(24 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

j p lundstrom wrote:

I check my groups almost daily, but in most cases. I find I was the last contributor. Either no one has anything to say, which I doubt, or the specialized groups aren't serving the purpose for which they were intended.


The groups have been dead since we moved to the new site.
The community part of the site has been on the downturn for a while.  While one or two of the groups that were put together pre-new site still thrive, there seems to be no new conversation/groups surviving. 

The new site has some really great features and is very updated...but forums are not what they use to be.   Things change I guess and I stopped trying to make the new site do everything the old site did.

The sited had to be updated.  I wish the community forum had evolved as well but that's life.  You rarely get everything you want.



(12 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

L.A. Rambler wrote:

Hello everyone!
I am new here, and new to writing. I have never shared any of my writings with anyone before this. I am looking forward to doing so and to learning from other writers. I  glad I found this site.

I started writing recently for therapeutic reasons. I write about my experiences, sometimes in first person but most comfortably in third person. I have struggled and lived through a lot, so I have plenty of potential content. I just do not know what would be interesting for others to read and connect to. I am also having trouble finding my writing "voice". I would love any advice! And I can't wait to read some good stories.

I am on a 7 day trial. I don't know the cost of membership, but I doubt I will be able to afford it. I am an unemployed single mother transitioning careers. But I do appreciate any advice and critique during this week, and hopefully I will be able to come back soon after my trial is over. I just love the idea of this site.

Welcome!   There are some books that are published specifically as memoir.  Some are published a fictionalized versions of 'real events'.  Some have been traditionally published such as 'Lucky Me'   and a few others. 

If well written and with a narrative tension (even without a true narrative), it can work.

Welcome Bunny!   
To find your voice, try free writing on topics.  No editing, no second guessing, no re-evaluating.   If you do enough of it, your true voice starts to show through.   You can then start refining and editing.  If you edit early---you stifle the voice.   If you let it flow freely for a while, the voice gets easier to hear and you can just trim away the hubris.

But I am a forever student so I bow to greater voices than mine on this subject.



(13 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

And 'She is a donkey' would be better said "she brayed at her own jokes, but sat stubbornly silent when anyone else said something humorous,' attributing the characteristics of a donkey to an individual without blatantly announcing what you're doing. It's more work, but more subtle.

I was on my break and writing super quickly.  I am sure there are much better metaphors in the world than the one I listed but it is, technically, a metaphor.


(13 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

I think you may be confusing this with like/as.   Metaphors should not use like/as in the description.   

I am happy as a clam.  (not a metaphor)
She is just like a donkey. (not a metaphor)

She is a donkey. (metaphor)

I do not believe there is restriction on the 'to be' verb.


(36 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

Sideman wrote:

I typically prefer not to use them. But several reviewers have been pretty explicit (in a kind way) that they feel they are necessary. Just so there's no confusion, here's an example of what I mean about serial commas:

The perp was tall, lanky, fast, and deceptive.

My question is:  do I really need that serial comma between "fast" and "and"?

My junior high English teacher said it was optional. He never used it and I followed suit, not using it either. In college, my Creative Writing 101 professor strongly suggested we always use it, although technically not required. He simply thought it was more appropriate to do so. My Creative Writing 201 professor, said it was purely optional; either way is perfectly acceptable.

To me, it seems redundant to use both the serial comma plus the word "and" before the last item in the series. The word "and" informs the reader that the next item in the series will be the last one. I'd love to hear your opinion on the subject. Thanks in advance!


It used to be required.  It is not now.  Most publishers prefer you to leave the last comma out now.  Technically, you are correct either way.  My rule of thumb is that if it is understood easily without it, leave it out.  If the lack of the last comma causes confusion, add it.

Oxford Comma


(26 replies, posted in This is US!!)

I am mostly absent.   However, if someone wishes for me to read something, I would be happy to work it in but my online presence will be sporadic.  For the most part, I no longer really write much.    The good news is I'm doing reasonably well.  It's a fair trade. I do miss writing though but no life is perfect.


