FREE Writer's Choice Newsletter
Stay up-to-date with the latest writing tips

 

Celebrating our 6th Year

 

 

All Courses Include a Personal Tutor

Click on Class to See Syllabus

Dynamic Nonfiction Register Now    
Creative Writing 101 Register Now    
Punctuation Review Register Now    
Short Story Safari Register Now    
Writing for Children Register Now    
Writing for the Middle Grades Register Now    
Writing for the Young Adult Register Now    
Fantasy in Flight Register Now    
Horror House Register Now    
Fundamentals of Poetry Register Now    
Flashing your Fiction Register Now    
Novel Writing Made Easy Register Now    
Advanced Wordsmithing Coming Soon    

Writing Programs for the Blind

 

All courses appropriate for screen readers    
Famous Women Poets Coming Soon    

Sign up today, start tonight!

http://cwinst.com/registration_step1.php

Budget problems? See our payment plan. No interest!    

 

Writing will fulfill you

Writing will be worth the sacrifice

Writing will make you more than you are

 


 

What you can Expect from Creative Writing Institute

• The individual attention you so richly deserve

• Your own private tutor six days a week

• Prodding when you lag behind

• A challenge to become more than you are

• A personal relationship with your tutor

• Unbeatable prices

• Rapid progress

• Personal encouragement

• Start your course within 24 hours

• Save time and money

 


 

Our Goal

To rescue storm tossed lives, one by one, and escort writing students from their present level to their highest potential.

 


 

Student Testimonies

* I took two Creative Writing courses at our local college several years ago and made no advancement in creative writing skills. Once I found Creative Writing Institute, and sent a short manuscript for evaluation by Lynn Carroll, I knew this was the most hopeful doorway for me and signed up. After only three lessons of Creative Writing 101, the drive to become a student and writer again was confirmed and on I went.  My tutor, Jo Popek, cheered me every inch of the way. Even the busy CEO, Deborah Owen, took time to write encouraging words. What a great staff. Betty C.

* I just wanted to let you guys know I was assigned to create a newsletter in my technical writing class. We had to write articles based off a fake company we created. I, of course, chose to "own" a used bookstore. So the articles in my newsletter had to be about things people who shop at a used bookstore would read. I wrote several articles, turned them in, and got and 100%! She said my articles were amazing, informative but encouraging, and she absolutely loved them. I wanted to thank both of you and let you know. You really have trained me well! You have given me skills that will help me with future jobs, and school! Thanks!! Arial P.

* This is exactly what I've searched for - [Introduction to Poetry] - poetry forms and rules, punctuation and line breaks. I constantly stumble over the latter. I deeply appreciate your comments and suggestions. There is nowhere else for me to turn for help. Thank you for spending your valuable time teaching this class. I've searched hard for a [poetry] class like this one and am excited to find it at CWI. Terri C.

* I have been absorbing more than I ever dreamed. The dynamic non-fiction course is just that. Dynamic. My dearest friend and writing buddy has her master's thesis in the Library of Congress and has been reviewing my assignment analyses with me at the end of each lesson. She can't get over how extensive the material is that is being taught. > Lynn answers all my questions promptly, satisfactorily, and with humor. Thanks for everything. Shirley D.

* The [Creative Writing 101] course provided the kind of detailed comments and suggestions for my writing that I have been craving and have not received in other face-to-face classes.  Diane M.

 


 

How to Write Real Emotions

by Deborah Owen

There are tips and tricks to writing emotions. As a creative writer, you must feel the mood you’re writing. It’s imperative if you want to reach your audience. How can you do that? By experiencing the mood.

Let’s suppose you want to write a scene that displays anger. Maybe the story is about abuse, a mom and dad arguing, or sibling rivalry. Maybe it’s about a girl breaking up with her boyfriend. If the scene is intense, you have to get into the mode. Really, red piping hot angry.

It’s time to think about the guy or gal that dumped you 30 years ago, or the time you had a bad dream about your mate and you wouldn’t speak to him/her all day. How about when you got steamed at the boss, or got into a heated argument over politics, world affairs, abortion, women’s rights, etc.? As a writer, you must recapture those emotions and write them into your scenes. It should be so real that you have to attend anger management classes to get over it.

Do you need to be happy? Then think of some happy occasions. Sing a crazy song as loud as you can. Laugh like an idiot! When you begin laughing at yourself, it’s time to write that joy into your scene.

Another way to develop absent emotions is to imagine yourself as the character and write entries in a diary from his/her point of view. Live the make-believe life. Do whatever it takes to crawl into your character’s skin. You can’t write effectively what you don’t know or aren’t in the mood for. (You can, however, write a draft for the scene and come back to build it in a more realistic way later.)

