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 December, 2000

Writing Assignment: In Context

This month’s Writing Assignment article is the third in a series of how-to-write-fiction exercises designed to help new writers become more familiar with fiction writing.

The first Writing Assignment focused on characterization. In fiction writing, one of the most important elements is characterization. (See www.author-me.com/NewsOctober2000.htm.)

The second focused on setting. While character is central to a story, the writer must also pay close attention to context. (See www.author-me.com/NewsNovember2000.htm.)

Now, having created a character and setting, you need the meld the two. Make them interact. This is more than a turtle-in-shell situation! 

Present the setting, and then allow the character to act within. This interaction should put flesh on the basic setting, and it should also round out the character. Done with action, this technique is far more effective than simply describing a setting, introducing a character, and then starting the action.

Assignment – For Next Month

So your assignment is to "mix" your character and setting. Make them interact, and compel your reader to care about the setting and the character you have created.

Good luck!





Submitting your Manuscripts for WebSite Publication

Why would a new writer submit a manuscript for publication on the web? Does this eliminate the work from consideration by commercial publishers? 

Actually, web-publication can act as a credit to a work, especially if you have web-published it (temporarily) to obtain criticism and reader feedback.

Another approach is to hold your best work aside while you submit some of your earlier works for web-publication now. Or, you could submit an extract from the best  work, perhaps requesting feedback on a specific part you have found problematic.

While not essential, probably, it seems prudent to include a copyright notice with your work. For example, for Sam Author, the appropriate copyright notice is...

Copyright 2000 Sam Author

Check out the writerly websites... Author-me.com is one of many.   One useful listing is at dmoz.org (the Open Directory Project). Click on Arts, then On-line Writing and then Writers’ Resources.

Go Back in Time!...

If not, check out our new all - immersion Life of Jesus (Part 1) from David C. Cook III. Visit... www.galleyproof.com/religion.html

Or, for another view of ancient times, check out D. E. Austin's In the Beginning, a fully-researched historical fiction novel set in ancient Sumer. Visit... www.author-me.com/titles.htm.



E-Book Update........................

New developments continue to invigorate (and irritate) the fledgling e-book industry. Generally, the market is tightening around high-demand subjects, and showing little interest in fiction from new writers.

A major e-book promoter, Gemstar-TV Guide,  is flirting with well known book retailer, Barnes & Noble. Barnes & Noble, incidentally, was one of the earliest e-book promoters in the web. (See "Gemstar, Barnes & Noble Talk E-Books," Wall Street Journal, November, 2000.)

What about curling up with an e-book? Kind of tough to embrace a laptop, let alone a desktop tower! Or try wrapping your arms around one of those $700 flat-screen models!

Recent developments suggest new display materials reminiscent of the wall screens in George Orwell's novel, 1984. Xerox PARC researchers have developed an e-paper of transparent plastic called Gyricon. Lucent has created an E Ink prototype which uses electronic ink and circuits printed on plastic for a paper-like quality. See Jesse Berst's "E-Paper Here Sooner Than You Think," November 21, 2000 .

Publishing New Writers, December, 2000 (no.106)

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

Submissions and comments to cookcomm@gte.net. Links are welcome.

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