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Writing Feedback

by Ron Kurtus

Readers have sent in a total of 141 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

What are some factors in writing a journal? Journal INDIA
 
Wants to be a professional writer General Nigeria
 
Wants to become a professional writer Journal India
 
Using questions in writing report Book Report USA
 
Getting paid for novel Get Paid for Fiction USA
 
Wants poetry published General USA
 
Wants to learn to dictate Dictation USA
 
What publishing companies would look at my work? Get Paid for Fiction Pakistan
 
Wants to improve English Vocabulary Sudan
 
Boss wants her to learn dictation Dictation USA
 
Wants info on types of writing General Nigeria
 
I am interested in writing properly General West Indies
 
Importance of English vocabulary Vocabulary Bolivia
 
Do not have funds to publish my work Get Paid for Fiction Cote d'Ivoire
 
Wants to increase vocabulary skills Hangman INDIA
 

Next 15 letters

 




First 15 letters


Journal

What are some factors in writing a journal?

November 13, 2004

Question

hi there,
i am really interested in writing the journal dont want to express my feeling to any one to but want to express to myself.I dont know the way to write a journal like how long it should be how to use the words so that the feelings are expressed crisply and shortly and i feel relaxed.what time is the right time to write a journal.what should i use a diary or a long notebook.what should i do if i have very much personal feling and i dont wnt to any one know that but want to express in someway via writing.
i will be very much greatfull if you help me out in this.THANKS A LOT.

MAHESH - INDIA (5004)

Answer

A diary is usually shorter, telling what you did on each day. Sometimes feelings are also expressed. But in a journal, you don't need to write in it each day. Instead you write to express your thoughts and feelings. An effective method that I find is to create a dialog, where I am having a conversation with myself.

I think a long notebook is better for a journal. It is good to put down the date when you made an entry. Sometimes you can add a title to what you were thinking about. This way, when you go back later to read, you can find things easier.

Write as much or as little as you want. Often just write in free association, putting down what comes to your mind. Write whenever you have the time and the urge. That is especially true when you have feelings to express.

Of course, keep your journal in a safe place where no one else can read it.

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General

Wants to be a professional writer

November 5, 2004

Question

Sir,
i want to find out what it takes to be a good writer,if writing requires any professional training.
i love writing,and by this i mean to say my first book is barely a year old out of the press.
It is my desire to refine my writing skill to enable me take it up as a career.
i will appreciate any possible assistance that 'll enhance my progress in writing.
I look forward to heaing from you.
Thank you.
solomon-peace

solomon-peace - Nigeria (4925)

Answer

Look at books you enjoy to read. Some have very good stories and messages. Others are well written. You can tell when a book is well written, becausw the words just flow. A great book has both a good story or message and is well written.

You don't need professional training to be a good writer. But school does help to avoid poor spelling and improper grammar. Also, you do not want sentences that are awkward to read.

If you love to write, then write, write, write. You can write something today that does not sell and then re-write it years from now to become a best seller.

But note that a professional writer is one who writes for the audience. They have to like what is written. Also, you must be able to sell your writing and ideas to a publisher.

I hope these ideas help. Best wishes in your writing career.

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Journal

Wants to become a professional writer

October 28, 2004

Question

Hi, i just read the article "Getting started by writing a Journal" and took the mini quiz at the end of it. The article has already motivated me to start writing a journal. My question to you is,....if i start now and continue to write journal everyday, will i develop skills to become a professional content writer? Please advise, keeping in mind that i have no previous experience in writing and also considering my writing skills based on this e-mail.
Thanking you in anticipation of your helpful reply,
Lakshmi

Lakshmi - India (4822)

Answer

Writing a journal helps to practice expressing yourself in print. It is especially useful for fiction writers. Then you can try some very short stories, even using material from your journal.

If you want to write nonfiction, such as articles or technical writing, it is good to write short essays on subjects of interest, making sure the spelling and grammar are correct. It is good to re-write them to improve the style.

You can try to get your short stories or articles published in local newspapers or magazines. Also, you can use them as samples of your work, if you try for a writing job. Obviously, you don;t show fiction work when applying for a nonfiction job.

Best wishes in your writing career. I hope you will become a champion.

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Book Report

Using questions in writing report

October 13, 2004

Question

I'm writing my first book report since 1970. Is there a way I can first get a list of questions that I need to complete this report with your system. The fill in the box was a great start but I'd prefer to sit down at the computer with the questions ready in hand and a little more prepared.

Allyson - USA (4651)

Answer

You can use the book report program as a guide, to get you started and to stimulate your mind. Take notes along the way. You can go through it a number of times. Paste what you have into a word processor and then do the real writing.

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Get Paid for Fiction

Getting paid for novel

October 13, 2004

Question

What company would pay me to write and publish my fiction novel?

rainbow - USA (4652)

Answer

The most difficult thing is to get your book published. Get a copy of Writer's Market to find fiction novel publishers and agents. You can find one in the library or book store.

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General

Wants poetry published

September 27, 2004

Question

Hi, my name is Vanessa and I was wondering how can you get your poetry published if your 15 years old?

Vanessa - USA (4410)

Answer

See: http://www.cln.org/themes/publish.html for a listing of places where teens can get their poetry published.

Best wishes in your writing.

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Dictation

Wants to learn to dictate

August 16, 2004

Question

Hi,

I have a client who can no longer sit for long periods of time at a computer. She's a creative writer whose thoughts come out via writing but not via her voice (public speaking is not something she can do well).

She's looking to learn ways to improve her dictation skills so that she can talk into a dictation device; have me transcribe her words; and she can then edit for publishing of her works.

We're trying to find ways for her to improve her thought processes so that she can formulate her creative thoughts through speech. (Dictation School). Is your program something that will help her?

