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Need Writing Inspiration? Try an Out of Body Experience

Wait. Hear me out. I’m not advocating some ancient form of writing meditation. I’m not advising a trip to the Far East, nor Middle Earth. In my quest to keep my imagination well-oiled, I’ve discovered an additional method for getting started when my grey matter is stalled.

In the movie “Finding Forrester”, Jamal (Rob Brown) is encouraged to begin by typing a piece written by William Forrester (Sean Connery) and to start writing when his own words come to him.

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Your Submission Questions Answered (Part 1)

As promised, this is the first post where I’ll respond to your submission questions. My experience comes from trial and error, study, conferences and conversations.

This week I will tackle the submission questions I’ve received and next week I’ll cover questions about contests. This is the plan. However, I am open to changing it. If your question has not been answered, please ask.

Now, drumroll please…

Guidelines and Submission QuestionsWritng-woman-freelance

1) What are some sources I can use to create an effective cover letter for my pitch?

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Daddy, Where Do Words Come From?

There is debate on the evolution of man, but there is no doubt that words do evolve over time. I have on my desk a word origin tear-off calendar. It was a gift from my wife. Where words come from sometimes fascinates me as much as the words themselves.Writing - Magifying glass-where words come from

The twenty-dollar word for studying word origin is etymology. The etymology of a word is not necessarily its original definition but rather how the word came to common use,

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Warning: You May Be Trashing Terrific Stories (and Leads)

You probably haven’t gone completely paperless. I still like to page through magazines. I get the Wednesday and Sunday newspapers. Even if you don’t subscribe to magazines, you may receive some from a hobby club you take part in or your insurance company or auto club. Some are available for free in stands around town.

Wrapping fish isn’t the thing to do with yesterday’s news. (Click to Tweet This!)

Don’t toss those magazines yet either.

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Can You Really Trust the Magazine Editor?

I founded and led a writer’s group for several years. One of the questions that came up often was:

“Can I trust the editor of the magazine with my story or idea?”

Some members seemed to think they would not be paid if compensation was offered or their story would get used without credit. In my mind, there are only two options. First option – send something out.

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Are You Making These Costly Copy Errors?

Dennis Hensley, speaking on the importance of details, mentioned one freelance writer whose entire thirty-five-hundred- word article on food preparation techniques was rejected because the author spelled ptomaine without the letter “p” at the beginning. The editor reasoned that if the writer didn’t bother to double-check the spelling, he might not have checked the other food safety facts in the article. If so,

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Don’t Blow it, Show it.

Pencil/Hand (Show, Don't TellYou’ve probably heard the saying “Show, don’t tell”. What does it mean?  It is important to say that there are some parts in every story that are told (and not shown). There is simple description in the best of novels. However, much of the story should be shown, especially the crucial parts. Your reader should experience the story as if they were one of the characters. What would they see,

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That First Blog Post

Writing that first blog post / Schnauzer

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Writing the first post on a new blog is sort of like having a baby isn’t it? No, not really. Perhaps like bringing home a new pet Schnauzer. There’s a lot to think about such as, “How much time will this little one demand?” or “Will it get along with the other blogs?” and especially,“What do I feed it so it will grow up strong?” I’m assuming whether blog or dog the correct answer is not broccoli.

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What is Writing?

"A writer looks at a screen or piece of paper like a canvas. They see a country unexplored, a picture unpainted, a tale not told. They dare to venture into the barren land, explore its dark corners, and paint its pictures. Then they unveil the epic with the goal of compelling people to visit their newly discovered territory.”
Peter D. Mallett

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