Writing Technique: The Restaurant Syndrome

Picture this scene.

Your hero is sitting in a bar. He's thinking about things... life, death, taxes, the way he's being chased by a serial killer... whatever.

While he thinks, he sips his beer/Jim Beam/wine/etc.

Sip.

He thinks some more.

Sip.

He makes a casual comment to the barperson.

Sip.

He looks over his shoulder and sees the killer in the doorway and beats a hasty retreat to the men's.

Thank goodness. Because at least this means he leaves the darned drink behind!

Of course, the scene isn't written in quite such a bare-bones form as the one you see above. But the reader gets bored anyway. The problem is, the author hasn't made an effort to show the character doing something other than drinking. (Yes, I know that's probably why he's in the bar in the first place... but your job as the author is to think about what else he might be doing.)

Example

Tony sipped at his beer and thought about what to do next. The guy wasn't going to give up; that much was obvious. How come he knew so much? Where Tony worked, his weekend routine, his sister's address...

How the hell had he found out where Mandy lived? She'd only been there a month or so. He gulped down another mouthful of the beer. As though she hadn't suffered enough. Now this.

Of course, if he knew all that, he probably knew that this was where Tony came to drink, too. He could be out there right now, watching.

It was an effort not to turn and look towards the door. Instead, he tilted the glass and let the liquid flow down his throat. If he was out there, let him make the next move.

He caught the barman's eye, pointed a finger at the glass and nodded. If Tony sits here for much longer without any action, we're likely to watch while he sips the beer, swallows the beer, and gulps the beer. He'll drain the glass; tilt the glass and stare into the amber depths; idly swish the liquid around in the glass... do I need go on?

We've all seen scenes like this. They seem to happen when people are:

  • in a bar or club drinking

  • in a restaurant eating

  • in a kitchen making & drinking coffee or tea
If they are drinking, they continually sip/slurp/drink/drain glasses etc.

If they are in a restaurant, they "take a bite of" this and "spear another forkful" of that. You'll read lines like "he took another bite"; "he ate some more steak"; "he drank some more wine" ad nauseam.

You'll find characters drinking coffee, sipping it (again... a lot of sipping goes on in books); blowing on the coffee to cool it; stirring it; dropping lumps of sugar in it; adding cream or milk to it... until the reader feels like screaming "I KNOW HOW COFFEE IS MADE! I KNOW HOW TO DRINK IT TOO!"

You might be sitting there thinking: Well, so what? Isn't it logical that people would eat when they go to a restaurant? Shouldn't you show them having a drink?

Sure. That's fair enough. But once you show them having a sip of wine or a forkful of chicken schnitzel, stop.

Take a mental look around. (No, not around you. Around the setting in which you've placed your characters.)

  • Who else is there? What are they doing?

  • What else is going on around the main character(s)?

  • What mood is the main character in? How can you show this by actions other than eating or drinking?

  • How might the conversation lead to other actions taken by the main character?

  • Can you think of a twist that would lead to extra suspense or humour in a commonplace setting?

  • Is the character uncomfortable for some reason, so this discomfort becomes the main focus of his/her attention? (e.g. tight new clothes, an unfamiliar pain or ache, a headache, an allergy to the other person's perfume or aftershave?)
Once you start thinking, there are many, many other things that you can show your characters doing. Use them to your advantage.

The Restaurant Syndrome on Replay

It's bad enough having one scene in which a character is continually sipping or 'taking another bite' of something. But when you have that character forever going to the same place to repeat the effort, the reader will be ready to lynch you.

  • Do you have your characters continually talking over coffee?

  • How many scenes are there in which you send your characters out to eat or drink?
Remember that most of us squeeze a lot into our days. We move around the house, we drive from A to B, we go shopping, take out the garbage and go to the movies.

We interact with our friends and families in many different ways. Next time you write a scene, try to steer away from the obvious. Look for details that will help you add depth to character, create humour or build suspense.

