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The Forgotten Character in Story: Your Story World

creating-setting-tree
Setting is an often overlooked story element for many writers.    I cannot tell you how many short fiction submissions I've received that take place No-where in No-time. When queried the most common answer I receive from writers is, "this story can take place in anywhere USA." Or, "It doesn't matter. They could be in any modern city."   If you've ever sat down to write fiction or non-fiction and used this approach to setting and location it's way past time to stop. This response couldn't be more wrong. There are several key points for you to remember about your story world. Today I will discuss one of them.   Remember this: no one has ever been to your story world except for you.   Consider the world you live in every day. Who inhabits that world? You do. Nobody else. You have a unique perspective on your world. Not sure?...
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Dear Gila....

I took one of your classes and, you may remember, the story (The Storm) I wrote? Anyway I entered it in a contest and placed third which pleased me. Nancy Shelton Springfield, MO

Five Ways Living in One Language Affects Your Writing in Another

Diction. Slang and other everyday words sneak into our vocabularies. If you don’t live and write in the same language, it takes an extra effort to root out unintended foreign words from your work. Names. Many writers spend time enhancing their work with thoughtful character names. But when you live in one language and write in another naming story characters can be frustrating. Names from your adopted country often seem awkward in your mother tongue, or worse become words that take the reader out of the story. On the other hand, mother tongue names may appear mundane. Setting. If you choose to write about your adopted country, it may appear too exotic or you may worry you lack the background to make the country come alive. How long do you have to live somewhere to feel you have the authority to write about it, especially if the country operates in a...
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Save Time Article Writing

8 Easy Time Savers

Summer Guest Post Series. Welcome Sari Friedman's "With Love"

Summer Guest Post Series. Welcome Sari Friedman's "With Love"
With Love By Sari Friedman If I’m lucky, something spectacular happens at some point in my writing process. I fall in love. Sometimes I’m in love with my protagonist, but not always— it’s impossible to predict which character, setting, technical aspect or plot sequence will fill me with that combination of tender regard, affection, allegiance and the desire to start writing a sonnet. As I wrote my first novel, which is about a New Yorker who starts to remember her past-life 4,000 years ago in the Land of Canaan, I fell in love with the antagonist’s manipulative pyrotechnics. I loved the technical challenge of revealing the conniving of a hurt-causing personality. I’m not conniving in real life. I'm nurturing and empathic. Strangers have been known to call me “Mom.” But this meant that I’d never understood how a hurtful personality could function. And that led to my sometimes being very hurt....
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Mondays are Murder

Mondays are Murder
Please see my latest noir flash fiction in Akashic Books Mondays are Murder Series. /

Find me in May 2016

Find me in May 2016
Come see me at WriteSpace for Spring Flash Fiction Seminars Can't come to Jerusalem?  Virtual Classes start May 11, 2016 Eight Weeks  Flash ,  Six Weeks  Short Story ,  Four Weeks  Mini Publishing  Workshop.  OR join me at the Jewish Women's Writers Seminar May 24

The launch of WriteSpace Jerusalem is on April 7th

The launch of WriteSpace Jerusalem is on April 7th
3, 2, 1, lift off… Come meet fellow writers and flex your writing muscles with guided prompts. Find out more about WriteSpace Jerusalem and meet a selection of our instructors: Jane Medved (poetry), Gila Green (flash fiction), Mitch Ginsburg (literary translation), Anna Levine (young adult & children), Sheffi Raiskin (bibliotherapy), Batnadiv Hakarmi-Weinberg (creative nonfiction), and Nadia Jacobson (fiction). Date: Thursday, April 7, 2016 Time: 19:30-21:30 Location: PICO Jerusalem, 4th floor, Poalei Tzedek 2, Talpiyot, Jerusalem (opposite Hadar Mall) Entrance is free of charge and light refreshments will be served. An additional perk: Receive 10% off your first seminar or workshop. Reserve your place: Subscribe to our mailing: www.writespacejerusalem.com/contact-us.html Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Flash Fiction in Jerusalem

Flash Fiction in Jerusalem
 Focus on Flash Fiction Half-Day Seminar Date Options: ​March 7 / 8 / 13 / 14  To Register and for more Info: WriteSpace Everyone has time to read flash fiction. That’s one of the reasons why it’s become such a popular genre. What value is there to distilling   whole stories into narratives under 1,000 words, down to even 6 words? We read fiction to build empathy, to explore new realities, to escape, Can you do that in so few words?  Yes, you can. Flash is ideal for our modern short attention spans (though there’s nothing really new about it). The 21st-century reader has made flash fiction "in-demand" fiction. It’s ideal for our screens: tablets, smartphones, netbooks, and laptops. Reading a whole story on a single screen is an aesthetic experience and, best of all, it’s an increasingly sought after genre offered by small presses. There’s even a National Flash Fiction...
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I'm continuing my Guest Post Series. Andrea is a past class participant and it's great to have her on board today.

