October Newsletter

Welcome to The Write Spot Newsletter about writing events and writerly tips.

Last Month’s Highlights on The Write Spot Blog:

Eight new writing prompts from Birth Day to Childhood Stories to Change: Scary or Exciting?

Guest Blogger Megan Aronson: The seasons being a writer.

Guest Blogger Suzanne Murray: The power of commitment and practice.

There are two book reviews, “Diva, a Novel” and “Madame Pommery.”

I welcome your review of a book. Email your review to me: Not a summary, rather what you liked about the book. Please include your bio.

Writing Workshops


Registration is required for Online Writing Workshops:

Wednesdays, 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm (Pacific Time)

Register once to attend any of these writing workshops.

October 11, 18, 25
November 1, 8, 15

Guest Facilitators:

Nov. 1 Rebecca Evans
Nov. 15 Deb Fenwick

In Person Writing Workshop

For those who live near Petaluma . . . in-person workshop at the Forum Room, Petaluma Public library, 1 pm to 2:30 pm.

Registration is not required. Just show up with a notebook and pen, or a writing device.

Sunday, October 8

Details on my Writers Forum page.


Writing Workshops by d. ellis phelps have been recommended by a writing friend. I have not attended her workshops.

The third Friday of each month, Oct. 20, 2023-March 15, 2024. 1-3 PM CST

The workshop is free but registration is required to receive the link. Follow this link to register.

This is a monthly series of generative writing workshops, each with a unique craft and genre focus. In each session, writers will work on a warm-up prompt, look at writing samples that demonstrate the workshop focus, write to facilitator-provided prompts, and give and receive peer and facilitator soft feedback.


When writing about several characters, it can be a challenge to make them sound different from one another.

“Voice” will set characters apart from one another.

There are several techniques that can be used to help characters sound different from one another:

One is to know their backgrounds.

Someone who grew up with a lot of money might sound different than someone who grew up in poverty.

There are different idioms/expressions used regionally and around the world.

“One of the essential parts of creating and developing your characters is making sure that they are unique. If there is no distinction between characters and they all seem to have the same morals, the same interests, a similar temperament, readers will find it hard to separate them, and it will also make your story seem a bit boring too.” — Bethany Cadman, “How To Make Your Characters Sound Different From One Another,” Writer’s Life.Org

“A voice journal will keep your characters from becoming little versions of you.” — Alan Rinzler, “The writer’s toolkit: A voice journal for character development."

The Write Spot Blog posts on character, voice, and points of view.

Character Building and Setting Scene

Voices by Ken Delpit

History Through the Lens of The Teller by Bev Scott

Focusing the Camera

Your turn:

Write about two or more characters having a discussion, perhaps a disagreement. Maybe they are not “hearing” one another due to regional differences in dialect, or one person mumbles.

Make your characters different from one another visually. Go beyond hair, eye, skin color.

Include sensory detail so readers can tell them apart.

Give them visual habits: a tic, one always smiles, another has permanent scowl lines around their mouth. One has dirt under their fingernails, one of them bites their nails.

One character can be flamboyant with large, wild gestures. Another shrivels into nothingness, not wanting to be noticed.

One character can dress in a rainbow of colors. Another wears a drab overcoat, or is always in sweats.

Include sensory detail of sound: One is always sniffing, another continually smacks gum.

Maybe one character moves slow and lumbers around like a bear coming out of hibernation. The other person can flit about, butterfly-like. Maybe one buzzes around like an annoying fly.

Have fun writing this scene.

Just write!


Lighting the path for reflection
The Write Spot Blog