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 May, 2002

Tell, Don't Show

by Sandy Tritt


The first rule of writing is show, don't tell. But let's face it -- if we showed everything, our novels would run tens of thousands of pages -- and readers would die of exhaustion. So what do we do? We must decide what information the reader needs. Just because we know everything about our characters and just because we spent weeks researching, it isn't necessary to share all this with our reader. We must choose only the details we need to authenticate our story and omit everything else.

NARRATIVE is telling what happens. This is useful when the acting out of the story (by dialogue and action) does nothing to further our understanding of the characters and isn't important enough to give all the details.

EXPOSITION is explaining why something happened or gives background information.

One of the most difficult and most crucial elements in story-telling is knowing when to give the play-by-play action and when to back off and summarize. Play with this. If a scene doesn't hold your interest, maybe it is better to summarize it in a sentence or two and go on to something more important. However, if it is a pivotal scene in the plot or critical to our understanding how our character reacts in a given situation, go for it. Give us action, give us dialogue, and let us experience and savor every single moment of it.

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




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... 

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 Chosen Instrument

By Kurt Schuller

 Another inspired work recreating

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New - AuthorMe Writer Surveys

This month we launched a new service in reader feedback - an opinion survey. Those authors willing to share the cost can arrange for readers to comment on opening, language,  plot, conclusion, credibility, unity, detail, balance, and strong and weak points of their work.


When you purchase an AuthorMe writer survey for your manuscript, we place a link to the survey above the text. We then provide a private, password protected link enabling you see view survey results - a summary as well as  individual responses (including email addresses of respondents who are willing to enter that information.)

A Comment...

I remain thoroughly pleased about the feedback/kudos I received from a cross section of your readers who read "Spring Fever." 


Surprised “Spring Fever” had that effect on those outside of my circle of friends who tend to like everything I write, though they do give me honest feedback, etc.  Your survey gave me more insight of how others outside my circle of friends perceive my work and in what areas I need improvement, all of which will help me to continue to polish my writing.  The survey:  AN INVALUABLE SERVICE and USEFUL TOOL FOR ANY WRITER!

      Corey Metz

Writing is a Stress Reliever

By Sean Nugent

Medical studies show that 70 percent of illness is emotionally induced. We as humans have a tendency to push ourselves to the outer limits of our physical and mental capabilities. I have found that we also allow stress and emotions to build up to the point we burst like a jack-n-the-box consuming us, weakening and making us more susceptible to illness.

But there is a way to relieve and reduce that stress, increasing your health and making you less likely to get sick.

Many people have asked me "Sean, how can I relieve and reduce my emotional stress so it doesn't consume me." The answer is simple: write poetry or make a journal; the simple act of writing is the miracle drug for stress. By writing we allow that emotional stress to flow, reducing the pressure that it puts on your heart and mind.

Poetry is the heart's blood flow of emotions upon a canvas of white creating a masterpiece of art; it is the freeing of one's soul from the emotions that consume the mind in every day life. It is the writing of thoughts unto paper in verse that releases the pressures of the world and puts to ease your mind with the gentle breeze of Mother Nature's breath.

A journal is the same as poetry except it is the free flow of thought in no order or sequence. A journal is meant for your eyes only and lets you feel freer to write without holding back and worrying about rhyming and flow.

Both help to release and relieve the stress built up in your life. They each are a unique way of expressing your emotions and feelings so that they don't stay inside and consume your mind.

The simple fact is someone who writes a journal is more likely to be happy, and someone who writes a poem is more likely to see the world in a different light. Someone who does both is less likely to be sick and more likely to live a near stress free life. For writing is a stress reliever and happiness maker.

Sean is a college freshman who loves to write


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!






Writer Promote Thyself

by Lynette Rees

Okay so you’ve written a couple of poems, articles or short stories.  You may even have had them published somewhere on the Net or in print.  Have you just left it at that and hoped that your work will ‘just speak for itself’?  There are ways to gain shameless promotion at little or no cost to yourself.

•     Set up your own website

You can pay to have your own domain name if you like e.g.: “Lynettescreativewriting.com”, or you could do as I have and set up my own free website.  There are quite a few sites that offer you the chance to do this with no charge.  With some of them you don’t even have to have any knowledge of html programming, it’s all done for you.  You could set up a simple one like I have to promote my published work.  I use this one to send the url to editors when I submit an article for publication, so that they can view my online clips:



You could even set up your own creative writing site, which would be especially helpful if you haven’t had anything published as yet.  Who said you can’t publish your own work?  You would then have the advantage of being able to include the url when submitting work online to editors.  If you’re feeling really ambitious you could send out a regular newsletter to tell friends and family what’s new at your site e.g.: This month’s short story, article, poem etc.  Here’s an example:



The only draw back to this sort of a site is that you have no control over the advertising displayed there.  Putting up with a banner that reads: “7 days of great sex” at ivillage.com is worth it to have a free website of your own!

Where can I find these free places to set up my own simple site?

Here are  three places I know of that are easy to use.  There are probably many more.  The only requirement that I’m aware of is that you sign yourself up as a member first:




•     Create a signature for yourself

Most e-mail programs like Outlook Express, Yahoo and MSN have a facility that enables you to do this.  I usually have a signature that gives me the opportunity to provide a link to my latest article.  I frequently change my signature for any new work I’ve had published, e.g. I may change my signature  weekly: from a short story I’ve had published online, to an article at another site,  to a creative writing class I’m tutoring online.

•     Join an online writers’ support group

I belong to an online yahoo writers’ group that's made up of over 1,000 writing mothers like myself.  Some are stay at home mothers, others work full or part-time, some are authors and a few are editors of print magazines and websites.  This can be a good opportunity to promote our work.  Whenever we have something published we announce it by e-mail to the entire list, to give the other members a chance to read our article, story or poem. There are many creative writing lists at Yahoo, check them out:



 Or alternatively you could join an online newsgroup such as:

alt.creative.writing .

 So as you can see, there are ways to promote your writing.   May be you won’t be the next Stephen King or Jackie Collins, but at least your writing will get noticed and more importantly someone will read it!

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.


Publishing New Writers,

May, 2002 (no.305)

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

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