...  Publishing New Writers

Opt-In Publication for AuthorMe.com, AuthorMARK.com, Cookcom.net


 April, 2005


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The Basics: Characterization

by Sandy Tritt


            A story wouldn’t be a story unless it happened to somebody. And that somebody—and all the other somebodies in the novel—are the characters. A good novel—even an action-based, plot-driven novel—must have carefully conceived characters who are able to withstand the demands of the story and who are able to change in some way. I have devoted Section 3 to developing characters, so I’ll only touch on the basics here.

            The protagonist is the main character in the story. He or she is the character the reader should identify with, or, at least, empathize with. The protagonist—and every other character who is integral to the plot—should have a character statement. This is one sentence that says what, more than anything else in the world, this character wants. Examples of character statements:

·         Mike is determined to become President of the United States.

·         Susan wants to marry Mike.

·         Harmond wants to survive, to return to Kansas and marry his high school sweetheart.

·         More than anything in the world, Kerry wants to be a movie star.

·         Jenny wants to be a good mom, to be there for her kids, to give them the love and attention they need to grow into happy and successful adults.

            Of course, in order for a story to be a story, there must be something that is preventing the protagonist from accomplishing his character statement—something he must overcome in order to achieve his greatest desire. This inter-relates with plot, where the three basic struggles are man-against-man, man-against-nature, and man-against-himself.

            The character conflict identifies what it is that your character must overcome in order to accomplish his character statement. Examples of struggle statements are:

·         Mike’s second cousin also wants to be President, and will do anything to defeat Mike.

·         Mike is already engaged to Sally, who insists Susan is a tramp.

·         Harmond is lodged in a crevice near Victoria Falls, alone.

·         Kerry lives 3000 miles from Hollywood and his parents refuse to move.

·         Jenny is an alcoholic.

                Giving life to a character is one of the most rewarding parts of being a writer. It is also one of the most difficult. Too many times in fiction, we witness the “cardboard” or one-dimensional character. Real characters, those we can visualize and root for and love, aren’t created with the snap of a finger. Instead, they develop over time, over many hours spent together. Surely, writing is a spiritual endeavor. The closest any of us will ever mimic God is by our desire to create another human. But when we do, we find out something that God discovered years ago: once you breathe life into a being, he takes on a life of his own.

(c) copyright 2002 by Sandy Tritt. All rights reserved, except for those listed here. April be reproduced for educational purposes (such as for writer's workshops), as long as this copyright notice and the url: http://tritt.wirefire.com are distributed with the pages. For use in conferences or other uses not mentioned here, please contact Sandy Tritt at tritt@wvadventures.net for permission and additional resources at no or limited charge.

   Keep writing!

Sandy Tritt

Inspiration for Writers tritt@wvadventures.net


Critiquing Special

  • Limited time special, one cent per word.  Just mention Publishing New Writers  Newsletter (April, 2005).

    Critiques by Sandy Tritt

  • Unlike most editors, I consider my role to be a mentor or a coach. Instead of just telling you what is wrong, I explain how to correct the problem, and I work with you to teach you how to write effective prose. More than 50% of my business is repeat business, and I relish establishing long-term relationships with other writers.

  • Treat you with respect and compassion. All criticism will be of the "constructive" sort. My purpose is to improve your writing, not to destroy your confidence.

  • Mark your manuscript, correcting grammatical and spelling errors and suggesting alternative wording where appropriate, line-by-line.

  • Highlight areas that are especially well-written, so you will know where your strengths are.

  • Where appropriate, offer suggestions for plot development, character development or other areas that could be strengthened.

  • Return a two-to-four page written analysis of your work. This will include evaluation of: plot, setting, characterization, dialogue, special effects (flash forwards, flashbacks, etc.), voice, point of view and any other areas particular to your work.

  • If appropriate, recommend reading or resources to strengthen your areas of weakness.

  • Answer any questions you  have via email.

  • Provide my telephone number for a personal follow-up, if you desire.

For Sandy's success stories, see http://tritt.wirefire.com/Manuscript_Critique.html

Write Sandy at tritt@wvadventures.net

(See Sandy's article - above.)










