Just Write

Another POV choice: Free Indirect Speech

POV = Point of view. Point of view is . . . simply. . .  from the point of view of whoever is telling the story. Writers get to choose who tells the story. It’s a very simple concept, made difficult by the many choice of who gets to tell the story: first person, second person, third person (limited, close, omniscient). Here’s another point of view choice: The Free Indirect Style. I’m posting about the free indirect style of point of view because I’m fascinated with learning new things and also because a friend, whom I admire and is an excellent writer said, “I have found that I use it [free indirect point of view] a lot in my writing, and always have, without even knowing that’s what it was.  It’s a very “natural” voice for me and, I think, one that’s easy to read.” Ready? Here we go: “Free…

Book Reviews

Heliotrope by JC Miller

Heliotrope reviewed by Ana Manwaring. JC Miller’s latest novel, Heliotrope, has been called “a coming of age story for the ages.” And it’s more than that. Heliotrope is a story about finding one’s path in a complicated world and finding peace in one’s own skin. It’s about finding a place we belong. For Kit Hilliard, home is a place to escape. She goes as far from the dusty, brown desert town of her shattered childhood as she can, to attend college in the lush world of 1975 Arcata, California. “Kit’s vision filled with green, quenching the arid ground of her birthplace, softening the brittle places in her heart. Eager to reinvent her life and thirsty for uncharted ground, Kit opened up like a flower turning to light.” But on the cusp of her senior year and graduation, her world begins to shift. Kit falls in love with her senior seminar…

Places to submit

Superstition Review

Superstition Review  is the online literary magazine published by Arizona State University twice yearly (May and December), featuring art, fiction, interviews, nonfiction and poetry. Their mission is to promote contemporary art and literature by providing a free, easy-to-navigate, high quality online publication that features work by established and emerging artists and authors from all over the world. Superstition Review welcomes submissions of art, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry during their two reading periods in spring (January and February) and fall (September and October). Submission Guidelines. Superstition Review maintains a strong year-round community of editors, submitters, contributors, and readers through social networks: s[r} Blog s[r]Facebook s[r]Goodreads  s[r]Google+ iTunes U LinkedIn Pinterest Tumblr Twitter YouTube The Write Spot Blog is part of the Festive Spirit Blog Hop, hosted by Francis H. Powell. To read posts by participating bloggers, click on Francis H. Powell’s Home Page. Scroll down, choose a name, click on one and you will magically be…


What is on your bucket list? Prompt #212

This seems to be the time of year to make lists. I am normally a list maker, but I get real serious about it starting mid-December. With all the “kids” coming home for the holidays, I mentally list where everyone will sleep. Then I gather blankets, quilts, comforters and pillows. Some unlucky family members have to sleep on the floor. Can’t be too bad, because they keep coming back. Then there are the other lists: shopping (gifts, groceries), meals (breakfasts, dinners. . .I’m not used to cooking for nine), party planning (food, drinks, moving furniture), holiday cards (cards received, cards sent) . . . okay, probably too much information. But yes, I am that serious about making lists. I’ve been thinking about bucket lists. You know . . . things you’ve always wanted to do and some day you will. I’m wondering, what’s on your bucket list? For fiction writers….

Guest Bloggers

Can you make ghosts come alive?

Guest Blogger Francis H. Powell: Writing About Ghosts. What are your feelings about…Ghosts…do they exist? They are ridiculed, have been made mundane, absurd films like Ghostbusters have trivialized them. Kids aren’t blinkered and naïve. Cynics rule. Christmas seems the perfect time to unleash a Ghost story. Many writers set out to write thrilling stories to a cynical disbelieving audience. Perhaps the golden age of ghost story telling, the Victorian age, was a period when readers were far more susceptible to believing in ghosts. Modern day readers are far more pragmatic, scrutinizing what they are reading. Houses are lit up with bright neon light, streets are not dark and shadowy as they were in past times. I guess very few writers who write ghost stories have ever encountered a “real” ghost, so they are letting their imaginations run wild. For a Ghost story to work it has to sustain a high…


