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General writing questions fiction and non-fiction, having to do with creating characters, plotting, outlines, description, organization, how to start, how to keep going, how to finish, ePublishing, creating a website to display your work, etc.

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35 years' writing, studying writing, teaching and mentoring beginning writers.


BA degree in English/Creative Writing, 1982

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
John01/29/15101010Thanks, Susan!
Hari08/30/13101010Thanks again Susan. You can expect more .....
MAHREEN05/30/13101010Thankx for help
Frances07/27/1210Thanks for the assurance. I agree that .....

Recent Answers from Susan Rand

2011-12-19 Starting in writing:

Hello Richard:    To teach you how to write articles would take up more space than is available here. However, I can help you. Please go to my website,, and check out my mentoring

2011-11-28 Can I watch detective shows rather than reading?:

Hello Kevin:    Of course it is ok to watch TV shows instead of reading books. There is a big difference between the two formats. People who write successful mystery books try to keep some grasp on reality:

2011-07-02 writing a book:

Hi Joyce, I'm not a lawyer, so I can't tell you if you would get in trouble. I have read books that named products, but not very many.    Call it by a generic name: "artificial sweetener," "auction site

2011-06-30 writing a book:

Hello Joyce:    I do remember you! I always advise my students to make an outline before beginning to write. This allows you to walk down a straight path rather than wandering around in confusion. An outline

2011-06-28 Do you need to be good at mathematics to write like Agatha Christie?:

Hello Kevin:    Although an author does not need to know math to write well (unless, of course, they are writing about math), it is beneficial to know reasoning, and math can help with that. Algabraic


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