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Group Info Group Founded 11 Years ago Statistics 459 Members
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How to Become A Member

Thank you for your interest in joining this writers-in-progress.

This group is different than many other clubs on dA. It is a club primarily dedicated to the discussion of the writing process.

Members of this group are allowed to submit blogs, suggest favorites, and submit and share writing resources and tutorials.

Please note that the only submissions allowed in this group are writing resources or tutorials. In other words, this is not the group for you to get exposure. Sorry ^^;

To join, please read the Member and Submission Rules. There are instructions there you must follow to become a member.

I will not respond to anyone who does not follow the directions on how to join.

Thanks again for your interest.

-:heart: Michelay


Tips For Editing Poetry
***Tips For the Novice (and otherwise) - Editing***
The blanket statement, "Editing/revision harms poetry," is simply wrong.  It's akin to a photographer claiming that focusing the lens ruins the emotion of the photograph.  It is the details, and the appropriate attention paid to them, that separate a photograph from a snapshot.  Imagine a film maker slapping every frame he shot up on the screen without editing for continuity, for pacing, for effect.  What a disaster.  That is not to say that editing can't be destructive - there is such a thing as poor editing, just as there is poor writing.  But done correctly, done well, it is one of the most important tools in the poet's shed.
Never shy away from editing/revision.  Some young writers feel that to revise is to kill the spirit of the poem.  This notion serves to sacrifice the potential of a poem for an ideal that
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A Writer's Vocabulary
A Writer's Vocabulary:
-a major unit of action in a play
-each act may contain several scenes, and each scene may have a different setting
-the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginnings of words
-found in prose, peotry, drama, and everyday speech
Exampes: pen pal, silver spoon, shining sea, last laugh
-a reference to another work of literature or to a familiar person, place, or event outside of literature
-a brief story told to entertain or to make a point
-the technique of presenting stirking contrasts to emphasize an idea
-a brief statement, often of a general truth
Example: The course of true love never did run smooth.
-the story of a person's life, written by that person
-may focus on the entire life or one part
-Autobiographies are nontiction, but they many contain many of the elements found in a fiction including setting, character, and conflict
-the story of a person's life, writte
:iconjinchuurikininja:jinchuurikininja 21 21
Getting Published the Hard Way
A tutorial by M. Alice Chown
If, like me, you have stories lying around gathering virtual dust on your hard drive, why not send them out to a publisher? You have nothing to lose. A couple of years ago, I attended the launch of an annual Canadian short story anthology, called Tesseracts 10. I knew one of the authors whose speculative fiction piece had been included in the book. Matthew Johnson and I had taken the same creative writing course. Our former prof, author, Robert Sawyer, was there at the launch too, as well as the editors of the anthology. Those who had contributed a story to Tesseracts 10 took turns saying a few words about their piece. Matt talked about his joy at learning that after so many rejections his humble tale about soup of all things had made it into print. Most surprising to me, however, were the words of the pretty, brunette author. She was just 19, a University of Toronto student, and her short story had been her very first
:iconmsklystron:msklystron 814 332
A Perfect Match
"But my mommy says that I shouldn't play with you," the boy said.
     "It's okay," it said.  "She would not have left you with me, if she had."
     "I don't know," said the boy again.  "It kinda scares me."
     "Don't be afraid," it said.  "I won't hurt you."
     The boy reached out to touch it, and brought his hand back just before contact.
     "What's wrong?" it asked.
     The boy frowned.  "You promise it will be okay?"
     A deep sigh issued from it.  "Yes, it will be just fine."
     The boy reached out again, and touched it lightly, before finally grasping it firmly and stroking it hard.
     Frightened again, the boy dropped it.
     It fell to the floor with a laugh, and said,
:iconjomina:Jomina 89 105
Bad Karma
By Megan Hubbell
It’s been a long day. You slept through your alarm and missed the first half of your English class, which earned you a death glare from your teacher. You had to stop by the bookstore to sell back a textbook from last quarter which you’d saved but hadn’t needed; they informed you that it wasn’t needed for next quarter, but they would offer you thirteen dollars of the original $87 you spent on it. Discovering that bookstore employees never haggle, you grudgingly accepted the thirteen dollars and hurried on to grab a bite to eat. You stood in the lunch line in the sleeting rain for ten minutes before arriving in the middle of the crowded cafeteria to find that the chicken noodle soup was gluey, the salad brown, the fruit bruised, turkey undercooked, and pizza dry. You opted for the tofu stir fry and a few cookies despite the fact that you despise tofu. You had ten minutes to kill before your next class, so you stopped by the library to
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I look down at my watch for the second time as I sit at the bus stop and stand up to warm myself.  The bus is a couple minutes late.  No matter, I'm really in no hurry.  
I need to warm up a tiny, so I start pacing behind the blue painted bench while exhaling some warm air into my gloved hands.  I remember doing that as a kid,I think with a smile as I make more of the mist my breath creates in the cold air.  Thinking about the things my sisters and I did every winter in the country, I continue my pacing, grinning every now and then at my memories.  
It's still early in the day, and the sidewalks are just beginning to fill with people on their way to their destination.  Laughter twinkles to my left and I turn my head to see a group of ladies entering the café at the end of the road. Never been to that café…maybe I should try it some day…
One more look at my watch, and I decide that I might enjoy a short walk instead of waiting for this bus.  So, w
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The Thing at the Bottom
The Thing At The Bottom of The Stairs
Or, A Discourse On The Monstrosity of Monsters

