...  Publishing New Writers  ...
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 February, 2003

Writing Resources

by Sandy Tritt


I suggest every writer keep the following resources within arm's reach:

  • Quality dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Road Atlas
  • Desk Reference
  • Book of Baby Names (especially one by nationality)
  • Medical Encyclopedia

Specific resources I cannot write without or that have been especially useful to me are:

  • The Writer's Guide to Character Traits (Linda N. Edelstein, Ph.D., Writer's Digest Books)
  • Creating Character Emotions (Ann Hood, Story Press)
  • Ultimate Visual Dictionary (Dorling Kindersley)
  • The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (Fred Bronson/Billboard)
  • Random House Word Menu (Stephen Glazier, Random House)
  • Roget's Super Thesaurus (Marc McCutcheon, Writer's Digest Books)
  • Word Painting (Rebecca McClanahan, Writer's Digest Books)
  • Writer's Market (Kirsten C. Holm, Writer's Digest Books)

Other resources to consider:

  • Literary Agents (Michael Larsen, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.)
  • Creating Characters (Dwight V. Swain, Writer's Digest Books)
  • The Internet Research Guide (Timothy K. Maloy, Allworth Press)
  • Teach Yourself Body Language (Gordon R. Wainwright, NTC Publishing Group)
  • Body Language (Mark Asher, Carlton)
  • Bernstein's Reverse Dictionary (Theodore M. Bernstein, Time Books)
  • Complete Book of the Zodiac (Sterling)
  • The Everyday English Handbook (Leonard Rosen, Doubleday)
  • The Art & Craft of Novel Writing (Oakley Hall, Story Press)
  • Building Believable Characters (Marc McCutcheon, Writer's Digest Books)
  • Dynamic Characters (Nancy Kress, Writer's Digest Books)
  • the most common mistakes in ENGLISH usage (Thomas Elliott Berry/ McGraw-Hill Paperbacks)

Want more great tips and techniques? Our Inspiration for Writers Tips and Techniques Workbook is now available. Expanded tips, more topics, reproducible worksheets, exercises to practice what you learn and much more--check it out! Free shipping anywhere in the United States.

(c) copyright 1999 by Sandy Tritt. All rights reserved, except for those listed here. February 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

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This is Dianne Ochiltree's site for children, parents, teachers and writers for young readers. Dianne is an author of books for young readers (birth to teenage)

and she is also a children's book reviewer. She's been writing professionally for over 25 years---about 18 years in public relations/advertising/marketing and the last 7 years as a children's writer. Dianne has two books published to date, with Scholastic and with Simon & Schuster.

http://tritt.wirefire.com The Inspiration for Writers website offers help and encouragement to writers of all levels. Tips and Techniques give practical advice about frequent writing blunders. The Writer's Prayer, inspirational quotes, and essays about the writing life add insight and inspiration. The Fiction Showcase offers short stories for the reader's enjoyment. And, for those serious about improving their writing skills, manuscript critiques and coaching services are available. Visit http://tritt.wirefire.com today!


Critiquing Special

  • Limited time special, one cent per word.  Just mention Publishing New Writers  Newsletter (February, 2003).

    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.)















Welcome to our new  Editorial Director


Kathy Hartwell

Raidersof the Lost Britannica

(Romancing the Encyclopedia)

by Kenneth Mulholland.

Let's eavesdrop on a conversation between a gathering of writers and 'wannabes'.

"Doin' any writin' of late?"

"Yeah, goin' like steam."

"I say! That is simply super. I'm having a spot of writer's block just at the minute."

"Hey man! This guy for real?"

"Oh yes, and he is just a wonderful writer...When he is actually writing."

"What's yer problem then? This here writer's block caper?"

"Well, it's research mostly...."

"Research! Getaway! Who needs research? Just make it up! That's the ticket. Works a treat fer me.

"Make it up? But people, you know, readers will be able to see straight through that. You can't just make it up!

"Ah, near enough's good enough, I say."

"Well I think ya can't just make it up. Ya gotta, like, experience stuff. You know, go through it an' that."

"What! So I've got to murder someone first, or operate on them in a submarine on the seabed?"

"Nah! Just make it up."

"Oh come now fellows, perhaps a bit of both?"

"Ahem!...Thankyou. Well actually, I use an encyclopaedia for research."

"What are ya? A sissy? A girl?"

"Why yes, er...haven't you noticed?"


