Lesson 4: Discussion

by Nancy

Questions or thoughts about Lesson 4? Post them here, and help other writers by answering their questions.


Comments for Lesson 4: Discussion

Click here to add your own comments

Jan 25, 2011
by: Linda

Thanks Nancy.

Jan 25, 2011
@ Linda

Hi Linda,

Thanks a lot for your comments.

I'm so glad that you found the lesson interesting!

Your approach to writing sounds perfect. And if the writing is flowing, it's probably better not to interrupt the process to restructure and revise. You can always do that in the second draft. For the first draft, you can just let it pour out freely.

Some writers like to plan everything out in advance, but other writers prefer to start writing and see where that takes them. There are even names for these two kinds of writers -- "plotter" (the ones who plot everything ahead of time), and "pantsers" (ones who write spontaneously -- "by the seat of the pants.")

There is no right or wrong method -- what is important is to find the one that works best for you. One advantage to the more spontaneous approach is that it gives your subconscious mind the freedom to surprise you. However, if you don't plan your writing in advance, you may have to write more drafts and do more in-depth revision. This isn't a bad thing -- it is just part of the process.

All the best,


Jan 25, 2011
@ Tarak

Hi Tarak,

Thanks a lot for your comments. The assignments are meant to help you practice the skills learned in the lessons and to give you writing ideas. But I understand that not everyone likes being given assignments. That's fine. Instead of following the assignment in each lesson, you can always invent an assignment for yourself that interests you more. Just try to practice the specific techniques covered in that lesson.

Have fun,

Nancy (Creative Writing Now)

Jan 25, 2011
@ James

Hi James,

I'm very sorry that you didn't receive one of the lessons. It's worth checking your spam folder -- sometimes they accidentally end up there. If you're still missing it, could you please use our contact form to e-mail us? Then we'll resend it to you so that you're sure to have it.


Nancy (Creative Writing Now)

Jan 20, 2011
what do you think Nancy?
by: Linda

i find Lesson 4 very interesting, so much so that all the distractions facing me at the moment of writing were not able to actually distract me but took me longest time to finish compared with previous assignments.

during the first 10 minutes of the assignments, i usually don't get to write much, but get enough ideas in my head to know what to write about. although, there's always the tendency to jot down in an outline, but i've never been a jotting person, even when in school. once my pen is on paper it doesn't stop till i'm done. sometimes i try to stop myself from going ahead with a write-up just to jot down things in my head and not forget them and arrange for proper chronology and coherence, but i lose touch of the whole idea when following my outline, i become confused and end up hardly following the outline until i just put pen on paper again, ignore the ouline and simply write on. [although i eventually find some of the content of the outline usefull, they never gave me the satisfaction of a good write up at the end.] it's always been like this for me since i can remember.
once a child wanted to know how i write 'so well', according to her after reading some of my publications in a children's magazine i used to write for years back. and i explained to her that i simply put pen on paper and write, but my editor changed my response to educate her on the rules of writing. i guess it's just me or what do you think? the rule hardly works for me, but many of those who have read my publications as well as my film-documentary scripts had always praised it. i just see what i want to write in my mind and everything else follows smoothly and orderly as the pen scribles on.

i've complained to some tutors but they thought it's probably just a gift.

what do you think Nancy, because that is what happens whenever i do my assignments.

Jan 14, 2011
by: Tarak Khanfir

Generally it is a nice and important lesson. But it would be better when you give us freedom in choosing our topic.

Jan 03, 2011
Got lesson 5 but not 4
by: James B


I don't seem to have been sent lesson 4 over the christmas period but I've got lesson 5 now. Could someone post up what it is or let me know where I should send a request to get it emailed to me.


Oct 27, 2010
@ Molly

Hi Molly,

If you submit writing in the Fiction Writers' Salon, you can check the page where you submitted it after an hour or so. The site should have updated after an hour, and you should be able to see your submission online.

If you submit to a writing competition on this site or one of the other pages where we publish creative writing (for example, the haiku page), your submission will be considered by an editor, and you will receive an e-mail letting you know if it is accepted for publication.

All the best,

Nancy (Creative Writing Now)

Oct 16, 2010
by: Molly

Hi Nancy,

Is there a way for me to check to site to see if I have submitted my writing. I write it by hand but i can't always tell.



Oct 03, 2010
@ Christel

Hi Christel,

The lessons are sent to you every 7 days, starting with the day you confirmed your course registration. Everyone in the course is therefore receiving the lessons on a different schedule, depending on when each person signed up.

So you don't have to worry because some participants are receiving lessons ahead of you. That's only because they signed up before you did.

When you submit writing or comments in the Salon, for technical reasons, there is a delay before your submission shows up online. Normally, this delay might be an hour or so. When you submit writing for publication on other pages of the website, for example, on our competition pages, the delay is normally longer because an editor reviews all of those submissions. That type of submission is not published automatically.

If you have any other concerns, please just let us know.

Nancy (Creative Writing Now)

Oct 01, 2010
time lapse
by: Christel

Hi, I seem to be getting the assignments later than other people in this group. Also it takes a day before comments and submissions register on the site. Is this normal? Thanks

Aug 26, 2010
the showing of a scene.
by: Joseph F. Mazzaferro

(Lesson 4) (Also helps in creating mood) (Example) The outside of the house on the grounds there was a heavy overgrowth of weeds and bushes. With a fig tree that was growing near the old cemetery.
The wooden placket above the main entrance warned. Yee who reads this beware of the charm of Incubus house, he who enters never leaves.


Aug 14, 2010
Show and Tell
by: Joseph F.Mazzaferro

In my latest writing project my main character
by: Joseph F. Mazzaferro

is not a person, its a place.

WITHOUT the use of my computer, I have already writen eight pages.

Title Incubus house, Salem Massachettes.

(In my attempt at show I wrote this about the house).

"The House was located high on a hill, one side over looking a cliff with a share drop into the white caps that appeared as the water pounded the rocks below". "The other side over looked an old cemetary on the grounds".

Aug 07, 2010
Lesson 4 - show and tell
by: Angelo

My apologies for being late submitting my lesson 4. It has been a busy week. I don't think I did enough show in my submission. I think if there was a bit more revision it would have come out better.

Jul 27, 2010
I love your examples of show but here is one of my own.
by: Joseph F. Mazzaferro

(Being a native newyorker whenever you drive down or up on park avenue between 44 to 47th street
you would see one of these guys)

On the street walking towards you,a reformed drunk carrying a bible holding a coffee
cup asking for loose change yelling repent for the momment of redemption is at hand. Jesus loves you repent before it is to late

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Fiction Writers Salon main menu.