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Re: I just joined the group about a nanosecond ago...(Alynda41423)

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  • alynda_long
    Wings, I just saw the news about that case. It s mind blowing how many lives one person can destroy or, minimally, alter in a negative way. I will submit
    Message 1 of 12 , Oct 25, 2012
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      Wings,

      I just saw the news about that case. It's mind blowing how many lives one person can destroy or, minimally, alter in a negative way.

      I will submit something very soon. I'm still getting the lay of the land a bit.

      Thank you for the warm welcome!

      -Alynda
      --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "Wings081" <wings081@...> wrote:
      >
      > Dear Alynda
      > You are most welcome to this group among whom are many English teachers,poets and published writers.
      > I presume you are from my favourite ally, the U S of A.
      > Regarding your Child abuse story:The newspapers in UK have been flooded these past few weeks with the shocking details of child abuse by a knight of the realm (now deceased).
      > If you access the Daily Mail on line, you'll find a wealth of info to start you off.
      > Why not pop a chapter on t2w for members to give you feed-back.
      > I'm sure you'll be pleased with the response.
      > My best regards
      > As always
      > Wings.
      >
      >
      > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, Alynda Long <alynda_long@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Hi Everyone,
      > >
      > > My name is Alynda. I'm a former English teacher/Literary Studies student who now stays home with my young daughters. I wrote really bad poetry as a teenager then slightly less bad prose as a college student. I've taken quite a hiatus from writing (other than keeping a journal), but feel the need to write my first full length story (can't quite wrap my brain around the word "novel" in connection to myself yet, but hope to get there soon.
      > >
      > > I'm working on a story of childhood/adolescent abuse with a dual first person narrator: the protagonist as a child and as an adult. I'm still piecing character sketches and partial scenes together at this point. I have one or two chapters/partial chapters completed thus far, but am uncertain how to organize them cohesively.
      > >
      > > I look forward to reading your work and getting to know you through this group.
      > >
      > > -Alynda
      > >
      >
    • Wings081
      Dear Alynda At this early stage I can add little to Suzianne s comments about overuse of first person POV. It does tend to become autobiographical. I do have a
      Message 2 of 12 , Oct 26, 2012
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        Dear Alynda
        At this early stage I can add little to Suzianne's comments about overuse of first person POV. It does tend to become autobiographical.
        I do have a small suggestion on this your first post on the story:
        After:"The candy didn't taste very good" you continue:
        "Most of HER friends". Might I suggest you say"Most of Mom's friends"
        or,as you don't appear to like her : "Most of my mother's friends"
        A small point but,to me anyway, it seemed to jump from 1st to 3rd person POV.
        Allow me to give you an insight into a male experience of the beginnings of possible child abuse:
        I was five years of age when a pair of older girls,(they must have been 7 or 8 years old) cornered me and said:You show us yours and
        we'll show you ours"
        Oh how naive was I back then. I kept my side of the bargain after which both girls giggled like mad and took to their heels.
        It wasn't until I was asked to leave the choir many years later,having lost the 'boy soprano' voice, that I forgave my opposite gender.
        I have always maintained the utmost respect for the ladies of my acquaintance but have never been 'caught out' as I was when a little lad.Henceforth I have always been a member of the 'ladies first' brigade.

        Looking forward to your next posting on this subject.
        As always
        Wings.