Not sure if you're guilty of 'the restaurant syndrome'?

Try this. Open up your word processor, access your story file and do a search for the following terms: sip/sipped/drank/coffee/drink

ate/forkful/bite/food If you come up with 156 instances of the word 'drank' or 'sipped', you might be in trouble :-) Time for a rewrite...

(c) Copyright Marg McAlister

Marg McAlister has published magazine articles, short stories, books for children, ezines, promotional material, sales letters and web content. She has written 5 distance education courses on writing, and her online help for writers is popular all over the world. Sign up for her regular writers' tipsheet at http://www.writing4success.com/

In The News:

Don't Spend Your Holiday Break Writing  The Chronicle of Higher EducationIn the third installment of this series on writing productivity, a quick lesson in how to take semester breaks off — forever.
This Intelligent Writing Assistant Improves Your Spelling, Grammar, and Style  Interesting EngineeringUnlike most spell-checking apps that use limited algorithms to make decisions when it comes to spelling and grammar, WhiteSmoke Writing Assistant uses ...
Crafting a love of writing  Catholic OutlookWeekly Column from the Executive Director of Schools, Diocese of Parramatta. Like many other people, my experience of writing as a student was about essays, ...
Writing to Santa  Lewiston Sun JournalAdalyn Provencher, 6, of Rumford writes a letter to Santa Claus during the 10th annual Festival of Trees in Rumford Falls Auditorium on Saturday. (Rumford Falls ...
UWGB creating new major for writers  Fox11online.comGREEN BAY (WLUK) -- Citing what it calls a "demand for graduates with exceptional writing skills infused with creativity," the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay ...
Asante helps launch Writing Stars programme | Official Site  Chelsea FCChelsea Women's defender Anita Asante recently joined pupils from Cobham Free School to help launch the Premier League Writing Stars programme.
Freeman, SLA receive $3.5 million gift for finance, writing programs  News from TulaneTulane University's A. B. Freeman School of Business and the School of Liberal Arts are the beneficiaries of a new $3.5 million gift from Carole B. and Kenneth J.
Top authors back Limerick Le Cheile's creative writing anthology  Limerick LeaderLEADING Limerick writers Donal Ryan and Roisin Meaney have given their backing to a new anthology of creative writing. Members of the Limerick Mental ...
Abu Dhabi Writers’ Workshop publishes first collection of short stories  The NationalFounder Janet Olearski talks about the group's new book and how she learned alongside 'Milkman' author Anna Burns.
Tegan and Sara are writing a memoir, will be published in Sept. 2019  CBC.caIndie pop band Tegan and Sara are writing a memoir. The book, titled High School, will be released on Sept. 24, 2019. High School will share the life story of the ...
Issa Rae Signs Multi-Picture Deal With Columbia To Promote Diversity Across Writing Rooms  MadameNoireLast week a story about the lack of inclusivity in Hollywood went viral after the outlet gathered 62 Black women writer's into a room to share their experiences in ...
Cher announces she's writing a book and movie based on her life  Gay Times MagazineGay icon Cher announced on Twitter that she's currently writing her life story for release in early 2020 – and a biopic will be following shortly after.
Writing has ‘got to be weird before it gets good,’ says Casey Gerald  PBS NewsHourCasey Gerald, author of the memoir "There Will Be No Miracles Here," says his editor is the first person "to ever seriously hold space for me to be fully, strangely, ...
What I learned about writing and storytelling from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer  PoynterIt's been my habit, when faced with a question I cannot answer, to break into song.
Did you know? Drawing is better than writing for memory retention in older adults  Times NowWashington DC: For older adults, drawing plays a very important role to enhance memory, a recent study suggests. According to researchers from the University ...
Writing 'Eighth Grade' as a tribute to young people — and all their uncertainty  Los Angeles TimesTrue teen videos exist in startling contrast to the clean, controlled teen voice of television and films, writes "Eighth Grade writer-director Bo Burnham.
'A house for writers' coming to N. Bennington  Bennington BannerNORTH BENNINGTON — An early 20th century building in North Bennington formerly used as a nursing home will soon have new life as a nonprofit writing ...
