...  Publishing New Writers  ...
Opt-In Newsletter for AuthorMe.com, GalleyProof.com, StoryThread.com, SlushPile.biz

 July, 2002


by Sandy Tritt


Pacing is tool writers have to control the speed in which a story reads. Lush, descriptive segments slow the pace, giving the readers a breather. Rapid-fire dialogue speeds the pace, leaving the reader breathless. It is up to the writer to decide when the pace needs quickened and when it should be put in slow gear.

Perhaps the easiest way to judge is to ask questions as you read. Do you start drifting? You need action. Is the conversation or action moving too quickly? You need narrative to even out the pacing. In the tip sheet, Say it Once, Say it Right, we discussed removing redundancies in our prose, and I hinted that one of the reasons we add redundancy in the first place is to slow the pace. But instead of repeating ourselves, we need to find new things to say or new things to focus on. For example, during a highly emotional scene that is moving too quickly, allow the character to study a picture on the wall or watch children playing nearby. Or allow him to remember a conversation from the past. Or focus on one of the other senses, such as the smells or sounds in the background. This can add depth and an emotional layer, as well as slowing the pace.

We can also slow the pace of a chapter or even the entire manuscript by adding more description, more exposition (background information) and more internal dialogue (character thoughts).

Likewise, to speed the pace, omit everything except for the direct action or dialogue. Ignore descriptions, ignore reactions, ignore anything other than the bare necessities.

Reading our prose aloud is perhaps the best way to judge the pace. Listen as you read, and consider if the action is happening too fast or not fast enough. And remember, there is never one right answer. The pace of your story is just one more element that contributes to your unique writing style. Experiment, study, write. But in the end, use your own judgment.

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

  • First ten pages free, and, for a limited time, all additional pages at $2.75 per page (regular price, $3.50 per page).  Just mention Publishing New Writers  Newsletter (July, 2002).
  • 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 July 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.)


Lynette's creative Writing Website

(type both lines in one)




Publishing New Writers,

July, 2002 (no.307)

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.

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


Visit our sister websites...



























New Release

The Glass Heart

by Robert Edward Levin

My name is Robert Edward Levin, and I am pleased to announce the pending release of my upcoming book, THE GLASS HEART.

Available in August, 2002, in both hardcover and paperback, THE GLASS HEART is largely a collection of short stories, replete with characters who tango with the strengths and weaknesses of the human spirit.

To read an excerpt from THE GLASS HEART, or to purchase a copy of the book, please visit my website at, www.robertedwardlevin.com, and click on the appropriate link.

Otherwise, come August visit any major bookstore (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, etc.), and buy as many copies as you can possibly carry... for, in addition to being a little anxious about the book's reception, I am truly starving.

New AuthorMe Sections


Visit our new subject sections, which we have adopted from popular demand and, in one case, patriotism.


Help a Writer

Try a Writer's Survey


Visit http://www.author-me.com/surveymanuscripts.htm


Writerly Websites...


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!


Read...   Two-bit Dancing

Life's an onion. Not a new concept—Usually, what we reveal to others about ourselves adds flavor, distinction…making us appear just a bit more exciting. Assume for a moment, that someone is peeling your life apart, onion layer by onion layer. Are you still adding flavor? Distinction? Is at the heart of the onion really a heart? Is it, then, the onion crying — or the one who’s peeling…?
Angela Louie, mother of a teenager and a disabled child, is entering a fine hotel while fidgeting with the business card of an escort service — lapse of common sense? Hanson Lee Ascano is a computer genius working for a prestigious firm — he also dances in an exotic night club a few nights each week. Tom Lawson is taking on what should be a routine investigation to reunite a parent with his children — instead, it rouses monsters.

For more info, visit... http://www.twobitdancing.com/

About the Author

Evelyn Schneider was born and raised in Germany. She has written "almost anything from plant-care tags to television sitcoms." She lives in San Diego, California.
She says, Two-bit Dancing was inspired by a television talk show, and laughs. Then, serious: "The true inspiration came many years ago while visiting a police fair. I was a teenager then and should have been impressed by the latest crime-fighting technology. But what remained in my soul where the images of cubicles upon cubicles filled with photographs of children -- not victims of some far-away war but sons and daughters of modern families: burnt, starved, locked away.