        --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "alynda_long" <alynda_long@...> wrote:
        >
        > Wings,
        >
        > I just saw the news about that case. It's mind blowing how many lives one person can destroy or, minimally, alter in a negative way.
        >
        > I will submit something very soon. I'm still getting the lay of the land a bit.
        >
        > Thank you for the warm welcome!
        >
        > -Alynda
        > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "Wings081" <wings081@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Dear Alynda
        > > You are most welcome to this group among whom are many English teachers,poets and published writers.
        > > I presume you are from my favourite ally, the U S of A.
        > > Regarding your Child abuse story:The newspapers in UK have been flooded these past few weeks with the shocking details of child abuse by a knight of the realm (now deceased).
        > > If you access the Daily Mail on line, you'll find a wealth of info to start you off.
        > > Why not pop a chapter on t2w for members to give you feed-back.
        > > I'm sure you'll be pleased with the response.
        > > My best regards
        > > As always
        > > Wings.
        > >
        > >
        > > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, Alynda Long <alynda_long@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Hi Everyone,
        > > >
        > > > My name is Alynda. I'm a former English teacher/Literary Studies student who now stays home with my young daughters. I wrote really bad poetry as a teenager then slightly less bad prose as a college student. I've taken quite a hiatus from writing (other than keeping a journal), but feel the need to write my first full length story (can't quite wrap my brain around the word "novel" in connection to myself yet, but hope to get there soon.
        > > >
        > > > I'm working on a story of childhood/adolescent abuse with a dual first person narrator: the protagonist as a child and as an adult. I'm still piecing character sketches and partial scenes together at this point. I have one or two chapters/partial chapters completed thus far, but am uncertain how to organize them cohesively.
        > > >
        > > > I look forward to reading your work and getting to know you through this group.
        > > >
        > > > -Alynda
        > > >
        > >
        >
      • alynda_long
        Wings, Thank you so much for your response and insight. I suppose I want it to seem autobiographical. As writers, we know in our hearts when something is right
        Message 3 of 12 , Oct 26, 2012
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          Wings,

          Thank you so much for your response and insight. I suppose I want it to seem autobiographical. As writers, we know in our hearts when something is right (even if we can't figure out how to make it seem so on the page). I know this is supposed to be first person. I just have to dig harder within me to get the importance of that across to my readers.

          I can very much relate to your experience (although, I am female). The feeling of vulnerability does not leave us very easily, does it?

          Best wishes,

          Alynda
          --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "Wings081" <wings081@...> wrote:
          >
          > Dear Alynda
          > At this early stage I can add little to Suzianne's comments about overuse of first person POV. It does tend to become autobiographical.
          > I do have a small suggestion on this your first post on the story:
          > After:"The candy didn't taste very good" you continue:
          > "Most of HER friends". Might I suggest you say"Most of Mom's friends"
          > or,as you don't appear to like her : "Most of my mother's friends"