Doctor sentenced to jail, ordered to pay restitution for writing illegal prescriptions for women he had relationships with  KMOV.comA local doctor who previously pleaded guilty to writing prescriptions to women with whom he had personal relationship has been sentenced to jail.
Things of Latvia: Not writing about the "Caurvējš"  Eng.Lsm.lvThis is the last Thing of Latvia. Looking back, we have written about more than 30 different Things of Latvia. Some have proved popular, some not. Some have ...
Some Chats About Loot Boxes And Writing About Games  Kotaku AustraliaI had some chats with some fine people about the federal loot box inquiry and what it's like to write about games for a living. Both of those podcasts went online ...
Media Circus: Remarkable reporting, riveting writing, the best journalism of 2018  The AthleticChoosing the best writing and reporting in a given year is an impossible task, as well as an entirely subjective enterprise. But it's also wildly fun because you get ...
Volkswagen sees the writing on the wall for combustion engines – and the huge opportunity in electric vehicles  The Climate GroupAs 2018 comes to a close, our EV100 Campaign Manager James Beard reflects on the transport stories that made recent media headlines – and sets out his ...
Get Ready for Even More Cher in 2020  VultureCher has announced that she is writing her life story, and that the book is due in the early part of 2020 and will be followed by a biopic.
Forestry Commission launches competition to 'diversify' nature writing  The BooksellerThe Forestry Commission has launched a competition to “diversify” nature writing, as part of its 2019 centenary celebrations, with two paid writing residencies up ...
Writing Out Loud: IN SMALL WAYS  Kern Valley SunBy George Stahl. To borrow from a famous Christmas song, “You've heard of the many movements on social media calling for the boycotting or banning of ...
BC student arrested after allegedly writing racist graffiti in dorm  The Boston GlobeA Boston College student was arrested by college police and suspended after writing racist graffiti in an on-campus residence hall Saturday night, according to ...
5 weak words that make your writing less effective  LaddersWords matter. They're what make your arguments more compelling, your prose stronger, and your craft more captivating when writing.
Drawing is better than writing for memory retention  Science DailyResearchers from the University of Waterloo found that even if people weren't good at it, drawing, as a method to help retain new information, was better than ...
Scholars Talk Writing: Hyphens, Oxford Commas, and Pronoun Preferences  The Chronicle of Higher EducationWhile in a master's program in English, Mary Norris started reading The New Yorker and realized that academe was not for her. She jumped off the academic ...
Suzanne Breen: The writing's on the wall... May's refusal to read it is what's damning  Belfast TelegraphTheresa May's tenacity and battling qualities have won her admiration even among political foes. But yesterday was far from the Prime Minister's finest hour.
Cibulkova starts writing 'fun and colorful' memoir  WTA TennisDominika Cibulkova has announed that she is underway with writing her memoir. The Slovakian, a former Australian Open finalist and WTA Finals champion in ...
Doctors writing fewer opioid prescriptions for chronic pain sufferers  Boston 25 NewsNationally, opioid prescriptions are down more than 22 percent, according to the American Medical Association and few are feeling the pinch more than the ...
‘Every child should be taught joined-up writing’  TES NewsThe value of joined-up writing has been questioned – but research shows that it has huge benefits, says Aisling McGuire.
How to fix bad writing before you type a single word  The HustleWhen you get down to it, Colonel Sanders and I aren't so different: we love gravy, look great in a string bow tie, and people are constantly hounding us for our ...
Patriotic writing  Fort Dodge MessengerStudent participants in the annual VFW Post 1856 Patriot Pen essay-writing competition had a simple question to answer this year: Why I honor the American fl.
Billie Joe Armstrong Is Writing New Green Day Music  LoudwireBillie Joe Armstrong has confirmed that he is writing new Green Day music. The frontman revealed the news in a comment on a recent Instagram Live video.
Syndicated columnist censored for writing about the risks of hedge funds and billionaires buying papers  Boing BoingJim Hightower is a longstanding, respected columnist distributed by Creators Syndicate -- but Creators refused to distribute his latest column, "Free the Free ...
DPM's aide denies writing 'support letters' for bid  MalaysiakiniThe viral letter is of no value, explains DPM's political secretary.
