Saturday 27 August 2016

Secret Writing Techniques

Secret Writing Technique #4
by Deborah Owen

Re-blog from:

Image result for writing clipart free

Almost all literature attempts to influence the reader. Your strong beliefs will do more than taint your work. Unless you are deliberately arguing both sides of a cause, your inner person will scream its viewpoint in everything you write. Is that wrong? No. But but there are right and wrong ways to present your theories.

Emotions are one of the greatest tools for screaming, and certainly one of the best tools you will ever use to argue your case and convince your audience to your way of thinking.

You have probably used pathos a number of times, but did not realize it. Every time you expressed emotions such as sympathy, pity or fear through a character's gestures or graphics, you were reaching out to form an emotional bond with your reader and, whether deliberately or accidentally, you promoted your own opinions through your character.

When you choose to reach your audience through tender sensations, think long and deep about an earlier time in your life when that emotion existed. By reliving part of real life, you will feed your memories, which helps transfer that feeling and frame of mind to your reader. Poetry and music are two very good mediums for pathos.

Examples of pathos:
  • "You should consider another route. I heard that that street is far more dangerous and ominous at night than during the daytime."
  • "I’m not just invested in this community – I love every building, every business, every hard-working member of this town."

Think of ethos as an ethical appeal that convinces the reader on the basis of the speaker's credibility.
  • "As a doctor, I am qualified to tell you that this course of treatment will likely generate the best results."
  • "He is a forensics and ballistics expert for the federal government – if anyone’s qualified to determine the murder weapon, it’s him."


Think of logos as a logical argument to convince your reader.
  • "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury: we have not only the fingerprints, the lack of an alibi, a clear motive, and an expressed desire to commit the robbery… We also have video of the suspect breaking in. The case could not be more open and shut." 
  • "You don’t need to jump off a bridge to know that it’s a bad idea. Why then would you need to try drugs to know if they’re damaging? That’s plain nonsense."

The easiest way to remember this set of triplets is like this:

Pathos – emotional persuasion
Ethos – ethical persuasion
Logos – logical persuasion

** Examples taken from Your Dictionary:

Check out the Creative Writing Institute's Short Story Contest

Sunday 21 August 2016

The Strangeness of the English Language

Some Fun Word Stuff


There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: "abstemious" and "facetious." 

There are only four words in the English language which end in "dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.

"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".

No word in the English language rhymes with month,orange, silver, or purple.

The sentence: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter of the alphabet. 


Hetronyms are words spelled the same as another but having different sounds and different meanings, as lead (to conduct) and lead (a metal).

Homographs are words with the same written form as another but different meanings, whether pronounced the same way or not, as row (an argument) and row (paddle the oars) and row (a straight line).

       The dragon wound the cloth around the wound on his leg.

      He could still lead the knights if he could get the thick lead door opened.

     The king had to refuse the dumping of more refuse.

     The princess did not object to the shinny object the dragon brought her.

     The royal carpenter built the door to close to the window—it would not close.

     The royal chef had a tear in his apron and a tear in his eye.

     Upon arrival, the royal dove dove through the window.

     Deserting his dessert in the desert was not in the plan.

     The soldiers got in a row as they tried to straighten the row while rowing.

      The kingdom’s gardener was summoned to produce lots of produce, or else.

     The bass tuba had an etching of a bass on it’s stem.

     The prince, even in his present state, was to present the present to the princess.

     The wind was too strong to wind the kite string.

Then we could look at the word "Up"--quite possibly the strangest word in that it is an adverb, preposition, adjective, noun, and verbs: used with object, used without an object, or used as an idiom. Here are all the mind-boggling definitions of "Up";

Illustrations by Samantha Kickingbird

To read more about my adventure kids books, visit my author's website at:  Sign up for the Dragon Newsletter and receive the 55-page pdf Sir Princess Petra Coloring Book

Sunday 14 August 2016

Creative Writing Institute Short Story Contest

   This is a great contest for writers. I am a writing tutor at the Creative Writing Institute.

July 15 - September 15, 2016


Entry fee $5. First, second,  third place winners and up to twelve additional stories (including Judge's Picks) will receive publication in our fourth annual anthology. For the first time, we are awarding professional eMedals and Judge's Pick ribbons to post on your site or blog.
First place: Gold eMedal and $100
Second place: Silver eMedal and $50
Third place: Bronze eMedal and $25                                        
Fourth and Fifth place: Finalist eMedal
Judge's Pick: Judge's Pick Red Ribbon

This is a themed contest and this exact sentence must appear in the story:

"Explain how that happened."
  • Your story must be between 1,500 and 2,000 words.
  • No swearing, profanity, explicit sexual scenes, graphic violence, etc.
  • Your story must not have been published before. By entering this contest, winners grant minor editing rights for publication; Creative Writing Institute has first, non-exclusive, electronic rights to publish the winners and Judge's Choice stories in our anthology. All Rights return to the author upon publication.
  • ONE submission per person, please
  • Accepting submissions from July 15, 2016 until September 15, 2016, midnight, USA Eastern Standard Time. No early or late submissions will be accepted.
  • Entries will only be accepted through the form at
  • As you go through the submission process, there will be a space for you to copy and paste your document. Do NOT email attachments as these will not be accepted.
Please direct questions to Ms. Jo Popek, head judge, at Our special thanks to our judges and assisting award winning Co-ordinator, Jianna Higgins.


Saturday 6 August 2016

Grammar Lesson: Between vs. Among

Excerpt from The Dragon Grammar Book by Diane Mae Robinson, coming soon to a kingdom near you.


Between and among are often confused because their difference in meaning is subtle. Both words are prepositions.

Between is usually used with two separate and distinct things.

The grammar book is hidden between the oven and the ice box.

Between can also be used with three or more things as long as they are separate and distinct.

The differences between dragons, horses, and unicorns are all listed in the royal rule book.

A common misconception is that between is used with two things and among is used with three or more things. When using a comparison for separate and distinct things, use between.

Among is used when talking about individuals or things that aren’t distinct. It is usually used to portray a group of people or things. Among is usually followed by a plural noun.

 If you live among dragons, you should wear fire-proof apparel.

The king seeks approval among those who agree with him.

Among and amongst both mean amidst, surrounded by, or in the company of. Amongst is uncommon and is only really used in literary prose seeking to add a sense of the old fashioned.

The Dragon Grammar Book- Grammar for Kids, Dragons, and the Whole Kingdom, forthcoming 2016. An easy to understand grammar book with a sense of fun. Featuring the characters from the multi-award winning The Pen Pieyu Adventures. Dragon books for children and adults alike.

Sign up for The Dragon Newsletter and receive the 55 page pdf coloring book of The Pen Pieyu Adventures series:  The Dragon Newsletter is an update about upcoming books, contests, and giveaways.