A name of Greek derivation, given to works which embrace within their pages a more or less complete account, in alphabetical order, of the whole field of human knowledge. (This quote comes from The Modern Reference Encyclopaedia Illustrated, printed in Great Briton. Circa 1920.)

So, it's late at night and your working away, and darn! Power failure! Working by lamp-light. Computor can't help, and you need to know some info. about Lucerne, a Swiss canton east of Berne. Is it German speaking?

And, John Wilkes Booth, the man who killed Lincoln. Who killed him and when?

The Library is closed. And anyway, who wants to waste time poking through books and peering at micro-fish? (That's the way it's spelt, isn't it? Better look it up in the DICTIONARY.)

Why not raid the old Encyclopaedia? You know, that dog-eared, yellow-paged tome gathering dust over there. The one that you got when your grandma died and everybody else got her most precious things.

Except, they didn't.

You did.

Sure, it's out of date, and you just invested in a whole new set on C.D. They were cheap, and no storage problems with musty pages and peeling covers on the bookshelf...and no electricity....

Yes. A brand new encyclopaedia, no matter whether on C.D. or in hardback, is a worthy companion for an aspiring writer.

However, so is an ancient tome, or tomes.

Collect them. Don't throw them away!
Why? Because, like the dictionary, encyclopaedia's are always in a state of change and revision. And, as language evolves and alters and recoils and modifies, so history moves forward, shedding coils, shucking skin, casting off the stuff of the past for more modern changes and versions, sacrificing the old to the coming of the new.

If you want a closer, first-hand, or at least, second-hand vision of the Charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimean War, or a quick grab of Hannibal's exploits in Italy, or information on zeppelins, built by Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin from Lake Constance in August 4th, 1908, take a look at an encyclopaedia of those early days.

It is nearer to these points in time, and will give a graphic account not available in modern Encyclopaedias, awash with space exploration, computor tech and the politics of today.

The great lesson of History, is that little is learned from History.

Look back. As well as looking forward.

Research. The background of writing.

Another breakfast of champions.

Research. I love it!
New Encyclopaedia, old encyclopaedia. Collect them and be rewarded!

Get into a library and spend some of the time of your life, and learn!
Then use that learning to create!
Did I ever tell you about the time I got one of the only copies in Australia of William Morris' 'In the House of the Wolfings' out of the Melbourne library?

Research! Libraries!

Damn! Run out of time again!

Lynette's creative Writing Website

(type both lines in one)




Read...   Move Over Maharishi

By Dee Landerman

An ordinary housewife is catapulted into the unknown. For over twenty-five years with one foot in the other dimension, experiences visions, apparitions, and visits from the divine. As a Christian Intuitive with the ability to see into a person’s spirit, she experienced first hand where the departed go.

She shares her life openly with you, with the intent to give answers and direction for you to find power, peace and acceptance in your own life. Dee reveals the ‘Heart Of God’ about organized religion and today’s churches, sharing God’s concerns and desires for America and the world.

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Publishing New Writers,

February, 2003 (no. 402)

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

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

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













An Interview with J.R.R. Tolkien

by Ken Mulholland

I do have the great good fortune to have Professor Tolkien here in my study.

Good evening Professor, or may I call you John?'


'Call me anything you like, John, Ronald.
Lewis and some of the other Inklings, Charles for instance, call me Tollers.'


'I think John will be fine. Now, I have been asked to seek your opinion about the connection of Christianity with Lewis' work and your own writing.'


'I'd prefer not to speak for Clive. Deuced unfair when the man isn't here to defend himself.
In some ways I believe he was to World-War two England, what Lewis Carrol was to Victorian England, and J.M.Barrie to the Edwardians.
I mean, by that, that the children in the Narnia Chronicles were much as those of Wonderland and Never Never Land. They had the comforting security of home when the adventure was over.'


'Much like the hobbits of your story.'


'Good grief no! Hobbits are much more complex in nature and a lot more predictable than children. Besides, there very nearly wasn't a home left for the hobbits to go to in the Shire.'


'An allegory of what almost happened to England in world war two?'


'I detest allegory in all its manifestations. No!
The basis for the Scouring of the Shire was laid down long before those dark days of Hitler's war. On the other hand it would be fair, I suppose, to say that an allegorical theme was at least a basis for Clive's Narnia work.'


'Why do you say that?'


'Well, you have Aslan, this Messianic Lord of the beasts, who allows himself to be sacrificed in order to save the children, and then rises from the dead to triumph over the powers of evil. If that isn't an allegory of Christ's death and transfiguration, then I wasn't Rawlinson Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford.'