Oscars for a Bygone Shadow

Michael Levy


Serious lives pass-by,

mostly unnoticed,
occasionally, there may be a soiree
on the terrace of ambitions,
friends and family
will applaud and cheer, feed the ego,
for a few irresistible moments,
but, on the whole,
a life will sail past, furbished in hush,
nobody will notice its golden interior,
illuminated in elegant ingenious creativity,
time expires in modest silence,
a few vivid shadows may
be vocalized
in lament,
as the picture book pages turn.


Michael Levy is the author of four books "What is the Point? "Minds of Blue Souls of Gold" "Enjoy Yourself - It's Later Than You Think" and "Invest with a Genius." Michael's poetry and essays now grace many web sites, journals and magazines throughout the world. His web site in ranked number one/two in the world out of 3,000,000 web sites when "Inspirational books" are the search words on Google's search engine.
Web Sites :


Finding an Audiobook Publisher

Mararet Montreuil


In Margaret Montreuil's search to find an interested audio book Publisher for GOD IN SANDALS, she sent an e-mail query letter to Blackstone Audiobooks. Blackstone publishes top-quality, unabridged audio books, with an excellent list of religious titles. At that time, The Passion of The Christ film had just been released and there was more than the usual interest in the life of Jesus. Blackstone requested a copy of the novel to review. After approving the content, an agreement was formed for an audio book publication.

Released February 2005, the audio book is eleven hours of dramatic
listening. It's been produced in these formats: cassette, CD, and MP3.
The narrator, Mark Rosenwinkel, a professional actor, playwright, and
Director with over 25 years of experience in theater, brings the Biblical drama of Christ to life.

God Created You: A Guide to Temperament Therapy

New AuthorMe Paperback...   (Released 2005)

By Dr. Rick Martin

From chapter 2... "How a person behaves is a combination of temperament, living in the strengths and/or weaknesses of their temperament environment, decisions they have made or not made, conclusions they have drawn about right and wrong, their relationship with God or the lack thereof..."


Click here for more info...

Go Back in Time!...

Check out our new all - immersion Life of Jesus (Part 1) from David C. Cook III.  You'll become a true believer. Visit... 

Religion Category

AuthorMe.com is dedicated to the memory of David C. Cook III.

From Paul the Apostle...

 Chosen Instrument

By Kurt Schuller

 Another inspired work recreating

Bible times.

Visit our sister websites...





Publishing New Writers,

April, 2005 (no. 604)


Publisher: Bruce L. Cook, P.O. Box 451, Dundee, IL 60118.  Fax (847) 428-8974.

Submissions /comments  cookcomm@gte.net.

Links are welcome.


To subscribe and/or  review our archive of past newsletters, go to







Breathing Poetry

by Dan Masterson



The fine poet, William Stafford, once wrote that he inhaled others’ poetry and felt that he should therefore exhale some of his own. He was a voracious reader and writer. Amazingly, very few young poets follow his lead. They tend to turn away from the vast  archive of poetry available to them.
One reason seems to be that they fear they’ll be influenced by reading the poetry of others. Another reason is laziness. History shows that artists in all genres discover their own voice by studying the masters. Painters, dancers, singers, and yes, writers of all sorts. Even poets!
It’s a good idea to do something physical before settling in at your writing desk. Go jogging or punch a boxing bag for a few rounds. Anything that gets the blood moving and the muscles tingling. Read after you’ve finished writing for the day. That way, you won’t need to worry about sounding like anyone else.
Some morning soon, jog down to your local library or bookstore and come away with books by the following Modern poets. Walt Whitman, William Butler Yeats, William Carlos Williams, Robert Frost, Robinson Jeffers, T. S. Eliot,  W. H. Auden, and Theodore Roethke.
The next time you jog to town, bring home books by the following Contemporary poets: James Dickey, Li-Young Lee, Galway Kinnell, John Allman, Anne Sexton, James Wright, Richard Wilbur, and Gary Snyder.
Then, to help flesh it all out, trot on back to Main Street and collect books by Miller Williams, Anthony Hecht, Lucille Clifton, William Heyen, Dylan Thomas, Gwendolyn Brooks, John Berryman, Elizabeth Bishop,

Amiri Baraka, Mark Strand, Sylvia Plath, Russell Edson, Paul Zimmer, W. D. Snodgrass, Ai, Billy Collins, Sharon Olds, Donald Hall, Ted Hughes, Derek Walcott, and Anthony Hecht.