(14 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

Don Chambers wrote:

Just wanted to announce the publication of "Mysterious Ways", which was workshopped here:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D3JJ73C/re … n+chambers

I wanted to thank everyone who reviewed it, but especially Seabrass and J. P. Lundstrom who read every single chapter. Your dedication and comments really helped toward the end when I wasn't sure I was going to finish it.

For those of you who were reading it and want to finish, I plan to keep it up until the end of the month.


Congrats Bunny!

Norm d'Plume wrote:

Thank you, Lynne.

Yeah, it is mostly the lyrics that are the issue even in truncated versions.

I think you would be good to go on this one.

A couple, in their sixities...

How many couples?  1. 

A couple is sitting by the fire ignoring each other.
Two couples are sitting by the fire ignoring each other.

One couple ...is .
Two couples ...are.

The couple contains two people but is being referred to as a SINGLE entity.

But that is my opinion only.



(20 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

RLMB wrote:

Hi TirzahLaughs,

Both can be correct, but here's the catch: you must pick one and stick with it throughout.

First, you have to decide if your narrator is telling the reader a story that has already passed (this is usually a framed story, where the narrator makes it clear at the beginning that they are going to tell you about something that happened, e.g. "It all started on my tenth birthday...") or if the reader is walking alongside the narrator through the story. Both are valid narrative structures. In the first case, use past tense. In the second case, use the present tense. And never vacillate in between.

To use the example from this thread:
"So, I slapped him silly when I found out and he got mad and jumped in his car. I'm flipping him the bird while he's driving away staring..."

The issue is "slapped" is past tense, while "I'm (am) flipping" is present tense.

It could be:
"So, I slap him silly when I find out and he gets mad and jumps in his car. I'm flipping him the bird while he's driving away staring..."
"So, I slapped him silly when I found out and he got mad and jumped in his car. I flipped him the bird while he drove away staring..."

Good luck untangling!

The opening clearly states that she's telling how she ended up in jail for an 'accidental' stabbing.   I think many forget that she's 'telling' the story as it's very non-linear.   Okay I just need to pick a road...ignore everyone...and keep driving.


(20 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

Thank you everyone.  I will keep trying to untangle it as I edit.


(20 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

vern wrote:

Hi, Tirz, you are telling the story in first person, but the story has already occurred or you wouldn't be able to tell it; therefore, you "flipped" Binny the bird as you are not in the process of flipping him the bird while you are telling the reader that you did so in the past. Beyond that, if it sounds strange to you, then it is probably "wrong" even if many might think it is technically "correct." I've read a great deal of Plum, but don't as a rule comment on grammar things in a review because I am not the best qualified person to do so and there is also a "voice" the narrator uses which is unique and it would be totally natural for said voice to screw things up now and again.

I would suggest that you finish the book and whatever edits you wish to make before losing any sleep over a grammar situation which appears to be a toss up between reviewers. You and/or a future editor can make that ultimate decision regarding tense and other technical things which might create a difference of opinion among current reviewers. Lord knows Plum has enough to deal with without getting embroiled in a grammar debate, lol. It might be helpful to note that I ran into a similar situation with Root Hog or Die regarding dialect; some love it, others call it a no-no. I finally decided I would keep it with some slight toning down and hopefully let some future publisher/editor decide if it should stay or go. I put that decision in the summary at the beginning but still told readers comments either way were appreciated. Take care. Vern

I did finish Plum.  I just haven't posted the end.   I just get frustrated when editing it...as I have conflicting advice.  It is not a book for traditional publishing.   I just want to fix the grammar and be done with it. 



(20 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)


I have a grammar questions and I get conflicting advice.

If you are writing in the first person (fiction) and the character is talking to the reader....how does the tense work?  I know what feels right and sounds right to me.   The problem is half my readers agree and half do not.

Since character constantly talks to herself and the reader, this makes the book a 'conversation' and to me, the conversation rules apply even if it isn't 'quoted' conversation.


I flipped Binny the bird.   

Some readers tell me to make it 'I flip Binny the bird' because it is the first person.  I argue that she's telling the reader (she chats constantly) so it should be 'flipped'.      She'd 'telling' the story in the first person but she is TELLING a story.   

