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Article Archive


Face One's Demons

Face One's Demons

After achieving a decisive victory over the ruthless Ipis who rule the galaxy, Dante Carloman negotiated a treaty that saved all humans from extinction. The treaty allowed the humans and their allied species to become a semi-autonomous sector on the fringe of the Ipis empire—as long as the current Ipis empress, Fravashi, remains alive.

 

Kathryn Shay

The Sisters of Fire

This new series by Kathryn Shay follows six firefighters, ten years after they became friends in their fire academy recruit days. Each book shows their strong connection, as well as the in-depth story of one of them. Each book also addresses a contemporary issue women face, including domestic abuse, death of a spouse, divorce, blending family with career, discrimination in the workplace, and pursuing a new path in life.

 

A New Dawn

A New Dawn

Now you try. Here's a word spill. Using as many of these words and your own words write several Cinquain. The more you practice, the better. As soon as you get the hang of this form, you will begin to create your own, representing what you're experiencing in your day to day life, using images from nature to connect to human nature, like Haiku.

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Jean Verno

Rustic Accommodations

I sure hope that feller didn't have a lot of enemies; Lord knows I had more than a few myself. I was wanted in 3 states for stage robbin' and such. I ain't never killed anybody before though I got blamed for it once. I didn't even kill this feller either, he kinda killed hisself through ignorance, I just failed to enlighten him of certain vital knowledge I happen to possess.

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Alaric's Gold

Alaric's Gold

"Sir," Private Baker threw a quick salute as he ran towards Captain McLain. "We ran into some old guy up the trail a bit. He started shouting and waving when he spotted us."

Captain Mark McLain pulled off his helmet, scratched his closely cropped hair and growled, "Well, what the hell do you think you should do about it? You know the orders. Our boys and the Brits are landing in Italy somewhere along the Amalfi coast in a few days. We can't take the chance that he'll tell the krauts there's a platoon of US Army Rangers roaming around Calabria, prepping for the invasion."

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Best Tips

Best Tips

Lately, I've had more than one story in the works at the same time—a separate notebook for each one, or more precisely, a loose pile of notes and reference material that aspires to, one day, assemble itself into a coherent narrative.

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Dark as Chocolate

Dark as Chocolate Released

In Dark as Chocolate, food poisoning of a former high school classmate leads FDA Investigator Connie Murphy to inspect Morerich Chocolates. On the surface, Morerich appears to be following the regulations, but she soon discovers the company is hiding illness complaints about their Delightfully Delicious candy bars. As Connie continues to dig deeper, she gets entangled in economic fraud and drug smuggling, and her efforts culminate in kidnapping and attempted murder.

Read a sample of Connie Murphy #4, Dark as Chocolate

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The Wind

The Wind

…the musings of a "empty nest" father, written one lazy afternoon in 1997 while visiting his daughter in Cleveland. It is, I believe, a timeless piece for any parent when the children move out.

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Punctuation

Punctuation

The average person rarely needs to worry much about punctuation beyond a few basics. For the most part, those we communicate with don't care if the punctuation is off as long as they understand what we've written. Once we go beyond everyday communication and enter the world of business, clarity of meaning becomes more important.

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Wooden Rabbit

Dad's Wooden Rabbit

I also write a lot of memoir. The following, Dad's Wooden Rabbit, was a challenge to write something from the past, but do it in the present tense. I didn't think I could do it, but the challenge presenter gave me a big thumbs up for accomplishing the task.

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An Excellent Bookstore

An Excellent Bookstore

Yesterday's Muse Inc. is an independent used and rare bookseller that has been in operation for over 10 years. We opened our first 'brick and mortar' storefront in December of 2008 in our hometown of Webster, NY.

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LCRW Round Robin

LCRW Round Robin

One of the most famous writing challenges was between C.L. Moore, A. Merritt, H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, and Frank Belknap Long. It was called the Challenge from Beyond. In this writing exercise, the writers each wrote one short section that ended in such a way as to leave the next author in a difficult spot. Now we present the LCRW Writing Challenge - 2020 Round Robin. But I won’t spoil the ending.

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A Covid Prayer

A Covid Prayer

Daily life looks very different, and this pandemic has impacted everybody in some way. You are not alone in what you are facing. The fears that rise to the surface are felt by billions of people around the world. We are all in this together. Even though the storm is raging right now, famous poet Maya Angelou once said, "Every storm runs out of rain."

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Untitled Story

Untitled Story

Flash fiction is a short work that still offers character and plot development. Identified varieties, many of them defined by word count, include the six-word story; the 280-character story (also known as "twitterature"); the "dribble" (also known as the "minisaga," 50 words); the "drabble" (also known as "microfiction," 100 words); "sudden fiction" (750 words); flash fiction (1,000 words); and "micro-story."

