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A Brief Guide to Writing Short Stories Effectively (writing short stories) A short story is basically a condensed version of a book or a rapidly progressing story. It has fewer characters than a novel and covers less amount of time. A short story generally is around 6,000 words or 6 pages. Do your research and organization before you begin to write. Outline your plot and the background. Make sure they make sense and flow together. Individually list the events of the story in the order in which they occur. Create your characters. Not just their name and role in the story, but as if they were real people with real lives. By creating more information for your characters you will get a sense of what they would do or how they would be and convey that to your writing. By creating an outline you will have a point of reference to look back upon and make sure you have included all vital points of the story. When writing a short story, you will need a captivating first paragraph. You have roughly 5 to 7 lines to appeal to your reads unlike novels that have the whole first chapter. This can actually make or break your story. You will need to grab their attention and keep it to make them want to read more. By starting the plot in the first few sentences it will make people want to know more. They will keep reading to find out who is involved and why. Keep the timeline of events brief. You are writing a short story and the timeline should match that. A timeline of a day, a week, or maybe even a month is generally the span a story should cover. Use character dialogue as a way to move the plot ahead. In a short story there is no time for general chitchat. By using the character dialogue you are deepening the plot as well as moving it along. Do not add unnecessary characters. By adding them you are wasting time one someone that is not linked to your story or its plot. Provide swift and precise details to keep the story moving. Elaborate descriptions of characters, plot, or surroundings will only waste your words and are not essential to making a good story. Use short words instead of phrases that mean the same thing. Building to the climax should be most of the story. Keep the conflicts building to the climax simple and easy to understand. You writing should be able to evoke the following emotions empathy, pain, hurt, despair, surprise, and desire just to name a few. Since the story is only a few pages long in its entirety it is necessary to maintain consistency through out the beginning, middle, and end. Make sure the dialog and plot complement each other. Keep the same point of view through out the story. You are almost ready to be published. After completing your own proofreading and editing, let someone else read it, a neighbor, your spouse, colleague, or a close friend. Even if they are not writers themselves they will be able to help point out any grammar errors. They will be able to tell you if something just doesn’t make sense. You are trying to fit a lot of captivating information in a small space; it is easy to leave something out. Something you may not catch because you know what is supposed to happen, while your will not. By following these simple rules, you will be able to write a short story that is captivating and effective. Writing short stories isn’t for everyone. Many writers like more detail and for short stories the space is just not available.

Important Networking Follow-Ups: How to Get Those Job Leads Calling When you leave a networking event, you may be buzzing at the prospects offered by all of those new contacts you made, but soon, the cold reality sets in. How will you be able to convert those contacts you made over a glass of wine into valuable business opportunities for you? Successful networking is all in the follow-up. If you’re looking for a job, following up is all the more crucial. Without touching base after a networking event, you become just another face in the crowd of job hunting hopefuls. The first important rule for following-up with networking contacts is to lay the foundations for the follow-up during the initial meeting. At networking events, there can be a lot of empty promises thrown around. Use that first meeting to convey the message that you haven’t gotten caught up in “networking fever” but instead that you are very serious about exploring the job opportunity that you’re discussing with your new contact. Ask the contact when would be a good time to follow-up with them, and then reiterate the information back to them at the end of your conversation: “I look forward to speaking with you Friday at 2 p.m.” If they don’t give you a specific time, then suggest one to them. This rule holds true even if your contact is giving you a lead on a job not with them but with another contact of their own. Let them know you appreciate the information by saying, “Thanks. I will plan on calling Mary on Monday afternoon at 1 p.m.” Not only will this convey your seriousness about the opportunity presented to you, but it may also get you some handy inside information, as the contact may reply, “Oh, no, Mary will be out of town until Thursday – call her then.” The next important rule to networking follow-ups is to follow up with EVERY lead a contact gives you. If a contact suggests that you call someone whom you know won’t really be able to help you in your job search, call him or her anyway. Otherwise, when your contact finds out you aren’t taking their advice, they may just decide not to give you any more the future and any business person can tell you that you never know from whom the most valuable lead will come some day. Keep the lines of communication open by giving any and all suggestions a whirl. Last but not least, do the actual following-up. Follow up with your contact exactly when you said you would, and in the exact manner you said you would (phone, email, letter, etc). If for some reason you can’t make contact at the arranged time, keep trying. If you haven’t made arrangements for a follow-up with a contact, then the rule of thumb is to follow-up with them as soon as possible after meeting them. Try to at least send an email or letter the next day saying what a pleasure it was to meet and that you look forward to talking more in the future, and then say in that note when you plan to follow-up with your contact by phone. Then, of course, stick to that new follow-up obligation. Even if the promises made by a contact while networking don’t pan out for you on the job front, don’t cross them off of your contact list. Keep them in the loop about your job search and your career goals. While they may not have been able to make if happen for you this time, you never know what they might be able to do for you in the future. Your most promising business contact may be someone you already know.

