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Writing Feedback

by Ron Kurtus

Readers have sent in a total of 140 comments and questions on Writing issues. They are listed according to date.

You can read them to further your understanding of the subject.



List of next 15 letters

Title

Topic

Country

How I make my writing a reality? Book Report Nigeria
 
Send me some information about physics Get Paid for Fiction India
 
Looking for an online writing course General Ireland
 
Journal writing for kindergarten students Journal USA
 
I want an easy way to improve my writing Journal USA
 
Can I make money writing fiction? Get Paid for Fiction USA
 
How to write a paragraph? General UAE
 
What motivates people to succeed? Motivations UK
 
Where are the best places to sell scripts? Get Paid for Fiction USA
 
Wants to make top royalties from book Book Royalties India
 
Words are really articles Speech Aid Canada
 
How can I begin being a writer? Routes in Professional Writing Ghana
 
Offered 7 1/2% royalties on my book Book Royalties USA
 
My mother's vocabulary is much better than mine Vocabulary Ghana
 
What happens to the turning points in a short film? Screen Paradigm UK
 

Next 15 letters

 




First 15 letters


Book Report

How I make my writing a reality?

January 17, 2011

Question

How I make my writing a reality

Adepeju - Nigeria (21026)

Answer

One of the best ways to improve your writing skills is to write a journal that includes your thoughts, experiences and observations of other people. Some people use an Internet blog to do this, but often writing down thoughts and observations in a notebook is better.

A journal will give you material for your stories or other things you want to write.

It takes time and work, but that is a way to make your writing become a reality.

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Get Paid for Fiction

Send me some information about physics

July 14, 2010

Question

this is an interesting web site in making money online and it is used to earn money for some of students while learning.
send me some information about physics and try to send ileana beautiful photos.

sake - India (20048)

Answer

Look at our lessons on Physics at: www.school-for-champions.com/physics.htm

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General

Looking for an online writing course

March 26, 2010

Question

Hi,I was interested in completing a writing course preferably online and came across your website. Would you please explain to me how this course would work and what is involved and what costs, if any are relevant. Many thanks.

Johanna - Ireland (19439)

Answer

Our lessons are meant to supplement other studies you are doing or to give you a start in improving your writing skills.

Most online writing courses will charge you to participate, especially since the teacher or or some assistant must often review what you write. Sometimes it is better to take a local writing course in night school, where you can interact with the teacher and other students.

That doesn't mean that you can't improve your writing by yourself keeping a journal is a good way to get you to write more.

Best wishes in finding a suitable writing course.

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Journal

Journal writing for kindergarten students

February 12, 2010

Question

I was hoping to get information on how to launch the journal writing aspect to my kindergartebn students - much of what I am reading about does not seem to have links to this type of thinking.

- USA (19206)

Answer

Some websites on journal writing for young children include:

http://homeschooling.suite101.com/article.cfm/creative_writing_for_kindergarten

http://www.nellieedge.com/photoessays/writingtoread/writingtoread.htm

http://www.letteroftheweek.com/primary_journal_ideas.html

I hope that helps. Best wishes in your class.

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Journal

I want an easy way to improve my writing

January 4, 2010

Question

I WOULD L0KE TO SPEAK W0TH YOU EVERYDAY INSTEAD OF WR0T0NG A JOURNAL
CAN IT BE EASY WAY OR A GOOD WAY TO IMPROVE MY WR0T0NG

ZEHRA - USA (18965)

Answer

The best way to improve your writing is to write something every day. Writing your journal. Send e-mails to friends. Write letters. You can even get a blog to write in your thoughts.

You cannot depend on the other people to improve your writing, however it is often good to have others read your work and suggest improvements. But the main thing is that you must write, write, write.

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Get Paid for Fiction

Can I make money writing fiction?

September 13, 2009

Question

Well, if i'm here i am new at this. What I'm wondering, is there a realistic chance to make money writing fiction? Looking for a career change. I have always enjoyed reading and writing. I feel i have a talent for fiction writing, and can produce a worthy peice of fiction. I would very much like to explore this option. Thanks

david - USA (18309)

Answer

If you are good at writing, there are jobs available in the business, technical and marketing writing fields.

It is not easy to earn a living at fiction writing. For one thing, you are selling individual projects to publishers. Although some authors of best selling books can make a lot of money, most are simply lucky to get their book or story published.

Pick up a copy of Writer's Market at the library to see where you can sell your writing. Also see our section on Fiction Writing at:

http://www.school-for-champions.com/fiction.htm

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General

How to write a paragraph?

August 26, 2009

Question

How to write a paragraph?

- UAE (18212)

Answer

A paragraph is at least two or three sentences on a single thought. Some paragraphs are many sentences long. Look at any of your books to see how they have several sentences in a paragraph and then a break to the next paragraph and slightly different thought. This email is an example of one paragraph.

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Motivations

What motivates people to succeed?

July 4, 2009

Question

Hi i have an essay about the desire to higher status and greater wealth is what motivates people to succeed are you agree or not pls let me know about vocabulary that i can use on it and guide me to write

mojdeh - UK (17978)

Answer

People are motivated to succeed for various reasons. Those who are seeking wealth know that it can allow them to buy what they want, as well as to gain in status and feel more important than others.

But there are others who are motivated to do something they love to do. They are not as concerned about money, although they would like to gain recognition. Artists are a good example of this.

Finally, there are people who are motivated to help others and make a difference in the world.