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.

This Just In – From Paul the Apostle

 Chosen Instrument

By Kurt Schuller

 Another inspired work recreating

Bible times.







Writers Groups

What to Expect

by Lynette Rees


So you’ve never tried a writers’ group, but have decided that this is the year you will join one? 

How do I go about it?

A good place to start is your local library which should have information of any writers' groups your area.  The group may even be held at the library itself.  The local newspaper may advertise any groups in your locality and further afield.  The Internet is another good source of information too.  By tapping something like “Writers’ Groups + (the name of your town)” into a search engine it may throw up what your looking for.  It’s best to put the wording in inverted commas, to be more specific in your search.

What type of groups are available?

     Writers’ Circles that have been set up by individuals to meet once a week/fortnight or monthly.  This type of group will usually read out their poems and stories to one another, some groups will critique, others do not.  It tends to be more of a social thing.  Some circles have speakers to visit, e.g. a local author may give a talk on how he/she became published.  Any competitions may be discussed and visits to book fairs etc.  Some writers’ circles will put together an anthology of the members stories and poetry which can be purchased for a small fee.

     Writers workshops.  These may be on specific writing topics like “How To Write For Magazines”, or “Writing For Children” etc.  There is usually an ‘expertof some sort teaching the class.  Workshops can also be found on-line e.g.: http://www.coffeehouseforwriters.com/courses.html

     Creative Writing Classes.  These can be on-going indefinitely, or for a set period of time, anything from a few weeks to a year or more.  They may be run by the local university and held in a library or some other premises.  The classes tend to have a set format: e.g. each person reads out their work and the rest of the group critique it.  Then later in the session, there may be a class exercise to do.  For example, everyone has to write down a character’s name on a card, then on a second a location, on a third card an action.  The cards are collected and placed in three piles in the middle of the table: character, location and action.  Each person draws a card from each pile and has to create a story using the 3 cards in a set amount of time.  The only drawback with a class of this sort is that as the work is read out, sometimes grammatical errors are missed, (e.g. spelling and punctuation mistakes) and so forth.  Although, some of the work may go in for marking to the tutor, it doesn’t always.

     On-line writing classes.  These are great if circumstances don’t allow you to make it to a local class, and are becoming very popular.  Some are free, but most are not.  The average price is $75 (USD) for a class lasting about 6 weeks.  Lessons are given by e-mail and work submitted either by e-mail and/or posted to the group for critiquing.  The good thing about this type of class is that as the work is actually read by the other members as well as the tutor, grammatical errors are easily picked up.  Sometimes, there is a chat room session held for members, but depending on where in the world everyone is, it can be hard to arrange a suitable time to meet.  This session usually involves questions and answers to the tutor and a chance to get together.

So what are the advantages/disadvantages in joining a writers’ group?

 I would say that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. 


           Having set work to complete, keeps you motivated.

           Gives you the opportunity to try out new ideas.

     You get the chance to read or hear others’ work: all sorts of styles and      genre.

     There’s a possibility of keeping up with the latest competitions and            publishing opportunities.

     Socialization with other members.

     You get the chance to learn from your writing mistakes, and what others really think of your writing.


           Sometimes it can become too much of a social event with not enough             work getting done.

     Criticism may hit you badly - you need to develop a thick skin.

As you can see there is everything to gain and not a lot to lose by joining a writers’ group.  So what are you waiting for sign up for a class right now..... 

Writing Therapy

Cost: $25.00

Instructor Name: Lynette Rees [Dip. Couns]

Instructor Email: peaceful_writer@yahoo.com

Url: http://class.universalclass.com/writingtherapy

What is Writing Therapy?

Writing Therapy is a way of connecting with your emotions via pen and paper, or the keyboard. I devised this course after studying the research of James W Pennebaker, Head of Psychology, University of Texas. Pennebaker's research shows that writing helps to lift the mood of depressed people. He also found that students who wrote about how they were feeling coped better with their exams.

Class Format

I have devised 9 lessons in all - taking you from what writing therapy is to covering the basic emotions we feel such as anger, grief, love, fear etc. I've also added a lesson on dreams and how to interpret yours, and a bonus lesson on creative writing. Each lesson has an appropriate assignment to match the lesson's content.

Write your way to emotional health!










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