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Helpful writers' lists: Editor's Notes #319
August 05, 2020

The mind grows by what it feeds on.
—J.G. Holand

In this issue:

1. Helpful writers’ lists
2. Tickled my funny bone
3. Interesting Web site
4. Writing prompt
5. My Covid-19 offer to you

1. Helpful writers’ lists
Most writers have helpful lists to keep lives and projects on track. Whether those lists are on paper or are digital, whether those lists are all in one place or spread around the home or office, whether those lists are made to last for years or are renewed daily, helpful writers’ lists organize ideas and free writers’ minds to get on with the tasks at hand.

There is no one way to organize your lists. Use whichever system serves your needs. You may very well use a variety of lists. The main point is to have places to store ideas, places you will remember, places you can access when you need the material you have saved. I do find it helpful to have a routine for adding things I’ve scribbled on odd bits of paper to more permanent lists. My goal is to do this at least once per day.

Here is a list of lists other writers have found helpful. You probably already use some of them.
  • Story characters listed with correct spelling of their names along with key attributes
  • Story setting details including placement of objects, weather, sizes of rooms or cities, directions to other places, etc.
  • Story scenes along with the purpose of each in the plot
  • Important dates and times in a story
  • New story ideas
  • Questions you have about a story in progress. You come back to this list when you have finished a draft.
  • Troublesome word pairs like affect/effect with definitions and example sentences
  • Words you misspell frequently
  • Words you over-use or grammar issues you find throughout your writing
  • Markets for books or magazines with contact details and any other details you have like what they are currently looking for
  • Memberships related to writing along with renewal dates, Web sites, usernames, and passwords
  • Books borrowed and from whom
  • Books loaned to others
  • Books to read
If you keep any other lists that may be helpful to other writers, please pass them on. I’ll include them in a subsequent issue.

2.Tickled my funny bone
Due to the quarantine, I’ll be telling only inside jokes.

3. Interesting Web site
A short list of dos and don’ts about making lists.

4. Writing prompt
Here is a short list of words. Use them to launch your own ideas to write about, or try to use all five in one piece.
  • acerbic
  • economics
  • jabber
  • opal
  • teaspoon

5. My Covid-19 offer to you
The stress of measures we take to protect ourselves and our loved ones from Covid-19 are wearing on many nerves and are ravaging many budgets. This offer to you is meant to support you as a writer while taking the current economic situation into account. It’s good for me, too, because even a little work is better than no work. Win-win.

What follows is a copy and paste from issue number 309. It’s still in force for you and anyone you choose to tell about it.

Along with the health threat hanging over the world, we are facing a huge financial hit. I’ve decided one thing I can do is to make quality editing less expensive during this trying time.

For subscribers to Editor’s Notes and their friends, I am suspending the fee for the sample edit to anyone using the code EN19 until I cancel this offer. I intend to keep this offer open as long as the world is in crisis with Covid-19 and its aftermath, so watch this space. I will give a warning here before I pull this offer. You can submit your writing sample at Be sure to click the link below the heading "Promotion Code" to get to the special form for a free sample edit. If you find yourself at a form before clicking the special link, scroll slowly back up the page, and you should see the link for the code (EN19).

But it gets better…

When I return an edited writing sample, I include quotes for the full range of my editing services. Until further notice, I will give a true quote, but I will not charge writers the full amount. I am discounting my services 50% for subscribers to Editor’s Notes and their friends. I will give a warning here before I pull this offer.

Feel free to pass this offer along to any writing friends you think may be interested. As long as anyone uses the code, I’ll honour the offer.

This is what I can offer you in this time of crisis. I hope it encourages you as you face possible illness and financial uncertainty.

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