The ideal motivation that would result in success and happiness would be to do what you love to do, to have it help out others, and also to make good money from doing that.

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Get Paid for Fiction

Where are the best places to sell scripts?

February 7, 2009

Question

where are the best places to sell scripts. i would prefer not to sell mine online.

colin - USA (17230)

Answer

Television and movie studios will not accept unsolicited scripts and will return them unopened or simply discard them. You must go through an agent to have your scripts submitted.

Typically, television shows do not buy individual scripts. But they will look at a sample script to decide whether to hire the writer on staff. Submitted scripts don't have to be for the show, but they should be the same type (i.e. comedy script for a comedy show, etc.)

Movie studios will purchase scripts or the rights to scripts.

To get an agent, you must send a query letter, telling that you have some scripts, a sentence about your story an a little about your background. Most won't be interested, but you may pique the interest of one who will agree to represent you. Obviously, the agents should be located in LA, Beverly Hills or Hollywood.

Get a copy of Writer's Market for a listing of agents and their requirements.

PS: Don't bother to send letters or email to agents or studios without properly capitalizing sentences.

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Book Royalties

Wants to make top royalties from book

December 2, 2008

Question

I live in India and wish to approach a publisher who is a good pay master as i strongly feel that the book which i wish to publish is best in quality and not available anywhere and hence will b in demand.

Since i don't know A B C of royalty, how do i bargain with the publisher? How do i know the ideal rate for me? y not opt for a lump-sum amount whether the book sells or not?

pl advise

mahesh - India (16888)

Answer

The most important issue you should concentrate on is being able to convince a publisher to publish your book. That should be done before even thinking of the royalties, because it is the most difficult thing to do.

You need to start by sending a query letter with a short summary of your book concept to various publishers. Start with the top publishers that have handled bestsellers and work down from there. You can also approach literary agents who can help you find a publisher and negotiate the best terms.

To get the very top royalties, you need to get at least two publishers interested in your book. Then they will bid against each other to provide you with the best cash advance and royalties.

Realized that a publisher is in the business of making money by selling books. They are putting up a substantial cash investment to publish the book. They are not in the business of charity to give authors lump-sum money whether of the book sells or not.

Again, I want to emphasize that your first objective is simply to get the book published. Even if you do not make good royalties from the book, need a published author can open the doors to other moneymaking opportunities.

Best wishes for success in your new book.

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Speech Aid

Words are really articles

August 24, 2008

Question

I think there is an error on your web site. The words 'a' and 'the' are described as prepositions. They are articles -- though I see them described as adjectives on a universtity writing web site, and I suppose you could make a case for that...

Mary - Canada (16397)

Answer

Thanks for pointing that out. I made the correction. They certainly aren't adjectives.

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Routes in Professional Writing

How can I begin being a writer?

April 25, 2008

Question

how can i begin and when can i begin.
john

john - Ghana (15795)

Answer

To become a professional writer, you can find out if they use writers at your job or you can look for writing jobs. You can also write articles for newspapers or magazines. Often you can write those for free until they feel you are good enough to be paid for the writing.

Look over our other writing lessons and write as often as you can. Note that you need to use proper punctuation and capitalize certain words like "I" for someone to think of you as a professional.

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Book Royalties

Offered 7 1/2% royalties on my book

March 25, 2008

Question

I have been offered a contract by a book company with a paperback royalty of 7 1/2% of the retail price on the first 10,000 copies and 8% of the retail price on all copies sold thereafter. Is that a fair and reasonable price, if the book is only to be printed in paperback?

Dorothy - USA (15590)

Answer

7 1/2% is a reasonable royalty on a paperback, although on the low end. You might try to negotiate more on the sales over 10,000. Perhaps 9% or even 10%.

The big concern is being able to effectively promote and market your book. You can't completely depend on the publisher. Discuss promotion with them to see how you can increase your book sales.

Best wishes on a successful book.

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Vocabulary

My mother's vocabulary is much better than mine

January 25, 2008

Question

my mum's vocabs are 100 times good than mine, though i've high level education degrees than her. i don't seem to understand how? though she would always urge me to keep reading anytime i'd this issue.

thaddeus - Ghana (15213)

Answer

Some people are better in certain areas than others. My mother was good with numbers but not with words. On the other hand, my father had a good vocabulary but was not good in arithmetic.

Although reading can help you improve your vocabulary, what is really needed is to pay attention to words--especially those you don't understand. When you hear intelligent people talk, make sure you understand the words they use. You can even keep a notebook to write down a word to look up later.

The motivation for having a good vocabulary is that people often judge others by how well they speak or write. That does not mean using long or difficult words. Instead, it means using words correctly.

Listen to your mother when she talks and learn from her vocabulary.

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Screen Paradigm

What happens to the turning points in a short film?

November 5, 2007

Question

Regarding turning points in the plot at page/minute 27 and 87

What happens if the film is shorter, e.g. 100 pages/minutes. Is it proportional? (100/120 x 27 = page 25. 100/120 x 87 = 7)

Thanks

Joe - UK (14704)

Answer

To a degree the turning point is proportional to the length of movie or television show. Watch half-hour television shows to find the turning points. Often they have a commercial break at those points. Likewise, try to identify the initial turning point in various movies.

Of course, this is not a hard rule that it must be at specific times or pages, but it is a good rule of thumb, used to get and keep the viewer's attention and interest.

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