Welcome! Nice to meet you, dear. Come in, come in, don't just stand there hovering. Have a seat, make yourself comfortable, there's plenty of room. Would you care for something to drink? No? Settled then? Good. I suppose I should just get started with the tale, then, shouldn't I?
I'll begin it in my favorite way, with the words that begin all fairy tales, though this is not exactly what you would consider to be a tale of the fairies. If you'd rather hear something about them, then perhaps I'll send you to a friend of mine, who would certainly be better able to tell you about those. This is, rather, a tale of monsters, you see. Still here? Good. Then I'll begin.
Once upon a time, when I was a younger girl, my family and I lived in an old house in the city, which, as I came to find, was quite the haunted old mansion. My parents would often walk through ghosts, with nary a bit of realization, other
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Sick People are Bossy
You’ve run out of excuses to leave her.
The need for coffee runs to the downstairs cafe, at first plentiful as the situation was urgent, have trickled to a halt. Everyone is caffeinated; everyone has a styrofoam cup to duck their faces into, hiding sad eyes and worry lined lips behind store brand logos and steam. If they cry out it’s because the liquid is too scalding, that’s all.
You already know where the bathroom is. You know where every bathroom is on every floor, down every hall. You’ve explored this building, and the parking garage attached to it, from basement to ceiling. You don’t know them better than the back of your hands because you’ve never paid much mind to the backs of your hands at all, but you can’t claim to get lost anymore.
The gift shop’s already taken your next two paychecks.  
No one is hungry. No one needs someone to walk the halls with them, talking. No one needs someone to walk the halls with them, not talking.
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Newest Members

Sorry for the long absence. But I'm back with a new tip!


When I submitted my new book, Prince of the Sun, Princess of the Moon, to my publisher, I had already written the second book in the series and had a rough draft of the third ready. My release day came and went, and I set down to prepare the second book to send to my publisher. But when I read the draft, I noticed something odd. The first few chapters felt . . . dry. Normally, I like to use the first few chapters as an introduction to the point of view characters (those characters whose POV I’ll be telling the story from). But this time, it felt like I was tossing the characters at the reader saying, “Here. This is so-and-so. Let’s get the intros out of the way so we can get to the story.” To be frank, it was boring.

And I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. The content of the chapters themselves were interesting; the characters felt compelling to me; but the presentation was off. Then it hit me. It was the structure of my opening sentences. In the first five chapters, four of them started in roughly the same manner. That made the text come off as stale.

I had known for a long time that the first sentence in a story will draw your reader in or will put them off. But now I’m realizing that the first few sentences in your early chapters could just as easily color your story in a negative way.

For an example, I’d like to share with you the first sentences of the first five chapters in the sequel while in revision:

1. The human world had a saying that always made Plandte smile: “Great things come in small packages.”

2. Alandri lifted her hair and examined herself in the mirror.

3. Lumina alighted on the sun and blinked in its brilliance.

4. Marcos tapped his fingers on the desk in his apartment, listening to the hold music on the other end of the phone.

5. Shielle narrowed her eyes at her computer and continued to type.  

Do you see it? After the first chapter, there is no variation in sentence structure. They follow the pattern “character, verb, object/prepositional phrase.” Having the same type of sentence over and over again gets monotonous and boring. The solution: vary the sentences.

There are several ways to change up the sentence structures so that your old standbys don’t get stale. Here are some examples:

-Start with dialogue. Some writers don’t like this technique because it sort of throws the reader in with no context, but I am a fan. I just try to explain what’s happening quickly and smoothly without an infodump.

-start with a gerund. For example, “Looking in the mirror never gave Amber an accurate view of herself.” In this case, the phrase “Looking in the mirror” is the subject of the sentence even though it contains the verb “looking.”

-Start with some background descriptions. I don’t like doing this unless I tie it into a character. For example, “The setting sun sparkled off the lake water, dazzling Kevin’s eyes.”

