...  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


 October, 2005


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


The Basics: Point of View (Part 4)

by Sandy Tritt


(continued from last month)


Ray walked the mile from the hospital to Bob’s Sunoco. He found Gary in the bay, changing the oil on a pale blue Cadillac. He kicked his brother’s feet until Gary rolled from beneath the car. “We gotta talk.”

“I get off at three.”


Gary stood and wiped his hands on an oily rag. “What’s up?”

“Let’s walk.” Ray feared his brain was going to explode. Too much was going on, too many things were changing. He’d read the front page of the newspaper over and over while waiting in the doctor’s office. The Apollo 7 astronauts were heading home after eleven days in space. President Johnson was negotiating for the release of fourteen North Vietnamese POW’s. And Jackie Kennedy, the dead President’s wife, was marrying a Greek billionaire the very next day. He didn’t even know if it was legal for the President’s widow to marry a foreigner.

Gary followed Ray outside and toward town. “What did the doctor say about Mom?”

“He put her in the hospital.”

Colorful leaves swirled around their ankles, the drier ones crunching under their heavy steps. Gary kicked them out of his way. “Why?”

“He got the tests back.”


A young mother, her sweater flapping in the wind, pushed a baby carriage over the uneven sidewalk with one hand and pulled a stubborn toddler with the other. Ray stepped into the street to let her pass.

“What did the doctor say?” Gary repeated.

“She’s got cancer.”

Gary stopped walking. “Cancer?”

Ray slowed down until Gary caught up.

 “Something about a mass in her brain.”

Gary was quiet for a long time, then spoke softly. “Does she need surgery? Does she have to take chemo? Or radiation?”

“He says there ain’t nothing they can do. He says it’s too late.” Ray remembered that part very well. He’d argued with Dr. Brown, insisting there had to be something. She had three young boys who needed her.

“Too late? Too late for what?”

“Dr. Brown says . . .” Ray rubbed his head. “He says it’s too late. He says she ain’t coming home.”

They walked slower, silently, past the library and into the park. Pre-schoolers played on the swings and slide, laughing and shouting.

Gary leaned against an oak tree, his dirty gray jumpsuit blending into the trunk.

 “What’re we gonna do?” he said.

“About what?”

Gary took a new pack of Marlboros from his pocket and tapped it against his palm.

 “The boys.”

“I guess we gotta pick them up from school and fix them something to eat.”
“I don’t mean now,” Gary said, opening the cigarettes. “Until they’re grown.

 Who’ll take care of them?”

“Mom will.”

“You okay?”

Ray scratched the five-day-old stubble on his chin. “They made a mistake. We just gotta find Dad and get this all straightened out. Dad will know what to do.”

Gary lit a cigarette and slowly exhaled.
Ray watched the smoke disappear into the October-blue sky. A foreigner. Two hundred million people in the United States and the President’s widow was going to marry a foreigner. No wonder the world was so damned screwed up.


Notice that by changing our viewpoint character, we get a different account of the action. Therefore, we need to carefully choose whose viewpoint to use so we can get the greatest power from each scene.

Even within third person omniscient, we should have only one viewpoint character at a time, only one character whose thoughts and mind we visit. We have the option to change viewpoint characters, but we must do it very carefully, preferably at a scene or chapter break. However, if we must switch “heads” within a scene, we should clue the reader to what we are doing and allow for a transition. I prefer to do this by ignoring the previous viewpoint character for a sentence or two, then have the new viewpoint character touch his face —rub his forehead, scratch his ear, any action as long as it involves his face or head —to clue the reader that this is our new “head.” Once the switch is made, stay with it. “Head-hopping” is confusing for the reader and should be done only when absolutely necessary.

Oftentimes when we get a vague feeling that something isn’t right but can’t quite put our finger on it, the problem is a breach in point of view. This means we have inadvertently changed viewpoints or switched from one type of point of view to another. So study point of view. If you’re not happy with the way your story is reading, try changing the point of view or try changing your viewpoint character. Just be consistent.

(continued next month)

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







The Democratization of Media

By Bruce L. Cook


Short stories by popular authors, $0.49. (A new service just announced by Amazon.com.)

Short stories by new authors, $0.29? (Don’t expect Amazon to offer this.)