Greatest Living American Writer Accepts TIME Person Of The Year Award  The FederalistAs The Greatest Living American Writer, I accept this Time Person Of The Year Award on behalf of all writers, and all journalists, all writers who write about ...
Michael's essay: A new survey shows how poorly writers are paid in this country  CBC.caIf you made a grand total of $9380, down somewhat from the year before, but you love your job — congratulations. You are a Canadian writer.”
Derby writer Jo Jakeman's debut novel Sticks and Stones  Derbyshire LifeCatherine Roth meets local writer Jo Jakeman whose debut novel was published earlier this summer.
Robin Robertson: ‘Writing poetry has very little to do with the intellect’  The GuardianThe Scottish poet and editor on defying conventions of genre, the elusive nature of what he does, and the importance of external validation.
Flair Writing, Neccon Power get SEBI's go ahead to launch IPO  Moneycontrol.comNeccon Power and Flair Writing filed their IPO papers with SEBI in September and obtained the regulator's 'observations' on November 29 and November 30 ...
Columbia journalism prof. Stephen Fried will teach mental health writing next semester  The Daily PennsylvanianAcclaimed author and 1979 College graduate Stephen Fried will teach a new nonfiction English course on writing about mental health and addiction next ...
'Winds Of Winter' Update: George RR Martin Gets Back To Writing  International Business TimesAfter getting involved in different projects that include books and TV shows, George R.R. Martin has finally gotten back to finishing “Winds of Winter.” The long ...
Tyler: Writing gave me my smile back  CBBC NewsroundTyler has Asperger Syndrome and has written a book all about his condition, his life and how writing helped him through a difficult time.
SMOKERS’ CORNER: WRITING FOR THE REGIMES  DAWN.comEarly this year, a clip from an Urdu play produced by PTV went viral. It shows a discourse between two famous TV actors, Firdous Jamal and the late Khayyam ...
Penelope Mortimer: A Writing Life | by Lucy Scholes | NYR Daily  The New York Review of BooksThe story of British novelist Penelope Mortimer is, in part, the all too familiar tale of a woman writer plagued by her readership's inability to separate the life from ...
Writing A Business Plan Can Be Your Key To Financial Success In 2019  ForbesAbove all, remember that a business plan is not a “one-and-done” type of document. It provides a point of reference that can continually be referred to as the ...
Writing Amputees  SFWA Newsby Diane Morrison. “Hey, I'm looking for advice. My character lost a limb in the last fight. Does anyone know about writing amputees?” I was inspired to write this ...
Venom Co-Writer Not Currently Involved With Sequel And Hints At Spider-Man Coming Eventually  LRM OnlineAh, Venom, it's a personal issue I have that makes me despise this film without ever having watched it, it's not fair really and some of my fellow LRM writers ...
A new model for writing effective patient care reports  EMS1.comThe shift to electronic documentation demands a shift in ePCR documentation practices.
Writing Buffy Sainte-Marie bio 'life-changing' for author Andrea Warner  CBC.caWhen Andrea Warner noticed there were piles of books out about artists like Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, but none about Buffy Sainte-Marie, she decided to ...
Stark wins Spink Award for baseball writing  MLB.comLongtime baseball writer Jayson Stark has been honored as the 2019 J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner, the Baseball Writers' Association of America announced ...
Billie Joe Armstrong opens up about playing Green Day’s ‘Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)’ for the first time  NME LiveGreen Day's Billie Joe Armstrong has opened up about writing and playing the band's iconic hit 'Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)'.
The app that makes writing less lonely  BBC NewsAn app is encouraging young authors to take up creative writing, by getting them to work in teams on their mobiles.
JK Rowling Confirms She Has Finished Writing Fantastic Beasts 3  Mental FlossWhile Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald turned out to be rather divisive among Harry Potter fans, true Potterheads have still been eagerly anticipating ...
Buffy and That 70s Show producer and writer Rob DesHotel dies, aged 52  Mirror OnlineThe 52 year old went from writing on Buffy to producing That 70s Show, before he started at his current jobe on Matt Le Blanc's new series.