Remember that your protagonist (main character, hero) and antagonist (villain) must be three-dimensional characters. They must have a past and a future; they must have problems in their lives and they must work through those issues like real, live people. Your characters should be real enough to walk off the page and sit next to the reader. If your reader can’t identify with the characters, they will probably not continue reading.

When my daughter was 16-years old, it was not uncommon for her to sit on the floor cross-legged and bawl her eyes out over a dramatic TV show. One night I winked at my husband and said, “That actress is playing her part really well, isn’t she?” He picked up on it and we talked back and forth about the actress’ career and wondered out loud what movie she would be in next – although she just died in that scene.

Our daughter turned around, tears streaming off her cheeks, and said, “Quit it, you guys. You’re ruining the show!” But what she really meant was, “I’m into the character. I feel what she is feeling. Don’t move me out of the scene.”

If your characters aren’t three-dimensional, (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) you’ll lose your readers. Put yourself into the mood and into the groove. Live what you write.

 


 

The Writing Rut

by Deborah Owen

The only difference between a writing rut and a coffin is that the coffin has the ends filled in. Take a serious look at your position in life and judge yourself.

  • When was the last time you spent one hour writing?
  • When was the last time you completed a project?
  • When was the last time you submitted something?
  • When was the last time you sold something?

Don’t look now, but you’re probably in a writing rut. Answer these questions:

  • Do you procrastinate writing?
  • Do you procrastinate learning?
  • Do you select your market before you begin writing?
  • Do you analyze published articles in your prospective market?

If you don’t write, don’t study, don’t research markets, and don’t analyze what your markets print, how do you expect to make progress? You’re driving nails in your coffin and giving up everything you hold dear. Someday you’ll look back and realize life has passed you by and you didn’t do the thing you valued most.

Are you ready to say, “I want to bust out of my coffin/writing rut. How can I do that?” Now we can help you.

1. Do you want to write fiction or nonfiction?

2. Start reading the genre of magazines that print articles you want to imitate.

3. For the first week, write 15 minutes at the same time every day. If you can’t think of anything to write, write a letter to the girl/guy who jilted you years ago, or write to a loved one who is gone. Practice writings help your mind get in the groove.

4. On the second week, write 30 minutes at the same time every day.

5. If you’re writing a short story, make a rough outline that tells the main point of each scene. Answer 50 questions about your two main characters.

6. Join a writing club, either local or online, and become active in it. These are the people that will give you the most important feedback. Two good online writing clubs are www.writing.com and www.mywriterscircle.com. Writing.com is very large, and mywriterscircle.com is much smaller. Both are excellent.

At this point, you’ve done a self-analysis and taken some steps to correct your course. You’re carving time out of each day to get back on track. What comes next?

Knowledge. Where do you get knowledge? At a writing school. Did you know there are a lot of free writing courses on the internet? But be warned, there is no teacher to grade your work, so there’s no way to tell if you understood the lesson properly and made the proper applications.

Writing is an extremely competitive business. If you enter the selling arena without proper preparation, the chances are good that you’ll get lost in the stampede. Taking writing lessons is not an option. If you want to become a selling writer, it is an absolute necessity. The average writer needs 3-5 courses to learn the basics.

Creative Writing Institute  is a nonprofit charity and for that reason, we can offer the best prices on the net. Every student receives a private tutor, so you can sign up for your course at http://cwinst.com/registration_step1.php today and begin tonight.

What? No money? We’ve got you covered. Break it into four easy payments. We won’t charge you interest. No administration fee. No registration fee.

Today is the day to kick the head and foot out of your coffin, arise from the writing rut, and take your place as a serious writer. Creative Writing Institute will help you every step of the way, but it’s up to you to take the first step.

The decisions you make today will determine your writing future tomorrow.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CWI, a Nonprofit Charity that Sponsors

Cancer Patients in Writing Courses

Creative Writing Institute is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity that sponsors cancer patients in free writing courses and provides extremely competitive prices for the public. Every student receives a private tutor. We go the extra mile that others only talk about.

If you are a cancer survivor and wish to apply for a scholarship, see http://www.cwinst.com/faq.php.

 

 

Meet "Charlie Faye," our cancer poster lady. Donations help support this ministry. If you can help, we thank you. See "Donations" in the left column, which are, of course, tax deductible.

 


 

Get Your Free Writing Evaluation

Learn the truth about your writing skills in this 20-point evaluation. If you don't know what your problems are, how can you correct them? Directions: send a 1,750-word short story written in past tense, 3rd person (he, she, it).

