It's not easy to break into print, no matter what kind of writing you do! Roni wrote and sent out her work for one year before selling her first story. She took a course called "Writing for Fun and Profit" after she had been writing for nearly a year...and she now teaches the course! She'll be posting helpful hints for writers here.


Use strong verbs! Substituting specific, stronger verbs for forms of the verb "to Be" (like is, was etc.) will make your writing so much stronger! Though you can't do it all the time, scrutinize your work to use strong verbs whenever possible. Look at the differences in these sentences:

  • He was in the room.
    Strong verb: He slouched against the wall of the room.

  • He went into the room.
    Strong verbs: He strode into the room.
    He ran into the room.
    He bounced into the room.

This is an easy problem to fix when you're revising your work!


Remember your character's motivation! Whether it's the hero or heroine, or even a villain, all characters have motives for their actions. Sometimes the characters don't realize why they do something, but you as the writer must know.

For example, a hero who's been badly hurt by a former love may want to avoid falling in love again. A villain may want to kill for revenge, or for greed.

Just make sure you know the character's motives, and that they become apparent to the reader, even if the character doesn't discover why they act a certain way until later on in the story.


Open your story with a "hook"-something exciting! Avoid long descriptions, characters who are thinking about something that has already happened or happened in the distant past, and flashbacks. Those can be used when you are further into the story. You must catch your readers' attention right away!

Mystery writers are fond of saying, "Open with the blood on page one." Even if you're not writing a murder mystery, you have to open with something that will grab the reader.


Write your book, story or article quickly! Then go back and revise it. If you stop to revise in the middle of writing, you may never finish your manuscript. You need to get the whole thing down on paper, then you can mold it into shape.


When plotting your story or book, think in terms of SCENES. Just as you see in a play or movie, scenes are where most of the story takes place. Start planning for the action in each scene in order to move your book forward.

This section will be updated often. Check back for more tips!