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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Writers Online Workshops Newsletter 01-03-07

Writers Online Workshops Newsletter, January 3, 2007
News and Advice for Students of Writing

Today's Issue Includes:

*A Note From the Editor
*Sneak Peek: Choosing and Maintaining a Point of View
from Fundamentals of Fiction Writing
*Brag Board ... Robert Wangard
*Spotlight On ... G. Miki Hayden


Dear Subscribers,

There's no better way for me to start off '07 than with
another success story!

I'm excited to announce that recent WOW graduate Robert
Wangard will be published early this year! Check out the
Brag Board to read all about Robert's outstanding

And, enjoy your sneak peek at Fundamentals of Fiction
Writing. We have six sessions beginning this month--all to
help you get a fresh start on your writing. Pick the
one that best fits your schedule ... and start reaching your
writing goals now! It's just what you need to make 2007
your best year yet!

Who knows? Maybe you will be my next success story!

Elissa MacDonald


Fundamentals of Fiction Writing

Discover effective writing techniques you can apply to any
long or short fiction! Through the one-on-one instruction,
creativity exercises and hands-on writing assignments
provided in this workshop, you'll learn essential fiction-
writing techniques--and even develop your own individual
style and creative expression.

for more information and to secure your space

The next session begins Thursday, January 11.
The last day to register is Monday, January 8.

- - - - - -

Sneak Peek: Choosing and Maintaining a Point of View
from Fundamentals of Fiction Writing

Whose Story is This Anyway?
The first thing you have to decide is who's telling the
story. Usually the narrator of the story is the person who
has the most to win or lose. But sometimes it's better to
have someone else tell the story because it allows for
more suspense about plot or even character development.
And, of course, sometimes the events affect a lot of
different people so you may want to have multiple narrators,
each with his or her own unique POV.

The Japanese film Rashomon is famous for its technique of
portraying the same event over and over, but each time as
told from a different character's perception. As we
repeatedly view the same scene, but from different
perspectives, we come to see how different people interpret
what they see and experience. It's the same as when you
and a friend discuss something you both did together a
while ago, only each of you has a different version of
what happened. Your differing versions reveal more about
each of you--how you view events, what you think is
important to remember, etc.--than they do about what
"really" happened. In that same way, POV is crucial not
only in telling about plot events, but in revealing
character and therefore making us care about those events.

He Said, She Said (I Said, You Said): Deciding on Point of

First-Person POV: I, Me, My

Description: The narrator is telling the story as if it
happened to him, using the personal pronouns "I," "me"
and "my."

Advantages: This is probably the most popular POV among
beginning writers, although it's a favorite of writers of
all levels. The reason for its popularity is its
confessional tone. "Let's face it, first person seduces,"
says writer Alyce Miller. "It may start with little more
than a whisper in the ear: 'Psst. Come closer, I'm within
you.'" The intimacy of the "I" immediately makes readers
feel like they have a friend who's going to share a juicy
personal experience. It's like reading someone's
diary ...

- - - - - -

To learn more about the viewpoints you can use in your
writing--including the advantages (and disadvantages) of
using each of them--sign up for Fundamentals of Fiction
Writing today! You'll also discover a wealth of knowledge
to help you write convincing dialogue, craft compelling
plots, develop distinctive characters and much, much more.
It's all you need to jump-start your creative writing

Don't forget--this workshop begins Thursday, January 11.
The last day to register is Monday, January 8.

to enroll today!


Brag Board ... Robert Wangard

Former WOW student Robert Wangard will soon have his short
story, Cash Affair, published! After taking Focus on the
Short Story with G. Miki Hayden, he sent the 7,500-word
story he worked on in class to Futures Mystery Anthology
Magazine. It was the first piece he ever submitted for
publication ... and they bought it! Look for Cash Affair to
appear in an issue printed early this year.

From all of us in the WOW community: Congratulations,
Robert, on your outstanding accomplishment!


Spotlight On ... G. Miki Hayden

G. Miki Hayden is a prolific writer who is not intimidated
by genre labels. Her short story, "The Maids," in Blood on
Their Hands (Berkely, editor Lawrence Block) received an
Edgar Award in 2004, the same year she was nominated for a
Macavity for the story "War Crimes." In 2005, yet another
story received a Derringer nomination. Her short mysteries
have been published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine,
Murderous Intent, Whispering Willows, Futures, Nefarious,
Tale Spinner and Kracked Mirror Mysteries. She also
recently sold her story "Murder on 123rd Street," set in
Harlem, to Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. Her cross-
genre mysteries have been published in Keen Science Fiction
and other small press publications, with a Western/mystery
appearing in the award-nominated Unholy Orders from
Intrigue Press.

Miki also writes science fiction, with short stories
published in Spaceways Weekly, Star Anthology, The Galactic
Citizen, Lost Worlds, The Fifth Di... and more. Her romance
short stories have appeared in The Romantic Bower, True
Romance and True Love.

Miki's novels prove that "genre" stories can have
mainstream appeal. Her first, Pacific Empire (JoNa Books),
is an alternate history that appeared on the 1998 New York
Times summer reading list. Her second novel, By Reason of
Insanity (Free Range Press), is a mystery of psychological
suspense that one reviewer has called "[a] precise and
compassionate account of the escalation of psychological
illnesses." Her latest book, New Pacific (Silver Lake
Publishing, 2004), in which a corporate security
investigator tracks a missing scientist, is set in 2031.

In addition to writing fiction, Miki has been a book
reviewer, feature writer and columnist for Blue Murder,
Mystery Readers Journal, The Third Degree, Murderous
Intent and Futures, and has worked as a first reader for
top New York agents. She twice chaired the annual Edgars
Mystery Writers of America symposium day in New York City,
with appearances by Mary Higgins Clark, Michael Connelly,
other award winning authors and top agents and editors.
She has been a board member of the Mystery Writers of
America and president of the Short Mystery Fiction Society.

Her how-to book, Writing the Mystery, from Intrigue Press
(2001), received nominations for several top mystery genre
awards-the Agatha, the Macavity and the Anthony, winning
the Macavity--and is in its second printing. Miki's latest
book, out this coming March, The Naked Writer, is a
comprehensive style and composition guide for both new and
sophisticated writers.

This month she's teaching a January 11 session of the
Fundamentals of Fiction Writing workshop!


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