...  Publishing New Writers

Opt-In Publication for AuthorMe.com, AuthorMARK.com, Cookcom.net


 September, 2004


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


Getting Ready to Write: Advice for Beginners

by Sandy Tritt


So you wanna be a writer when you grow up, huh? My first word of advice is don’t. Don’t become a writer. Not for money. Not for glory. Not for any reason unless you have a passion in your gut that is so strong that nothing can prevent you from writing. Unless you have stories in you that you must tell, and writing them is as important to you as eating and sleeping and breathing. And sometimes more important.

With that out of the way, I assume you have passion. So, what do you do with this life of yours to pave your way to the writing world? Read. Observe. Write. Live. Those are the four main ingredients to preparing yourself to write.
Read everything you can get your hands on. Read classic literature, read literary fiction, read commercial fiction. Read books on the craft of writing. Read books on writers. Read dictionaries. Read cereal boxes. Just read.
Observe. If there is one attribute a writer must have (other than his passion to write), it is the ability to notice details. What is it about the way she walks that captures your attention? Is it her clothes? Her figure? Her wiggle? What words could you use to describe the preacher’s snorts between shouts? What do his eyes look like when he says “Hell”? What keeps his hair from falling into his eyes (or onto the floor)?

Look at your surroundings as though you’re showing them to someone who’s never been to your area. Notice the sounds you would hear if you listened. Notice the smells, the colors, the textures, everything you normally take for granted. Think of new ways to describe old things.

Write every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s a dozen words or a dozen pages, write. And don’t limit your writing to your passion—try writing poetry, fiction, journal entries, essays. Keep a journal or notebook with you at all times and jot your thoughts as you think them.
Live. Can you write about New York City if you’ve never been there? Probably—if you’ve seen enough movies and read enough descriptions, you could write with integrity about a city you’ve never seen. However, you would not be able to add any new insight. For me, a small town girl, it was the vastness of the big city that took my breath away. And that most of the thousands of people all scurrying to some place would gladly pause a moment to give directions or advice.

Visit as many places as you possibly can, but also consider actually living in as many different types of places as you can. Yes, you can get superficial impressions of cultures during a seven-day vacation, but to truly understand a culture, you need to experience it more deeply. I’ve lived in small towns, large cities, suburbs, villages and deep in the country. I’ve lived in apartments, houses, complexes, dormitories, alone, with friends, with family. I’ve lived in Appalachia, the Midwest and the Deep South. And each of these has left an imprint (as well as an accent!).

Experience as many aspects of life as you can. Can you really understand the pain of heartbreak if you’ve never been loved and left? Can you understand the intensity of a mother’s (or father’s) love if you’ve never experienced it? Can you understand the thrill of surviving the bunny slope on down hill skis if you’ve never put your life at stake?

This isn’t to say you must become an alcoholic to understand alcoholism (although it does help) or a bank robber to understand a thief. What it does mean is that writers need to take more chances than the average Joe, need to experience more of life in order to write more knowledgeably. It also means that writers must have empathy to understand people and situations beyond their personal experience.
What kind of job should you hold while waiting to publish? Well, many successful writers have had successful careers in business, law, medicine, education or any area you can think of before becoming published. So, it doesn’t matter a lot what your “day” job is, just don’t go into debt. Live humbly and within your means, because once you sign that car loan, you are obligated to your 8-5 job. Of course, some jobs will give you more “material” to incorporate into your writing than others. If you are just passing time, here are some suggestions:

• Work with people from diverse backgrounds, such as you can meet in airports, resorts, hotels and restaurants. These give you plenty of characters to draw on.
• Work physically. Manual work doesn’t occupy your mind. I do some of my best creative thinking while washing dishes by hand and mopping floors.
• Work where you have free time to write, such as night desk clerk, night guard at a business, bowling alley clerk (on the slow shift), car lot attendant, and so on.

I am fond of saying that there are two aspects to writing—the craft and the art. The craft is that which can be learned—grammar, using active voice, the basics of dialogue and so forth. The art is the God-given talent that a writer is either blessed with or isn’t. It is the ability to “see” the details in a setting and relay that in interesting, unique words to make the reader feel the location. It is the ability to understand human nature and empathize with even the most dastardly villain. If you have that talent, and if you have that passion to write no matter what the odds, you are a writer. And nobody can take that away from you.

(from Section 1, Workbook)

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 2002 by Sandy Tritt. All rights reserved, except for those listed here. September 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























Seven Great Things

 About Rejection


by Lynette Rees

You hear the letterbox flap going early in the morning, there on the doormat is the envelope you have been waiting for. An article or short story you submitted two months ago has now been read by an editor. You pray for an acceptance. On opening the envelope, the words: 'was not suitable for this magazine' jump out at you.

Your piece was rejected. You feel a lump in your throat, and think, what's the point? But hang on a moment, aren't you jumping to conclusions? Who says that rejection is a bad thing? Now don't get angry with me, I've been there, done that and bought the T-shirt. Read on if you want to find out why rejection can be a good thing...

1. It enables you to improve on your work. When I look back at some of the short stories I submitted to magazines five years ago, I can see why they were rejected. I made silly grammatical
errors, my sentences were way too long, plus my stories were a trifle clichéd. Since then I've taken several creative writing classes, locally and online.
* Tip - Join a creative writing class or critique group.

