Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Interesting Topics as Guest Blogger

My first experience as a guest blogger at Polka Dot Banner (www.polkadotbanner) provided an interesting array of topics: beginning a story with a short flashback, ending a story narrated in first person, how to avoid the overuse of too many "she" pronouns, a "confessional" scene that needed to avoid overusing dialogue, and the overuse of the word "was" in a manuscript. This is also an amazing site for books and book authors. It was a pleasure to guest blog for the day.


Sunday, December 6, 2009


I'll be guest blogging at Polka Dot Banner on Tuesday, December 8. The topic is the FOREST FOR THE TREES SYNDROME--spotting common problems in a manuscript. I'll be open to questions on any aspect of writing fiction, from craft elements to techniques and devices. Also included would be better ways to self-edit (tips and tricks); discussing what constitutes "a good read" in any fictional story (knowing story structure); how to spot Freudian slips, repetitions, and other aspects that subliminally turn a reader--or editor--off (listening with your inner ear); the value of critique groups and one-on-one partnerships (taking control of the feedback you get); and online versus hard-copy feedback (giving feedback). Anyone can participate by going to (www.polkadotbanner.com) and clicking on the menu tab.

Successful November Online Course

The November 2009 online course "Cause & Effect Sequences" has ended. It was a great group of intermediate and advanced writers to work with. Yet, what surprised me, but perhaps shouldn't have, was how far away some of the students lived: Australia, Canada, Texas, Utah, and California. Living in rural Pennsylvania has it's merits, but the Internet opens doors to others like none other. I also have to say that what brightened my days after the course ended were the kudos sent to me after the class. Not only did this course receive outstanding high marks on the Pennwriters' evaluation forms, but I received individual thank-you e-mails. One student went so far as to say: "I am so glad I took your course . . . You are too good a secret to keep!"