Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go. ~ E. L. Doctorow

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Blog Critique By Laura Barnes

Blog in need of improvement? Check.

Today, Laura Barnes from Laura B. Writer is critiquing my blog. She's generously offering me advice on how to write and present a more effective blog, which should help the site gain a larger readership.

Enthusiasm? Check.

I'm excited and a bit nervous about the whole process. The only critiques I participate in are with my Bucks County Writers Group with a total of 3 members. Receiving feedback will never get easy, but I'm always grateful for every piece of advice. It helps me be a better writer and communicator. When I start to panic, I just keep reminding myself no one can reach greatness hiding under the bed.

Suit of armor? Check

Ready to slide under the bed.
So, head on over to Laura B. Writer and see what blogging wisdom Laura has given me. If you see something you like or think could use some tweaking on my blog, leave a message on her post. Every little bit helps.

Thank you Laura and bloggers for all your help and support!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Check Out The Latest Writing Courses

**************HURRY! COURSE STARTS IN ONE WEEK!*******************

*********************Permission to Forward Granted*************************

Pennwriters Inc. brings you...

CAUSE & EFFECT SEQUENCES with Catherine E. McLean: Online Course

INSTRUCTOR: Catherine E. McLean
DATE: February 1 – March 9, 2012

     (LIMITED CLASS SIZE. Enroll now.)

Interesting stories that grab a reader's attention and keep them turning pages don't happen by accident. They employ the techniques and devices of Cause & Effect Sequences. This intensive course will teach you how to use Cause & Effect Sequences to:

* add or enhance urgency, suspense, and drama to scenes and plots
* enhance the flow of the story
* validate motivations for character's behavior, thinking, reactions, and decisions
* seamlessly enter or depart flashbacks or remembrances
* insure the reader can suspend disbelief
* produce cleaner, more marketable copy by recognizing "red flag" words that often indicate skewed cause-effects

SPECIAL NOTE: Participants are to submit the first 500 words from the opening of
one of their stories. Excerpts will be privately critiqued by the instructor for use of
Cause & Effect Sequences, however, with permission, some may be used as examples
for the group. There will be weekly assignments that need to be turned in.

NOTE: This course is not for beginners but intermediate writers who are very familiar
with story structure, writing and story terms, and who have completed and have been
marketing short stories or a novels.

FREE with this course: "Bloopers & Blunders"--a list of 46 common mistakes made writing fiction.

Pennwriters Online Courses…“Building Careers, One Course At A Time”.  We have high satisfaction scores and repeat customer rates—read more of our Testimonials!

Discover how to transform your story into an attention getting page-turner, and receive a critique of the first 500 words of your story. LIMITED CLASS SIZE. Enroll now.

$89  ($99  non-Pennwriters members) 

Catherine McLean is a published author and longtime Pennwriters member who has given more than 30 workshops and has had two dozen articles published on the devices and techniques of writing fiction. For more information, visit her Web site at www.WritersCheatSheets.com

*Subscribe to our announcement list for email on our latest online courses!

**For more information on this course, contact Laura M. Campbell, Online Courses Coordinator

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A New Milestone On My Journey

Hi! Can you see me? Yes, I'm still alive. 

After months riding in the backseat, I’ve finally let my blog sit in the front again.

Back in November, a copywriting job fell into my lap, turning my world upside down. I was immediately busy with training and sharing the holidays with my family.

Although I missed the online writing community, the distance really gave me the time to balance my life and writing. Things in the blogsphere are picking up for me, again. Tomorrow, Ali Cross is putting me in the Narly Ninja Spotlight over on her blog.  And next week, Laura Barnes will be critiquing my blog to see what I can do to improve and increase my readership.

So, now, I’m officially a professional writer. The weight and stress of agonizing over when I would see my goals become reality are now alleviated. I’m still adjusting to the demands of the production environment and the 3:45pm-12:15am schedule of the new job, but getting paid to write everyday rocks. 

I admit there were times during my year and a half on unemployment that really scared me. I didn’t think the career change from teaching to writing would ever happen, and I would be forced to get a job that would make me cranky everyday. 

Looking back now, I know I can deal with the frustration of waiting for my goals to come to fruition, when I know for a fact that every goal I’ve ever set for myself has come true. I’m finally slowing down the older I get and the more wisdom my experiences garner, and enjoying my life one day at a time.

And of course, I can’t sit still very long, and I’ve already decided on my next milestone: getting my fiction (i.e., novel or short story) published this year.  Buckle up folks; I can foresee this one is going to be a wild, Griswold-esque trip.

Let me hear what’s been going on in your life. Tell me what goals you’ve achieved recently. 
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