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Carrot Ranch Tales

Carrot Ranch Tales

I am a regular contributor at Carrot Ranch Literary where Charli Mills offers a weekly prompt to anyone who wants to participate. We write 99 words, no more, no less, flash fiction stories. Each October we "Rodeo" meaning the prompts are more challenging, specific, and often have twists to them. They are meant to stretch our writing chops and make us, the authors, get out of our comfort zones to try something different.

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The Usefulness Committee

The Usefulness Committee

Meetings are the most universal — and universally despised — part of business life. But bad meetings do more than ruin an otherwise pleasant day. There are real stakes: bad meetings make bad companies. In businesss, People don't take meetings seriously. They arrive late, leave early, and spend most of their time doodling. People wander off the topic. Good meetings aren't just about work. They're about fun — keeping people charged up.

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Timely Converstaion

Timely Converstaion

Rick Iekel sends us a timely piece that we are going to Grandfather in...

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Dear Author

Dear Author

An advice column for writers, poets, and wordsmiths who go bump in the page.

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LCRW on Medium

LCRW on Medium

The internet should reward quality thinking, not clickbait. Medium says they have created a better home for writers, journalists and experts. It's simple to use, free from ads, and connects you to curious, avid readers, so you can focus on what matters: putting your best work out there.

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Deal with the Devil

Deal with the Devil

Dante and his allies discover his lost home, Earth only to find the malevolent galactic force he had been struggling against found it too and was already there.

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Polka-dots Make the Day More Normal

Polka-dots Make the Day More Normal

In 1962, DC Comics introduced Polka-Dot Man with irregularly-sized and differently coloured dots. The Venezuelan fashion designer Carolina Herrera also used polka dots on most of her dresses during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Much of the Japanese artist's Yayoi Kusama's work features a polka dot motif. The Polka Dot Door is a Canadian children's television series produced from 1971 to 1993 or…

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New Connie Murphy Mystery Published

New Connie Murphy Mystery Published

Connie Murphy is a senior drug investigator with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration who is passionate about protecting public health. While conducting seemingly routine inspections, intrigue and danger intervene.

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Opening Paragraphs

Opening Paragraphs

Most published authors didn't worry about a single opening sentence; they just started telling the stories. There has to be a beginning. May of these opening indicate time and place, introducing a character. But almsot across the board, what the authors do is to provide a descriptiont.

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Audiobooks

AUDIOBOOKS

It's the written word that counts right? Who cares about audiobooks?

Right now audiobook sales are poised to overtake paperback book sales by the year 2023. At that point, eBook sales will have dropped to number three, after paperback book sales. So, if you are not thinking about turning your book into an audiobook, you are simply leaving money on the table.

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FBI Photo Site

One More Place for Inspiring Pictures

Here's one more site on the Internet so provide you with interesting pictures that could act as prompts for stories… especially for you Mystery and History writers.

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The Reason It's So Hard to Spot Your Own Typos

The Reason It's So Hard to Spot Your Own Typos

Have you ever typed an email, only to return to it and discover, to your mounting horror, that you've written "tahn" instead of "than?" There's a good reason why we're so terrible at catching these typing errors, and it has to do with our brains being a little too efficient.

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LCRW History

LCRW History

On 21 August 1835, The New York Sun published a series of articles about the discovery of life on the moon. These were falsely attributed to a well-known astronomer of the time named Sir John Herschel. The article reported Herschel had made these discoveries and went on to describe, in detail, how the discovery was made. Well, if New York papers can do it, so can we. Here is the completely fictitious and utterly made-up history of LCRW.

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Notes On Publishing

Notes On Publishing

Charles Dickens only to find a publisher to get any of his works out. But in the 21st Century we can publish our own works. The following is a companion piece to the excellent presentation we had in October 2020.

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Publishing News September 2020

Publishing News September 2020

If a tough month to get noticed if you're publishing anything besides Political Non-fiction, but there are still a few things going on. Here's a collection of news items from the publishing world for September.

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You Are Not Alone

You Are Not Alone

Allostatic load is "the wear and tear on the body" which accumulates as an individual is exposed to repeated or chronic stress. The psychological term was coined back in 1993. It represents the physiological consequences of chronic exposure to... well quite frankly everything going wrong at once. This includes writer's block.

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So you want to write a novel? 8 bestselling authors tell you how

So you want to write a novel? 8 bestselling authors tell you how

One of the most common questions I get asked by friends, family and readers is, "What advice do you have for someone who wants to write a novel?"

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Reading Other Genres

Reading Other Genres

Ever pass by sections of the bookstore you always avoid? Next time you go to the bookstore, you might want to pick out something from those sections. After all, what would Columbus have found if he'd just kept sailing in the same directions all the time? Or Leif Erikson? Why be like Alexander and believe there are no new worlds to conquer?

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Pandemic News and Writing

Pandemic News and Writing

Change caused by the Pandemic certainly become a topic for people to write about. It was top of the news a century ago. Everyone thought it would change the way we wrote books.