'What about your own works then: Lord of the Rings and the almost biblical Silmarillion?'


'Not closely aligned to any religious theme really, though there is a general feel of Christian behaviour in some of the free peoples, and of course the rise of Good over Evil. Had it not been for the publishers, the whole plot would have been given away.'


'How do you mean?'


'My original title: The Downfall of the Lord of the Rings. They said it was too long and it gave the ending away. Of course Raynor Unwin was right. Just a moment, match, ah, last one; that's better. Blessed pipe went out.'


'Getting back to your works and the Christian theme....'


'I'm Roman Catholic, so yes, there is some fundamental grounding, though perhaps it's more prevalent in Leaf By Niggle.'


'That's the one where the little artist dies and goes to purgatory?'


'More or less. Let's say he goes through a kind of purging process, that sort of thing. Much the same, I suppose.'


'Death and transfiguration?'


'Purification, the riddance of all those niggling inhibitions and prohibitions, and the dislike of obligations forever getting in his way.'


'You mean, Niggle wanted to be free to complete his paintings.'


'That, and much, much more. Niggle learned that there was more to the world than his narrow view. He learned to love life, if you will. And in so learning, he became free of all those earthly encumbrances.'


'He learned to love his fellow being too. Parish, I mean.'


'Oh yes, and Parish returned that love.'


'So they lived happily ever after?'


'You could say that, or you could say that they died happily ever after. At any event, alive or dead, they were happy. The Voices saw to that.'


'Those Voices, the choir of heavenly angels?'


'I rather thought them more likely the choir of heavenly accountants..'




'Well, they spent eternity weighing up the pros and cons of each individual, so I suppose they were, in a sense, accounting...Or no, appraising might be a better word, damn!'




'Pipe's gone out again. You wouldn't have a match would you?'


'Um...Try the draw to the right there.'


'Ah! Stout fellow. I didn't think you smoked.'


'They're for that little kero heater under the desk.'


'Of course there is eucatastrophe.'




'My idea of the reversal of catastrophe. I wrote about it in On Fairy-stories.'


'I just happen to have a copy right here.'


'Natty little study you have. Everything within arm's reach of that new fangled thing....'


'The computor? I've learned to come to grips with it.'


'This how you converse with that Cook fellow in America? Looks like a glorified typewriter with a goldfish bowl on top.

Page fifty nine, here; "And lastly there is the oldest and deepest desire, the Great Escape: the Escape from Death. - But the 'consolation' of fairy-tales has another aspect than the imaginative satisfaction of ancient desires. Far more important is the Consolation of the Happy Ending. Almost I would venture to assert that all complete fairy-stories must have it. At least I would say that Tragedy is the true form of Drama, its highest function; but the opposite is true of Fairy-story. Since we do not appear to possess a word that expresses this opposite-I will call it Eucatastrophe.

The consolation of fairy-stories, the joy of the happy ending: or more correctly of the good catastrophe, the sudden joyous 'turn'.

It does not deny the existence of dyscatastrophe, of sorrow and failure: it denies universal final defeat and in so far is evangelium, giving a glimpse of Joy, Joy beyond the walls of the world, poignant as grief.

In such stories when the sudden 'turn' comes we get a piercing glimpse of joy, and heart's desire, that for a moment passes outside the frame, rends indeed the very web of story, and lets a gleam come through.

The Birth of Christ is the eucatastrophe of Man's history. The resurrection is the eucatastrophe of the story of Incarnation.


This story begins and ends in joy.
The Christian joy, the Gloria, is of the same kind; but it is pre-eminently high and glorious. But this story is supreme; and it is true. Art has been verified. God is the Lord, of angels, and of men-and of elves. Legend and history have met and fused."'


'That is exceptionally moving.'


'You asked for my opinion. By the way, I note that your own work, Varlarsaga, has the subtitles: Escape; Recovery; Consolation.'


'No coincidence.'


'Um, imitation is the highest form of flattery, but flattery will get you nowhere. I think it's time to go out for a pint of Old Dark.'


'Fosters lager or Victoria bitter, more likely.


'Well, perhaps a glass of claret. Do you need to turn off that contraption?'


'No, it knows what to do. While we're gone, it will set about sending this interview to Bruce and his people.'


'Don't forget to leave a porch light on. And, oh, may I keep the matches?'


'Yes John, it's summertime here anyway.'


Ken Mulholland

Country Editor - Australia

AuthorMe.com Group











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