Just Write

Strenghten Your Writing

Ideas for strong writing. Use active voice rather than passive voice. ~From www.dailywritingtips.com  –  sign up to receive free daily emails with writing tips: English verbs are said to have two voices: active and passive. Active Voice: the subject of the sentence performs the action: His son catches fly balls. Creative children often dream in class. Passive Voice: the subject receives the action: The ball was caught by the first baseman.The duty is performed by the new recruits.The dough was beaten by the mixer.The mailman was bitten by the dog. ~From Manuscript Makeover by Elizabeth Lyon Adjectives: Use sparingly and consciously. Overuse indicates a need to find more precise nouns and to show rather than tell. Adverbs: Too often, writers use these to beef up weak verbs. Your goal should be to make verbs strong enough to do the work themselves and kill off your adverbs. You won’t be able…

Guest Bloggers

Good Old Writers

Today’s guest blogger, Victoria Zackheim, writes about how to keep up the energy, faith, and courage to write. I recently walked into my newly built kitchen and discovered a large, grayish rectangular stain on the quartz counter. Had I placed a hot pan there? Not likely. Spilled bleach? Definitely not. I wiped, scrubbed, gently scoured… nothing helped. And then I lifted my arm and noticed a change in the shape of the stain. I had been trying to remove a reflection of light coming through the kitchen window. This is the opening paragraph of an essay I wrote about aging. I smiled as I wrote what I expected to be the preface of my new book. However, I’ve been told by literary agents and several editor friends that writing about aging might be cathartic for me, the writer, but it doesn’t stir up much interest among the public. Really? In…


“The key to a good essay is conflict, and . . . Victoria Zackheim

“The key to a good essay is conflict, and the story’s (and character’s) arc. People have to change during the story, whether fiction or non-fiction. — Victoria Zackheim, interviewed by Chris Jane in JaneFriedman.com. Victoria Zackheim is the author of the novel The Bone Weaver and editor of six anthologies: He Said What? Women Write About Moments When Everything Changed The Other Woman Twenty-one Wives, Lovers, and Others Talk Openly About Sex, Deception, Love, and Betrayal For Keeps: Women Tell the Truth About Their Bodies, Growing Older, and Acceptance The Face in the Mirror Writers Reflect on Their Dreams of Youth and the Reality of Age Exit Laughing: How Humor Takes the Sting Out of Death and the upcoming FAITH: Essays from Believers, Agnostics, and Atheists (Feb. 2015). Victoria’s play, The Other Woman, based on her first anthology, will be featured in OneNight/OnePlay, and her play Entangled, an adaptation of the memoir Entangled:…

Guest Bloggers

Guest blogger Victoria Zackheim, “If we want to live full and creative lives . . . “

Guest Blogger Victoria Zackheim writes: How many of us are beset by that nagging voice that tells us we’re not good enough, not thin enough, not smart, tall, educated, talented enough? I don’t know about you, but I face this every day. It used to run my life . . . now it’s a tiny slice of annoyance that I can easily push away. It took years—decades, to be honest—but those demons are silenced. When they try to reappear, they’re quickly vanquished. Not dead and gone, but shoved aside where they can do no harm. It wasn’t always like that . . . and for many women, and those of us who spend our lives not only writing, but putting our words into the world for everyone to read . . . and judge . . . fear is often the rule, whereas a sense of security is the exception….