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Check out my new poem entitled "Women's Day."
Have you heard of Writer's Relief?

I'm looking for opinions. They basically verify formatting and send out the query letters to agents, so authors can concentrate on their writing.

Opinions? Have you worked with them?
Oh my goodness. Tadpole what a wonderful surprise!
But to answer your question, I have not heard of Writer's Relief. Are you getting ready to publish? I'd like to know. I have been considering doing the same but am in the middle of getting ready to move from Texas to Oklahoma with my new, one and only husband. Publishing is not a priority.
If you do find something that will help a wanna be published writer needs to know about Writer's Relief, please feel free to share.
Hope you and your family are doing well. The news for Europe has not been exactly encouraging a visit over there. Stay well and happy and take good care of yourself. I'll be happy to hear from you any time you can squeeze a short note. Bye!
I'd never heard of them prior to your post- so I did a little digging. Here are some links to what I've found. I also checked Yelp.

To sum up- It seems some authors like it because it organizes everything for them- but they pay dearly for that.

Others find it a waste of time and money and feel you can get the same service and help from fellow authors and writing groups.

For the expense- I think time and money would be better spent finding an editor on your own that can critique your work. I've found Agent Query and Literary Agent website to be more than adequate at organizing my queries and submissions- for that matter- submittable organizes and keeps track of many literary journal submissions.

I also use WriteItNow5- which has a handy section that allows you to keep track of everything you write and submit. For an all in one writing, review, and tracking tool- I love it and it's quite affordable.

Hope this helps,



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Wishing you a fantastic Writing.com Birthday!

*Balloonp* *Balloonb* *Balloong* *Balloony* *Balloono* Happy March Account Birthday, Tadpole1 ! *Balloono* *Balloony* *Balloong* *Balloonb* *Balloonp*

Hey everyone,

I'm looking for immediate reviews of my Chimera query letter. For any immediate review, I will give a minimum of 1000 gps.

Let me pull out my gp wallet!

Chimera - Query  (18+)
Detective George Wright confronts the most bizarre murder case of his career.
#2052218 by Tadpole1


Expiration: Thursday, February 16, 2017

A good way to avoid what I need to really be doing is look for a prompt. I found one at The Writer's Cramp, and here are the results.

Jackrabbit - winner  (13+)
Dirk Watson wants a promotion at work, but first, he has to see the doctor. 1000 words
#2104838 by Tadpole1

It's worth a chuckle or two. *Smile*
Although, I really enjoy writing novels, lately, I've been writing more short stories. The lastest is
The Broken Pot  (13+)
It is painful when you discover a loved one has dementia. Mysteries of the Mind contest.
#2104659 by Tadpole1
. If you have a minute, you're welcome to take a peek.
Hey guys,

Any trial attorneys out there? Defense lawyers?

I am writing a cover letter for Baen Books and don't seem to be able to find a person to address it to -- an actual name. Does anyone know who works at Baen Books? Thank you!
The person currently running it is Antonia (Toni) Weisskopf who used to be their long-time executive editor.
Take a look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_science_fiction_editors
This page lists many Baen editors. It also has links in some cases to the editors' web pages, which might help you figure out which one to send your manuscript to. Good luck!
Hi folks,

What are your tricks for helping your reader care about your character?

Taking time to help someone or something is one trick, but maybe you have others?

Please share,


If it's just a short story, it doesn't matter much. If it's more like a novella or a book, it has to be the first chapter that grabs the reader and the character should be someone they can relate to.

We don't think about it much, but when writing, that's your second concern alongside hooking a reader. On top of that, the reviews will state whether or not the reader can relate or if they feel a connection with the character.

Whenever I review a longer piece, the main character is a big concern - as long as you stay true to your character and don't do major mood swings with them, the reader will follow the story. Since you can't explain why the reader should like your character, you have to make him likable from the start. Emotional connection is what's established later in chapters, but making them curious about your character is what gets them to read more.

Just my two *CoinCopper* *Bigsmile*
Vulnerability. Showing that they are hindered by some trait that many people can relate to, such as shyness, lack of confidence, low self esteem. Or some problem they have to overcome that is easy for people to relate to, like lost keys, horrible co-worker, spilling something on themselves. Then there's always the physical ailment: head cold, stutter, limp.see I guess this could be called the underdog approach.

