A Major Part of American Literature

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The short story has long been a major part of American literature. Many famous authors started out writing short stories. Louis L’Amour wrote short stories for years for magazines and papers in order to get his stories in the public eye. He knew if he could get his work read he would develop a following. And he did just that. He remains one of the most widely read authors in history. Writing short stories is a great way for an aspiring author to develop his craft. In a full-length novel the author can let the plot unfold as each character is developed. But don’t get the wrong idea, writing a novel is no easy chore. You have to hold the attention of the reader for 150 pages and more. That is not an easy task. Likewise, writing a short story is not easy. The author has to have a well written story with well defined characters and a plot that comes alive from the first sentence and holds the reader captive until the last word. For the author who can do that, writing short stories can be rewarding. There is a huge market for short stories. Magazines such as Writer’s Digest, Ruthless People’s Magazine, Inkwater Press, Glimmer Train and many more are always calling for submission of short stories. And most of those magazines will accept stories from unknown or unpublished writers. And many of those magazines are willing to pay for good stories. A good writer can supplement their income by writing for several magazines at a time. Once you have submitted a short story that an editor likes, it isn’t unusual for that editor to ask for more of your stories for future editions. The trick to making better money by writing short stories for magazines is to become well written in more than one genre. Romance is well received by many magazines. Science fiction, fantasy and horror are becoming more popular, also. If a writer can write in two or three genres they can make a fair living writing. Magazines are not the only way to make money. The writer who wants to make money also enters his stories in writing contests. Some contests pay as much as $10,000 to the winner. The greatest number of contests pays from $100 to $1000. Some even offer writing contracts for the author who shows promise. And the writer who pens a good poem can earn even more money. There are literally hundreds of poem writing contests. There are also greeting card companies that offer contests that pay from $25 to $300 for the winner. Some just call for submissions and pay as much as $1000 for the right to print the poem on their greeting cards. A good writer can earn money by freelancing. A freelancer writes anything from how-to articles to copy for internet websites. He can also offer his talents for proofreading and editing. And there is a large market for ghost writers. With the proliferation of ebooks offering how-to advice on almost every subject imaginable, the opportunities for ghost writing is unlimited because those offering the advice either can’t write or don’t have the time. So you see, the short story writer has many opportunities to extend his craft and make a decent living. Happy writing. For more information on short stories, visit http://shortstorybook.com and http://shortstoriesbook.com
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Differences between Classicism and Romanticism

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Generally, ‘Classicism’ was the collection of the standards or pattern embodied in the literature, art, or architecture of ancient Greece and Rome. In other words, it meant following traditional standards (as of simplicity, self-control, and proportion) that were universally and permanently appropriate. Broadly, Classicism meant clearness, elegance, symmetry, and repose produced by attention to traditional forms. It was, sometimes, synonymous with excellence or artistic quality of high distinction. More precisely, the term meant the respect and following of Greek and Roman literature, art, and architecture. Because the principles of Classicism came from the rules and practices of the ancients, the term came to mean the devotion to specific academic standards.

In the 18th century, ‘Romanticism’ appeared as a creative, literary, and scholarly movement; it actually began in Europe and  was at its summit in most areas in the estimated period from 1798 to 1832 (some historians say- from 1800 to 1840). It was partly a reaction to the Industrial Revolution and was also a revolt against aristocratic social and political norms of the Neo-classical Age (Neo-classicism) or the ‘Age of Enlightenment’; it was also against the scientific interpretation of nature. Many critics mention that the Romantic Movement appeared in Germany, which soon spread to England as well as France, however, the main source of inspiration came from the events and ideologies of the French Revolution. Other than this, even the industrial revolution which began during the same period is also said to be responsible for the development of this movement. Though Romantic elements were found in art and literature since several centuries, it was the publication of ‘Lyrical Ballads’ by Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1798 that marked the beginning of the Romantic Period; it emphasised on the imagination and emotions, and marked especially in English literature by sensibility and the use of autobiographical material, an admiration of the primitive and the common man, an appreciation of external nature, an interest in the remote, a liking for melancholy, and the use in poetry of older verse forms. This period was (and still is) called the second creative period of English literature (Elizabethan Age is the first). The literature of this period was highly poetical and it was the golden age of the lyric.

Differences between Classicism and Romanticism:

Toward the end of the eighteenth-century, Romanticism emerged as a response to Classicism. Even though this change was gradual, it transformed everything from art and philosophy to education and science. While the Classicists thought of the world as having a rigid and strict structure, the romanticists thought of the world as a place to express their ideas and beliefs. The Romanticists and the Classicists differed in their views of the relationship between an individual and society, their views of nature and the relationship between reason and imagination. The particular differences between Classicism and Romanticism are-


Classicism emphasised on ‘reason’ and ‘restraint’.

Romanticism emphasised on ‘imagination’ and ‘passion’.


Classicism followed the three unities of time, place and action.

Romanticism only followed the unity of action, but does not follow the unities of time, place.


Classicism used strict, rigid and logical diction and theme.

Romanticism used simple diction of common men from their everyday life.


The Classicists thought that the world has a rigid and stern structure.

The Romanticists thought that the world is a place to express their ideas and beliefs.


Classicism was based on the idea that nature and human nature could be understood by reason and thought. The Classicists believed that nature was a self-contained machine, like a watch, whose laws of operation could be logically understood.

Romanticism viewed nature as mysterious and ever changing. The Romantic writers believed that nature is a forever changing living life form, whose laws we will never fully understand.


The Classicists thought that it was literature’s function to show the everyday values of humanity and the laws of human existence. Their idea was that Classicism supported and defended tradition, often to the point of opposing change, because tradition seemed a dependable testing ground for those laws; human potential is limited.