Timothy Zahn is writing a new Thrawn novel  The VergeLucasfilm and Del Rey Books revealed today that Timothy Zahn is writing a new Star Wars novel, Thrawn: Treason, returning to the classic character that he ...
Um...Did Harry Styles Write Kendall Jenner This Love Letter?!  Seventeen.comKendall Jenner posted a love letter on her Instagram story and now fans are wondering who it's from and the signs seem to point directly to former One ...
Chelsea: Maurizio Sarri still writing off Blues' title chances  Goal.comMaurizio Sarri has maintained it will be "impossible" to win the Premier League this season, despite Chelsea's 2-0 win over Manchester City.
Margaret Atwood Is Writing A Sequel To 'The Handmaid's Tale'  NPRAtwood said that she was inspired by readers' questions about the dystopian world of Gilead — and, she says, by "the world we've been living in." It's set to be ...
Analysis | The Trailer: How the left is already writing the platform for 2020 Democrats  Washington PostIn this edition: The left is already writing the 2020 Democratic platform, the North Carolina election makes everybody nervous, and Little Rock adds to the circle ...
Author of 'Bosch' books talks crime, writing during Agoura Hills visit  Ventura County StarMichael Connelly, whose newest book is part of Agoura Hills' One City One Book event, shares insights on his Bosch character and more.
The worst sex writing in 2018 is by all men  EW.comHaruki Murakami and James Frey were among the long list of contenders for the Literary Review's Bad Sex in Fiction award.
Democratic staffer resigns, accused of writing checks to himself from donor-funded account  WMCA staffer that assisted in financial payments from the House Democratic Caucus has resigned after being accused of writing an unknown number of checks to ...
BBC World Service - The Cultural Frontline, Writing Dystopia Now  BBC NewsFrom Nigeria to Pakistan we speak to leading authors writing dystopian literature today.
Writers urged to 'go for it'  The Press, YorkTWO graduates are appealing for young writers for a new website that was launched yesterday.
George R.R. Martin takes time off from not writing his book to laud New York pizza  The TakeoutOkay, okay, I know it's really tired to see George R.R. Martin, a human being with a life to live and a world of wonder to enjoy, and immediately jump to, “BUT ...
Jonathan Franzen was mocked for sharing his writing tips. Me? I’m all ears  The GuardianThese tips invariably say a lot more about the author than they do about writing.
McPhee receives Audubon New York Award for Environmental Writing Read more  Princeton UniversityJohn McPhee, a Ferris Professor of Journalism in Residence at Princeton, was awarded the 2018 Audubon New York Award for Environmental Writing.
Andy Warhol Foundation Awards Grants for Arts Writing  ArtforumThe Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts announced today the twenty-one recipients of its 2018 Arts Writers Grants. They will receive a total of $725,000.
A 28-year-old MIT doctoral student is writing his first movie  Boston.comHumorist Jonny Sun, a PhD candidate at MIT and a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, has had a very busy year.
Laura Belgray on “making $6,000 a day” writing Instagram quotes  VoxThere are few worse feelings than finding out someone who does the same job as you makes a billion times more money than you. There are also few pettier ...
Torah! Torah! Torah! A District rabbi is writing the entire holy book by hand.  Washington PostThere are 304,805 letters in the Torah, so if you're writing the Jewish holy book out by hand — on animal skin, with a quill-style pen whose nib you have to keep ...
We Need Writers Now More Than Ever. Our Democracy Depends On It  TIMEPulitzer Prize-winning author Jennifer Egan on the importance of writers in the fight to uphold democracy.
Female scholars are marginalised on Wikipedia because it's written by men  The GuardianI'm writing Wikpedia entries about celebrated female scholars to make online spaces more inclusive.
Writers Institute secures endowments  Times Union ALBANY - The future of the New York State Writers Institute is assured, thanks to two gifts from University at Albany alumni. Gregory Maguire, author of "Wicked: ...
Writing and Teaching With a Terminal Illness  The Chronicle of Higher EducationEditor's Note: After reading his blog post "A Sociology of My Death," we asked Peter Kaufman to write for The Chronicle on the professional challenges of ...
Social House Talk Writing Hits for J.Lo & Upcoming Tour With Ariana Grande  BillboardAriana Grande's close friends and soon-to-be tourmates, Social House, have quickly woven a genre-spanning collaborative web.