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Women and Publishing

Women and Publishing

The UK has a site dedicated to offer plenty of opportunity for women to submit thier work... and they even pay for it. Mslexia is read by top authors and absolute beginners. A quarterly masterclass in the business and psychology of writing, it's the essential magazine for women who write.

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Getting Your Name Out There

Getting Your Name Out There -- Part One

Over the course of watching some of the great ebook authors operate, it's easy to conclude that they stick out because they aren't following the basics of self-advertisement. They are doing things differently. In a market that you may consider saturated, you might be thinking: "Well, I can't afford Google ads and everyone doesAmazon, so I really don't know where to start with getting my name out there." Let's change that today.

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Pro tips for writing and publishing speculative fiction

All fiction is speculative to some extent, posing a “what-if” question, which serves as the premise and drives the plot. But for fantasy author Kij Johnson, winner of both the Hugo and Nebula Award, the specific genre of speculative fiction adds its own special writing challenges: “A brilliant speculative story is harder to write than a brilliant realistic story, because it must do all the same things mainstream literature does – characterization, language, theme, and all the rest – and also, it needs to meet the requirements of the genre: accurate science, plausible worldbuilding, and the physiological triggers essential to a horror story.”

Book writing service gives veterans a way to preserve their stories

Story Terrace is giving vets a discount so that they can write books based on their lives and experiences. The company is calling it the "Speak and Listen" campaign. "My grandfather was in the resistance in the Netherlands (in WWII), and I regret not recording his stories," says Story Terrace CEO Rutger Bruining. "That's why I think it's really important for the entire family that these stories are kept and retold, so people remember what happens."

Bad Habits

Are These Bad Habits Creeping Into Your Writing?

Many writers rely more heavily on pronouns than I’d suggest is useful. For me this sort of thing comes under the heading Remember that Writing Is Not Speaking. When we talk, we can usually make ourselves understood even amid a flood of vague “he”s and “she”s. On the page, too many pronouns are apt to be confounding.

Novel Writing

How to Write a Novel: A 12-Step Guide

You may be surprised to know that even after writing over 190 books (two-thirds of those novels) over the last 40 years, 21 of them New York Times bestsellers (most notably the Left Behind Series), I deal with those exact problems every time. So how do I overcome them and succeed?

Places that want your work

Not sure where to send those great short stories you’ve written?

As with writing contests and fellowships, sometimes it can be hard to know where to begin. To help you figure out where to submit short stories, we’ve put together this guide to 23 publications that publish short fiction...

Free Contests

31 Free Writing Contests: Legitimate Competitions With Cash Prizes

When I was about 12, I saw an ad in a magazine for a poetry contest that sounded fancy and impressive, something like “International Library of Poetry.” I bled poetry at that age, so I crossed my fingers and sent in a poem I’d been slaving over for weeks.

Weekly Writing Contests

Weekly Writing Contests

Free Writing Contests is your source for a listing of 2019 writing contests that you can enter. The largest collection of writing contests - hand-picked for writers of all skill levels. Your online location for an updated list of writing contests from around the world delivered daily.

Kindle Formatting

What Are The Ways To Format An e-Book for Kindle

You feel all the satisfaction, but there is still something that has you didn’t do, and that is publishing the book and recei...

Want To Write A Memoir? Start Writing Your Story

It seems everyone is writing their memoirs today. Whether you sell yours to a publisher or self-publish it, you might wonder what the difference is between writing your memoir or just your story? It’s in the focus.

BookBub

BookBub

BookBub is a free service that helps millions of readers discover limited-time deals on acclaimed ebooks. Members receive a personalized daily email alerting them to the best free and deeply discounted titles matching their interests as selected by our editorial team. BookBub can be used with all major ebook retailers and devices.

Patreon

How to Crowdfund Your Writing With Patreon

Many writers dream of quitting their day jobs and becoming full-time freelancers. And while that is achievable, it’s a difficult prospect for poets, playwrights and midlist fiction writers. Writing organizations such as the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America consider a minimum professional rate for fiction to be six cents a word. Many novels only receive advances of $5,000–$10,000.

Video Games

How to Write a Video Game Story

My first attempt at writing a video game script begins with the socialist journalist and activist Marina Ginesta, a remarkabl...

Fiction University

Fiction University

Each week, I’ll offer a writing tip you can take and apply to your WIP to help improve it. They’ll be easy to do and shouldn’t take long, so they’ll be tips you can do without taking up your Sunday. Though I do reserve the right to offer a good tip now and then that will take longer—but only because it would apply to the entire manuscript.

eBooks

Make Big Money Writing Fiction

Recently my friend Charlie Martin wrote a post about how ebooks are a complete game changer for publishing, a fact that traditional publishers are still bent on denying. In fact, for the last ...

Novel Writing

How to Write a Novel: A 12-Step Guide

You may be surprised to know that even after writing over 190 books (two-thirds of those novels) over the last 40 years, 21 of them New York Times bestsellers (most notably the Left Behind Series), I deal with those exact problems every time. So how do I overcome them and succeed?

