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Writer to Writer - June 2010

Issue Two

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I can't believe it's almost the end of June!  Where on earth did the month go?

As I mentioned last time, I'm trying to get more fiction written, so have spent some time on my novels over the past few weeks.

It's nice to get back to them, after such a long time.

Speaking of fiction, I just came across a very cool offer that Holly Lisle is making.  As you may know, Holly has some terrific books for fiction writers, and has recently created a editing course.  This is a very important aspect of fiction writing, despite the fact many writers totally ignore it.

The best part of this program of Holly's is that she's letting it go for only $5.

Yes, you read that right.

If you'd like to pick up the bargain of the year via Holly's How to Revise Your Novel Lite, go here now. (There are several unadvertised bonuses as well.)

Don't think this is a 5-10 page document, because it's 57 pages - 54 if you take out the two title pages and end page. Personally, I don't know how Holly can sell it for that price.

The other thing I need to mention is that in the last issue I told you about Evan Marshall's offer to get 52 Ways to Improve Your Fiction at no cost.

Unfortunately, the website was behaving badly and no one could get to the complimentary ebook.

The issue is now fixed, so do try again; it's well worth it.

I'd like to touch on a subject that a lot of writers ask me about, and that's finding the time to write.  Often the problem is not so much finding time, rather getting into a habit to write, and sticking with it.

Start by making a commitment to yourself, a contract if you like.  Set yourself a specific time of the day, or decide on a minimum word count. Now that you've done that, stick to it. 

That's the secret - habit and commitment. 

Food for Thought:  if you wrote just 250 words (one typed page) every day of the month, averaging out at 30 days a month, you would have 7,500 words by the end of the month.

If you wrote 500 words a day (using the same formula above), you would have 15,000 words at the end of the month.  If you wrote 1,000 words each day, you'd have 30,000 words in that time.

Using that formula of 1,000 words daily, in 7-8 weeks, you would have the equivalent of a category romance novel. (These are 50,000 to 55,000 words in length.)

Think about this:  1,000 words is about four pages. Four pages is not a huge amount.  Sticking at it and getting into good habits with your writing will get you there quicker than just about anything else.

I hope this helps to motivate you, and show you anything is possible, even if you are time deprived.

Before we get to this issue, I want to remind you that it's time to pitch your Christmas and New Year's ideas. 

Did you read Cheryl Malandrinos article on planning ahead? 

If not, please take the time to head over there and read it. (Seasonal Articles: Plan Ahead and Earn Extra Writing Income)

Okay, let's get onto this week's article. 

We have a guest article this issue.

Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz has written an informative article on Crafting a Picture Book.

If you're interested in writing for children, then make sure you read this article. Penny has had more than 80 stories published, so she knows her subject!

That's it from me [FIRSTNAME] - time to sit back and enjoy this issue.

Til next time…




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Free Resource for Writers

Evan Marshall is again giving away FR~EE copies of his ebook  52 Ways to Improve Your Fiction.  If you haven't downloaded it already, grab your fr-ee copy now - before he changes his mind. He pulled it down once already, and I had to convince him to put it back up on the site!

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popular & Recommended Reading:

Writing Believable Dialogue

Now That I Have Your Attention… (Beyond the copywriting headline)

How to Deal with Incomplete Projects

Writing Contract Red Flags

When Your Writing Muse Goes AWOL

Seasonal Articles: Plan Ahead & Earn Extra Writing Income


Please nominate for Writer's Digest  101 Best Websites by sending an e-mail to with “101 Best Websites” in the subject line. In the body, tell them something you like about the site.

Motivational Quote:


Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe



Did you know you can write your children's book - in just TWO WEEKS, or LESS?

It's true. There's a SECRET step-by-step system for writing your children's classic in absolute record time.

It's a system that has been refined by many leading authors - and Mel McIntyre wants to share it with you.

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Please support and the Writer to Writer newsletter by purchasing through the affiliate and advertising links in this newsletter. This keeps the newsletter and other information (such as fr*ee courses) at no charge to subscribers.  Some similar publications are now charging a yearly fee - I'm constantly fighting against that trend.  


Crafting A Picture Book

Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz – All Rights Reserved


Have you considered venturing into the world of picture books? Writing a couple hundred words is not as easy as it may appear. According to Lee Wyndham in Writing for Children and Teenagers, Dr. Seuss guessed he wrote and drew more than 1,000 pages for each 64-page book he finished! Picture books require a plot, strong characters, a beginning, a middle, and an end. Putting all of those pieces into a book of less than one thousand words can be a daunting task.


There are several types of picture books. This subject is covered in depth by Laura Backes in her article, “Understanding Children’s Writing Genres.”  Once you choose the type of book you wish to write, you can begin to craft your story.


You have an idea for a story, but where to you start. Rena Jones  likes “stories that start with action.” Jean Reagan states “Starting the story’s problem as soon as possible creates a strong opening. Sometimes, with a picture book, this can happen on the very first page.”  Karen Cioffi agrees, “Something that immediately delves into a mystery problem or action,” is important.  MJ Daley-Prado sums it up as “something that will hook the reader(s) and make them want to read more. . .”


How do picture book authors choose their main character? Many like Holly Jahangiri say “My characters talk to me.” Jean Reagan  often bases her characters on her own childhood worries,” while Karen Cioffi uses her relatives as models, but “changes some of the characteristics. . .”  Margot Finke doesn’t choose her characters.  For her, “The character comes with the original idea, the voice, and evolves with the plot structure and other characters.”

Read the entire article here


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Nick Daws is offering his five-part "Quick Cash Writing Secrets" course at no cost. (You'll need to scroll down the page a bit.) Subscribe at no risk - if you find it's not for you, there's an easy unsubscribe link in every email.

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The Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest

This contest is open to anyone who loves arranging words into the beautiful art of poetry or to write a story that is worth telling everyone! Guidelines: (1) Write a poem, thirty lines or fewer on any subject, form or style, single or double line spacing. And/or (2) Write short story five pages maximum, single or double line spacing, on any subject or theme, fiction or non-fiction. Multiple entries are accepted.

Postmark deadline: July 31, 2010. Winners will be announced and published on August 31, 2010.

Entry fees: Writing Contest entry fee is $10 per short story. Poetry Contest entry fee is $5 per poem. 

Prizes: Writing Contest First Prize is $500; Second Prize: $250; Third Prize: $100. Poetry Contest First Prize: $250; Second Prize: $125; Third Prize: $50.  All contest winners works will be published online in the Dare to Dream pages.

To send entries by mail: Include title of poem(s) or stori(es), name, address, phone#, email, brief biographical info. (tell us a little about yourself) on the coversheet, add a self-addressed stamped envelope for entry confirmation.

Fees payable to: "". 

Mail to: Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest. P.O. Box 3141, Chicago, IL 60654. Visit for further details, to print out an entry form or to enter online.


Right now, the online world is literally begging for writers. People that can tap out a few words - providing content for the millions of sites out there.

You don't have to have a lot of experience, you just have to be able to piece together a few simple sentences - and submit them to the SECRET ONLINE WRITING MARKETS that most people have absolutely NO idea about.


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How Do I?

No questions this month.

If you have a writing-related question, send it here.


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