Remembering Indigenous writer Richard Wagamese at launch of posthumous book  CBC.caAcclaimed Indigenous writer Richard Wagamese died at the age of 61 last year at his home in Kamloops, B.C., leaving his book Starlight unfinished. Now, that ...
Local Libraries Writing New Chapters  Traverse City TickerThe Traverse Area District Library (TADL) system is preparing to turn a page with major changes underway at three of its main branches. From moving into new ...
'Open City' author Teju Cole to teach creative writing at Harvard  Harvard GazetteTeju Cole, author of “Open City” and “Every Day Is for the Thief,” will teach creative writing as the first Gore Vidal Professor of the Practice.
Stan Lee: Writer, Creator, And Marketer Of Intellectual Property  Intellectual Property WatchBy Dave Davis, Copyright Clearance Center. Excelsior! As the many and well-deserved accolades for Stan Lee pour in on the occasion of his death after a ...
Passionate about writing: Local author releases pair of new novels  Idaho State JournalPOCATELLO — It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Call me Ishmael.
Pól Ó Conghaile: A travel writer's tip to help you master the moment  Independent.ieTravel writing is plagued by clichés. The 'hidden gem'; the 'city of contrasts'; the 'bustling market'. Used so often, terms like these suck the life out of places, ...
Writing the election 2019: On small parties and minorit...  Daily MaverickMinority parties, especially those that represent marginalised groups, can play a vital role in agenda-setting and raising issues that might otherwise be ignored, ...
Author John McPhee Still Finds Wonder in the Outdoors, Chocolate and Circus Bears  TIMEJohn McPhee discusses teaching creative non-fiction at Princeton and the process putting together his most recent book 'The Patch'.
Rep. White ousted as chairman of SC House's budget-writing Ways and Means Committee  Anderson Independent MailRep. Brian White, a Republican from Anderson, has been replaced as chairman of the South Carolina House of Representatives' budget-writing Ways And ...
Game of Throws: Writing was on the wall for McCarthy; Dallas D is legitimate  TSNThe Dallas Cowboys set the tone for Week 13 with a 13-10 upset win over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday Night Football. New Orleans had averaged 37.2 ...
‘Ignore this’: Jonathan Franzen’s top 10 writing tips get gleefully trolled on Twitter  The GuardianSeveral authors hit back at the American novelist, questioning his logic and issuing their own mock advice.
Kyrgyzstan Remembers Prominent Writer Chinghiz Aitmatov  RadioFreeEurope/RadioLibertyKyrgyzstan has marked the 90th anniversary of the birth of prominent writer Chinghiz Aitmatov.
Trump lawyers submit president's answers in writing to Mueller questions  The GuardianLawyers and Mueller had been in negotiations for months over whether Trump would be interviewed by Mueller in person.
Sudha Murty on what inspires her to be a writer and the importance of reading for kids  Times of IndiaSudha Murty on what inspires her to be a writer and the importance of reading for kids. Watch the video.
I Wouldn't Be a Writer Without Rookie  JezebelI was 17 when I emailed Tavi Gevinson to ask if I could be a part of whatever her new magazine was going to be. At the time I was a high schooler living in the ...
Staff Writer, News job with Group Nine Media | 384598  mediabistro.comThe News team at Thrillist covers the timely and fast-moving stories across the site's core food, drink, and travel verticals -- everything from the latest stunt foods ...
2019 Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Writing Award Guidelines Announced  Ball State University NewsNovember 26, 2018. Ball State University's Department of Journalism has announced guidelines for the 2019 Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Writing ...
From techie to award-winning writer: How Amazon KDP Pen to Publish Contest played a big role in Sudha Nair’s journey  YourStoryFor Sudha Nair, jointly winning the inaugural edition of Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing's Pen to Publish 2017 literary contest along with J Alchem meant much ...
Kelly Clarkson Claims Dr. Luke Tried to Take Credit with Clive Davis for Writing Her Songs  The BlastKelly Clarkson claims Dr. Luke lied to Clive Davis and tried to take sole credit for writing songs that Clarkson says she worked on, this according to unsealed ...
A Writer Asked Twitter For Their Favorite Weird Fact And People Did Not Disappoint  IFLScienceHolidays are here again, and freeways across the country will soon be filled with people heading home to see family and friends over the festive season. Bu.