Guide

‘Dreyer’s English’ is a witty and useful writing guide

Some of his advice is aimed specifically at people who write fiction, but overall the book ... age of ten who is not actively ...

Bellow

Writing Advice from Saul Bellow

Bellow is still the only writer to have been awarded the National Book Award for Fiction three times—he also nabbed a Pulitzer, a National Medal of Arts, and of course, the Nobel Prize...

Choctaw historian at KU restoring cultural knowledge through fiction

The prolific author juggles her time between being a professor, writing (both fiction and nonfiction), and advocating for healthy eating in the Native American community, among many other interests. Mihesuah, a Choctaw historian, is KU’s Cora Lee Beers Price Teaching Professor in International Cultural Understanding. Her 17th book,..

 

Punch Up the Volume

Punch Up the Volume in Your Writing

Let your brain imagine the sounds. Your writing needs sonic textures. Lucky for me, the MFA program let us take poetry and fiction workshops. So I spent a lot of time in coffee shops reading ...

New-Age Fiction

Keep it short on new-age medium with new-age writing

Flash fiction can be considered a prototype to ... pen-wielders who easily lose heart from the novel or story they begin writing, Instagram poetry and ttt is just the thing for you.

Fan Fiction

6 Ways That Fanfiction Makes Your Writing Stronger

It works in the realm of original fiction just as well—if you’re writing within a universe you’ve already invented, you are doing precisely the same work as if you’re writing prompt fanfic, with the ...

Hometownreads

Local Authors

At first glance the website seems but a simple collecting point for local authors who might otherwise only be found on Amazon or discovered at some random book signing event. You won’t find big name authors, but a growing list of largely unknown local authors from cities across the country. Like you, they have dreamed of, written and published stories near and dear to their hearts.

Free SFF

Get Amazing SFF Reads (for Free!)

Tor.com is home to an award-winning short fiction program, with over a decade of weekly stories for science fiction, fantasy, and horror fans to enjoy.

We want to make reading our stories even easier by offering a brand new short fiction-only newsletter. Subscribers will get two months’ worth of short fiction delivered to their inboxes in multiple digital formats on a bimonthly basis

Strong Verbs

How To Use Strong Verbs To Sharpen Your Writing

If you want to learn the precise difference between the terms strong and weak verbs, it can be a little confusing. There are a few ways to determine the strength of verbs. There is a linguistic basis, the simple contrast between active and static verbs as well as a literary definition. In a general sense, action verbs are strong, and we use them to make verbs more interesting.

Self-Publish

How To Promote A Book Online In 4 Clearly Explained Steps

If you self-publish, you need a plan to promote your book online. If you want to succeed at self-publishing, you are on your own. Writing a great book is one thing, but selling it is another. Amazon, Apple, Kobo and all the other ebook and book retailers are not going to promote your books.

Mel

Tips to help you write fantasy, from author Melinda Salisbury

Because the object of fiction is to make the reader forget themselves for a little while. Think of writing a book as a game you’re playing with a reader – you can only win if they stop living in the ...

Dean

Humanising a Cold Case Victim

Two Australian books were published last year about a brutal murder that happened in Melbourne in 1930: the non-fiction A Scandal in Bohemia: The Life and Death of Mollie Dean by Gideon Haigh, and The Portrait of Molly Dean, Katherine Kovacic’s first novel.

Help an author (and fellow readers) by posting a thoughtful book review online

One of the most generous things you can do for the author of a book is to write a review and post it on Amazon.com or ...

Smart Story

Tell Me a Smart Story: On Podcasts, Videos, and Websites as Writing Assignments

About two years ago at my university, I designed a minor in the medical humanities. At its core was a class that introduced students to medical topics from the perspectives of the humanities and social sciences. When it came to designing assignments that would show how well they understood such varied concepts, I decided to go out on a pedagogical limb...

One Month

How to Write Your Novel in a Single Month

There are so many ways to write a novel. I’ve talked about how if you’re pressed for time, you can always find 10 to 20 minutes a day and write a little bit. If you write 200 words a day, you can complete a novel in just one year!

First Novel

How To Write Your First Novel In Your 40s

With Linda Holmes If you know NPR’s Linda Holmes, it’s probably not as a novelist. She’s a public radio pop culture correspondent, she co-hosts NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast and her recalcitrant dog Brian is ...

Name Tag

Prosopagnosia or The Value of a Nametag

Have you ever gone to a class, of any kind, and been asked to wear a name tag? What was your reaction? Did you think it was silly because you were never going to see those people again, or you didn't like being treated like a child. I hate to admit I've had those same thoughts. Now think about how good it makes you feel when you walk into a meeting, or restaurant, and someone calls you by name. It makes you feel good, like you are valuable and you have something to offer or gain by being there.

Lists

The Expert’s Guide to Writing Book Recommendation Lists

It is as inevitable as the green sky above us, the annual migration of the giant oak trees, and the monthly return of the ...