Write EVALUATION in the subject line. Material must be G-rated (no swearing, graphic scenes, etc.). For the best evaluation, use dialogue. Submit to our CEO, DeborahOwen@CWinst.com. Allow two weeks. One evaluation per person, please. Follow directions. That's the first mark of a real writer. See evaluation testimonies below.

 


 

 

I'm happy to have found your writing site as your cause is dear to me. I am a many-time cancer survivor and love the opportunity you have taken to help cancer patients. At age 23, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer that had metastasized to ten lymph nodes. In 1997 I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. I have also had 3 squamous cell and 2 basal cell carcinomas removed. Yet, here I am at age 72, happy, healthy, cancer-free and writing. Anonymous

The CWI is a great organization that fosters the love of creative writing in everyone. Kudos! Paul T.___________

The evaluation helped me because I had no idea what my strong points were. It showed what parts of my story was weak and that I should focus on those areas until they become strong points. Annette T.___________

Wow and way wow!! I really didn't expect such a complete job. So kind of you. I feel like I owe you big. I know I have some weaknesses but I never could find them. I can go over other's work - I do it all the time in class - but not my own. I want to communicate my stories to others. I believe it is my one gift that God has given me to share his love. I am a natural storyteller. However, I have always told instead of written. I so appreciate the direction. I have earnestly been praying for this and I feel like this is my first real solid answer. I will be seeking to hone my skills. I will be seeking YOUR HELP in my new mission field. Lavonne C. __________

Lynn was very thorough, thoughtful, encouraging, knowledgeable and motivating. The one-on-one class experience is like no other class I've attended. I believe this promotes the desire to learn and helps with follow-through. Lynn gave me such a confidence boost, all the while being candid about my strengths and weaknesses. He was understanding when I had a crazy couple of weeks and allowed flexibility for homework. I so appreciated Lynn's honesty and heart. You said you enjoyed having me as a student, but you have no idea how the whole class and mentoring system helped me. I'll be forever grateful for all that you, Lynn, and Jo have given me. You are all truly unique. Linda C. __________

[I] received a wonderful and detailed writing evaluation of a fantasy short of mine from @deborahowen ; she's awesome; I highly recommend her. Tracy K._______

 


 

Reader, Student, and Staff Accomplishments

Step right up and be counted. No matter how big or how small YOUR accomplishments, send them to DeborahOwen@CWInst.com and see them published in this column.

1. Congratulations to our tutor, ​Emily-Jane Hills Orford. Her new book, "To Be a Duke," has been named a Finalist in the Animals/Pets category of the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. She will receive a Finalist Certificate and a medal. Recognition of this achievement will be published at www.IndieBookAwards.com along with the other Finalists and Winners. Additionally, "To Be a Duke" will be listed as a Finalist in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards online catalog and brochures will be handed out at Book Expo America (“BEA”) in New York.

2. Congratulations, Terri Cummings, who read poetry at an open mic event and afterward was asked to submit to two different literary journals! Her first publication will be out in May. Terri is presently studying Short Story Safari. *high fives, girl!

3. Read Christine Cassello's poem in the Weekly Avocet - #114.  Please share this issue with all those you know who love poetry and nature. Congratulations, Christine!

4. One of our own tutors was once a little angel in a church pageant - well, almost. Read Emily-Jane Hills Orford's recently published story, "The Littlest Angel," and share a chuckle (or two). Go to http://www.curiousguide.ca/online_edition.htm and find the story on page 19.

5. Congratulations to our Writing for Children tutor, Diane Mae Robinson, on her two newest book awards. Sir Princess Petra's Talent (book two) won a bronze medal in the 2014 Readers' Favorite International Book Awards, grade 4th – 6th category. Sir Princess Petra (book one) won 1st place in the 2013-2014 Sharp Writ Book Awards, children's books category. This is the 4th book award for Sir Princess Petra since its publication in 2012, and the 1st book award for Sir Princess Petra's Talent since its publication in fall of 2013.

6. (a) Student Jianna Higgins brings home another win with an honorable mention medal in the 2014 Global Ebook Awards in the Popular Literary Fiction category. (b) Jianna is a top 5 finalist in the Readers' Favorite International Book Awards 2014 in Women's Fiction, (c) and a semi-finalist in the 2014 Kindle Best Indie Book Awards in YA category! But why quit there? She has (d) been short-listed as a finalist in the Writers' Village International Novel Award, Spring 2014, open genre, (e) is a top five finalist in the 2013 Kindle Best Indie Book Awards in short fiction, and (f) a current finalist in the Cygnus Awards 2014 for speculative fiction. WOW! Congratulations, Jianna!!!!

