104 Articles on
Creative Writing
first created and published on the Internet between
September 24, 2004 and September 29, 2006
(Edited December 2006)
Stephen P. Byers
in association with
Banyon Publishing
Tampa, Florida

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Copyright 2006 by Stephen P. Byers
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be
reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any
means, electronic or mechanical, including
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storage and retrieval system without permission in
writing from the author.

Illustrations by the author.
Logo by Greg Mack (2001).
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Little Man

December 31, 2006


The Book Doctor Series is dedicated to


Here's why!

On September 3, 2004 I received an unsolicited e-mail from an unknown source, inquiring about my interest in selling a book for which I had written a testimonial several years ago. I construed the message as another in the never-ending appeals of aggressive marketers. I was wrong. I soon discovered my path had crossed an earnest provider of goodwill. After some discussion, I agreed to write a weekly article on creative writing titled the Book Doctor for Banyon Network to publish on the Internet.
     My first article appeared on September 24, 2004. One hundred and five weeks later—I missed Thanksgiving week in 2004—I filed my last article in the series. I enjoyed a wonderful two-year learning experience from which nobody benefited more than I did. Complimentary emails regularly flowed into Banyon. Before long the Book Doctor attracted some attention. The tributes surprised and delighted me, but one in particular hit the bull's-eye. It identified the fact that Banyon delivered their services for the benefit of self-publishers for no remuneration. The e-mail that drew my attention read as follows:

"Congratulations, you seem to be growing. I heard about you from some musicians who found your site to be an inspiration to any artist. I hear you do it all for free? What a great contribution in this self-absorbed get-the-dollar-at-all-costs society.

Thank you,                  
Doug — Detroit, MI."

     During the summer of 2005, my wife, Elspeth, and I planned a trip to take our youngest two grandchildren and their parents to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. When we finally set our travel dates, I realized we had an opportunity to meet the man behind Banyon, suggesting perhaps we might celebrate with a booksigning. He responded with enthusiasm. Before I could catch my breath he had several local authors enlisted and the event organized.
     Elspeth and I arrived to an empty parking lot in Tampa about nine o'clock in the morning of November 5, 2005. We wondered if we had made a mistake, but soon various authors straggled in and we found ourselves in pleasant, but subdued, company. A few minutes before ten, a large car arrived, maneuvered around the parking lot and finally came to rest. A tall, husky man unfolded himself from the front seat and strode towards us with hand outstretched.
     "Hello," he said, "I'm Jay Johnson."
     The parking area came alive with hugs and greetings. The compliments and congeniality was beyond anything I expected. Despite the poor attendance at the booksigning—for which Jay profusely apologized although it certainly wasn't his fault—Elspeth and I had a wonderful time. The highlight was Jay's personal magnetism that brought the gathering to life and never let it wither. As an expression of my great admiration, and my sincere appreciation for inviting and encouraging me to write The Book Doctor Series, I dedicate this publication to its founder and inspirer, the man whose attitude in response to all challenges is forever positive, Jay Johnson of Tampa, Florida.

Stephen P. Byers 
Lowell, Arkansas
December, 2006  

 1Introductory Remarks1 
 2Use Action-oriented Verbs2 
 3There's More Than One Way To Show3 
 4About Sentence Construction4 
 5Defining Restrictive & Non-restrictive5 
 7Setting The Scene7 
 8Teaching Students To Write A Story8 
 9Character Roles — Part 19 
 10Character Roles — Part 210 
 11Character Roles — Part 311 
 12Character Roles — Part 412 
 13Dreaming The Story — Part 113 
 14Dreaming The Story — Part 214 
 15Character Attributes — Part 115 
 16Character Attributes — Part 216 
 17Subjectivity, Objectivity & Perspective17 
 18Freewriting — Part 118 
 19Freewriting — Part 219 
 20Freewriting — Part 320 
 21How To Create A Story — Part 121 
 22How To Create A Story — Part 222 
 23How To Create A Story — Part 323 
 24How To Create A Story — Part 424 
 25How To Create A Story — Part 525 
 26Defining Creative Writing26 
 27Introducing The Four Writing Formats27 
 29Writing Dialogue29 
 30The Writing Formula30 
 31Authorial Comment & Internalization31 
 32Adverbs — Part 132 
 33Adverbs — Part 233 
 34Adverbs — Part 334 
 35An Exercise In Freewriting35 
 36How I Came To Write — Part 136 
 37How I Came To Write — Part 237 
 38How I Came To Write — Part 338 
 39Suspense — Part139 
 40Suspense — Part240 
 41Suspense — Part341 
 42Test Your Editing Skills — Part 142 
 43Test Your Editing Skills — Part 243 
 44Test Your Editing Skills — Part 344 
 45Parenthetical Interjections45 
 46Self-publishing Discipline46 
 47Writing Style47 
 48Character Interactions48 
 49Story Structure — Part 149 
 50Story Structure — Part 250 
 51Controversy & Risk51 
 52Checking The Verb "To Be"52 
 53On Concise Writing — Part 153 
 54On Concise Writing — Part 254 
 55On Concise Writing — Part 355 
 56On Concise Writing — Part 456 
 57Assumptions In Fiction57 
 58Critiques & Sensitvity58 
 59Story Preparation — Part 159 
 60Story Preparation — Part 260 
 61Story Preparation — Part 361 
 62Story Preparation — Part 462 
 FltFlight 2798 To PhoenixFlt 
 63Story Analysis — Part 163 
 64Story Analysis — Part 264 
 65Story Analysis — Part 365 
 66Story Analysis — Part 466 
 67Story Analysis — Part 567 
 68Story Analysis — Part 668 
 69Story Analysis — Part 769 
 71Thinking About Punctuation71 
 72More Thoughts About Punctuation72 
 73Peeking At Pronouns — Part 173 
 74Peeking At Pronouns — Part 274 
 75Peeking At Pronouns — Part 375 
 76Peeking At Pronouns — Part 476 
 77Grammar Is Important77 
 78Introducing The Power Of Four78 
 79The Art Of Story Planning — Part 179 
 80The Art Of Story Planning — Part 280 
 81The Art Of Story Planning — Part 381 
 82The Art Of Story Planning — Part 482 
 83The Art Of Story Planning — Part 583 
 84The Art Of Story Planning — Part 684 
 85The Art Of Story Planning — Part 785 
 86The Art Of Story Planning — Part 886 
 87Exploring Critiques87 
 88Evaluating Writing88 
 89Infusing Emotion — Part 189 
 90Infusing Emotion — Part 290 
 91Infusing Emotion — Part 391 
 92Infusing Emotion — Part 492 
 93Infusing Emotion — Part 593 
 94Infusing Emotion — Part 694 
 95Infusing Emotion — Part 795 
 96Story Forms — Part 196 
 97Story Forms — Part 297 
 98Story Forms — Part 398 
 99Story Forms — Part 499 
 100Story Forms — Part 5100 
 101Perspective Revisited101 
 102Ronald B. Tobias On Plot102 
 103Action & Character103 
 104Above All Else104 

The Naked Jaybird (1999)
Bent Coin(1999)
Lost River Bridge (2001)
Goad of Honor(2005)
Creative Writing for Seniors (2003)
Creative Writing Workshop — Second Edition (2004)