Assume Nothing

Assume Nothing

is a collection of short mysteries about four ordinary women, who find themselves in extra-ordinary situations, while looking for the truth. Each story can be read in a couple of hours while on a beach, an airplane, by the pool, next to a fire on a cold winter afternoon or sitting in a comfy chair with a steaming cup of coffee, tea or a glass of your favorite wine. 

Top 10 tips on writing a first novel by Gaby Koppel

Having just released her debut novel Reparation, Gaby Koppel wants to inspire other budding authors. She's poured her heart and soul into this emotional tale, and is now here with ten essential pieces of advice for when it comes to her fellow writers publishing their first novel.

7 Things Separate Those Who Write That Book Inside Them From Those Who Only Dream About

It's something many dream of. Ask around your office who wants to write a book someday, to share (and monetize) their knowledge, and you'll be astonished. I've written several business books and I remember an editor telling me: "80 percent want to write a book--only a fraction actually do."

Podcasts

20 Inspiring Writing Podcasts to Subscribe to Right Now

For writers looking to bust writer’s block, hone their craft or spice up a boring commute, there’s no shortage of podcasts from amateurs and experts alike. Here, we’ve compiled 20 writing-related podcasts worth subscribing to ...

8 Tips For Writing A Mystery Novel

There are so many different sub-genres of mystery. You’ve got your cozy mystery, you’re courtroom drama, whodunit stories, and much more. Which sub-genre does your mystery fall under? Sure, you can mix them up, but it always helps to define what kind of mystery you’re writing about.

The Only Book You Need if You Want to Write a Nonfiction Book

Writing a book can be one of the smartest things you do for your career if you're a professional, CEO, or entrepreneur. More and more successful professionals are realizing this. Most are also realizing that the purpose of these books is not to be "bestsellers" or to sell millions of copies. Instead, the purpose of these books are to powerfully speak to their niche audience, to get high-priced clients, or to position themselves or their business differently.

Find Your Voice and Keep It

The writer’s goal is to evoke emotion. To ensure the audience smiles laughs, cries, becomes angry or hurts for the characters that they’ve created and the storyline they’ve developed. All writers/authors hope to fulfill this role successfully. Success can mean many things; dollars as in unit sales, emails from fans, parents reaching out and aspiring writers looking for tips and advice, book signings, and paid speaking engagements.

NNWM

How to Get the Most Out of National Novel Writing Month

Embrace your messy first draft and commit to NaNoWriMo’s boot-camp vibe. Four years ago, Jasmine Guillory was an aspiring novelist with an idea and an outline, but she was stuck in a creative rut. When a friend asked if she would be up for a writing challenge of putting 50,000 words down in one month, she immediately said yes.

"The book was difficult" - Kelly-Eve Koopman on writing 'Because I Couldn't Kill You'

Before writing this book, I was not a fan of creative non-fiction. I put fiction on a pedestal. When I started writing the memoir I realised how close fiction and memory are and how they can be one and the same thing. I am a South African, born just shy of free. You'd think I'd realise how easily fabricated narratives become history. For me the experience of navigating through the personal was a lot like this. I felt like a magpie of my own consciousness, scavenging through things.

25 Creative Writing Prompts

Don’t you just hate writer’s block? Some say it’s a disease that only creative workers succumb to. Some say it’s a curse. Others argue that it doesn’t exist at all. But just about everyone has been there–sitting in front of a blank screen, fingers itching to create a masterpiece. And nothing happens.

Screenwriting

Book Writing and Screenwriting Parallels

Storytelling is Storytelling! “Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else’s.” – Billy Wilder

Accents

How to write accents and dialects: 6 tips

Learn how to write accents and dialects in your stories because it will help you write about crosscurrents between people and places. Regional dialects help to convey a sense of local character speech in stories.

Alex

Observations of Alex Perch

Was the stoplight really green? From which way was the wind blowing from this morning? When was the last time you located the Big Dipper in the evening sky? In this hectic world of ours odds are you were not able to answer any of the above questions.

Sally Hometown Reads

New Venue to Showcase My Books

According to their website "Hometown Reads is digital author platform focused on showcasing books from local authors across the United States. We want to highlight authors in their hometowns, while inspiring local readers to discover hidden treasures in their hometown. We desire to create a collaborative author community, where authors exchange local book marketing advice, engage in cross-promotion of one another, and network with community organizations."

Death By Diysfunction

Death by Dysfunction

BarbaraHelene Smith published Death by Dysfunction, the first in the Connie Murphy Mystery series. Connie is an FDA investigator, who is dedicated to protecting public safety. While conducting seemingly routine inspections ...

Sidelined by Steroids

BarbaraHelene Smith just published Sidelined by Steroids. The second Connie Murphy Mystery e-book, available on Amazon.com.

15 Smart Writing Tips For Crafting Copy That Sticks

To help you do this well, 15 members of Forbes Communications Council gave us their tips for writing short, quick copy that will stick with your audience long after they've read it. Follow their tips to improve your marketing copywriting.