Could this be done? It is possible. Think what Napster did for audio.

Unlike writers in the 1960s, we can offer our stories online. In fact, I’m willing to list them on Author-me.com and ReserveBooks.com for $.29 to start. For every sale, 9 cents to the publisher and 20 cents to the author. Deal?

Try me. Send me the story and I’ll set it up. Contracts and all.

Think of what’s happening out there.

Two weeks ago Bruce Wilkinson of Claritas, Inc. addressed the Fifth Annual Midwest Publishers Forum in Chicago regarding new media. Having reviewed new media developments, Bruce concluded that we are seeing an increased “democratization of media.”

It’s true. We have access now.

The shift is profound.

A personal website by a guy named Drudge jarred the journalists. Fox Cable TV exposed blatant bias at the New York Times.

And, for writers, we can leave our scribblings in BLOGS which are far better read than the old Usenet newsgroups that started well before the advent of browsers.

Wiki editing now gives us a chance to write copy for a new encyclopedia (Wikipedia) and to revise copy online. Further, it lets us “Wiki enable” our manuscripts on Author-me and elsewhere, inviting other writers to freely comment and even revise the copy we have posted. (Of course, the Wiki system remembers the original so nothing is lost).

Further, our audience has expanded, as readers can now listen to our stories (which we can read into a telephone - see www.reservebooks.com). Readers can now read our stories on cell phones via the WAP Protocol and phone browsers.

Soon, within a few years, laptops will have flexi-screens so readers can curl up with our epics.

In all this, there is a place for new writers to compete with the Amazon/novelists? Every bit as much as Fox News can compete with the New York Times. We can do it. We should do it. So let’s go!

Write me at cookcomm@reservebooks.com

Critiquing Special

  • Limited time special, one cent per word.  Just mention Publishing New Writers  Newsletter (October, 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 Time was When: Reflections on Writing TimeTravel Tales

by Dave Cassel

I have four rules for spinning time travel stories.


1.         Time travel can only be accomplished by supernatural means.


Science fiction writers effect time travel by using great speed.  Arrive somewhere else before leaving here or finish an activity before beginning it, and you’ll go backward in time.  Let’s call that traveling super-fast.


But it doesn’t work.  To finish your night’s rest before starting it means not sleeping, because you got up before you lay down.  To spend no time traveling means not traveling—not even super-fast—and not going backward in time.


How about going forward?  That should be the opposite of going super-fast—which is what?  Standing exceptionally still?  “Springing forward” to daylight savings time?  Maybe it’s going back backwards: While brushing your teeth super-fast, you face away from the sink.


Fantasy writers can make believe, but sci-fi authors must make sense—which they apparently cannot do with time travel stories.


Can God travel in time?  Scripture doesn’t say, so my stories have God—and demons—enable time travel.


2.         A journey to the past cannot change history.


Since God works all things according to his will, he’s not going to use time travel to undo what’s happened.


Additionally, if Joe could change the past, he could erase his own existence.  But then he wouldn’t exist to go back in time and eliminate himself.  So the possibility doesn’t exist.  And it therefore seems unlikely he could make other changes to history.


 3.        God-empowered time travel won’t do anything God doesn’t want done.


The demon Morodek can make time travel do evil things—which it won’t do under God’s control.


4.         Keep time travel data consistent, and pursue all of their implications.


I would be inconsistent if I sent Joe forward in time to accompany himself, but put one body inside another.


Or if I sent him from several different times into an activity, placing three bodies there, I’d create a repeating event:

·        Body One goes through it with Two and Three;

·        Two goes through it with One and Three;

·        Three with One and Two;

·        Repetitions always have new Ones, Twos, or Threes, requiring infinitely more repetitions.


Time travel stories are intriguing.  But since I don’t believe in real-world time travel, I’ll journey according to these rules; I have my speed limits.


But they don’t apply to God.





Dave Cassel is a Baptist minister who has pastored for 19 years and has recently retired after nearly 16 years as a prison chaplain.  A husband, a father of two adult sons, and a grandfather of one beautiful ten-year-old girl, he’s run seven marathons and has hiked and backpacked extensively in Oregon.  This is his fourth published work.


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,

October, 2005 (no. 610)


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)