How to Write
by Wayne Scheer
Throw away all
your how-to-write books. This series on the art
of fiction will tell you everything you need to
know about pleasing editors--because it's editors
you're writing for, not real people. The author
of forty three self-published novels has spent
many years honing his craft. Now for a mere $4.99
a month, you can get writing tips you won't
Here are a few
gems to get you started on the write road. (Editors
told to hook your reader with the first sentence,
but never how to do this. Offer a weather report.
What does the sky look like? The temperature?
editors with your meteorological knowledge.
Weather reports also offer a chance to start with
a long paragraph, and who doesn't love a long
paragraph? If you can toss in a big word or two,
all the better. Remember, you're a writer, not a
mime, so show off your vocabulary. Don't just say
the sky was gray, tell whether the clouds were
cirrus or cumulus. Even better, were they
cumulonimbus or nimbustratus?
editor is caught like a fastball in a catcher's
mitt, let the story flow--flow being a technical
term for long sentences with lots of commas.
and metaphors whenever possible. Don't worry.
Hardly anyone knows the difference. Just compare
stuff to other stuff. Like a ringing telephone to
a yodeling mountaineer. That's called literary
Never mind a
plot. It's more important to have an interesting
voice. This is where fiction and political speech
writers join hands.
characters unique. Do this by giving them
interesting names-- first, middle and last names,
including maiden names. The Russians do it; no
reason you shouldn't.
each of them memorable characteristics. Limping,
stuttering and lisping work well.
dull, he said/she said dialogue. No one reads
Hemingway anymore. Interject whenever possible.
I love that about you, she smiled
not sure of a particular point of grammar or
punctuation, remember this: Proofreading is
a bore/That's what editors are for.
When it's time
to conclude your story, surprise your reader.
Franklin woke up and it was all a dream.
I suggest an additional twist: Or was it?
Editors lap up this kind of story.
kickstart your literary caboose. Next installment,
only $4.99, will offer tips on writing nasty
letters to unappreciative editors.