Mystery Stories

How To Write A Mystery That Will Knock Them Dead

Good mysteries are also good novels. They have memorable characters, an exciting plot, lively dialogue and writing that "shows" instead of "tells".

Jerzs Blog

Short Story Hacks: 10 Tips to Improve Your Creative Writing

Seton Hill University is a liberal arts university in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Formerly a women's college, it became a coeducational university in 2002 and enrolls about 2,200 students. Dennis G. Jerz is a Associate Professor of English–New Media Journalism and this is from his blog. It's the winner of the 2011 Best Academic Weblog / John Lovas Memorial Weblog Award.

Writing Characters

Hints on How to Create Characters

Did you ever ride a bus to school? It's not the bus that is important, nor the trip, it's your fellow students. If you didn't ride a bus, sit for a minute and go up and down the rows of your classroom, at different ages, and maybe from different schools. These school mates are the fodder for any character you want to include in any writing you may do. How so?

Spy Novels

Writing Spy Fiction with an Unputdownable Plot

When you’re writing spy fiction you have one overriding goal: to keep the reader turning the pages. There’s no greater compliment to the spy thriller author than for their readers to say ‘I couldn’t put it down.’ But how can we keep the reader engrossed? How many supposed thrillers have you abandoned because you lost interest in them?

Character Dialogue

Dialogue And Characters

Dialogue is a wonderful way to show characterization, and also the relationships between your characters. Not only what people say, but the way they say it, gives the reader quality information about your character.

Spicing up Content

Adding Spice With Sentence Variety

Sometimes what we read is a simple statement, followed by another simple statement followed by…. You get the picture. It is boring reading that does not bring the reader into your story. Often I can show examples where combining two consecutive statements into one sentence makes for a much better read.

That is not a cure, but it does get you started. Try it. Read OUT LOUD what you originally wrote, then the combined sentences. I think you will find they are much more engaging. (I strongly suggest you read or have read to you, your story out loud. You will catch many awkward sentences you just read over)

Novellas

Long Live Short Fiction: The New Golden Age of the SFF Novella

Technically a Novella is 17,500 to 39,999 words, or just short of a novel. Once a stepchild of the more popular novel, it is now back in vogue. At least according to Tor Books. But don't believe me, read the article.

Cthulhu

Writing Challenges

One of the most famous writing challenges was between C.L. Moore, A. Merritt, H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, and Frank Belknap Long. It was called the Challenge from Beyond. In this writing exercise, the writers each wrote one short section that ended in such a way as to leave the next author in a difficult spot. Robert E. Howard had to write after H. P. Lovecraft. The author of The Call of Cthulhu and Other Dark Tales changed the protagonist into a huge, pale-green, loathsome centipede. What Howard does with this is not only inspiring but pure genius. But I won’t spoil the ending.

Editing

Editors and Editing

The myth of an author sitting quietly in their room and emerging with a completed book is about as big a myth as seeing Bigfoot in your living room. Writing is an arduous skill to master, and even the most gifted writers can use the help of the right kind of editor.

Rod Serling on Writing

Rod Serling on Writing

"Don't preoccupy yourself, don't fret, don't tear hair, don't pull off your shirt in tatters because you've missed comma, because you have a run-on sentence, because you've split an infinitive." Here are some more words of writing advice from Rod Serling...

Virtual Meetings

Virtual Meetings

Right across the still -cold lake from us (Okay, you might have to go a little to the east) you'll run into Belleville, Ontario. There you'll find the Belleville Public Library Writers' Collective. They've gone virtual.

One on One Meeting

Holding Effective Remote Meetings

Don't forget to test all technology (including camera/video, Wi-Fi, and screen sharing) before the meeting. Use the "Buddy System." Zoom is free. Set up a meeting with one other person in LCRW in advance. That way you can both test out how well your device works before the group meeting starts. Remember Zoom works on smartphones and iPads too!

GramLogo

How do I add Grammarly for Microsoft Office to Word and Outlook?

Are you are writer? Want to make sure your writing is error-free and easy to read? An online grammar checker and proofreading tool like Grammarly can help avoid embarrassing typos and grammatical errors. You can use it to make sure your book, article or blog post is accurate and easy to read.

GOVPhotos

Sources of Photos for Commercial Use

Illustrating your book and website articles can be challenging. But using websites where you can find photos that are royalty free for commercial use is very helpful. You can use the photos as they are or use image software to change them into something new.

Word

A review of Word’s F7 key function

A grammar editor is a software facility that highlights errors in a text and suggests correct word choices and fixes misspellings. Most of these owe their existance to the first spell-check system, developed by a group of six linguists from Georgetown University in the late 1970s for the IBM 360 mainframe computer.

Serial Comma

Why Include The Serial Comma?

When we list three, four, or more things in a sentence, (How's that for showing, not telling?) standard English rules allow the last comma in the series (sometimes referred to as the "Oxford comma") to be optional. The writer may elect either to include it or to leave it out.