          > A small point but,to me anyway, it seemed to jump from 1st to 3rd person POV.
          > Allow me to give you an insight into a male experience of the beginnings of possible child abuse:
          > I was five years of age when a pair of older girls,(they must have been 7 or 8 years old) cornered me and said:You show us yours and
          > we'll show you ours"
          > Oh how naive was I back then. I kept my side of the bargain after which both girls giggled like mad and took to their heels.
          > It wasn't until I was asked to leave the choir many years later,having lost the 'boy soprano' voice, that I forgave my opposite gender.
          > I have always maintained the utmost respect for the ladies of my acquaintance but have never been 'caught out' as I was when a little lad.Henceforth I have always been a member of the 'ladies first' brigade.
          >
          > Looking forward to your next posting on this subject.
          > As always
          > Wings.
          >
          > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "alynda_long" <alynda_long@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Wings,
          > >
          > > I just saw the news about that case. It's mind blowing how many lives one person can destroy or, minimally, alter in a negative way.
          > >
          > > I will submit something very soon. I'm still getting the lay of the land a bit.
          > >
          > > Thank you for the warm welcome!
          > >
          > > -Alynda
          > > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "Wings081" <wings081@> wrote:
          > > >
          > > > Dear Alynda
          > > > You are most welcome to this group among whom are many English teachers,poets and published writers.
          > > > I presume you are from my favourite ally, the U S of A.
          > > > Regarding your Child abuse story:The newspapers in UK have been flooded these past few weeks with the shocking details of child abuse by a knight of the realm (now deceased).
          > > > If you access the Daily Mail on line, you'll find a wealth of info to start you off.
          > > > Why not pop a chapter on t2w for members to give you feed-back.
          > > > I'm sure you'll be pleased with the response.
          > > > My best regards
          > > > As always
          > > > Wings.
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, Alynda Long <alynda_long@> wrote:
          > > > >
          > > > > Hi Everyone,
          > > > >
          > > > > My name is Alynda. I'm a former English teacher/Literary Studies student who now stays home with my young daughters. I wrote really bad poetry as a teenager then slightly less bad prose as a college student. I've taken quite a hiatus from writing (other than keeping a journal), but feel the need to write my first full length story (can't quite wrap my brain around the word "novel" in connection to myself yet, but hope to get there soon.
          > > > >
          > > > > I'm working on a story of childhood/adolescent abuse with a dual first person narrator: the protagonist as a child and as an adult. I'm still piecing character sketches and partial scenes together at this point. I have one or two chapters/partial chapters completed thus far, but am uncertain how to organize them cohesively.
          > > > >
          > > > > I look forward to reading your work and getting to know you through this group.
          > > > >
          > > > > -Alynda
          > > > >
          > > >
          > >
          >
        • Milton
          Hi, Alynda: Perhaps it is not a coincidence that the subject matter you choose to tackle is a field in which I have had success getting published. I am a
          Message 4 of 12 , Oct 28, 2012
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            Hi, Alynda:

