Nov 042015


The Insecure Writers Support Group meets the first Wednesday of the month online so member writes can share and encourage each other.  So here goes with my November contribution.

Everbody run!

What a way to start a story, right? Engage your reader from the get go. Make them care about what’s happening. Intrigue them, so they will have no choice but to … turn the page.

If you think about it, though, completing a story, be it short, novella length or epic really is as easy as A, B, C …

A is for ACTION! – Get our attention – What is going on?

B is for BACKGROUND – Give us our bearings – Where are we? And when?

C is for CHARACTER – Give us a person (hopefully to care about)  – Who are we with?

D is for DILEMMA(S) – Give us and them dilemmas to solve – Why are we here?

E is for ENDING – Eliminate loose ends – How and why were the dilemmas solved?

F is for FORMAT – No fudging allowed – Follow ALL the submission rules.

G is for GET IT OUT, and almost AS important – GO ON TO SOMETHING ELSE.

H is for HANG IN THERE – You WILL have a SALE …

Because, remember this, eventually your manuscript will land in the right place at the right time. And oh the readers you will find when it does!

This post is dedicated to the memory of Barbara Kerns Johnson – at times a writer, teacher, editor, agent, collaborator, but always a friend. The paper burns but the words fly away – Akiba ben Joseph. Safe travels, Barbie.


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time. 

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

IWSG awesome co-hosts for the November 4th posting of the IWSG will be Stephen Tremp, Karen Walker, Denise Covey, and Tyrean Martinson!

  • Love your ABCs. All spot on. But what happened to I through Z? LOL

    • Margo Hoornstra

      Uh-huh. Only you! Okay. I accept the challenge. I through P next month and Q through Z after that. Stay tuned…..

  • Stephen Tremp

    Love the positive feeling from this post! Now I want to write something great today.

    Stephen Tremp
    November IWSG Co-host

    • Margo Hoornstra

      Sounds, well, great, Stephen! Get to it and get it done.

  • Diane Burton

    What great advice, Margo! That’s how winners succeed.

    • Margo Hoornstra

      Exactly, Diane. That’s how you have achieved your success. Right?

  • Nancy Gideon

    Great post, Margo. But the OCD in me is whispering “Where’s the rest of the alphabet?” Remembering Barb fondly as always.

    • Margo Hoornstra

      For sure, Nancy, nothing but fond memories of Barb. You and Janinne want the rest, huh? I’ll accept that challenge. See you next month!

  • Melissa Keir

    I love a powerful beginning. It really hooks me into the story. I dislike all the backstory and history… I want action!

    • Margo Hoornstra

      You’re right, Melissa. Backstory – could also be B for Bane of my existence. Or something like that. 😉 A necessary evil for writers.

  • Enjoyed your post, Margo! I concur with Melissa, a great beginning really sets the tone for a story! But I also like backstory. Why are the people feeling, reacting the way they are? And action is fun to read, and fun to write! Thanks for sharing! May the words be with you!

    • Margo Hoornstra

      Great last line, MJ! Thanks, and with you too. Beginnings and backstory. Beginning I can do with minimal struggles. Backstory calls for patience to ease it out slowly. For me, that’s a little harder to do.

%d bloggers like this: