Creative and Memoir Writing

Carol Brennan King           April 19, 2023

Those of you who have followed me for a while, you know I have a writing coach. AND, you probably know that one of the benefits of my relationship with my coach is that every week, we, her coachees, must turn in our weekly writing re-lated goals. Then, a week later, we turn in our accountability report. So, I asked her if she minded if I passed on some information about what she does. She said, Yes,” so keep reading.

Leigh Shulman, author of six books, an ex-pat living in Argentina, and a great coach – the last two words, mine, has this to say to you.

They (you my dear readers) can e-mail me(Leigh) directly at  so we can find a time to chat.

Then tell her what you are looking for. She will tell you what happens in The Workshop, and then you can decide if it’s a good fit.

She also has this course: Create Your Ideal Writing Life, a free course. (This is how I met her) You can sign up for it at:

And you can read about The Workshop and sign up for it at:

For anyone who wants to create their ideal writing life, keep looking at what is available to you!!

Website |

Twitter | Really good writing hints here!


And you can get your very own copy of her latest book THE WRITER’S ROADMAP:   on Amazon   

Kindle here     Paperback here!

So there you are!

On another note:

This last week I took an online class taught by Jerry Jenkins, author of over 200 books selling over 70 million copies. You can check out the material we covered by going to If you go to his site, you can get a free download of

How to Write a Book: Everything You Need to Know in 20 Steps.

But just to whet your appetite, here are a few highlights we covered in class Wednesday:

  1.  It takes a completely different mindset to write creatively than it does to tear up what you write and make it better. That sounds harsh, but it is right.
  2. Read your manuscript, and I am adding “out loud.” Or get a program that will read it out loud for you. The point is you will pick up so much more reading it out loud, or having it read to you than you do simply reading it silently. Your brain fixes things, registering what you write as what you should have written. Reading it out loud heads that problem off. Have a notebook or blank sheet of paper nearby to note the pages or issues you need to go back to and rethink.
  3. When you edit, read the manuscript through the first time to get a big picture of the story…looking at characters, scenes, etc. You are looking at it as a whole.
  4. Then read each scene, checking to see what you need to get read of. It is amazing sometimes how long it takes us, the writers, to get to the point. Jenkins refers to it as throat-clearing. The issue is you spend a lot of word count saying disposable things. This is where you do the Show-don’t tell check. And, it is also where you learn to give the reader credit for understanding that the character did walk through an open door and sit in chairs across from each other when you wrote “They walked in and sat across from each other.” There is loads more to this Honing Each Scene, so look it up online.
  5. Jenkins says, “Root out the weasel or Crutch Words. He has seven points here, but I will just give you a tease of the great counsel here. Choose the normal over the obtuse. In other words, this is not the place to show off your great vocabulary. Think reader-first and keep your content king. Don’t get in the way of your message. Avoid mannerisms of attribution. People say things; they don’t wheezegaspsighlaughgruntsnortreply, retortexclaim, or declare them. Such descriptors distract from the dialogue. I promise you, you need to look the rest of his points up.
  6. Conduct a final run-through. Check every word to make sure it is as strong as possible. His words in my words: Treat adjectives and adverbs like they are gold. In other words, don’t use them unless you cannot find another way to say it.
  • Omit needless words. Or make sure you got rid of any unnecessary words. I know you are looking for a word count here, but piling in unnecessary words will only hurt you. It will show you up as a lazy writer.
    • There are six more points here so go find them.

7. The end is in sight, Conduct a final proofread. My words: Read it as if you are the English teacher. Look for spelling mistakes (was and saw have the same letters but they certainly have different meanings and when you are typing fast, it is easy to substitute one for the other.) Watch out for stray punctuation or places where you might have hit a number 5 instead of an r or t. And check that punctuation, especially around dialogue or those pesky places where you used a comma instead of a semicolon.

OK, now you have a taste of what Jerry Jenkins offers you for free online. (   

Look it up. Print it out. Stick it next to your computer. And use these guidelines – all of his, not just those I have borrowed and used as examples here for you.

Well, our formal class is almost over. If you have any questions for me, be sure to send them to me before next Wednesday, and I will try to answer them in class or here.

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