Ghost Writer: Who Uses Them and Why (ghost writer) A ghost writer is someone who is hired to write for another person under their name. In most cases ghostwriters do the work while the hiring person gets the credit. The use of a ghost writer is huge business. People in virtually every aspect of life could use a ghost writer. A ghost writer will need the ability to become the person they are writing for. The writer has to be able to use their mannerisms, their words, and their way of speaking. The writing must read like they are coming from the person themselves. Being a ghost writer means that you give absolutely all rights to the credited author. You will need to decide if it is worth it for someone else to take credit for your work. There will be confidentiality clauses in your ghost writing contracts. They will state something to the effect of legal action will be against you if the writing is reproduced by you in any way shape or form. There are many reasons why a person would use a ghost writer. Celebrities and public figures use ghost writers to write their biographies and memoirs. Ghost writers are hired to make celebrities sound as interesting and compelling as possible. Their purpose is to pen the stories into best selling books. Motivational speakers may use ghost writers to write self help books. Just because they are great speakers does not mean they can pen the words on paper. Or they just may simply not have the time. There are many types of ghost writing opportunities available. Non fiction writing would be your biographies, autobiographies, how to books, and memoirs. A ghost writer’s role in non fiction could range from the very minimal to the most complex. They may be given an almost complete manuscript and asked to add some finishing touches. Or they may have to start at the bottom collecting research and following the project through until publication. Accomplished fiction writers may use ghost writers to carry on a series of books after the author has passed or to carry out the series while they work on new ventures. The Author may have an established pen name that they use a ghost writer for while they write under the real name. Ghost writers are often used for scripts and screen plays. They are hired to finish and polish the writings of the authors. High school and college students will hire ghost writers to write their entrance essays, thesis, and term papers. Although this may seem unethical, it is legal. The writing and selling of the paper is perfectly legal. It is when the student turns the paper in as his or her own writing that it turns into an illegal action. The political venue for ghost writers is to correspond to the letters that they receive. Official will review the letters before being sent. A political speech writer is often considered a ghost writer. But others will argue this since it is public knowledge that political officials do not write their own speeches. In order to succeed as a ghost writer you must have excellent writing skills and often be able to take on the personality of the credited author. You must also be a great sales person in order to sell your service and be able to prove that you are the best possible choice for them to use you in their endeavors. Making the decision if ghost writing is right for you may be a difficult one. It is often hard for writers to give up all rights to their work.

Communication Key to a Better Work Environment Everyone knows the story of A Christmas Carole. On Christmas Eve, poor Bob Cratchit, who is working late again, spends his day working up the courage to ask his boss, Mr. Scrooge, if he can have Christmas Day off from work to spend with his family. When he finally does get up the nerve to ask, Mr. Scrooge lets forth a tirade over lazy people using Christmas as an excuse to have a day a off from work. This fictional story unfortunately rings true for a lot of people who have to work up the courage to ask for things from their employers. An employee who has to feel about their employer the way Bob Cratchit felt about Mr. Scrooge is not a very happy and productive employee. To get the most of out of your workers, you have to create a much more hospitable working environment. To create a better working environment, keeping the lines of communication open is absolutely crucial. How does communication work in your office? Do you get the impression that everyone is walking around on eggshells around you? While this kind of fear from your employees may be good for your ego in some senses, it is really bad for your business. When your employees don’t feel like they can talk to you, you will lose control over what is going on with your business. You may be the boss, but your employees are the ones who are actually on the front lines. To know what is really going on out there, you need your employees to communicate honestly with you. If they feel that you are unapproachable, they will hide problems and concerns from you, and you won’t be able to act to fix them. You can’t expect to run your business with half of the information about what is actually going on, and so your business will suffer for your “mean boss” routine. There are still other problems with creating an office environment in which your employees feel like you are unapproachable. In general, there will be a dark cloud over the office when you are around. The stress will keep employee morale low, and employees with low morale are employees with low productivity. Besides, who wants to work hard for someone they cannot approach or who doesn’t show they any respect? Shutting down those lines of communication will definitely affect your bottom line as employees “phone it in” because they don’t feel invested in making your business a success. If you want a better working environment, you have to improve the lines of communication. If there has been a communication breakdown in the past, take the time to address it with your staff. If you staff is small, talk to them each one on one, letting them know that your door is always open and that you want more regular communication with them. If you have a larger staff, schedule a meeting to address the issue. Weekly office meetings are a great way to keep communication channels open and swap ideas in the office environment. If weekly meetings are not feasible, find some way of touching base with your staff on a regular basis, either through weekly emails or a weekly newsletter. Also, you should encourage your staff to communicate with each other. Sharing information among the staff is a great way to generate fresh ideas and fresh approaches to problems. If your office is suffering from a communication problem, make nipping it in the bud a priority. The pay off will be more productive workers and a whole lot less stress. Who knew work could actually be a pleasant place to be?