7. Tutor, Emily-Jane Hills Orford, has had another memoir/story published in the Curious Tourist Guide (Vol. 17 Issue 7 August 2014). Her story, "The Stagecoach Ride" is on page 23. *High fives, EJ!

8. Hi Deborah. I wanted to share the good news with you and Jo Popek about my recent writing successes. I feel I owe it, in large part, to my fantastic experience in Jo's Creative Writing classes. My short story, "Summer Tale" has just been published in the July issue of Still Crazy magazine. A second story, "Dearly Beloved Daughter," was selected in a competition held by the Great Lakes Commonwealth for inclusion in their anthology, Imagine This which will be published this fall. The Oak Park Writers Group has published my memoir piece, "Bombs Bursting in Air" and a poem, "Dark Lover" in their anthology, Keystrokes Volume IV.

Diane says, "And . .  I've made the first cut in a flash fiction contest sponsored by Women on Writing with The Whole Truth, a piece that grew out of an assignment for one of Jo Popek's classes. Winners will be announced this fall. I've recommended a variety of your classes to numerous writing buddies and will continue to do so in the future. Again . . thank you, thank you, thank you! Diane Maciejewski

* CONGRATULATIONS, DIANE! We gave you the material, but you're the one who did the work and made it happen, girl.

9. CWI writer Zena Shapter has been nominated for a Ditmar Award for Best New Talent! The Ditmar Awards recognize and celebrate achievements by Australians in speculative fiction writing:
http://zenashapter.com/blog/ditmar-award-nominee-me/ Zena said: “I’m seriously chuffed to have received this vote of confidence from a community of writers I respect so much.”

*Well done, Zena!

 


 

Getting Started in Writing

What would you give to be a good writer? Would you be willing to study hard? Would you be willing to start at the bottom? Would you be willing to invest in yourself? That’s what learning the writing trade is all about, and most students can learn it in two years or less at Creative Writing Institute.


 

How to Use Readability Statistics

by Brent Middleton

Ever hear of Readability Statistics? No? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. This little key feature in Word is probably one of the most under-utilized facets of the program. Unless you had to use it to track the number of characters for an assignment in school, it was probably left hidden away under the countless other options Word has to offer.

Readability Statistics have three main categories: Counts, Averages, and Readability. The first two options are self-explanatory. Counts lists the number of words, characters, paragraphs, and sentences in your document, and Averages displays the average sentences per paragraph, words per sentence, and characters per word.

Readability makes things a little more interesting. It lists three calculations: Passive Sentences, Flesch Reading Ease, and Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level. While Passive Sentences simply shows the percentage of passive sentences found in your document, there’s a bit more of a story behind the Flesch/Flesch-Kincaid readability tests.

With the Flesch Reading Ease test, the higher the test score the easier the doc. is to read. It’s determined by comparing the number of syllables to the number of total words. The scale is widely used by both publications and governmental agencies.  Time magazine, for example, scores roughly a 52 on the scale, while the Harvard Law Review scores in the low 30s. Meanwhile, a great number of government agencies have certain readability standards that official documents must attain.

The Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level test is used widely in education. The formula translates to the U.S. grade level via a 0-100 score, making it easy for teachers and librarians to determine the readability level of books and texts for students. The formula comes up with a number that translates to a grade level (i.e. a book scoring an 8.2 would correspond to the level of an 8th grade student in the U.S.). The lower the score is, the lower the grade level is that it correlates to.

Although you might not use these tools in your everyday writings, they can be valuable when writing for a certain audience, whether it’s for a magazine, newspaper, or novel. For short story writers, I’d suggest aiming for a range of 30-50 FRE and 6-9 FKGL. Click here to learn how to enable the Readability Statistics setting on Word or Office.

Fun fact: The readability scores for this article are 50.1 Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease and 10.3 Flesch- Kincaid Grade Level.

 


 

Connect with our CEO

Twitter: DeborahOwen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/deborah.owen.31

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/deborahowen1/

Blog: https://DeborahOwen.wordpress.com/

Get writing tips in The Writer's Choice Newsletter at

http://www.cwinst.com/newslettersignup.php

 


 

Deborah Owen and Creative Writing Institute, Inc., its board and staff make no warranties or guarantees of any kind. Writing success comes from study and persistence. We endeavor to be accurate in every way, but the publishing industry and research material fluctuates almost daily. Deborah Owen, Creative Writing Institute, Inc., its board and staff may not be held liable for damages of any kind.

Travel the writing road at your own risk. We all do. Direct questions to our CEO, DeborahOwen@CWinst.com.

 


 

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

Proverbs 25:10


 

Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. G Orwell