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Writing Tips

The following are some articles I've written for newsletters or speeches.  I hope they can be useful to those visitors who are aspiring authors as well.

10 Easy Steps to Publication...and other fairy tales

Common Mistakes of the Beginning Writer

Looking Toward the Futuristic

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I didn't write these, but they're fun to read and so true.

It Is Said English is Easy, but...

Why English is Hard to Learn

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(click on any ISBN to order)

For an extensive list of Books on Writing, click here.

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers
Renni Brown and Dave King
Copyright ©1993 HarperCollins
ISBN 0-06-270061-8

An excellent reference for catching those beginning mistakes.  Easy to follow with an assortment of cartoons to illustrate points.  This book helped me a lot.

Techniques of the Selling Writer
Dwight V. Swain
Copyright ©1965 University of Oklahoma Press
ISBN 0-8061-1191-7

The writer's Bible.  This book is loaded with information that hasn't lost its applicability over time.  Be sure to read this more than once as it may be difficult for a new writer to understand, but the lights will go on after you've learned a little more.

The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Storytellers and Screenwriters
Christopher Vogler
Copyright ©1992 Michael Wiese, Productions
ISBN 0-941188-13-2 (Vol 1)
ISBN 0-941188-70-1  (Vol 2)

This book is based on Joseph Campbell's THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES, which describes not only the basic journey found in every story ever told but lists the characters usually seen as well.  A screenwriter for Disney, Vogler not only makes this process clear and applicable, but outlines well-known movies to show how it works--The Last of the Mohicans and Death Becomes Her in Volume 1 and Star Wars and Titantic in Volume 2.

GMC:  Goal, Motivation and Conflict
Debra Dixon
Copyright ©1996 Gryphon Books for Writers
ISBN 0-9654371-0-8

This is a must-have for every writer's library.  Debra outlines how knowing your character's goal, motivation and conflict leads to fully developed characters and excellent plots.  She uses Wizard of Oz as an example.  I use this process for every book I write.

Writing the Fiction Synopsis: A step by step approach
Pam McCutcheon
Copyright ©1998 Gryphon Books for Writers
ISBN 0-9654371-1-6

Another necessary tool in the writer's toolbox, this book explains how to approach those hard-to-write yet highly important synopses.    Pam outlines the process and provides excellent examples and worksheets to guide a writer through it.  Start with this book and you'll find synopses aren't nearly as bad as you thought.

The Writer's Brainstorming Kit: Thinking in New Directions
Pam McCutcheon & Michael Waite
Copyright©2001 Gryphon Books for Writers
ISBN 0-9654371-4-0

This book is great for getting out of a rut when plotting or creating characters.  It uses cards to help nudge your thoughts in a different direction and soon you're on your way again.  I wouldn't give up my set for anyone.

Please Understand Me: Character and Temperament Types
David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates
Copyright ©1978 Prometheus Nemesis Book Company
ISBN 0-9606954-0-0

This book provides an excellent guide to understanding characters and why they do the things they do.  Since character and motivation are the central ingredients for any good book, use this book to develop yours.

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