I'm continuing my Guest Post Series. Andrea is a past class participant and it's great to have her on board today.
Revision Decisions "It hurts when someone calls your baby ugly." My co-author's comment rang painfully clear over the metallic thrum of the Metra train coasting along its tracks. We were on our way home after a writer's workshop in the city, and the "baby" she referred to was our book. After years of balancing schedules, juggling real-life responsibilities, and carving out countless hours to write together our novel was finally finished. The result? Over 250,000 precious words detailing the beginning, middle, and end of each of our fictitious characters' journeys. We did it! [insert enthusiastic high five] But even as newbie authors we were keenly aware that just because you peck out those two little words on the very last page: The End doesn't necessarily mean the end. In fact, quite the opposite is true. As fate would have it, one frosty winter morning, we each received an email announcing an...
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One Demure Chastity Belt Bust

One Demure Chastity Belt Bust
Some Flash to Read by Gila Green  T My Mom fought the fifties. I never knew. If anyone would have asked me I would have told them that my mother was straight-laced, demure, a Canadian Capital City poster girl, not just in character, but on the ground. In the photo I like best, my mother is a teenager, a head turner, a talent. She and her acting group have just returned from yet another triumph at the annual Dominion Drama Festival. Mayor Charlotte Whitton has come as part of the surprise welcome home to the young, gifted locals. The camera has captured the confetti in my mother’s bark colored hair and I imagine the scent from the rose petals overpowers the usual train station smells of machinery and cigarette smoke. Well, it’s not the usual train station atmosphere, it’s a party. The thought that she is going to be giving birth...
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Guest Post: Chana Bunim Rubin Ausubel

Guest Post: Chana Bunim Rubin Ausubel
I'm continuing my author guest posts this week and welcome Chana Bunim Rubin Ausubel. Dear Gila... As Long as the Candle Burns written by Chana Bunim Rubin Ausubel is “moving and inspiring. The author's stories are culled from her experiences throughout her working career,” (Jewish Book World). Ausubel's careers varied from directing a program in Headstart, to forming chapters for Emunah Women’s Organization throughout the United States. In Israel she put all of her heart and soul into directing and teaching students from all over the world returning to Judaism or in the process of conversion.  Even as a single mother she was able to accomplish and contribute to many causes such as, the New York Conference for Soviet Jewry, founder of Gush Emunim in America and Ausubel was involved in forming the Israeli town of Bet El. “Chana openly discusses the challenges of supporting and raising four children in a...
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Guest Post: Diana Bletter

Guest Post: Diana Bletter
I liked Diana's post so much, I got permission to repost it. If you are in Israel Diana's novel, A Remarkable  Kindness,  is available at Steimatsky or you can get free shipping via bookdepository. Pope Francis in the Great Synagogue and Guess Who at the Open Door Bookshop in Rome on the Same Day. Posted on   January 19, 2016 by   dianabletter Pope Francis visiting the Great Synagogue in Rome, January 17, 2016 Just an hour before I spoke at the Open Door Bookshop in Rome, Pope Francis was speaking at the Grand Synagogue just a few minutes away. It was the third time in modern history that a pope visited the synagogue. Quite incredible. Just to put this in perspective, historian David Kertzer, who wrote  The Popes Against the Jews,  said that throughout history, the Vatican forced Jews to live in ghettos (the word itself is Italian) and subjected them...
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It's not too late to sign up for January Virtual Classes

