About This Issue #78

About this Issue

Vision Issue # 78




This issue begins a new year and some new changes for Vision. As of this issue, our publishing schedule is changed:

  • February/March/April/May
  • June/July/August/September
  • October/November/December/January

Yes, I know this new schedule looks odd as we end with January rather than start with it. However, this is to help everyone involved get past the holidays without more stress. You'll note we're cutting down to three issues a year as well. This is our fifteenth year in publication and we are adapting to the changes around us. One important change is that there will be sections linked to older articles. Vision has close to a thousand articles squirreled away in the archives. You'll be surprised at the wonderful information you can find there.

We need new articles on writing-related topics. We accept both previously-published work and blog posts, as long as they are about writing, which includes everything from inspiration to reviews of equipment, programs, websites and writing-related books.

Share your knowledge and help other writers. If you have found something that helps you, whether you are otherwise published or not, consider writing an article and sending it my way.

Thank you


In this issue:

From the Editor: Time and Change

This is the start of the fifteenth year for Vision: A Resource for Writers. I am amazed to realize how much time has passed already! I suppose it's not surprising to see that interest in writing for the ezine has dropped after so long. It is harder to get new articles.


Workshop: Serious Goals for Writers

We all have something that is going to step in front of our dreams and goals and say it's more important. Family is important -- but so are you. Sometimes it is also important to carve out some time to pursue your dreams. You don't have to throw yourself into the work to the exclusion of everything else, but if you have an idea of what you need to do, it can make it easier to find the time. Here are some ideas for what you might want to do this year. Adapt them to suit your needs.


Indie Corner 2015 -- The Year of Diversification

By J.A. Marlow

2014 is now gone, and wow has it been a year of change. With the coming of 2015 it is time to revaluate the writing/publishing business plan. Identify what worked and what did not, and make the needed adjustments.


Short But Sweet: What Writers Can Gain from Flash Fiction

By S.E. Batt


Today, I will be discussing how, exactly, flash fiction (that is, fiction under a thousand words) can be used to improve a writer’s craft. It may be hard to imagine how such small ditties can come into play, especially when it comes to writing the titans of the book world. Rest assured, flash fiction can teach every writer something, from the short story addict to the door-stopper lovers (alright, maybe tank-stoppers) that occupy the writing world.


Writers' Community

By Ashe Elton Parker

I believe it's important for all writers, at some point, to make themselves members of a writers' community of some sort. I don't think this necessarily needs to be a community of other writers so much as it should be a community of people who either knowingly or not assist the writer in some way. This can mean they are readers who happen to point out issues in the writers' works.


What it takes to be a publisher

By LJ Cohen

I had a long conversation with Sharon Bially http://www.booksavvypr.com/ last week - a fellow writer who also happens to be a book publicist - and she remarked that I had a very interesting 'story' to share: that of forming a publishing imprint and wearing the dual hats of writer and publisher.


Mistakes - we’re all liable to make ‘em

By D. M. Recktenwalt

Have you ever met people who claim they’ve never made a mistake? Well, they’re wrong. Like it or not, as both humans and as writers, we’re all fallible.


Getting Words Down

By Connie Cockrell

If you've just started writing or maybe have been writing awhile and are struggling, I might have a small, well, smidgeon, of advice. What am I talking about?


There. I said it. Writing. Getting those words down on the page.


The Trouble with the New Rules of Marketing

By Lazette Gifford

I'm sure you've all heard it: "Get out there and build your author platform before you are published!"

In moderation, this might even be a reasonably good idea. But here are the two places where this goes wrong. . . .


5 Things That Should Be On Your To-Do List Every Month

By April Aragam

Wouldn't it be nice to just write and let the money flow in every single month? That's definitely a dream, but unfortunately writing is more than a passion. It's also a serious business. You don't want to consume your entire writing time with the business side of things, so the following is a list of five things that you should do once a month.


How to Make a Writer's Work Notebook

By Christine Kwasniewski

Every writer should have somewhere to store ideas so they don't get lost. A writer's notebook is a place to do that. I originally found this idea in a book called Notebook Know how. I also found several videos on YouTube with instructions on how to make a writer's notebook but they were directed towards school- aged children.


Why didn't he. . . ?

By Lazette Gifford

Setting a character's course of action is rarely a simple act of pointing the MC in one direction and pushing him along. Quite often a far more important part is to cut off the paths he might have gone instead and making certain your readers know why he didn't take an easier way.


Characters (Back Issue Articles)


Show And Tell: How to Write Realistic Young Child Characters

By S.L. Viehl

The way some authors write about very young children in their novels reminds me of something Emerson said:  “Children are aliens, and we treat them as such.”  Many of these child characters we’re shown seem more like products of wishful thinking, like a one year old who never cries.  Others, like a two-year-old who eats with a fork and knife -- and even potty trains herself in a few days -- are just plain ludicrous.  These kids might as well be aliens, because from the way they’re written, you can’t tell me they came from this planet.


Women, Men, Families and Fiction

By Kay House & Justin Stanchfield

Family background can add tremendous depth to your characters.  Minor children as active characters add poignancy to your theme.  Despite this, many writers make little reference to family, and children often appear only as props.  Why?


Using the Plot-Character Interaction

By Nick Kiddle

The distinction between plot-driven and character-driven works is useful to academics who apply it to the finished product.  To writers, who are more interested in the process of writing, it's likely to cause confusion because plot and character are intertwined.  We can't concentrate entirely on one or the other, because they affect each other constantly.


The Perils of Cardboard

By Ruth Pischke

Writing is a craft founded on passion.  It burns inside and we ache to put to paper the visions that we see in our mind's eye. Yet it is that same driving need that can lead writers to make mistakes.  One of the more common mistakes is creating a cardboard family.  The loner with no past, the orphaned thief, the placid man who seeks to avenge his murdered family, the abandoned youth who somehow ends up being the savior of the world, and so on.  It's most noticeable in Fantasy, but it happens in most genres.  The cardboard family is a one-dimensional, stereotypic creation meant to serve one purpose: get the hero into the middle of the action.


Getting the Best Out of Your Bad Guys

By Teresa Hopper

I have a confession to make: I love the bad guys in horror stories. There’s nothing I enjoy more than sinking my teeth into a novel with a really well written, scary bad guy in it. And they are often my favourite characters in my own stories, more so than my heroes.


Creating Character ‘Extras’ to Enhance Your Story

By Shane P. Carr  

Many times when you're writing a story, you’ll realize that you need to add some characters to enhance your story’s environment. These characters will generally be ‘extras’. Much like many Hollywood productions these ‘extras’ will merely add flavor and atmosphere to your story’s environment.