A Writer’s Prayer

Joanne Guidoccio

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Two years ago, I participated in a series of Artist’s Way workshops facilitated by Lisa Browning of One Thousand Trees. During one of those sessions, I encountered an interesting task: Create an artist’s prayer. While reflecting and researching, I discovered the following Writer’s Prayer written by Sandy Tritt:

Open my mind, Lord. Grant me the talent to write with clarity and style, so my words go down rich and smooth, like fine wine, and leave my reader thirsty for more.

Open my heart, Lord. Grant me the sensitivity to understand my characters–their hopes, their wants, their dreams–and help me to confer that empathy to my reader.

Open my soul, Lord, so I…

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The Six Ds of Dialogue by C.D. Hersh

Dialogue is paramount in any story. Dialogue is the backbone of stage plays and screenplays, and is what actors memorize. Dialogue is the hinge pin of novels, especially in today’s fast-paced, want-the-story-to move-forward world. Yet, for many writers dialogue is the hardest thing to write. We can fill pages upon pages with purple prose, narrative, and information dumps, but often avoid dialogue.

Why? Maybe we’re afraid our characters will sound stupid, or their words will be stilted. Perhaps writers fear their characters will sound flat, or they will say too much or too little.

Or maybe we think our characters will sound the same, because, after all, it’s only one person creating all those different voices.

Personally, we find ourselves writing dialogue first then going back and filling in the narrative, the senses and other parts of the story. Maybe that’s because of our acting or playwriting background. Sometimes we…

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My Writer’s Toolbox

Joanne Guidoccio

Welcome to the G.O.T.H. Series!

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Thirty-one years of teaching adolescents thickened my skin considerably, but I faced different challenges when I embarked on a writing career. I had to learn how to deal effectively with rejection letters from agents and publishers, critiques from editors, and less-than-favorable reader reviews. Most important of all, I had to acquire that coveted rhino skin. Here are five strategies in my writer’s toolbox:

Get the Back Story

Whenever I attend readings, I pay special attention to the author’s back story. I like hearing the details about his or her writing journey and the challenges encountered along the way. Occasionally, I pick up valuable nuggets of advice that…

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Story Questions

File:Circle-question.svg courtesy of Wikimedia

A while back, my husband and writing partner, the D of C.D. Hersh,  built me a new cabinet pantry. We spent the better part of an afternoon talking about the size and construction of the pantry to make sure it was exactly like I wanted it. Afterwards, he went to Home Depot to get the lumber.

While holding the front door open so he could carry the lumber in I noticed the first piece was shorter than I thought it should be. When I commented, he answered as he went back out the door saying, “Didn’t you want it counter height?”

No, I thought as I closed the door behind him. I don’t. Didn’t he remember what we’d discussed? I peeked through the side window curtain anxiously wondering what he’d bring in next.

The next piece was short, too, and I became concerned. He laid the…

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The Write Word with Wareeze

Secondary Characters

Hello again, friends and readers. Thanks for sharing your precious time with me today. In past SMP blog posts, I discussed, creating worlds, building a scene, plus introducing characters. The hero, the heroine, and the villain have all been examined. Today, I’d like to mention the secondary characters and the role each one plays.

The main function of a secondary character is to support the main character—hero, heroine, even the villain—in speech, in actions, and to reveal the story plot.

This supporting character gives the main character someone with which to discuss the situation. The hero/heroine could converse with the wall or even the dog, but another character can contribute to the dialogue. Bow wow may be comforting, but the conversation is lacking interaction to reveal the story plot. It’s scary when the villain talks to the wall, or utters his insane speech to an animal. That calls…

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Spotlight on Trixie Stilletto

Joanne Guidoccio

I’m happy to welcome journalist and author Trixie Stilletto. Today, Trixie shares her inspiring journey and new release, Do Grave Harm.

Here’s Trixie!

I grew up in eastern Tennessee where storytelling is a huge part of everyday life. My dear departed husband used to say we were all experts at telling whoppers. And in a sense, he was right. Sunday afternoon was for family. The first question? What’s new?

If you stuck to the truth, it’d be a mighty boring story. So my family expounded more than a little. We didn’t consider it “lying” just making the story more entertaining. I never considered writing those stories down until I took a high school creative writing class. Though I excelled and my teacher urged me to continue, it wasn’t a “job.”

Fast-forward to college. I was on track to become a lawyer. Mostly for the money. While yawning through pre-law…

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New Contract!

Joanne Guidoccio

20014660_sYesterday, my contract for A Different Kind of Reunion was finalized by Editor Kinan Werdski and Publisher Rhonda Penders of The Wild Rose Press.

This is the third book in the Gilda Greco Mystery Series and includes characters from A Season for Killing Blondes and Too Many Women in the Room.

Several new characters are introduced, among them a silver fox constable and seven of Gilda Greco’s former students.


Determined to solve the murder of a former student and prevent another tragedy, a teacher agrees to participate in a psychic-led reunion.


Coming Spring 2018!

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