients in this industry; he advises to “use locality in your favor.” He says, “Take a trip to your local hospital and see if it presently uses any types of print materials. If not, what kinds of print materials do you think this hospital can benefit from? If it has print materials, how can you improve these existing print materials, or what types of print materials would work better in place of these existing print materials?”

Burkhardt always attempts to arrange a meeting with the owner of the hospital. “I tell the prospective owner I’d like to meet with him for 20 to 30 minutes to discuss, in detail, how I’d be able to boost his profits and productivity, and how he and his clients will both benefit. I’ve never met an owner who’d refused to spend some time to find out how I’d be able to boost his profits.”

After the first meeting, Burkhardt gives himself a few days to work on a proposal in which he outlines how he is going to meet the owner’s needs -- whether it’s solving a problem, boosting sales, or increasing productivity -- through various writing projects. Burkhardt will either mail his proposal to the owner or arrange a second meeting. Nine times out of ten, Burkhardt’s proposal usually nabs him a first assignment from a first-time client. “I always pitch a newsletter as the first project. Once the owner sees how a newsletter contributes to the success of his hospital, I am usually given more writing assignments.”

As a writer for five local veterinary hospitals -- two small in size and three big in size -- Burkhardt prefers to sell his services to the larger veterinary hospitals. “Larger veterinary hospitals have more needs to be fulfilled and more problems for you to solve...They’re more likely to need internal and external materials that will help boost their sales and increase their productivity.”

Burkhardt writes all sorts of copy for vet hospitals, but his favorite and most lucrative is writing newsletters. “Every vet hospital needs them. A newsletter can increase the hospital’s sales by pushing products and services, create rapport and build trustworthiness with pet owners by showcasing the exceptional pet care and treatment the hospital offers, and constantly remind pet owners of the hospital’s existence by writing information that is so useful and timely that pet owners take the newsletter home with them.” Burkhardt charges between $300 and $1,500 per newsletter, depending on its complexity and size.

Burkhardt admits that writing for veterinary hospitals is not a top-paying industry, compared to writing for other industries. But he was never in it for the money. “I often wonder if copywriters who write for tar manufacturers, bottling companies, packaging plants, chip manufacturers, cancer-causing cigarette companies, or shady politicians have any interest in the stuff they write or they do it just for the money. I can’t find interest in any of those things and have stayed away from such manufacturers and industries. I think the same is true if one is to write for vet hospitals. You must have an interest — at least to write for the long term. If you love animals, have a curiosity as to how hospitals treat and care for pets, and a sensitive spot to help people, then you can break into this industry and make a good living.”

Burkhardt’s ebook, "Profiting on Puppy Love & Cat Care: A Freelance Writer's Guide to Writing for Local Veterinary Hospitals & Practices" is a primer to break into this industry. His ebook sells for $9.95 at, an online ebook store, found at

Friday, September 11, 2009

Ten Tips For Budding Authors

by: Kevin Hart

1. For me the most important tip is to write, write every day, 365 days a year. Remember practice makes perfect.

2. Very few authors are published on their first attempt; it’s a hard slog and you’ll often want to pact the whole writing business in. It’s then you’ve got to remember patience and perseverance.

3. If you are serious about writing as a career then treat it as such. If you wanted to be a doctor, lawyer, plumber, chef then you’d expect to have to learn the trade. Why should writing be any different? It will pay you to visit workshops and listen to what successful authors have to say. Learn from the masters.

4. I’m a member of a writers group and for me it is essential it helps feed me. Also visit sites like where you will learn about current creative writing contests. Use these contests to help hone your skills. If you are involved in promoting creative writing locally let them know they will advertise the event for you free of charge.

5. In my early days of writing one of my main faults was my failure to accept criticism. This was one of the problems my writers group helped me overcome.

6. Be cautious of loved ones who tell you that your writing is ‘marvelous,’ quite often they don’t want to offend. I’ve found it best to avoid showing my work to close family until I’ve had it tested elsewhere.

7. Don’t become a writer because you think it is an easy option. It is not. It is hard work. To become successful you have to work 365 days a year. There are very few other jobs that demand that sort of commitment. Maybe after you’ve hit the big time you can drop that down to six months in the year – maybe.

8 Carry a note book. If you get a sudden idea write it down. Ideas are like dreams they are very soon forgotten, but ideas are also like oak trees they can grow mighty big.

9. Believe in yourself, if you have what it takes to be successful then you will succeed. If you haven’t then you’ll soon know.

10. Finally Maeve Binchy gives this advice ‘write as you talk.’ Also write about what you know. I know that’s old hat but its true nevertheless.