If not, could you direct us to something you may know of that would teach
someone to be a better dictator?

Thanks.

O'Mara Secretarial Service
Haddonfield, NJ

Illness and other crisis can and often do bring about personal and family
healing--it can be an opportunity.

Diane - USA (4011)

Answer

Note that writer Ernest Hemginway did much of his writing standing up, due to painful injuries to his legs during WWI. He had a special desk that allowed him to write standing.

For someone who is not good at verbalizing, one method to make it easier is to create an outline to organize her thoughts. Then simply dictate into a tape recorder. Some of the new electronic recorders allow a person to edit and insert other thoughts in the recording session.

Creative writing through dication takes a lot of practice. It is easy for a person to give up right away. Your client should do the best she can, let you edit and then repeat the process.

I don't know of anyone who teaches how to dictate. Practice is the word.

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Get Paid for Fiction

What publishing companies would look at my work?

July 26, 2004

Question

What kind of publishing companies would take a look at my work if I live in Lahore (Pakistan) and passed your mini quiz?

Rabia - Pakistan (3857)

Answer

I quiz shows your understanding but not your writing ability. If you want to get a book published, look at books with similar subject matters and see who published the book. The company will usually have their address. Then send a one-page letter explaining the type of material and asking if it interests them. You can do the same thing for magazine articles. This is called a query letter.

Note that if you can get articles published in local newspapers or magazines, even for free, it makes it easier to get things published elsewhere.

Best wishes with your writing career.

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Vocabulary

Wants to improve English

July 24, 2004

Question

would you please help me to find good way to improve my english reading and speking,iam sudanese from Khartoum.with high school digree

abdu - Sudan (3842)

Answer

The more you can hear people speaking in everyday English, the easier it is to learn the meanings of the words. Of course, try to speak to people in English is also necessary. Some college courses force the students to only speak and write in English to get them used to the language.

Reading English-language magazines, newspapers and popular books, as well as things on the Internet, helps to improve your skills. Keep a translation dictionary handy to look up words and see their meaning in your native tongue.

Best wishes in improving your skills.

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Dictation

Boss wants her to learn dictation

July 22, 2004

Question

i wanted to know is there a class or course that i can take to learn how to write from dictation?

my boss wants me to learn.

daisy - USA (3827)

Answer

There are courses in local sectretarial schools or trade schools that offer shorthand, where you write out what the boss personally dictates to you. Then you type it up later.

If the boss will dictate into a tape recorder, he needs to get you a special transcribing tape machine. It allows you to slow things down so you can type the words off the tape. You don't need any special course for that, as long as you know how to type.

I hope that helps. Best wishes.

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General

Wants info on types of writing

July 21, 2004

Question

Mine is not a question, but to show my gratitude for going through you website, please i am requesting things concerning thr types of writing, i am a student journalist and i found your website helpful. waiting to hear and see fro m you. Thanks,

ishaku - Nigeria (3809)

Answer

We have been planning on adding material on journalistic writing to our site, as well as to expand the other areas. What types of writing interest you?

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General

I am interested in writing properly

July 12, 2004

Question

I am interested in writing properly

Gemma - West Indies (3733)

Answer

The best thing to do is to take a course in English writing. Unfortunately, we don't offer such courses. You might check at your local schools or colleges.

Another thing you can do is through self-study. See if you can find a book on English grammar to use as a guide.

Just being interested in writing properly is a great first step. It means that you are observant want to improve.

Best wishes on your quest.

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Vocabulary

Importance of English vocabulary

June 4, 2004

Question

I would like your help, because I must write an essay about the importance of English vocabulary, if you have information, please send me to my e-mail.

Atte.
Matia Eugenia QuiƱones

eugenia - Bolivia (3465)

Answer

There are several issues here, and you should define which one to write about.

1. The essay can concern the importance of knowing the English language, bedsides your native tongue. This would include the importance in business and such.
2. You can write about the importance of a large vocabulary in English or any other language you speak.
3. Or you can write about the importance of learning proper grammar and use of English words.

Some references are: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/lingua-franca.html
http://www.lasylg.tln.edu.ee/Akursus/Intel/Tood7/Eng/

I hope that helps.

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Get Paid for Fiction

Do not have funds to publish my work

May 18, 2004

Question

I am a new writer but do not have the funds to publish my work, can I get a buyers after they have seen my work?you know

Mulah - Cote d'Ivoire (3337)

Answer

Magazines will often pay for short stories. If you have written a book, the process is to send a letter to literary agents or publishers telling a little about your story. If they are interested, they will help you get published. Sometimes publishers will pay money in advance, but the book has to be very good for that.

See if you can find literary agents and publishers in your area and talk with them about your project. Also, check your local college to see if they have a creative writing class. The teacher may be able to give you some local leads.

Best wishes in selling your writing.

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Hangman

Wants to increase vocabulary skills

May 17, 2004

Question

hello there
i am Neha Bhat, a student of high school in india. I generally look up the dictionary to improve my skills, but i generally forget the words i looked up in a few days time. i tried using memos. i tried writing the words down in a notebook, but in vain. please help me as i really need to improve my vocabulary, in order to mprove my english speaking and writing skills.
should i install athesaurus in my computer/
in anticipation of a reply
Neha Bhat

Neha - INDIA (3330)

Answer

It is good to look up words you don't know, because it does increase your vocabulary. Of course, if you don;t use the word or see it again, you may soon forget it. But if you see it again, it will be easier to remember.

Writing down new words is a notebook is a good idea. Although you won't see immediate results, nor will you remember all of the words, soon your vocabulary will increase.

You can use a free online dictionary and thesaurus at
http://www.m-w.com/dictionary.htm and at http://dictionary.reference.com/

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