            Perhaps it is not a coincidence that the subject matter you choose to tackle is a field in which I have had success getting published. I am a therapist who worked extensively with women who were victims of abuse and managed to get two self-help books and many articles about their successes...and occasional temporary retreats published. I mention retreats because as long as there is breath of life, there is no such thing as failure!

            I had to use the techniques of fiction since the people about whom I was writing are very much alive and well and living...all over the place! I made them unidentifiable by combining their stories, changing locals but giving the material verisimilitude by using their own words and often writing from a first person POV as their surrogate/advocate and voice.

            Your subject matter is one that is difficult for the reader because of the pain. If you are writing truths in a fictionalized form, you need to be very careful how you allow emotions to emerge. As I was once told, "To hold the reader, you have to hold back the urge to bleed all over the page and take a few steps back, while, at the same time, allow truths to emerge without seeming to censor them. The boundaries are difficult to distinguish and the best approach is to let it rip in the first draft and then mop up the excess blood as you pare it down to the essentials."

            Your story is compelling. You still need to experiment with your POV to find what will make the best read, not what YOU want to do. It needs to be real to the reader who will walk in the shoes of the characters.

            Writing is about getting published. You know what they call writing that is in the service of one's own ego, don't you? Scrap paper or dead dog bytes!

            One of the basics of publication is not to confuse the reader with writerly tricks. That is for writing seminars in college where teachers never want to discourage anyone because who knows what trend will someday emerge.

            Let us take an example: Someone smacks a child across the face. Okay, it is a fact. But out of that fact comes thousands of references. Pain, assault, fear, surprise, disappointment, shock, rage,anger, tears, disappointment, disillusionment... And that doesn't include the reactions of the assaulter! I could go on all day. As a writer, which perspective(s) do you choose to focus upon? The younger the narrator, the more narrow your choices or you will lose...verisimilitude!

            Start with an outline of the story. What do you want the reader to know and when do you want him or her to know it? Who is best to tell it for the reader? Is it something a child could tell? Is it something best relayed through backstory? Is it best told sequentially or episodically? Is the protagonist the best narrator? At what age would she understand enough to be able to tell the readwer something the reader needs to know in a manner the reader needs to know it?

            How do you use a young child narrator? Listen to a 4 year old talk. The key to fiction is verisimilitude which is appearing to be the truth. Four year olds don't have much insight even though they do, once in a while, say something totally surprising.

            One issue to which you may want to give some thought is: Where to begin? Would you be better off starting at the end and backing into the story to give your reader some focus? Would you be better starting in the middle and proceeding both ways to a conclusion that may not even be temporal?

            Choices made early-on affect every step of the wrioting and affect how the story will impact the reader. A misstep early often leads to a novel that comes to a halt about page 126. The writer has written himself or herself into a corner and the story stops working because the pieces do not connect well or the story has already been told and now the writer is stuck with a novella!

            Best of luck with the project. I will enjoy seeing how it evolves. Anyway, you have something in common with my life. My wife is also an English and reading teacher, who has, not by co-incidence, been published numerous times in her field. Both she and I adhere to the philosophy that nothing can be taught but everything can be learned. If you make the material engaging, the student----or reader---will digest it and come up with his and her own conclusions as to what it says...and means.