Following this article, you’ll find a longer list of poets you should read when you’re not punching something or running somewhere or writing or revising. I’m betting that every poem you read will help you realize something about your own work.  
Whitman, W. C. Williams, Gary Snyder, Collins, Brooks, Frost, and Mark Strand  will help you relax the language and its syntax. Hecht, Eliot, and Wilbur will show you how to rhyme without allowing it to dominate your work. Kinnell, Allman, Lee, Roethke, and James Wright will clothe you in their characters’ skin and allow you to observe the world as they do, and  James Dickey, Yeats, and Jeffers will tell you stories you’ll wear a long time.
Thomas, Heyen, Hughes, Berryman, Bishop, Eliot, Auden, Walcott, and Miller Williams will teach you to dance through imagery, while Plath, Sexton, Olds, Snodgrass, Baraka,  and Ai will take you for a jog on the darker side, only to meet up with Clifton, Zimmer, and Edson who’ll get you laughing at yourself and the rest of us.
Remember what Stafford said up top: inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. I think you’ll discover that it works just fine. Let me know what you think: prdan@optonline.net  And if you’re curious about my stuff, you can read my  first two books online at http://capa.conncoll.edu  Write on!

P O E T R Y  M A S T E R
~Good Poems Made Better~

Send 4-book poet Dan Masterson one or two poems of your own making, and he'll
comment on them free of charge. Thereafter you may continue working with
him on a fee basis if you wish. See details at poetrymaster.com

read his first two books online at http://capa.conncoll.edu



DAN MASTERSON’s fourth book, All Things, Seen and Unseen, was released by The University of Arkansas Press in 1997. It includes work published in The New Yorker, Paris Review, Poetry, Gettysburg Review, Esquire, Georgia Review, Ploughshares, Sewanee Review, Shenandoah, Hudson Review, London Magazine, Massachusetts Review, Yankee, New Orleans Review, Prairie Schooner, Ontario Review, Poetry Northwest, North Dakota Quarterly, and The Yale Review.Elected to  membership in Pen International in 1986, he is a recipient of two Pushcart  Prizes, The Poetry Northwest Bullis Prize, The Borestone Award, and the CCLM Fels Award. He has directed the poetry writing workshops at SUNY/Rockland for 40 years, and continues his 19-year affiliation with Manhattanville College through an online graduate course he offers through his website for writers (http://www.poetrymaster.com). He is currently completing a manuscript, That Which Is Seen, which consists of poems  based exclusively on artwork. Many of the selections have already appeared  in such journals as The Sewanee, Georgia, and Ontario reviews, Artful  Dodge, Ekphrasis, The New York Quarterly, Hotel Amerika, and Kestrel, as well as in two anthologies and a college workbook.The complete texts  of his first two books, On Earth As It Is (Illinois, 1978) and Those Who  Trespass (Arkansas,1991) are displayed on The Contemporary American Poetry Archives site (http://capa.conncoll.edu). Recently, his work was featured on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac.” Masterson spent his early years in Buffalo, graduated from Syracuse University, and resides in Pearl River, NY with his wife, Janet, a psychotherapist. They spend much of the snow-free months at their cabin in the New York State high peak region of the Adirondacks.



