Just Write

Myths and Realities of Blogging

I recently spoke at a meeting of the Writers of the Mendocino Coast, a branch of the California Writers Club, on the subject of blogging. I recommend the blogs and books mentioned below. And of course there are many other blogs, books, and information about blogging on the world wide web. Highlights from my talk on “Myths and Realities of Blogging” If you don’t have a blog, but think you should, something to think about is why? Why should you have an author blog? “Blogging is simply a medium that allows you to connect with people who love the same books, hobbies and activities you do.”  — Gabriela Pereira, May/June 2018, Writer’s Digest magazine Author Blog Find Your Target Audience: Read the reviews of books in your genre on Amazon or Goodreads. Use words from the reviews for your headlines and tags in your posts. What to Post Stories about…

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Freewrites: Opening Doors to Discoveries

Notes from Marlene Cullen’s talk about freewrites. Scroll down for links about how to use freewrites and how to write about difficult subjects without adding trauma. I gave a talk about freewrites at the Redwood Branch of the California Writers Club. I’m sharing my notes so you, too, can enjoy the freewrite method of writing. I love freewrites because they are so . . . freeing. Freewrites can open doors to discoveries. I was thrilled to discover freewrites, unlike short story and novel writing, this was something I could do. I hope these tips help make your freewrites fun and successful in inspiring your writing.  What is a freewrite? A freewrite is writing spontaneously with no thinking. Just putting down word after word, with no worries about spelling, punctuation, how it will sound, and no worries about the final product. Sometimes when you are engrossed in your writing project and…

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Worries

Do you write personal things in your journal? Are you able to write what you are really thinking? Do you worry about writing something too personal? What if someone finds your notebook and reads it? Yes, someone could find your notebook and read it and . . . what? Think lesser of you? Find out what you are really thinking? Would that end your relationship? Or, perhaps change it? You could go through life worrying and not doing what you really want to do for fear of what others might think. Or, you can trust that your need to express yourself through writing is more powerful and more important than these worries. You can burn or destroy your notebooks every so often. But then you wouldn’t be able to access these precious memories that you archived. Simple solution: Keep your notebook in a safe place. And trust in the process….

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One slice of the point of view pie

There are many articles and books about point of view. The following is an excerpt from a talk given by author Jim Dodge. Narrator – Who tells the story. The most used pov: First person and third person. There are three types of first person point of view. First person direct. First person indirect. First person objective. First person direct: Protagonist carries conflict and is usually involved. Direct – “it happened to me.” When narrator carries conflict = direct perception. This is the most difficult point of view to work with – has to be compelling voice to hold readers’ interest. If you can pull it off, it’s powerful. Stories move in time and space. Problems with first person point of view: person has to be “everywhere” to get information. First person indirect: Reflective, or indirect: narrator does not carry conflict. Narrator is a character and in a relationship with…

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Another reason to Just Write!

“Studies show that writing by hand, rather than typing, improves information processing as well as the ability to remember what you’re writing about. Take your learning to the next level by using your brain for what it does best: fusing existing and new information. . . . Crack open a book and once you’ve finished it, write a Goodreads or Amazon review. You might be surprised at what you come up with while mulling it over again.” — “Brain Fitness,” November 2015 Real Simple magazine. Note from Marlene: You will be helping authors and improving your brain fitness at the same time when you review a book and post on Amazon or Goodreads. And if you are inclined, consider writing a review of the Write Spot Books and post on Amazon. The Write Spot to Jumpstart Your Writing: Discoveries The Write Spot to Jumpstart Your Writing: Connections The Write Spot: Reflections…

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About Anthologies

What do you think when you hear a book is an anthology? Some people may be delighted with thoughts of reading from a variety of authors. Others may groan, remembering antiquated stories in outdated books. Me? I’m excited to produce anthologies so that a diverse group of writers can be introduced into the writing scene. My third anthology, The Write Spot: Reflections was recently published with the help of two authors who didn’t even know they were cheering me on. Eleanor Henderson and Anna Solomon, co-editors of Labor Day: True Birth Stories by Today’s Best Women Writers, wrote an article, “Labor of Love,” printed in Poets & Writers magazine, May June 2014. “Labor of Love” was my steadfast companion on my journey from “What am I doing?” and “Will this work?” to the completion of three anthologies. Excerpt from “Labor of Love” “We’ve always loved anthologies. As new writers, we…

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Write Memoir in Voice of Narrator

Whether you tell your story chronologically, or with flashbacks, or with intercutting, it’s important to write your memoir in the voice of the narrator. Examples of these different ways of telling a story are used in The Write Spot Anthology: Discoveries. “Maintaining a solid narrative structure is critical to ensure readers move in step with the sequence of life events. . . When they [readers] can follow your progression as a character, they can also fully enter your story.” —Dorit Sasson, “Refresher Course,” The Writer, February 2016 Note from Marlene: When writing about something that happened in childhood, use appropriate age-based language. Show character growth by using adult language when writing about the character as an adult. Examples of narrative structure, character growth and details on how to use intercutting in your writing can be found in The Write Spot Anthology: Discoveries.

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Personal Essay As Therapy

“One reason we choose to write essays instead of another kind of nonfiction piece is because we can use the personal essay as a kind of therapy. Sometimes the act of writing gives us the opportunity to work through the conflict and come up with another way of looking at the situation. As the writer explores her problem, owns it, and then comes up with a resolution that will change how she relates to her problem in the future, the reader will be looking at her own life and doing the same thing. That’s why the essayist must be committed to the process of discovery and must be as honest as she possibly can be about what she uncovers. More than any other piece of nonfiction, the personal essay has to be written and rewritten and rewritten, often many times, to get to the heart of what it is we…