As for the Romanticists, they wrote about how man has no boundaries and endless possibilities. The Romantics emphasised the human potential for social progress and spiritual growth. Human potential is not limited. As Emerson asked, “Who,” “can set bounds to the possibilities of man?”


In the end, Classicism indicates the civilization of antiquity from Ancient Greece and Rome. In Classical era, it believed in thought and reason. Meanwhile, Romanticism derives from ‘romance’ – associated with imaginative literature and the free play of imagination. Each of these eras shares parallel and distinctive traits that had philosophical and cultural changes, which impacted musical styles and innovations.

Works Cited:

Ferber, Michael. 2010. Romanticism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.

Kallendorf, Craig. A Companion to the Classical Tradition. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-05-06.

Smith, Logan Pearsall (1924) Four words: romantic, originality, creative, genius. Oxford, Clarendon Press.

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Creative Writers, See How Much You Know on This Quiz

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Creative writing is so much more than stringing your words together in the proper order. It is the wondrous transport by which you place your own thoughts and fears into the hearts and minds of others. How much do you know about writing? Test your knowledge, and check your answers in the bottom half of the article.

1. The main climax scene is called the ________
2. The main idea of the entire story is called the ________
3. How you phrase your thoughts is called your writing _______
4. The four kinds of conflict are _________
5. Name the four points of view.
6. Name the two kinds of voice.
7. Another word for people “speaking” is _______
8. The first paragraph should set the ________
9. Developing a character is called _________
10. Making the readers see the setting in their minds is ________
11. Use _______, don’t tell.
12. When you have finished writing, the final step is _______
13. The end of the story is called the __________
14. Fantasy, horror and romance are three different ____________
15. Don’t split an ___________
16. Wordiness is called _________
17. A person who writes an article for someone else and receives no byline is called a ________
18. A writer’s pseudonym is his _________ name
19. A writer sends a ________ letter to see if the editor wants to buy his work
20. When a writer submits the same story to more than one place at the same time, it is called a _________ ______________


1a. The main climax scene is called the plot.
2a. The main idea of the entire story is called the theme.
3a. How you phrase your thoughts is called your writing style.
4a. The four kinds of conflict are man against man, man against nature, man against self, man against society
5a.. Name the four points of view – first person, 2nd person, third person limited, third person omniscient
6a. Name the two kinds of voice – active and passive
7a. Another word for people “speaking” is dialog.
8a. The first paragraph should set the hook
9a. Developing a character is called characterization.
10a. Making the readers see the setting in their minds is imagery.
11a. Use show, don’t tell.
12a. When you have finished writing, the next step is editing.
13a. The end of the story is called the resolution.
14a. Fantasy, horror and romance are three different genres.
15a. Don’t split an infinitive.
16a. Wordiness is called verbiage.
17a. A person who writes an article for someone else and receives no byline is called a ghost writer.
18a. A writer’s pseudonym is his pen name.
19a. A writer sends a query letter to see if the editor wants to buy his work.
20a. When a writer submits the same story to more than one place at the same time, it is called a multiple submission.

If you got all 20 questions right, yer a genius!
If you got 18-19 questions correct, yer a brainy dude!
If your score was 15-17, you dun good!
If’n you got 13-14 correct, there is hope for you!
Hmm… if you got less than 12 right, you better take the test again.

See below for more free writer’s tips!

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Professional Writers Toe the Line of Publishing Format Standards

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You’ve written, retooled, and revised. Now it’s time to turn your manuscript over to an editor to be refined before you submit it to the “critical eye” of a publisher. You want to ensure that your content is error free and compelling, of course. But you also want your manuscript to be formatted using generally accepted industry guidelines. Otherwise, the publisher may not even consider it.

Your editor will check both content and format. However, you’ll come across more professionally and save your editor time (and thus yourself money) if you’ve already formatted your manuscript according to industry standards. These guidelines aren’t carved in stone, but they’ve been gleaned from acquisition editors, various printed sources, and two major publishers:

• Put only one space between sentences. Two spaces is a holdover from the days when writers used typewriters. Computers use proportional spacing, eliminating the need for two spaces between sentences.

• Double-space text, and use a 12-point serif type (such as Times New Roman, which is standard).

• Leave about seven line spaces before each chapter head.

• Use a centered # or an extra line space to indicate a topic or scene break.

• Make margins a standard 1inch left, right, top, and bottom. The default for MS Word is 1.25 inches for the left and right margins, so you’d be wise to change the default to 1 inch.

• Set the alignment flush left, ragged right; never justified.

• Indent five spaces on the first line of a paragraph rather than putting a space between paragraphs.

• Don’t center titles using tabs or spaces; use the centering function.

• Use all caps sparingly; they’re hard to read.

• It’s more common to use italics than bold for emphasis. Avoid underscore-it looks amateurish and can be confused as a hyperlink.

• Learn to use the automated Table of Contents function. It’s a tremendous help as you add and update chapters. To do that, you need to embed Styles into your headings. That function is worth learning on Word. So is Insert Footnotes, View Headers/Footers, and many others. Take a Word tutorial or class, if necessary. You may discover functions you weren’t aware of that will save you time and help you to work more professionally.

• Show an ellipsis as three periods with a space both before and after and between each period. Add a fourth period when you want a thought to trail off at the end of a sentence.

• When you print out your document, use only one side of the page.

• Put your name, the working title of your book, and page number in the header at the top of each page. In the footer, include your phone number or email in a small font size in case pages get separated from the title page. Some authors add the copyright symbol and year.

These format guidelines are basic good policy if you want to submit your manuscript to a publisher as opposed to self-publish. Your editor will appreciate your professionalism, and a clean, consistent manuscript is easier to read and polish to a shine.

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