R E A D   A N Y   G O O D   P O E T S  

L A T E L Y ?
                            -Dan Masterson

Ai, Ann Akhmatova, Dick Allen, John Allman, A. R. Ammons, Alvin Aubert, W. H. Auden, Amiri Baraka, David Baker, Charles Baudelaire, Michael Benedikt, John Berryman, Marvin Bell, Elizabeth Bishop, William Blake, Robert Bly, Philip Booth, Joseph Brodsky, Gwendolyn Brooks, Charles Bukowski.
Hayden Carruth, Paul Celan,  Rene Char, John Ciardi, Amy Clampitt, Suzanne Cleary, Lucille Clifton, Billy Collins, Jane Cooper, Gregory Corso, Hart Crane, Robert Creeley, E. E. Cummings, Carl Dennis, James Dickey, Emily Dickinson, Stephen Dobyns, Rita Dove, Alan Dugan,  Stephen Dunn.
Richard Eberhart, Russell Edson, T. S. Eliot, Paul Eluard, Irving Feldman, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Edward Field, Donald Finkel, Carolyn Forche, Siv Cedering Fox, Carol Frost, Richard Frost, Robert Frost.
Steve Gehrke, Allen Ginsberg, Louise Gluck, Patricia Goedicke, Albert Goldbarth, Robert Graves, Eamon Grennan, Thom Gunn, Ramon Guthrie, Marilyn Hacker, Donald Hall, Michael Harper, Thomas Hardy, Robert Hass, Charles Hartman, Robert Hayden, Seamus Heaney, Anthony Hecht, Zbigniew Herbert, Michael Heffernan, William Heyen, Edward Hirsch, Edward Hoagland, G. M. Hopkins, John Hoppenthaler, Richard Howard, David Huddle, Andrew Hudgins,  Langston Hughes, Ted Hughes, Richard Hugo, T. R. Hummer.
David Ignatow, Colette Inez, Reamy Jansen, Randall Jarrell, Robinson Jeffers, Peter Johnson, June Jordan, Donald Justice.
Patrick Kavanagh, John Keats, Dave Kelly, X. J. Kennedy, Jane Kenyon, Milt Kessler, Galway Kinnell, Etheridge Knight, Carolyn Kizer, Bill Knott, Yusef Komunyakaa, Ted Kooser, Maxine Kumin. Stanley Kunitz, Philip Larkin, Denise Levertov, Li-Young Lee, Philip Levine, Larry Levis, John Logan., Federico Garcia Lorca, Robert Lowell.
Osip Mandelstam, Jack Marshall, Dan Masterson, William Matthews,  Vladimir Mayakovsky, J. D. McClatchy, Michael McClure, Thomas McGrath, Heather McHugh, Sandra McPherson, Jay Meek, William Meredith, James Merrill, W. S. Merwin, Czeslaw Milosz, Judith Moffett, Eugenie Montale, Marriane Moore, Howard Nemerov, Pablo Neruda, Naomi Shiab Nye. 
Frank O’Hara, Sharon Olds, Carol Oles, Mary Oliver, Charles Olsen, George Oppen, Gregory Orr, Alicia Ostriker, Greg Pape, Linda Pastan, Boris Pasternak, Kenneth Patchen, Don Patterson, Octavio Paz,  Wilfred Owen, Carl Phillips, Robert Phillips, Marge Piercy, Robert Pinsky, Sylvia Plath, Stanley Plumly, Katha Pollitt, Ezra Pound.

Ranier Maria Rilke, Bin Ramke, Arthur Rimbaud, Gibbons Ruark, Ishmael Reed, Adrienne Rich, Theodore Roethke.
Delmore Schwartz, Hugh Seidman, Anne Sexton, Karl Shapiro, Jon Silkin, Charles Simic, Louis Simpson, Floyd Skloot, Dave Smith, W. D. Snodgrass, Gary Snyder, Gary Soto, Jack Spicer, Elizabeth Spires, William Stafford, George Starbuck, Gerald Stern, Wallace Stevens, David St. John, John Stone, Terry Stokes, Mark Strand, Ruth Stone, Wislawa Szymborska, James Tate, Dylan Thomas, Marina Tsvetayeva, Lewis Turco.
Jean Valentine, H. L. Van Brunt, Mona Van Duyn, Paul Verlaine.
David Wagoner, Derek Walcott, Michael Waters,Walt Whitman, Richard Wilbur,  C. K. Williams, Miller Williams, William Carlos Williams, Yvor Winters, Harold Witt, David Wojahn, C. D. Wright, Charles Wright,  Franz Wright, James Wright, W. B. Yeats, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Al Young, Paul Zimmer.














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