This makes me crazy when I'm writing and frustrates me because 'flip' just sounds wrong.  Now imagine having this debate for 50,000 words.


(7 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

I would copy you reviews and print them or save them in a word document.  Then you can delete.
Even the inline review will let copy.  First,  you click X-LINE and copy it.  I would then paste it in a WORD Document.


corra wrote:

(There's a note for you from Tirz above my latest note. I don't want it to be lost by my silliness.) wink

Couldn't find a note.

Dill Carver wrote:

I'm leaving the site at the weekend and will delete this group as I exit the door on the 28th Jan 2018... UNLESS anyone wants to take it on? Please shout before Sunday, else it is going, going, gone.

Hey Dill.  Sending you a message with my email.
Email me if you need or just miss me, like I miss you.


Norm d'Plume wrote:

From BookBaby: We just learned that our friends at Amazon’s CreateSpace are getting out of the author services business. That means writers need to go elsewhere for vital author services, including editing, cover design, book formatting, [and marketing].

If any one needs a front book cover, I'm always happy to create one for my TNBW friends or send them directions on how to do it on their own.  It isn't hard just time consuming.


The book formatting I've done for CS before and OMG, that is tedious, but you an do it on your own.  It is a lot more work than a cover so I am not offering to help with that ...lol.

Editing--I always preferred outside people anyway.



(1 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

Chalice Divine wrote:

I've been offsite for a long time, but have now returned and I am hoping to get the old writing juices rolling again. I am so happy to be back:) Message me anytime for networking or just some good old-fashioned correspondence author to author:)


HI Bunny!

WElcome back!



(3 replies, posted in Free Verse Poets)

Spargo Postle wrote:

I hope you don't mind if I join this group? You see, I miss the sort of people that hang out here...

SPARGO!!! I remember you if you remember me.
Hahahaha.  I am terrible with names but I remember reading your poems.



(6 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

Chalice Divine wrote:

Hey Tizrah,

you probably don't remember me, but I remember you and your wonderful writing. I look forward to reading for you soon.

Chalice smile

I am bad with names but remember dogs and writing.   smile  I may remember when I read.



(6 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

Thank you all of my writer buddies.   I know I write slowly in a stop and start fashion.  I drive my readers crazy.   I've been taking new meds that really made it even 10x harder to write.  I can't concentrate.   But I am feeling much, much better so it is a happy trade-off.  I spent the last year and a half trying to write anything at all.

I finally succeeded in writing the end of Plum Crazy.   I'm editing those chapters now and will be posting them as I finish the edits.
I'm so happy to finish anything.   

I posted Chapter 29 now.   Each of the following Sundays, I hope to post one of the new edited chapters until the whole book is on TNBW.
I appreciate reviews of the new chapters. I am happy, as always, to return the review.  But even if you can't review, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support.

I don't think these last chapters are as strong as the earlier ones but I'm just so happy it is finished.



(10 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

Christine Dreier wrote:

Hi, Im a Newbie trying to find my way around.

So far I've given one regular review, but haven't even put my profile up. Will be next.

I finished writing a novel with the title The Eyes of the River, a story that plays out in two historical worlds that are connected by a river. My excitement about having finished a first draft was short-lived. Now the real work begins, and that is why I have landed here.

I'm looking forward to find kindred souls. Happy New Year!

Welcome!  smile  ONce you get some regular reviewers....the help is invaluable.

Always love  your family if they are not narcissistic sociopaths who bring toxic relationships to new levels.  In that case, love your friends, your pets, the neighbors...anyone else but them.

smile  For all my peeps who do not have the warm feeling when thinking of our 'family'.  Remember, don't love someone who keeps you from loving yourself.  It's a bad deal.

cobber wrote:

For those of you who purchase books online via a Kindle, Nook, iPhone, etc., what time of day do you think you do your purchase? I'm looking at some data from my campaigns and it looks like the biggest spike in sales is between 8-10 in the evening. I'm wondering if this squares with your personal experience.

Any time on the weekend...or late at night when my last book ended during the weekday.