...  Publishing New Writers   ...
Opt-In Publication for AuthorMe.com

Visit our new poetry sites: Enskyment.org and InnisfreePoetry.org

This is the first month for our new site, ReserveBooks.com


 December, 2005


Please rate this Ezine at the Cumuli Ezine Finder. http://www.cumuli.com/ezines/ra79672.rate AOL Users Click Here


The Basics: Voice, Tense, Intimacy

by Sandy Tritt


Besides point of view, intimacy and voice also affect how close the reader feels to the story and the characters. Intimacy is how close we are to the action and to the character’s thoughts and emotions. Like a video camera, we can zoom in and out, getting close (into a character’s head) when we need to and then back off when things get too hot or when we need a broader perspective.

Voice is the way in which the narrator talks —it can be proper and formal, conversational, or even illiterate. To be effective, it must be natural and unique, just like each person’s voice. I’ve heard it said that an author’s voice is one of the most difficult things to develop. And that may be true. When we first begin putting words on paper, we “try out” different voices, trying to find the one that suits us. Of course, each story can have a different voice and still be the author’s. The more we write, the more comfortable we become with our voice and the different inflections that it can create.

Likewise, the tense chosen affects the power of the story. We most often see past tense (he was) used in fiction, although present (he is) can be effectively used. Past perfect (he had been) and future perfect (he will be) should be saved for flashbacks and special effects. It is extremely important to maintain tense. Like viewpoint changes, tense changes jar the reader and mark the writer as an amateur. Unless you are an accomplished writer, do not even consider changing tenses within your novel. If you are uncertain which tense to choose, go with past tense. It is the easiest to handle and the most invisible to the reader.

Take full advantage of these tools. The same exact plot, setting and character can become totally different stories by experimenting with point-of-view, intimacy and voice. If you don’t believe me, try it. Write a short story with three characters: a grandmother, her alcoholic son, and her five-year-old granddaughter. First, tell the story from Third Person Panoramic. Then use either first person or third person controlled consciousness to tell the story again from each of the characters’ perspectives.

Point of view, voice, intimacy and tense are the spices in your main dish of plot, character and setting. As such, they must exist, but they should be invisible to the reader, allowing for a smooth, full-bodied flavor without any jarring inconsistencies. My best advice: keep it simple, keep it consistent.

(c) copyright 2002 by Sandy Tritt. All rights reserved, except for those listed here. November 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







Old Manuscripts Around? Try Mixing Stories Together


Do you have two "unfinished symphonies" lying around?  These are stories you liked but never completed, or perhaps stories you sent out but which never achieved acceptance.


One exercise that will stretch your skills and lengthen the stories is to merge the stories into one.


First, you need to explain the shift in location. Perhaps you have a bizarre change in time or place.  In this case, just use the fiction time machine to jump back and forth, at least once.


Next, you need to consider the characters. How will these characters meet? What would their common interest (or disinterest) be?


Now comes the real challenge. If you create these juxtapositions, what will they mean? How can the protagonist(s) work together for a common goal, or a common battle, whichever seems to apply.


The result may not be a beautifully crafted piece, but it will help build flexibility into your writer's imagination. And, as with many writing tasks, you can set the result aside and come back to it later on. And that time, months or even years away, you might discover  that you had the makings of a true masterpiece in hand.

Critiquing Special

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








The Real 'James Herriot'

by Leslie Weddell

Editor's note: visit Reservebooks.com, where Leslie offers an "Author Spotlight." This is the first in his series.

Many readers will recall the wonderful books and television series of “All Creatures Great and Small” by James Herriot.

But that was not the author’s name, for his real name was James Alfred Wight. (Apparently he preferred to be addressed as Alf, rather than James.)

As a practising veterinarian surgeon and member of the Royal Veterinary Society, Alf Wight was not allowed to use his real name as it was seen to be advertising his work. So Alf used the name ‘James Herriot’ and was allowed to write his entertaining books about his life as a vet.

James Alfred Wight was born on October 3rd 1916 in Sunderland. His parents, James and Hannah Wight moved to Glasgow soon after their wedding, but nine months later Hannah returned to Sunderland to have her baby. When James was only three weeks old his mother returned to join her husband in Glasgow where he lived for the next twenty years or so, and because of his broad Glaswegian accent many people thought he was a born Scot.

He qualified in difficult times in early 1939, and his first position as a vet was in Sunderland in January 1940. He did not move to Thirsk until July of the same year.
Alf began writing his books and became an overnight sensation, but he did not let it go to his head, He still led his normal lifestyle, and was much respected as a skilled veterinarian surgeon. He was an avid supporter of Sunderland Football (soccer) Club and loved cricket, music, athletics and tennis. He married Joan Danbury on the 5th of November 1941 in St. Mary’s Magdalene Church, Thirsk. They had two children, Jimmy and Rosie. Jimmy followed in his father’s footsteps and became a veterinary surgeon whilst Rosie became a doctor.
The original surgery was in Kirkgate Thirsk, but was moved in 1997 to purpose built premises on the Thirsk trading estate. The original building along with an adjacent one has been turned into the famous ‘World of James Herriot’ centre.

If you have not read any of ‘Herriot’s’ books you really must - for you are in for a treat!

They are full of humour and portray beautifully the life and times of a vet in the 1940’s in rural England.
The weather in Yorkshire in winter can resemble Siberia at times, (especially in the thirties and forties) with biting cold and frozen and slippery country roads and farm tracks to drive down. And a veterinary practice is on call 24 hours a day. Being called out at 3am to a cow that has birthing problems is not a pleasant way to spend the night. In those days cow sheds had no heating, hygiene was not as it is today, and the poor vet had to strip to the waist in the freezing cold to make a difficult, and risky delivery without losing the mother. The farmer would stand by and try to be useful, but often he had little in the way of amenities for the vet to use apart from a bucket of hot water and a few towels.

Alf Wight had a long and fruitful life and passed away in 1995, but his wonderful stories are forever with us for generations to come to be enjoyed by all.

You can find out more about author Alf Wight by going to google search engine and entering ‘The World of James Herriot’.

Besides all the books, you can find the television and film series on DVD and video tapes too.


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,

December, 2005 (no. 612)


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

















© Cook Communication 1999 - 2006     (not affiliated with Cook Communication Ministries)