Good luck

About The Author

Kevin Hart is a published author and chair of Armagh Creative Writers. He created and maintains the hightly successful web site

The website offers invaluable information to creative writing. In particular it holds a large data base of creative writing contests and competitions.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What Is Persuasive Copywriting And How Can It Help Your Business?

by: Niall Cinneide

Persuasive copywriting is what draws the attention of prospective customers. They see your product and are drawn it. But what makes this happen? What words can win a customer over without having them laugh at overstatements and hype? Persuasive copywriting is the style of writing that every business needs in order to get customers to purchase something.

Online, there is a large market for individuals who can write in a persuasive style. Sure, everyone has their own specific style, but the only thing that truly matters is sales. Unless the words draw the customer in and help them to make a purchase, the words are wasted. If the customer has a dollar to spend, he will spend it on your website or on another. The words that are on that page are what will make the ultimate decision as to whether the customer stays or goes. It is that simple.

But what makes the sale to the potential buyer? This information changes with the specific product. And, in all cases, it is up to the writer to determine the best method for getting the attention and securing the sale. It is not up to the business owner to do this, but up to their writer to know the right words to use.

For those who are looking for a career in copywriting, they will need to prove themselves time and time again. Just because it sounds good does not mean that it is the most beneficial to the website. The freelance position is often the most sought after since many businesses like to have a one on one relationship with their writers. This helps them to establish the text that they feel is most beneficial.

The good news is that those who are effective at what they do will likely have business come back to them time and time again. Once a comfortable relationship is established, freelance workers can count on having more business come their way. The power of the word is the most important qualification to these individuals.

For those looking to begin their career, they will need to possess truly powerful words - persuasive copywriting words.

About The Author

Niall Cinneide

Visit for more Articles, Resources, News and Advice about Freelance Writing.

Copyright © All rights reserved. This article may be reprinted in full so long as the resource box and the live links are included intact.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Becoming a Writer

by: robparnell

The urge to write fiction seems God given for some, a learned skill for others.

One thing is certain – it requires practice and a particular mindset. But, if you’re a beginner, where do you start?

The following 10 tips will help kick-start your writing habit, whether you’re a complete novice, or perhaps a pro who has lost their way!

1. Step Away From the Car, Sir.

Slightly detach yourself from your surroundings. Stop participating and begin observing. In social situations, watch people, see how they act and – more importantly - interact.

Don’t pass judgment. Take it all in – and draw on it later when you write.

2. Look Harder, Homer

Stop and look around you. Consciously notice the buildings, what’s underfoot, overhead, and what’s right in front of you.

At home, look at something you take for granted. An iron, for instance. Find yours and study it.

3. Write Thinking Will Be Rewarded.

A simple technique. Your mother is making tea and you are chatting to her. Take a mental step back and describe the scene.

Similarly, when you’re outside, describe your environment as though you were writing it down.

4. What Reasons Do You Need?

Don’t wait for inspiration – just write!

Force yourself to write anything at all. A shopping list. An overheard conversation. Describe your bedroom.

It doesn’t matter how personal it is, or how trivial, just get it down!

5. Wakey Wakey!

Set your alarm clock for an hour earlier than normal.

When the alarm goes off, get up. Don’t dress, bathe or eat. Don’t even make coffee. Just stagger to your writing space and write the first thing that comes into your head for five minutes.

6. Oh God – Not That!

Think of the most awful and embarrassing thing you’ve ever done - the more cringe-worthy the better. Now write about it. All of it, in all its gory, horrible detail.

Then hide it away for a year or so before you read it again!

7. Like Your Style, Baby.

Don’t limit yourself. Write poems, songs, dialogue, fact, fiction, even practice writing advertising copy or horoscopes.

Your expertise improves in all areas – an improvement in one area can reap benefits in another.

8. The Sincerest Flattery

Take out a classic book from your bookcase. Copy out a paragraph. Think about the words as you write them. Don’t get intimidated!

9. Wanna See My Invention?

When you’re not writing, string together stories in your mind. Think of plots, characters, settings, dénouements.

Ask yourself what you should do next to improve your writing.

Develop this technique into a habit.

10. It’s A Goal!

When you start writing regularly, set yourself small goals. Anything from 200 words a day, or just a commitment to writing in your diary.

Later extend to finishing a short story, or an article or a poem. Perhaps one in a week.

The trick is to set goals you can achieve easily.

That way you’ll get the writing habit - and you won’t forget to enjoy it!