Music Lyrics

Why You Can’t Use Song Lyrics in Your Fiction

One of the issues I frequently encounter is the use of song lyrics in fiction. The short is that song lyrics are protected by copyright and you cannot use someone else’s song lyrics without permission from the copyright holder.

Voice Recorder

How to use the Window’s Voice Recorder App

If you need to record audio on your PC, Windows 10 provides you with the Voice Recorder app. It's built in to the Opearting System. Here's how to use it. Voice Recorder is a simple application to record sound, and the only thing you need is a microphone.

Book Reviews

A Guide to Free Reviews

In an increasingly crowded market, it can be difficult to get noticed—and thus, reviewed—on sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Goodreads. And paid review services can be expensive, adding to the already significant financial strain many encounter when self-publishing a book. So, what's the alternative?

Tran

An Author's Childhood Story

Well, we've just had May 4th ... or in some circles Star Wars Day (May the Fourth be With You.) If you're like this auther, it brings back memories. Sometimes a writers journey is from a Galaxy not so far away. Every now and then it's from Pennsylvania (Our neighbor state to the south.)

Settings

Character Settings

A story's setting carries an enormous weight in fiction because it helps put the reader into your imaginary world. It enables them to travel from their personal experiences to enter your world. Leaving out the setting is like attempting to drive a car with a blindfold on… you can expect the diver to imagine the road… but it won't work out well.

Book Sales

With the coronavirus pandemic, eBook has business boomed

The pandemic has caused an abrupt, massive shift in consumer behavior. Leisurely in-person browsing is on hiatus indefinitely. Although with most physical stores in the United States are closed, book sales overall have been up in April, according to market research company the NPD Group. The bookselling business has changed amidst the stay-at-home orders brought by Covid-19. "The book market has historically performed well during times of economic downturn, and our first six weeks have shown us that there is unlikely to be a catastrophic cliff in demand for books," NPD industry analyst Kristen McLean wrote, noting that book sales grew almost every year during the Great Recession.

Writing Mistakes

The 5 Biggest Fiction Writing Mistakes (& How to Fix Them)

The best fiction writers write like they're in love—and edit like they're in charge. First drafting should be a wild and wonderful ride, full of discovery, dreams and promises. But at some point you have to settle down and make the book really work. You need to approach your manuscript with sober objectivity and knowledge of the craft.

Trials

New Connie Murphy Mystery Published

Connie Murphy is a senior drug investigator with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration who is passionate about protecting public health. While conducting seemingly routine inspections, intrigue and danger intervene.

World Wide Web

Web Resources for Writers

Now that we are spending more time at home, chances are you're spending more time surfing the internet. So, how can you find places to help you with your writing? In this article, you'll find places to visit to help you answer these questions as well as a few places that are downright fun to visit. Including finding a place containing Mark Twain's famous editing advice: "Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very'; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be."

Apple Publishing

Apple renews effort to induce authors to publish with Apple Books

Eight years after it released tools to make what were then called iBooks, Apple has launched Apple Books for Authors, a new effort to get writers publishing on its platform.

Then producing books for Kindle was reasonably simple — reasonably — whether you were an established publisher or an individual author. While there was and is more to it, broadly if you can produce a PDF of your book, you can publish it.

 

Top Of Page

Past Events:

How to

April 27, 2019 -- How to LCRW ...

How to use the LCRW toolbox. The Writer's Market. LCRWriters. LCRWORG Google Groups.

The biggest advantage of having a Web presence is it gives us the advantage of using the Writer's Market, LCRWriters, LCRWORG Google Groups to assist us in advancing our writing ability and goals. This is an instructional session on using these tools.

 
Story

May 25, 2019 -- David Woodruff, How to Write and Tell a Great Story

Great stories have common threads, not considering if they are books, movies or just stories one tells around the water cooler. This is a discussion of the principles of myth used to create masterful stories which are dramatic, entertaining and psychologically true. This is a look at how storytellers can utilize mythic structure to create powerful narratives.

 
Critque

June 2019, September 2019, March 2020, July 2020, and November 2020, March 2021, July 2021-- Critique Session

LCRW will present three critique sessions each year. Works of up to 2500 words in any genre will be reviewed by group members with feedback and comments. Facilitator: Steve Yates.

VM

Virtual
Meeting

Memoir

July 27, 2019 -- Memoir: The Story of You

Why write about your life experience? Who is in charge of your story? What are the benefits of examining significant events and sharing them with others? With whom do you want to share your story? In this workshop we’ll discuss some of the knotty questions that memoir writers ponder, as well as respond to writing prompts that will help you unpack your personal journey. Come ready to participate!

 
Stories

August 24, 2019 -- Elements of a Story

This is the follow up to How to Write and Tell a Great Story. This covers the details of storytelling specifically for the writer. It simplifies the Joseph Campbell hero’s journey to a single-story circle. It covers creating and writing interesting characters. The best types of opening lines for a story and fills out the process with real examples from both film and the written word.

