Nancy's Books

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Ways to Improve Writing

Today, I’m continuing the series “Ways to Improve Writing” and focusing on character emotions.
Consider writing an embarrassing situation for your character. Everyone experiences moments of humiliation. Embarrassment humanizes characters and help readers identify with them.  
Place your character in a bad situation and make it worse…and worse. Don’t go easy on the main character. Tension keeps the story interesting and the reader reading. If embarrassment doesn’t work for you, try painful or stressful or all three.

Allow the character to express anger through dialog, body language, and thoughts. As in real life, the character will react to difficult situations. The character responses should be consistent with his/her personality. Susie might throw a remote control while Ben would be more likely to land a punch. One character may be slow to anger and another is easily provoked.

Make the character suffer. Of course, by the end of the story, you can let your softer side prevail and create a world that works for the long-suffering character.
Call for Submissions for Young Writers:
Crashtest is an biannual online magazine founded and run by the creative writing students at the Fine Arts Center, a public arts high school in Greenville, South Carolina, so that students in high schools all over the country will have a place to publish work that tests limits, asks questions, rejects the easy answers, risks obliteration, believes in failure, is suspicious of scripted success.
Submission guidelines at Kids Magazine. We are looking for the very best material by students (ages 8–16). Material may include cartoons, songs, stories between 500 and 1200 words, puzzles, photographs, artwork, games, editorials, poetry, and plays, as well as any other creative work that can fit in the pages of the magazine. As long as it's creative, we're interested!
All materials must be mailed to:
Submissions Editor
Creative Kids
P.O. Box 8813
Waco, Texas 76714-8813
Submission guidelines at
Call for Submissions for Adult Writers:

Unagented authors will be able to send their manuscripts direct to the imprint for two weeks in March, with the event being held to celebrate two years of Tinder Press. The open submissions period will take place from March 2nd to 15th, with authors asked to submit 50 pages, an outline and an author biography. Only previously unpublished writers of fiction can take part, and short stories as well as novels will be considered. All submitted books must be complete, and written in English.

Submission guidelines at


  1. Good ideas in this post. Thanks. I also appreciate knowing about the Tinder Press open submission dates.

  2. This is a great opportunity for a writer who has a manuscript that meets the criteria for Tinder Press. Good luck.