How to Build A Success Freelance Career (Part 2)

Part 1 of this article discussed the experience you need... Read More

Writing Tips for your Journey

Tips for your writing journeySo, you'd like to be a... Read More

The Hard Facts About Editing

Whether you're interviewing for a new job, trying to woo... Read More

Mind Mapping Your Journal Entries

Clustering, also called Mind Mapping, is a great way to... Read More

Get An Attitude About Your Writing

(This excerpt is taken from my new writing workshop Writing... Read More

Book Publishing Contracts For Writers: What Should I Look Out For?

Dave, I just got a contract for a book... Read More

10 Tips on Writing Effective Dialogue

1. Become an EavesdropperListen carefully to the way people REALLY... Read More

Format Each eBook Chapter Before you Write It

Do you have a problem creating a focus in your... Read More

Apostrophe Usage Made Simple

According to one of my previous articles, whenever a Southerner... Read More

Pages: Your Book of Life

Many of us dream of writing a book. Why not.... Read More

Trying Too Hard

If you dread the thought of writing, if you fear... Read More

Top Ten Great Headline Ideas

What Makes a Great Headline?Headlines are far more important than... Read More

Get Creative In The Great Outdoors

Summer's here and the time is write for dancing in... Read More

Writing with a Sense of Adventure

We've all been told that we need to use all... Read More

Writers Who Consistently Cut The Mustard Do So Because...

Have you ever wondered why certain writers are able to... Read More

How To Write Your Way To A Fortune

We've all seen those ads that grab our attention and... Read More

Does Your Plot Suit Your Characters And Vice-Versa?

Creative Writing Tips ?When an idea comes to us for... Read More

Learn to Write Like a Pro

Many writers write for the experience. Others dream of having... Read More

Important Points of Fiction

Fiction manuscripts receive feedback that addresses and scores:· The theme... Read More

Writing Secrets You Must Know

Writing better is critical for students. But it's even more... Read More

The Three Cs of Writing an Excellent all Purpose Headline

Since the headline is the first contact your readers have... Read More

8 Reasons Why A Freelance Writer Should Use the Internet

What a wonderful resource the Internet is!Students find information to... Read More

Message to Online Writers: Dont Give Up On A Good Idea

The writing community is a strong one, with many new... Read More

Crime Writing Beckons

If your cash is running out fast and you have... Read More

Plotting By Personality - Work With Your Natural Instincts

What's the best way to plot?Quick answer: the best way... Read More