 
Community Christian Church

Confrence: October 26, 2019

LCRW group provides support and encouragement to writers of all genres and levels through this special conference, as well as through its monthly meetings.

Community Christian Church 2647 Chili Ave, Rochester, NY 14624
Cost: $40 ($45 after 10/18)

 
Controverial Topics

November 23, 2019 -- Kate Collier, Discussion of Writing Controversial Topics

In fiction, sensitive or divisive topics can be hard to write, especially when you are passionate about your characters and theme or consider certain scenes and actions essential to the plot. How do you to make an impact with a character or situation without alienating segments of your intended audience?

 

February 22, 2020 -- Fiction in a Flash

Seeing Metaphor: How specific details become lasting images (metaphors) in flash fiction and creative nonfiction. In this lecture/ writing workshop, participants will take a close look at several selected professional models of flash fiction/creative nonfiction (100-500 words). We will see how quickly setting, characters, action, specific details create a narrative that stays with us long after our first reading.

 

Flaws

May 23, 2020 -- Virtual Meeting - Character Flaws

Nobody is perfect and neither are your characters. Our flaws make us human and flaws make your characters more human and more real. Author Stephen J. Cannell says, "The flaws in a character are always more interesting than the strengths."

VM

Virtual
Meeting

Location as Character

June 27, 2020 -- Location as Character

Sally Valentine

Location, location, location. You've probably heard picking the right locations for your story can make or break the emotions you want to convey. But have you ever considered just how significant it can be to your story? Some settings matter so much to the plot, they take on a life of their own — and they are just as necessary as the story characters themselves.

VM

Virtual
Meeting

Shay

August 22, 2020 -- Writing Your Memoirs LCRW

Kathy Shay

To understand ourselves, it's important to look back on our lives to remember what happened to us and what we've learned from those experiences. If we want to grow, we have to understand where we've been and have an idea of where we'd like to go. Writing memoirs facilitates this process. Writing memoir also preserves memories for future generations and can be entertaining to relatives now.

Join Kathryn Shay, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author and veteran teacher of three decades to learn more about memoir and get a start on your own.

Virtual
Meeting

LCRW

September 26, 2020 -- Punctuation

Rick Taubold

A presentation that goes over some of the stickier points of punctuation. Discover punctuation guides that will help you vary and clarify your sentences.

Zoom Meeting

Virtual
Meeting

Self Publishing

October 24, 2020 -- Self-Publishing for Regular Folk -- Kim Gore

Kim Gore, author of several self-published books, guides you through the steps necessary to produce both an eBook and a paperback edition for your novel. This includes creating a cover, formatting the interior, making decisions on where to upload your work, and all the delicious trimmings that go along with making your novel ready to sell in the online marketplace. This is going to be an intense, face-paced course designed to help you understand what goes into self-publishing for both pleasure and profit.

Zoom Meeting

Virtual
Meeting

Business Meeting 2021

January 23, 2021 -- Business Meeting and Hit Me With Your Bets Tip

New Officers will take their position
Set the agenda for the year.

Bring you best tips.

Zoom Meeting

Virtual
Meeting

Poetry

February 27, 2021 -- Poetry Workshop

Come one, come all, for a great learning haul,
It's time to hear about poems that you might scrawl,
Be taught some skill so words you don't maul,
Gather now and learn how not to sound like a Neanderthal.

Zoom Meeting

Virtual
Meeting

Point Of View

April 24, 2021 -- Point of View

One of the most debated topic among novelists is the confusion over point of view. Even veteran writers can get in a fog about it. But it's important to your storytelling. If not handled correctly, in subtle and almost unconscious ways, the impoact of your story is diluted.

Zoom Meeting

Virtual
Meeting

Airport Management

May 22, 2021 -- Airport Management

Hey fellow writers, is your hero going to be traveling through an airport anytime soon? Sure, your imagination can pull it off, but what don't you know about airports? What might be added that never occurred to you before? What's going on that you don't know about? The May 22nd program will walk (not fly) you through various aspects of the airport that you can only see through the terminal window...

Zoom Meeting

Virtual
Meeting

ORN Operations

June 26, 2021 -- ORN Operations

Lee Nelson and Adrianne Mann

What Is an Operating Room Nurse? The Perioperative or 'OR' Nurse is an individual who works with the patient being prepped for surgery, their family, and as a member of the interdisciplinary care team.

Zoom Meeting

Virtual
Meeting

Bios

August 28, 2021 -- The need for 3 Bios

Charli Mills

Writing your author bio can be a daunting task, but a well-crafted bio can help readers learn more about what makes you and your books so interesting.  Here's a sample: H. G Parry lives in a book-infested flat on the Kapiti Coast of New Zealand, which she shares with her sister, a cat, three guinea pigs, and two overactive rabbits. She holds a Phd in English Literature from the University of Wellington, and has taught English, film, and media studies.

Zoom Meeting

Virtual
Meeting

   
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