2. Rejection doesn't necessarily mean your article/story is no good. It may be simply that the editor has just published a similar piece to yours, so it could be just a matter of timing.

Try submitting to other markets and if you get rejected more than a few times then try revising your piece. Another reason for rejection could be that you haven't studied the magazine/website's guidelines or style. This is an absolute MUST.
If the editor asks for articles of between 600-800 words then DO NOT submit a piece which is 1200 words in length, no matter how good it is. Check that the article is the right style for the magazine. If it's a dog magazine then write about dogs!
* Tip - Always study the guidelines before submitting anything.

3. Rejection makes your writing stronger. If my earlier pieces of work had been accepted I would have thought they were quite good, as it is now, I revise and edit my work more than ever. Pruning
out unnecessary words, to make a stronger piece, without losing my 'voice'.
* Tip - Read your work out loud, any words that jar or stop the flow of the piece, change, until the piece runs smoothly.

4. Rejection is all part and parcel of being a writer. To have received a rejection letter/e-mail is proof that you have worked to submit a piece of writing. How many writers are so afraid of rejection that they don't submit anything for fear of failure?
* Tip - It is better to have been rejected 100 times than not to have submitted even once. Keep trying, your persistence will pay off.

5. Rejection of an article/story is not a rejection of you personally. Unfortunately, anytime we have a rejection in our lives, it can remind us of other times when we were rejected in the past. It can knock our self-esteem and our confidence
wavers, making us feel like giving up.
* Tip - If you find yourself feeling like that, then keep a journal of your thoughts, so you can have some insight into what is causing you to feel that way.

6. Rejection helps us perform our 'groundwork' as a writer. How many times have you heard someone say, "I've always wanted to be a writer, can you give me some advice?" They seem to expect you to tell them all that they need to know in about five minutes flat.
It may have taken you months or even years of 'sweat of the brow' to get where you are now as a writer. Yet they try to persuade you to
tell them your secret. There is no secret. Writing is hard work.

It may have taken you many rejections before you have one article or story published.
*Tip - Tell yourself that every rejection you receive is a step closer to your goal of getting published. You are doing your groundwork.

7. Being rejected can help you pick up tips from editors and/or find new markets for your work. Not all editors send out standard rejection letters. If you are lucky, you may be told what was
wrong with your article/story and how you can improve on it. Some editors will even suggest other possible markets for your work.
*Tip - If you find yourself receiving standard rejection letters and don't know why your work is being rejected, write back to the appropriate editors and ask. If they have time to reply they may be able to explain that you hadn't followed the guidelines or your story was full of grammatical errors, etc.

So, as you can see rejection isn't necessarily bad, it can be a good thing. It's about learning from your mistakes and going on to be an even better writer. Now send off that article or story and don't fear rejection; you may even learn something from it.

-- Lynette Rees


Critiquing Special

  • Limited time special, one cent per word.  Just mention Publishing New Writers  Newsletter (September, 2004).

    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.)

Visit our sister websites...





Publishing New Writers,

September, 2004 (no. 509)


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














Copyright I: Traditional Print Publishing versus Internet Posting

by Jim Colombo

When an author submits a manuscript to an agent or publisher he protects his work by stating copyright, the date, and his name, and that he is offering to the prospective buyer of his work the "First North American Serial Rights" only, not all rights.  If an author surrenders his work to the public domain, he has no rights.  If he has posted on the Internet, has he lost his rights because the Internet is part of the public domain?

Intellectual Property is defined in Stim's book: "Patents, Copyright, and Trademark" as  "... a work is published if copies ... are distributed to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending." 

Posting on the Internet is submitting for critique or to showcase an author's work, not for sale nor soliciting for sale, with a writer's workshop or an on line class affiliated with a university or a professional instructor.  The intent is similar to a public display to show a work.

What are "Electronic Publishing" rights?  They are rights that are becoming one of the most hotly contested issues in the writing industry. How are these rights defined, and how are they used?  Most of all, how are writers affected by the controversy?

One of the bundle of rights with copyright is exclusivity.  A publisher buys the exclusive rights from the author and owns the work.  Most publishers will buy the book and the author will have the option to sell the movie rights or the international rights. How can a publisher have exclusivity of a work that is posted on the Internet?

Electronic rights pertain to authors and the Internet "E-Zines" because there is an exchange rather than a purchase of rights for publication.  There are no contracts between authors and E-Zine publisher, only trust or a handshake, compared to print publishing that offer contracts. Though there is no exchange of money, there is use, which is publication, and constitutes that any future buyer is in a secondary position procuring a reprint.   Authors and E-Zines have difficulty protecting their work from infringement and are ignored by print publishers.

Jim Colombo

~ Positively Woman Monthly Online Writing Classes ~

Take an affordable online class this summer.  All courses are for 4 weeks:

  ... So You Want To Be A Writer? 

  ... Crafting the Short Story 101 

  ... Paving the Way to a Successful Career

  ... Stretch Yourself! - Part One

  ... Scrapbooking Your Photos & Memories

  ... Writing Your Family Stories

See our course catalogue:


add this for the exact page

if the link doesn't work



For further info contact: craftyscribe@yahoo.com


God Created You: A Guide to Temperament Therapy

New AuthorMe Paperback...   (Released September, 2004)

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.













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