Good question!
I'm such a newbie at writing (and find beginnings the most challenging), so I'm probably not the best person to ask, but I'll give it shot with an answer. I think the answer is internal dialogue, but not so much that it slows down or swallows up the action that needs to happen in the first chapter to hook the reader.

You're dealing with a crime novel, so there's a whole genre thing that you have to be cognizant of. Namely, these novels usually start off with a crime and your investigator needs to be at a crime scene. The reader needs to be in the head of your policeman as much as possible. We need to know what he thinks walking into it, what he's thinking as he takes in the blood, the violence, humanity at its worst. Is he blasé, jaded, angry, choked up? Does the victim remind him of anyone, past or present, in his life? Does he lose his appetite? Want a drink? Does he have a quirk when he comes onto a scene? Does he play with the keys in his pocket? Itch his arm in one spot? Clear his throat repeatedly?

I remember reading one novel that I thought did a good job of this (can't remember the name -- sorry!). The gumshoe was called in on a homicide in an apartment. When he got there he stood just outside the door, collecting his thoughts before going in. He didn't really want to go in, but knew he had to. The character came across as tired and jaded. There were some other things going on as well. He had problems with the head of the police department. Also, it had a science fiction setting, so there was some weirdness there as well *Smile*.

Some of the more memorable police detectives have some other quirk going for them that make them memorable. Columbo: friendly but disheveled and wandering in his speech, which usually annoys the people he comes into contact with during an investigation. Absent-minded, but shrewd and never forgets a detail. Cary in the show Homeland is a manic depressive who is on medication to control her mood swings, but she is kinda crazy, single-minded, and drives people around her away. You might find some inspiration if you search on real-life detectives. For instance, the detective that was the inspiration for Bullitt (Dave Toschi) constantly munched on animal crackers.

I hope this helps!
Your answers are spot on the mark. Here is a bit more about my question. It concerns a novel. It seems to me that I think more about the plot than the characters even though they each have their own personal history.

I have a widowed policeman who is a father and working on a crime. He's an older middle-aged fellow - balding, pot-bellied. He adores his daughter. He has a partner in whom he totally trusts. He has a thing for old black and white movies because he used to watch them with his wife.

At the beginning of the novel, he réponds to a crime scene. The first chapter is responding to the crime scene and working at the crime scene.

Any thoughts?
Inner Thoughts versus Telling

Anyone who has been on WDC for more than a day has heard: Show Don’t Tell, but what about inner thoughts?

When we think, we use the verb to be all the time, and sometimes, a scene is lived by only one character; thus, predominately inner thoughts: no dialogue, a few actions, but mainly thoughts. Inner thoughts are needed to dive into the character’s mind and learn who he is.
Thus the difficulty.

How do you handle inner thoughts and assure the proper balance to avoid being accused of telling?

Please share your experience and wisdom,



  •   1 comment

This is an excellent question. In third person limited, arguably everything on the page is something that the POV character has sensed, thought, or knows. Thus writing something like, "Her face heated. She should have thought of that..." is showing her internal realization. Readers will know it's her internal thought or knowledge, since they have the reminder of POV through her physical reaction.

Another way to remind readers of POV is using the voice--manner of speaking--of the character. That lets the author fold the internal thoughts, knowledge, etc. of the POV character into the narrative in ways that make it clear it's inside the character's head.

The key is to do this in a way that reminds the readers of the POV rather than having the author intrude to state facts. This becomes, then, a question of craft and technique. There are innumerable ways a skilled author can show internal thoughts without violating "show, don't tell." It just takes creativity and thought--and hard work. If it was easy, of course, it wouldn't be any fun.

BTW, I know from reading your own work that you do this just fine.

I just finished my first draft of a short story for the WDC Anthology! If you're curious and want to take a look, drop on by!

Flight from the Rougarou  (E)
Max 2200 words. Will the terrible rougarou transform Benny? Based on Louisiana folklore.
#2070870 by Tadpole1
Hi Everyone!

It is finally out. Look for my short story Elthia in http://www.speculativefictionstories.com/
It is in the May / June 2013 edition. *Bigsmile*

Have a super day!
  •   1 comment
So excited for you Bobbie... huge congrats:)
*Partyhatp* Happy WDC birthday! *Partyhatp*
I just finished the Algonkian New York Pitch Conference. If you ever get the chance to attend, it's a must. Imagine meeting four editors from major publishing houses!
  •   1 comment
Can't wait to hear all about it:)
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