Just Write Right | Articles for Authors

For all the aspiring authors out there, this is for you. Enjoy!

Confusing Words

Sometimes sets of words that sound similar can be very frustrating for some writers. (I myself do not claim to be completely immune to confusing words.) Like 'Course' and 'Coarse'. 'There','Their' and 'They're'. There are lots of examples, I am going to list a few with the definitions below.

"Course" and "Coarse"

  • Lacking refinement or delicacy (Vulgar)
  • Inferior or common
  • Composed of large particles (Not of a fine texture)
  • He is a coarse/rough character. (He is vulgar)
  • His actions are rather coarse/rough. (He lacks refinement.)
  • Tweed wool is a coarse/rough material. (The material is not fine in texture.)


  • A direction
  • A place to play golf
  • School subject
  • Customary action (of course)

  • The plane flew off course and was lost.
  • Let's go to the golf course.
  • How many courses are you taking this summer?
  • Of course, we're ready to go.
"Affect" and "Effect"

affect to influence, to pretend (verbs); feeling (noun)
effect a result; being in operation (nouns); to make happen (verb)


Self-concept affects learning.1
She affected intellectualism by wearing glasses and using long words
Her affect is always sour in the morning.
One effect of lunar gravity is tides.
The new state income tax was in effect last fall.
The president effected a new policy on international trade.
Most often affect is used as a verb and effect is used as a noun. Something that affects you will have an effect on you.

"There", "Their" and "They're"

there that place, in that place
their belonging to them
they're contraction of they are


There are the dogs that dig in my garden.
The Browns let their dogs run loose again.
They're digging in my garden now.

"Lay" and "Lie"

lay to set down or place something
lie to recline; to tell a falsehood


Lay your weapons on the table.
I like to lie in the sun by the lake.
I don't lie, said George Washington.
lay to place horizontally (active past tense of lie)
laid put down (past tense and past participle of lay)
lain to be horizontal (past participle and passive past tense of lie)
lied told a falsehood (past tense and past participle of lie)


I lay in the sun all day yesterday.
George Washington never lied.
She laid her cards on the table.
She was laid to rest.
She had lain in the sun all afternoon.

If you can think of any other commonly confused words please feel free to contact me or comment below! Happy Writing!


3 Day Novel Contest!

Could You Write A Novel In 3 Days?! You may have noticed the new addition to my sidebar of buttons, notes and sponsors. The 3 Day Novel Contest is pretty self explanatory but i will elaborate anyway. Over labor day weekend contestants will have 3 days to write a novel, usually about 100 pages and they like double spaced.
"They" are the creators and editors of the 3 day novel contest in Vancouver BC, Canada.

"Wait a second!" I hear you all saying "I don't live in Vancouver, does that mean I'd have to go to Van for the contest?"

My answer (or rather, their answer) is NO! You can do this contest from anywhere in the world! The honor system is in place, but they have ways of knowing if you've cheated. Besides, you would really only be cheating yourself out of the experience.

Registration for the contest opens in April and there is a $50 (Canadian dollars) entry fee. You may write a short outline for yourself before the contest date and may start writing your masterpiece on Saturday no earlier than 12:01am and must stop no later than Midnight on Monday. They actually suggest that you stop at 8pm so you can give yourself time to edit and make sense of scenes that may have gone astray.

First prize is getting your book Published! Second prize is $500. Third is an honorable mention. All contestant's who sent in their manuscripts (regardless of their completeness) receives a certificate of completing the 3 day novel contest and the coveted "I survived" Sticker. All authors retain full rights to their work and may do as they wish with it after the contest is over.

I'll be talking more about this as the Contest date nears. I'm diving head first into this crazy challenge, what about you? You can read more about the 3 Day Contest at their Web page. Also, you can email them and request to be put on the mailing list to remind you of registration dates and such @ info@3daynovel.com

PS: I'm not making any money for promoting this contest, I just think it's way super cool :)


Just Write!

Just Write and stop thinking about getting it Right! (Wow did I ever just contradict the model of this blog). I'm talking about writers block. Too many aspiring writers concentrate so hard on getting every little thing perfect as they write that they don't get much writing done. Even worse is that later on some find that what they had originally written is not what they had intended at all and now they have to rewrite all that hard work! I say Just Write! Don't worry so much right away, let the story flow from your fingers onto paper/screen, you can always fix it later.

If you come to a scene in your story that you just can't seem pull from your imagination but you know the general idea of what you'd like to happen, than just write the general idea and move on. If you don't know how to begin your story but have been daydreaming about a particular scene than just write that and write your beginning later on when you know how you would like it to come about.

Now if you really find yourself in the throws of writers block and really really can't think of anything to write, note even free-writing. Then Just don't Write! Yes you read me right, Don't Write! Just walk away and take a breather. If you try to force yourself the only thing you may end of creating is a head ache. There are many things than can contribute to writers block such as too much coffee or additives in food that get your mind so scrambled that you just can't think. There are even more ways to 'cure' writers block. Here is a list of some of them:

  • Forbid yourself to write! For some people just laying back and deciding not to write will somehow trigger idea's to flow into their mind.
  • Taking a shower.
  • Going for a walk.
  • Read your book, like the previous chapter to the one your working on and hoping the idea will appear at the right time.
  • Talk it out! Call a friend and discuss your dilemma (A stuffed animal can sometimes work as well).
  • A change of scenery. Go somewhere else and write.
  • Stop using your computer and switch to the good old fashioned pen and paper. Sometimes staring at a screen for hours unending can hurt the brain.
  • There are a lot of people who suggest trying different writing exercises. Like writing in a different voice, free writing for 10 minutes or writing a short story.
  • Get inspired. Watch tv or read a book and imagine how you would like the next scene of the show or book to be, get your brain moving creatively then focus on your book again.
  • Do your research. Are you writing a snow storm? Sailing around Cape Horn? Go to google images and search for snow storms or Cape horn. Really SEE what your writing and go from there.
  • Clean your work space! I cannot think if my office is to cluttered (laptop on my bed). So clean up, let the light in and be pleasantly surprised how great you feel to sit back in your serene surroundings. Uncluttered work space = Uncluttered mind.
I could probably go on for days about the possibilities for curing writers block, but I won't. The trick is just don't force yourself, let it come naturally.