About The Author

robparnell is founder of the Easy Way to Write, a young Internet company committed to giving excellent writing resources to novice and seasoned writers. For free writing lessons and much more visit:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Secret to Good Writing

by: Marie-Claire Ross

Skilful business writing involves getting your message across simply and quickly. This often means writing in a style that is easily read and understood by a broad audience.

Yet, writing simply is often difficult for most of us.

Why? The answer lies in our school education. We learnt that if we used big words and complex sentences, we were more likely to get an ‘A’ by our English teacher or University lecturer. The education system taught us that people who use a broad range of vocabulary are more intelligent that the rest of us.

There is nothing wrong with writing beautifully pieces of prose that feature a stunning range of vocabulary knowledge. However, such writing is unsuitable for a business market.

No business manager has the time to wade through material that meanders and weaves before a point is made. They are even less likely to have time to grab a dictionary to work out what the writer is trying to say.

When I used to work as a market research consultant, I had the impossible task of trying to write market research reports that seemed interesting. My immediate response was to write a report that would make my University lecturer’s proud. Sadly, my colleagues all felt the same way.

It wasn’t until we had a business writing consultant come in to train us about how to write at the level of a Year 8 student that we realised the folly of our ways.

Using my newly found skills of writing a report using simple English, I proudly produced my ‘easy on the brain’ report to my manager (who missed the writing class). He told me ‘You write like you talk’. To this day, I still don’t know if he was criticising my talking or writing ability, but I gathered either way he wasn’t happy.

However, from a communication point of view, this style of writing is perfect for getting your message across quickly.

Later on in my career, I worked at a company that prided itself on its easy to read reports. While this was true (to some degree), one of the directors loved to throw in a difficult word in every report he wrote to make the marketing manager reach for his dictionary. He thought this was really clever and that his clients would be in awe of his knowledge. I’m guessing his clients thought he was a tosser (interestingly, I met an ex-client years later who told me that when their company received one of his reports they would quickly scan it to find the unusual word and then erupt into hysterical laughter).

Articles that are written to impress your audience about how clever you are, do nothing more than distance them. No matter how learned your market is, they still prefer to read information that is easy to digest.

A great way to test whether your writing is easy to comprehend is to read it out loud. If someone spoke to you, using those words, could you instantly understand what they were getting at or would you have to really concentrate?

Scripts for marketing videos are no different. In fact, they need to be extremely simple in order to quickly grab the attention of people walking past at a trade show, for example.

Writing that is heavy on technical terms and jargon can be a real turn off. The beauty of a marketing video is that it uses both pictures and words. The saying “A picture tells a thousand words” is a powerful concept with corporate movies. It means you can actually get away with saying less, but easily get your message across, because the pictures do all of the talking.

Surprisingly, clear writing can be quite a difficult writing style to master, but the effort is well rewarded. And look at the bright side, at least people won’t burst into fits of laughter when they read your masterpiece.

About The Author

Marie-Claire Ross is one of the partners of Digicast. Digicast works with organisations who are not satisfied that their marketing and training materials are helping their business grow. She can be contacted on 0500 800 234 (Australia wide) or at The website is at

Monday, September 7, 2009

Write A Picture!

by: Nick Smith

It can take quite a leap to get from the written word to a movie screen.

A screenplay, for all its clear descriptions of where characters are and what they say, has to work hard to meet the dramatic immediacy that we expect from films.

1. Stick To The Present Tense

Writing in the present tense helps, keeping the text direct and different from the prose you’ll find in most novels or short stories.

2. Add Sound Effects

Sound effects can be effectively replicated on the page, using onomatopoeia such as BANGS for gunshots and SCREAMS of characters in danger.

3. Keep It Tight

Keeping the whole script tight is one of the best ways to capture the in-your-face nature of a modern movie. Concise dialogue and snappy scene descriptions will help you to avoid a novel’s tone.

4. Write Pictures

Thinking visually is the most important part of the process. Writers are not always inclined to ‘talk in pictures’, creating images on the page.

By cultivating a visual eye, you can create a script that’s written to be SEEN, not just read.

Just as in any form of writing, those images will jump out at the readers and stay in their minds. Screenplays just happen to be the most image-driven of all forms of writing.

Start looking, recording dreams, taking notes.

Get hold of a camera - still, video, film, whatever you can get your hands on - and look through the viewfinder.

You don’t have to stop loving words to start thinking in pictures, so get in the habit of finding appropriate pictures.

When you’re writing your script, take every opportunity you can to tell your story using those kind of images, ones that resonate with you and your characters. If they’re relevant and contain an element that hasn’t been seen before, they’ll resonate with your readers.

After all, movies aren’t referred to as "Pictures" for nothing.