There are other ways to vary your sentences to make your writing interesting. So don’t settle for just one. Find different and interesting ways to give your sentences a punch and see if it doesn’t make your story that much more interesting.

Happy writing.


This post is also featured on the Best Words site.


M.R. Anglin’s newest YA fantasy novel, Prince of the Sun, Princess of the Moon released Feb. 20, 2018 and is available on Amazon along with her middle grade novel, Lucas, Guardian of Truth (LampPost 2012) and the self-published Silver Foxes series. Her work has also been included in the Coyotl Award winning anthology, Gods With Fur (FurPlanet 2016), Extinct? (Wolfsinger 2017), and Dogs of War Vol. 2 (FurPlanet 2017).
My book Prince of the Sun, Princess of the Moon released this past Tuesday (Feb. 20, 2018). Here’s the cover:

Prince of the Sun, Princess of the Moon Cover by Michelay

Working with a publisher often means that you will be working with a cover artist. Even if you self-publish (as I have), you may need the assistance of an artist.

In my experience with both of my traditionally published books, publishers and the artists they hire are open to what you want your book to look like. In both instances, I received a form at the very beginning of the publishing process asking for information on what I wanted on the cover and/or important elements of the story that should be included. The artist wants to do good work that you, the author, will be happy with.

Which brings me to my first (and I think most important) piece of advice:

Be specific!

Be very specific. In fact, err on the side of being over-specific.

Here’s the thing: unless your artist is someone you know personally, it’s likely he or she will never read your work. All they have to go on is what you’ve described to them. If there is a misunderstanding or a miscommunication on what you’re expecting, you could wind up with a piece of cover art you’re not happy with and/or a very frustrated artist.

Take my cover shown above. I love this cover. It’s gorgeous, and it’s perfect for my book. But that wasn’t the initial version. When I received the draft it was beautiful, but the clothes the models were wearing weren’t reflecting the story’s genre. And really, it was my fault. I neglected to describe the clothing to the artist. It seemed that it would be an easy fix, but it took several hours of the artist’s time. (I felt terrible). So she asked me for references for what I was looking for.

And it isn’t just cover artists. I’m also preparing to start a ministry at my church and am having a logo made for it. When I went to the graphic artist, I thought I was being specific. I even drew what I wanted and gave it to him. He looked at it, studied it, and then asked for what colors or fonts I was thinking of. I had no clue. So he told me when commissioning someone, come with at least 3 examples of whatever you're commissioning (be it logos, book covers, flyers or what have you) that are similar to what you're looking for so that the artist can get an idea of what you want.

Pinterest is great for this. You can put together reference pictures on boards so that they are all in one place. On my pinterest, I have a board dedicated to my book filled with settings, clothes, hairdos, and so on. Whenever you find a picture that fits your board, pin it. Then when something like this happens, you can point the artist to a bunch of pictures they can reference. The whole point is to get the artist on the same page as you are.

If you are an artist, please don’t be afraid to ask your clients for references or clarification. As a writer, I can attest that I am looking to you to help me bring out the ideas in my brain. My brain is wired differently than yours. You see things in a way I can’t. You think in color and layout and forms and shapes. I think it words. And guess what? Sometimes what I think I want is different than what I really want. Take my cover above as an example—that wasn’t what I was thinking of when I first thought of the cover for my book. But I couldn’t have dreamed of a better one.

My second piece of advice is: be willing to compromise. The model on my cover isn’t exactly what I imagine my main female character to be like. However, the model the artists chose is so perfect, I can let that go. You’re not going to get exactly what you want all the time so know what you’re willing to let go and what you’re not. And make that clear to the artist as soon as possible.

Before I go, here’s a video that explains all this in more detail. Marco Bucci is a professional artist, and in this video he details a situation where he and his client couldn’t get on the same page. It was a source of frustration for both him and the client. It’s long, but worth watching.


M.R. Anglin’s newest YA fantasy novel, Prince of the Sun, Princess of the Moon released Feb. 20, 2018 and is available on Amazon along with her middle grade novel, Lucas, Guardian of Truth (LampPost 2012) and the self-published Silver Foxes. Her work has also been included in the Coyotl Award winning anthology, Gods With Fur (FurPlanet 2016), Extinct? (Wolfsinger 2017), and Dogs of War Vol. 2 (FurPlanet 2017).
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Space-between-spaces Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
If I asked you to read a free book, would you give me a reasonable review? Let me know where I could improve? This is the first book I've ever published and I'd like the assistance from some more seasoned writers to improve future work.
AngelVahn Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello i was wondering if i can join this group
Michelay Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2014  Professional Writer
Please follow the directions of how to join found on the club's front page.
AngelVahn Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you
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