Writing Contest

Writing Contest

The Idaho Writers Guild is sponsoring their annual writing contest and YOU can enter. No membership required, no restrictions. This contest is open to everyone everywhere!

So pull out your work, dust it off, and send it in.

Deadline is March 5, 2017.

Categories include:

  • Short Story
  • Novel first 10 pages
  • Non-fiction (either memoir or essay)

go to www.idahowritersguild.com for all the juicy details and hurry, time is running out!

$100 for the first place winner in each category, and $50 to each second place winner. Plus all entries receive the judges scorecards with valuable feedback.

3 Ways to Mark Time

3 Ways to Mark Time
  1. A character’s interior perception of time passing. Maybe your character has an internal clock that never fails them.
  2. Creating setting details which evoke time. Spring or winter. The first flowers blooming in the garden. The last leaf falling from the tree.
  3. Transitions from scene to scene. “The next day…” “She looked at the clock beside her bed, 4:30 am, just as good of time as any to get up.”

5 Writing Tips

5 Writing Tips
  1. Write about your writing tasks. The secret of writing is…writing. Writers write. It sounds funny, but write about your writing. It gets you writing! Write what you’re happy about, what you’re mad or sad about. Write! Write what you did today, or what you wanted to do today.
  2. Take your writing with you. I always have a notepad or my iPad with me so I can write notes and ideas. Write names you hear, places you see, or just a scene in a restaurant you witness. Write in bits and pieces, then later you can add it in where it fits.
  3. Draw something. Adult coloring books are all the craze right now, have some color pencils in your bag and be ready to doodle anytime the words don’t come. Keep the creativity flowing.
  4. Use your imagination. It’s a powerful thing. Let it run free like a small kid jumping into rain puddles. Just let your mind wander and see where it goes. Don’t worry about it, just have fun with it.
  5. Create a happiness list. You really are as happy as you decide to be. If you’re miserable, think about the things that make you happy, and create a happiness list. Focus on at least one happy thing a day. It will change your entire outlook.

Sherry Briscoe – Gypsywriters – www.sherrybriscoe.com

3 Ways to Show and Not Tell

Telling should be used sparingly because it distances the reader from the viewpoint character’s goals and actions. It is mostly better to show rather than tell.

  1. Avoid using abstract words when you describe a person.
  2. Avoid adjectives. Use verbs. Adjectives tell, verbs show.
  3. Don’t generalize. Be specific.1384710f4b82981866c7dd431d6453a7

Some First Principles to Scripting a Story

For a story to occur, something extraordinary must happen to so upset the balance of a character’s life that they are then impelled to pursue a goal generated by the change in their life. In doing so, they will face obstacles and antagonistic forces until they do or don’t get what they want, reach a point of change from which there is no return, and a new order is established.

Aristotle discussed ancient theater in his Poetics, where he noted the Rule of the Three Unities:

Time, place and action.

Scenes are like dominoes – one causes the next.

Forget about making characters speak, focus at first on letting them act.

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Gypsy Writer, Sherry Briscoe

Murder She Wrote – or – The X-Files

Rochelle Cunningham and I are starting a new series of novels about two not-so-lovable 60-something year old ladies and their many adventures.

Mayme and Estelle. They’ll make you laugh, warm your heart (occasionally) and keep you on the edge of your seat.

Mayme and Estelle solve mysteries, but only by accident. They were just looking for a good time, some good alcohol and maybe a cute old man, preferably one with all his original teeth.

My question to you is, should their mysteries be murder mysteries, or something more strange involving the supernatural, other worlds, etc.?

We would love your feedback.

And be sure to watch for the books coming out soon:

CRUISE TO PORT LET DOWN

SPEED DATING AT THE SENIOR CENTER

MOONLIGHT AND SENILITY, and many, many more!!!

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Sherry Briscoe, Gypsy Writer  www.sherrybriscoe.com

8 Steps to Effective E-Mails

Do you get bombarded with emails and delete most with reading nothing more than the subject line? Do you read some emails and laugh or shake your head at how someone can send something out without proofreading it? Or are they really that bad of a speller?

Don’t let your email messages be dumped in the trash before they’re read, or give your reader the wrong impression about your writing skills.

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  1. The SUBJECT LINE – be specific – make it exciting, 28 to 39 characters is the optimal length.
  2. Don’t use ALL CAPS, or all lover case, or too many exclamation points!!!
  3. Use short paragraphs with a line of blank space between each one. Keep it clean, simple and easy to read.
  4. Respond to emails in a timely fashion. Don’t make them wait and feel forgotten.
  5. Get straight to the point. Only one subject per email – don’t overload your readers with too many points, too long, or too unfocused.
  6. Edit your email before you it send! And proofread it!
  7. Remember, no email is private once sent out into the world.
  8. Don’t ever respond to anything with an angry email. Let it simmer, then come back and edit it.