            Milt


            --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, Alynda Long <alynda_long@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Everyone,
            >
            > My name is Alynda. I'm a former English teacher/Literary Studies student who now stays home with my young daughters. I wrote really bad poetry as a teenager then slightly less bad prose as a college student. I've taken quite a hiatus from writing (other than keeping a journal), but feel the need to write my first full length story (can't quite wrap my brain around the word "novel" in connection to myself yet, but hope to get there soon.
            >
            > I'm working on a story of childhood/adolescent abuse with a dual first person narrator: the protagonist as a child and as an adult. I'm still piecing character sketches and partial scenes together at this point. I have one or two chapters/partial chapters completed thus far, but am uncertain how to organize them cohesively.
            >
            > I look forward to reading your work and getting to know you through this group.
            >
            > -Alynda
            >
          • Susan Donahue
            Dear Milton, Thank you for the amazing gift of a lesson on writing and transforming fact into fiction. I learned much from your words this morning. Suzianne
            Message 5 of 12 , Oct 28, 2012
            • 0 Attachment
              Dear Milton,

              Thank you for the amazing gift of a lesson on writing and transforming fact into fiction. I learned much from your words this morning.

              Suzianne

              --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "Milton" <mtracht508@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi, Alynda:
              >
              > Perhaps it is not a coincidence that the subject matter you choose to tackle is a field in which I have had success getting published. I am a therapist who worked extensively with women who were victims of abuse and managed to get two self-help books and many articles about their successes...and occasional temporary retreats published. I mention retreats because as long as there is breath of life, there is no such thing as failure!
              >
              > I had to use the techniques of fiction since the people about whom I was writing are very much alive and well and living...all over the place! I made them unidentifiable by combining their stories, changing locals but giving the material verisimilitude by using their own words and often writing from a first person POV as their surrogate/advocate and voice.
              >
              > Your subject matter is one that is difficult for the reader because of the pain. If you are writing truths in a fictionalized form, you need to be very careful how you allow emotions to emerge. As I was once told, "To hold the reader, you have to hold back the urge to bleed all over the page and take a few steps back, while, at the same time, allow truths to emerge without seeming to censor them. The boundaries are difficult to distinguish and the best approach is to let it rip in the first draft and then mop up the excess blood as you pare it down to the essentials."
              >
              > Your story is compelling. You still need to experiment with your POV to find what will make the best read, not what YOU want to do. It needs to be real to the reader who will walk in the shoes of the characters.
              >
              > Writing is about getting published. You know what they call writing that is in the service of one's own ego, don't you? Scrap paper or dead dog bytes!
              >
              > One of the basics of publication is not to confuse the reader with writerly tricks. That is for writing seminars in college where teachers never want to discourage anyone because who knows what trend will someday emerge.
              >
              > Let us take an example: Someone smacks a child across the face. Okay, it is a fact. But out of that fact comes thousands of references. Pain, assault, fear, surprise, disappointment, shock, rage,anger, tears, disappointment, disillusionment... And that doesn't include the reactions of the assaulter! I could go on all day. As a writer, which perspective(s) do you choose to focus upon? The younger the narrator, the more narrow your choices or you will lose...verisimilitude!
              >
              > Start with an outline of the story. What do you want the reader to know and when do you want him or her to know it? Who is best to tell it for the reader? Is it something a child could tell? Is it something best relayed through backstory? Is it best told sequentially or episodically? Is the protagonist the best narrator? At what age would she understand enough to be able to tell the readwer something the reader needs to know in a manner the reader needs to know it?
              >
              > How do you use a young child narrator? Listen to a 4 year old talk. The key to fiction is verisimilitude which is appearing to be the truth. Four year olds don't have much insight even though they do, once in a while, say something totally surprising.
              >
              > One issue to which you may want to give some thought is: Where to begin? Would you be better off starting at the end and backing into the story to give your reader some focus? Would you be better starting in the middle and proceeding both ways to a conclusion that may not even be temporal?
              >
              > Choices made early-on affect every step of the wrioting and affect how the story will impact the reader. A misstep early often leads to a novel that comes to a halt about page 126. The writer has written himself or herself into a corner and the story stops working because the pieces do not connect well or the story has already been told and now the writer is stuck with a novella!
              >
              > Best of luck with the project. I will enjoy seeing how it evolves. Anyway, you have something in common with my life. My wife is also an English and reading teacher, who has, not by co-incidence, been published numerous times in her field. Both she and I adhere to the philosophy that nothing can be taught but everything can be learned. If you make the material engaging, the student----or reader---will digest it and come up with his and her own conclusions as to what it says...and means.
              >
              > Milt
              >
              >
              > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, Alynda Long <alynda_long@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Hi Everyone,
              > >
              > > My name is Alynda. I'm a former English teacher/Literary Studies student who now stays home with my young daughters. I wrote really bad poetry as a teenager then slightly less bad prose as a college student. I've taken quite a hiatus from writing (other than keeping a journal), but feel the need to write my first full length story (can't quite wrap my brain around the word "novel" in connection to myself yet, but hope to get there soon.
              > >
              > > I'm working on a story of childhood/adolescent abuse with a dual first person narrator: the protagonist as a child and as an adult. I'm still piecing character sketches and partial scenes together at this point. I have one or two chapters/partial chapters completed thus far, but am uncertain how to organize them cohesively.
              > >
              > > I look forward to reading your work and getting to know you through this group.
              > >
              > > -Alynda
              > >
              >
            • Milton
              Dear Susianne: Writing about writing is probably more pleasure for me than for anyone reading what I have written. When I look at a piece of writing and
              Message 6 of 12 , Oct 29, 2012
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                Dear Susianne:

