Introducing Your Characters

Posted by on Apr 11, 2013 in Blog | 4 comments

Authors often forget their manners when a new character enters the scene. The reader wants a brief introduction. We don’t need long, entangled descriptive paragraphs, just a little something to give us a quick visual. Here is an example: Samuel pulled up his breeches, which had a habit of slipping below his protruding belly. He hitched them high above his waistline, as if to give them plenty of sliding room. (The Doctor’s Lady, by Jody Hedlund) We all know someone who habitually pulls up his trousers and get an image in our mind of what the...

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Ellipsis! … Do you really need it?

Posted by on Apr 2, 2013 in Blog, Writing Events, Writing Tips | 0 comments

Using an ellipsis can be tricky.  I’m not a fan of any type of punctuation that is used too much (think semi-colon or colon) but the ellipsis seems to be something I often must edit from a manuscript. The most common way authors use an ellipsis is to indicate that the speaker has paused or is searching for his thoughts. This works, but I often find that writers use the same thing over and over on the page until I think that if I see one more ellipsis…I just might throw the manuscript to the floor. I would recommend that you save your ellipses...

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Do You Understand POV?

Posted by on Mar 25, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

As an editor, I spend my days at a cluttered desk reading manuscripts. What is the most common problem I encounter with new and even some experienced writers? Point of view (POV) or more simply put, who is telling the story. I believe every writer (yes, even memoir writers) should have a basic understanding of point of view. Beginning writers often don’t put a thought into point of view. They just start writing. They further exacerbate the problem by jumping into the different character’s heads whenever they like. In one scene we are reading...

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Enter Two New Contests!

Posted by on Mar 18, 2013 in Contests | 0 comments

I love contests!  Both of the listings below have FREE submissions with the chance of winning money or publication. The Great American Think-Off garners submissions from all over the United States! If your work is selected by the Lake Region Review, you will be able to show off your talents in a quality anthology. Please write something and submit. Put the dates on your calendar and get to work. The Great American Think-Off The deadline for submissions to the Great American Think-Off approaches. This year’s topic: “Which is more...

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10 Million Links to Help Make Your Memoir Stand Out! (Part 2)

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

I know you have all been waiting for Part 2 of guest blogger Cindy Zelman’s post on “10 Million Links to Help Make Your Memoir Stand Out!” Drumroll…..Here it is!  Don’t forget to “like” and sign up for Cindy’s blog. (P.S. Cindy has some great recommendations for memoirs you NEED to read.) A Memorist’s Voice Guest blogger Cindy Zelman on “10 Million Links to Help Make Your Memoir Stand Out! (Part 2)” Or, more simple advice for those new to memoir writing. Suggestion Number 3: Find your...

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10 Million Links to Help Make Your Memoir Stand Out (Part 1)

Posted by on Mar 4, 2013 in Blog | 1 comment

Cindy Zelman of Boston, Massachusetts, has written a fabulous article about writing memoir. It’s so great I wanted to share it with all of you. Today’s guest post is Part 1, with Part 2 to follow next Monday, March 11.  If you enjoy this article (which I am sure you will) please be sure to post a comment and show some appreciation to Cindy. “10 Million Links to Help Make Your Memoir Stand Out! (Part 1)” Or, some simple advice for those new to memoir writing. If you Google the phrase, How to make your memoir stand out, you will...

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FARM GIRLS Available Now!

Posted by on Feb 25, 2013 in Blog, Products & Services | 0 comments

My sister (Candace Simar) and I have really enjoyed getting together to read from our new book —sharing some of our stories about childhood and a little of what it’s like to live in today’s world. Farm Girls is about memory and loss. About looking back and moving forward. Some of it’s funny and some of it sad. If you grew up on a farm, you will  appreciate the stories! But even if you are a city dweller, the thoughts from this book will still resonate. If you live near Pine City and would like to purchase a copy of our...

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Do You Make This Writing Mistake?

Posted by on Jan 16, 2013 in Blog, Writing Tips | 0 comments

Memoir writers need tension in their stories. Our true character is revealed under pressure. Think back to the emotional moments in your life.  What did you learn about yourself? How did you react to the stress? High emotions such as fear, grief, jealousy, or anger  are the perfect moments to write about. Show the stress. Show your reaction. By doing this, you’ll reveal yourself. A perfect recipe for a great memoir story. P.S. If you live near the Brainerd area, please stop by the Q Gallery at the Franklin Art Center between 1 – 3...

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Talking Stick is Open for Submissions!

Posted by on Dec 27, 2012 in Contests | 0 comments

The Jackpine Writers’ Bloc of Northern Minnesota has just opened Talking Stick Volume 22 for submissions. They are giving a $300 prize for first place and a $100 prize for second place in the categories of Poetry, Fiction and Creative Nonfiction. It must be unpublished work. Fiction submissions must be less than 1500 words and creative nonfiction must be under 1,000 words. I always tell my students to double space submissions, but their call-out requires single spacing. Follow the directions and be bold with your submissions!! If...

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The #1 Way to Build Tension & Writing Boot Camp Link

Posted by on Nov 30, 2012 in Blog, Writing Events, Writing Tips | 0 comments

What’s the #1 way to build tension in a scene? Writers often move too quickly. Build tension in your written scene by slowing down the action. Let the scene unfold moment by moment.  In real time the scene may have happened quickly–perhaps in seconds. But in a written scene, we need to linger on the details. Give some hint as to what the character is thinking as it happens. Put everything into slow motion and describe the sun glinting off the water. The grit of sand on skin. Whatever the details of your story may be, let them...

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