Physical gestures reveal emotions . . . Prompt #211

Physical gestures do more than enhance dialogue . . . Writing dialogue usually includes physical gestures— those things we do when we talk. You don’t have to be exceptionally creative to write realistic action while your characters are dialoguing. Just write whatever it is they are doing:  fingers drumming, shoulders twitching, cell phone glancing, eyes wandering, forehead scratching. So much nonverbal communication going on. Just don’t be boring about it . . . no fingers twirling hair, no lip biting. Like clichés, these are over-used physical gestures. Here’s what Steven James says in the January 2016 issue of the Writer’s Digest magazine, “If you find your character brushing his nose or repositioning his chair or crossing legs and so forth for no other reason than to provide a respite from the dialogue, recast the scene. Just as dialogue should reveal the intention of the characters so should the actions that…


“I’ve only regretted stuff I’ve left in . . . ” —Jojo Moyes

Jojo Moyes discusses her writing process with Jessica Strawser in the January 2016 issue of the Writer’s Digest magazine. “Frequently I will write chapters that I end up having to ditch. And they might be beautifully crafted, they might contain things I’m really proud of, but you have to be ruthless. There comes a point when you know in your gut something just isn’t working, or isn’t as good as it should be. What I’ve found over the years is that I’ve never regretted anything I’ve ditched—I’ve only regretted stuff I’ve left in.” The January 2016 issue of Writer’s Digest magazine is loaded with fantastic information for writers. Buy it now, because if you wait. . . you know how it goes. . . you’ll forget, or it will be off the newsstands. Or. . . aha! Lightbulb moment. . . Subscribe! I have been a subscriber for years and…

Just Write

A Variety of Point of Views

Point of View (POV)- is the term to describe who is telling the story . . . or. . . who is narrating the story. Point of view is the story told from the narrator’s viewpoint and what the narrator’s relation is to the story, or . . . the distance between the narrator and the story, as well as the trustworthiness of the narrator. Involved narrator – the narrator is involved in the action as it unfolds Detached narrator – narrator is an objective observer or witness to the action Reliable narrator – a narrator whose account and perceptions we can trust Unreliable narrator – a narrator whose own ignorance, mental or emotional state, age, prejudice, etc. may distort or limit his or her perceptions Free indirect style – a lesser know POV, a style of third-person narration, using some of the characteristics of third-person along with the essence…

Book Reviews

Chronicles of Old San Francisco by Gael Chandler

Looking for a gift for the person who has everything? How about a unique book on his or her hometown, or the city where the person currently lives, or a favorite city? I just finished reading Chronicles of Old San Francisco by Gael Chandler and am very excited to share my hometown via this excellent resource. Whether an armchair traveler or a get-up-and-get-going kind of person, Chronicles of Old San Francisco informs, enlightens and inspires visiting Baghdad By The Bay, as columnist Herb Caen called his favorite city. Gael collected a monumental amount of research and with attention to detail, created intimate stories about historical figures, as if she interviewed them in their huts, ranchos, schooners, theatres, residences, offices, stores. I wish she had written history books when I was in school. I would have paid better attention. From the back cover: “Chronicles of Old San Francisco tells the story…

Places to submit

American Short Fiction Magazine

“American Short Fiction publishes work by emerging and established voices: stories that dive into the wreck, that stretch the reader between recognition and surprise, that conjure a particular world with delicate expertise—stories that take a different way home.” “Our goal here at American Short Fiction is to respect . . . involvement by offering consistently intelligent, engrossing, and beautiful reading, in print and on this website, and we appreciate your company. “Stories! Stories, stories, stories!” cried the narrator on the final page of that first Spring ’91 issue, in a work by W. D. Wetherell. Stories, indeed.” American Short(er) Fiction Contest The prize recognizes extraordinary short fiction under 1,000 words. The first-place winner will receive a $1,000 prize and publication, and the second-place winner will receive $250 and publication. All entries will be considered for publication. Submission period ends: February 1, 2016. Guidelines for contest. Submission Guidelines for regular submissions….