                Writing about writing is probably more pleasure for me than for anyone reading what I have written. When I look at a piece of writing and comment on it, it forces me to accept the same issues and expectations for myself as for the person brave enough to put herself out there and subject her creation to the slings and arrows of outrageous critics.

                The wonderful thing about writing is it is one of the least competitive activities in the world. There is sufficient room for every piece of excellent writing. Mark Twain was not rejected because Charles Dickens was accepted for publication!

                Since all works on a topic use the same basic set of "facts," whole genres contain identical subject matter but each writer puts a slightly different slant on the same issues, facts and emotions. Sex may be sex, but two writers see it as differently as "two souls joined in heaven" to "bumping uglies."

                Successful writers all have one thing in common: They leave their egos at the door when they sit down to write. They look at the topic, their intentions and their style. They create a general plan of attack in an outline. Then they allow their mind to run rampant and come up with a first rough draft based on their outline which they accept as simply the bed in which the flowers will be planted. Only then does the real writing process begin. This 90% of the task is called editing, revising, polishing, and evaluating which, if the writer has a whit of sense, will involve other eyes than her own. If a work doesn't pass the test of the reader, it is simply a pimped-out diary!

                Milt

                --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "Susan Donahue" <suzianne411@...> wrote:
                >
                > Dear Milton,
                >
                > Thank you for the amazing gift of a lesson on writing and transforming fact into fiction. I learned much from your words this morning.
                >
                > Suzianne
                >
                > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "Milton" <mtracht508@> wrote:
                > >
                > > Hi, Alynda:
                > >
                > > Perhaps it is not a coincidence that the subject matter you choose to tackle is a field in which I have had success getting published. I am a therapist who worked extensively with women who were victims of abuse and managed to get two self-help books and many articles about their successes...and occasional temporary retreats published. I mention retreats because as long as there is breath of life, there is no such thing as failure!
                > >
                > > I had to use the techniques of fiction since the people about whom I was writing are very much alive and well and living...all over the place! I made them unidentifiable by combining their stories, changing locals but giving the material verisimilitude by using their own words and often writing from a first person POV as their surrogate/advocate and voice.
                > >
                > > Your subject matter is one that is difficult for the reader because of the pain. If you are writing truths in a fictionalized form, you need to be very careful how you allow emotions to emerge. As I was once told, "To hold the reader, you have to hold back the urge to bleed all over the page and take a few steps back, while, at the same time, allow truths to emerge without seeming to censor them. The boundaries are difficult to distinguish and the best approach is to let it rip in the first draft and then mop up the excess blood as you pare it down to the essentials."
                > >
                > > Your story is compelling. You still need to experiment with your POV to find what will make the best read, not what YOU want to do. It needs to be real to the reader who will walk in the shoes of the characters.
                > >
                > > Writing is about getting published. You know what they call writing that is in the service of one's own ego, don't you? Scrap paper or dead dog bytes!
                > >
                > > One of the basics of publication is not to confuse the reader with writerly tricks. That is for writing seminars in college where teachers never want to discourage anyone because who knows what trend will someday emerge.
                > >
                > > Let us take an example: Someone smacks a child across the face. Okay, it is a fact. But out of that fact comes thousands of references. Pain, assault, fear, surprise, disappointment, shock, rage,anger, tears, disappointment, disillusionment... And that doesn't include the reactions of the assaulter! I could go on all day. As a writer, which perspective(s) do you choose to focus upon? The younger the narrator, the more narrow your choices or you will lose...verisimilitude!
                > >
                > > Start with an outline of the story. What do you want the reader to know and when do you want him or her to know it? Who is best to tell it for the reader? Is it something a child could tell? Is it something best relayed through backstory? Is it best told sequentially or episodically? Is the protagonist the best narrator? At what age would she understand enough to be able to tell the readwer something the reader needs to know in a manner the reader needs to know it?
                > >
                > > How do you use a young child narrator? Listen to a 4 year old talk. The key to fiction is verisimilitude which is appearing to be the truth. Four year olds don't have much insight even though they do, once in a while, say something totally surprising.
                > >
                > > One issue to which you may want to give some thought is: Where to begin? Would you be better off starting at the end and backing into the story to give your reader some focus? Would you be better starting in the middle and proceeding both ways to a conclusion that may not even be temporal?
                > >
                > > Choices made early-on affect every step of the wrioting and affect how the story will impact the reader. A misstep early often leads to a novel that comes to a halt about page 126. The writer has written himself or herself into a corner and the story stops working because the pieces do not connect well or the story has already been told and now the writer is stuck with a novella!
                > >
                > > Best of luck with the project. I will enjoy seeing how it evolves. Anyway, you have something in common with my life. My wife is also an English and reading teacher, who has, not by co-incidence, been published numerous times in her field. Both she and I adhere to the philosophy that nothing can be taught but everything can be learned. If you make the material engaging, the student----or reader---will digest it and come up with his and her own conclusions as to what it says...and means.
                > >
                > > Milt
                > >
                > >
              • Susan Donahue
                Dear Milton, You have a good attitude! I hope our younger writers will take to heart your statement that writing is it is one of the least competitive
                Message 7 of 12 , Oct 31, 2012
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                  Dear Milton,

                  You have a good attitude! I hope our younger writers will take to heart your statement that writing is it is one of the least competitive activities in the world. I have attended Romance Writers of America meetings where otherwise well balanced ladies of letters were reduced to tears because they fell into the competition trap. Your observation may spare others from humiliation.