It's not too late to sign up for January Virtual Classes
We just started this week, but there's still plenty of room and lots of time to catch up. Four Fantastic Virtual Workshops: Flash: 8 weeks http://wow-womenonwriting.com/classroom/GilaGreen_FlashFictionWorkshop.php Literary Devices I & II 6 weeks: http://wow-womenonwriting.com/classroom/GilaGreen_MemorableWritingLiteraryDevicesI.php How to Publish Your Short Story 4 weeks: http://wow-womenonwriting.com/classroom/GilaGreen_PublishShortStoryWorkshop.php OR if you're in the area, sign up for my four week workshop in Jerusalem offered through Temech. The JWWS network, in conjunction with Temech, is pleased to announce our FOURTH SESSION for all women writers… The JWWS Writers’ Educational Network For Women Registration is via Temech’s office (02- 538-8665, press 0 and say you are calling for JWWS/ Writers’ Courses) and tell them you are registering for the next JWWS course that is to begin on Jan 19 th . To ensure your place you must pre-register. These JWWS courses will be a pre-paid and pre-booked only in advance option. Price for full course, all four sessions: 200 NIS...
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Dear Gila,

I have enjoyed the (Flash Fiction) course. I found the way you gave us pieces to study most helpful.  The two lessons which gave me the most were those on sensory detail and pacing. Thank you, Regards, Eileen Cooke               Australia.

Guest Post Sue (Batya) Kroopnick

If y ou want to know what it really feels like to live in Israel and why people stay, even when the challenges become formidable, then  you should read For Better and For Worse: An Israel Odyssey –the book that captures that 'Only in Israel' feeling. Based on real people and true events, For Better and For Worse: An Israel Odyssey shows an inside glimpse of Israel through the experiences of a new immigrant over a period of 25-years. Through inspiring, funny and thought provoking stories, the book presents a positive yet realistic perspective of what it's like to live in the Land of Israel, fall in love with the country and the people, and cope with the many struggles that come with being an Israeli. Along with the wonders and miracles that accompany an uplifting life in the Holy Land, For Better and For Worse: An Israel Odyssey reveals the...
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The Art of Short Story Writing: Four Jerusalem Workshops

The Art of Short Story Writing: Four Jerusalem Workshops
The JWWS network, in conjunction with Temech, is pleased to announce our FOURTH SESSION for all women writers… The JWWS Writers’ Educational Network For Women Registration is via Temech’s office (02- 538-8665, press 0 and say you are calling for JWWS/ Writers’ Courses) and tell them you are registering for the next JWWS course that is to begin on Jan 19 th . To ensure your place you must pre-register. These JWWS courses will be a pre-paid and pre-booked only in advance option. Price for full course, all four sessions: 200 NIS per person Price for only one session at a time: 75 NIS per person Hurry to reserve your spot – spaces go quickly! _____________________________________________________ The JWWS Session FOUR Course Title: The Art of Short Story Writing Course Instructor: Gila Green Course dates: Jan, 19, 26, Feb 2, Feb 9 th   Tuesday mornings, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 pm Course...
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I can write, but I can’t edit

I often receive e-mails from class participants (Thank you. Keep them coming). One of the most troubling comments is this: I can write, but I can’t edit. This type of writer usually proves she really believes this when she sends in a new piece instead of an edited version or revision of a piece she’s already sent me. If this sounds familiar, you need to stop thinking this way because it hurts your chances of publication. This bears repeating. Stop selling yourself this line. I don’t know who made it up, but it’s got to go. All writers need some self-editing skills. This is not to say that writers don’t need editors. They do. I do. Still, at some point all writers must switch from writing to editing mode. Editing mode is not the same for all literary forms. If you are editing a Flash Fiction piece, your first goal will...
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Crash! Crunch! Cabang! Where have all the Literary Devices Gone?

By Gila Green Writers are forever hearing they need to improve their writing skills. No matter what we produce and how frequently, there’s always some well-meaning editor, fellow writer or classmate hinting that you can never learn enough about writing. Interpret that as you wish. Perhaps, you see great writing as an exercise bike you need to ride forever, or like a sink in which dishes grow (if it’s anything like my kitchen sink). Either way most of these messages are downers. The answers we’re given repeatedly once we ask that inevitable question: how does a writer improve her craft are often framed as more of a chore than a bowl of cherries.   No doubt you’ve read that writers have to be voracious readers, readers so starved for reading material that only the dry end of a book cover or sharp end of a kindle is true nourishment. Food is...
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Dear Gila...

Dear Gila:  This course has been superior so far. I can't thank you enough for your keen attention to detail and piercing critiques. A great learning experience! Also, thanks for your summary, How Not to Write flash. I see it covers most of the mistakes I've been making--so an invaluable guide. A great course, and I appreciate that you made it available to me over email. You're the best, Gila--may you thrive in your writing, editing, and teaching. B est wishes, Tom Allan

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