                  Happy halloween,

                  Suzianne

                  --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "Milton" <mtracht508@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Dear Susianne:
                  >
                  > Writing about writing is probably more pleasure for me than for anyone reading what I have written. When I look at a piece of writing and comment on it, it forces me to accept the same issues and expectations for myself as for the person brave enough to put herself out there and subject her creation to the slings and arrows of outrageous critics.
                  >
                  > The wonderful thing about writing is it is one of the least competitive activities in the world. There is sufficient room for every piece of excellent writing. Mark Twain was not rejected because Charles Dickens was accepted for publication!
                  >
                  > Since all works on a topic use the same basic set of "facts," whole genres contain identical subject matter but each writer puts a slightly different slant on the same issues, facts and emotions. Sex may be sex, but two writers see it as differently as "two souls joined in heaven" to "bumping uglies."
                  >
                  > Successful writers all have one thing in common: They leave their egos at the door when they sit down to write. They look at the topic, their intentions and their style. They create a general plan of attack in an outline. Then they allow their mind to run rampant and come up with a first rough draft based on their outline which they accept as simply the bed in which the flowers will be planted. Only then does the real writing process begin. This 90% of the task is called editing, revising, polishing, and evaluating which, if the writer has a whit of sense, will involve other eyes than her own. If a work doesn't pass the test of the reader, it is simply a pimped-out diary!
                  >
                  > Milt
                  >
                  > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "Susan Donahue" <suzianne411@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Dear Milton,
                  > >
                  > > Thank you for the amazing gift of a lesson on writing and transforming fact into fiction. I learned much from your words this morning.
                  > >
                  > > Suzianne
                  > >
                  > > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "Milton" <mtracht508@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > Hi, Alynda:
                  > > >
                  > > > Perhaps it is not a coincidence that the subject matter you choose to tackle is a field in which I have had success getting published. I am a therapist who worked extensively with women who were victims of abuse and managed to get two self-help books and many articles about their successes...and occasional temporary retreats published. I mention retreats because as long as there is breath of life, there is no such thing as failure!
                  > > >
                  > > > I had to use the techniques of fiction since the people about whom I was writing are very much alive and well and living...all over the place! I made them unidentifiable by combining their stories, changing locals but giving the material verisimilitude by using their own words and often writing from a first person POV as their surrogate/advocate and voice.
                  > > >
                  > > > Your subject matter is one that is difficult for the reader because of the pain. If you are writing truths in a fictionalized form, you need to be very careful how you allow emotions to emerge. As I was once told, "To hold the reader, you have to hold back the urge to bleed all over the page and take a few steps back, while, at the same time, allow truths to emerge without seeming to censor them. The boundaries are difficult to distinguish and the best approach is to let it rip in the first draft and then mop up the excess blood as you pare it down to the essentials."
                  > > >
                  > > > Your story is compelling. You still need to experiment with your POV to find what will make the best read, not what YOU want to do. It needs to be real to the reader who will walk in the shoes of the characters.
                  > > >
                  > > > Writing is about getting published. You know what they call writing that is in the service of one's own ego, don't you? Scrap paper or dead dog bytes!
                  > > >
                  > > > One of the basics of publication is not to confuse the reader with writerly tricks. That is for writing seminars in college where teachers never want to discourage anyone because who knows what trend will someday emerge.
                  > > >
                  > > > Let us take an example: Someone smacks a child across the face. Okay, it is a fact. But out of that fact comes thousands of references. Pain, assault, fear, surprise, disappointment, shock, rage,anger, tears, disappointment, disillusionment... And that doesn't include the reactions of the assaulter! I could go on all day. As a writer, which perspective(s) do you choose to focus upon? The younger the narrator, the more narrow your choices or you will lose...verisimilitude!
                  > > >
                  > > > Start with an outline of the story. What do you want the reader to know and when do you want him or her to know it? Who is best to tell it for the reader? Is it something a child could tell? Is it something best relayed through backstory? Is it best told sequentially or episodically? Is the protagonist the best narrator? At what age would she understand enough to be able to tell the readwer something the reader needs to know in a manner the reader needs to know it?
                  > > >
                  > > > How do you use a young child narrator? Listen to a 4 year old talk. The key to fiction is verisimilitude which is appearing to be the truth. Four year olds don't have much insight even though they do, once in a while, say something totally surprising.
                  > > >
                  > > > One issue to which you may want to give some thought is: Where to begin? Would you be better off starting at the end and backing into the story to give your reader some focus? Would you be better starting in the middle and proceeding both ways to a conclusion that may not even be temporal?
                  > > >
                  > > > Choices made early-on affect every step of the wrioting and affect how the story will impact the reader. A misstep early often leads to a novel that comes to a halt about page 126. The writer has written himself or herself into a corner and the story stops working because the pieces do not connect well or the story has already been told and now the writer is stuck with a novella!
                  > > >
                  > > > Best of luck with the project. I will enjoy seeing how it evolves. Anyway, you have something in common with my life. My wife is also an English and reading teacher, who has, not by co-incidence, been published numerous times in her field. Both she and I adhere to the philosophy that nothing can be taught but everything can be learned. If you make the material engaging, the student----or reader---will digest it and come up with his and her own conclusions as to what it says...and means.
                  > > >
                  > > > Milt
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  >
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