A Piece of My Mind: Yahoo Answers
Bennet Pomerantz

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
~ Douglas Adams, author of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series

You are not entitled to your opinion, you are entitled to your informed opinion. If you are not informed on the subject, then your opinion counts for nothing.
   ~ Harlan Ellison

There is a site online where people can get answers to their question about writing. It is called Yahoo! Answers. YES, Yahoo! Answers..people ask and answer..it's the biggest NETWORKING place I've ever seen!

Note: I do not agree with all of the answers on this site nor do I agree with all replies . Some of the questions regarding writing were interesting and I was moved to answer them. In this month's column have the reprinted my answers to these questions. You may not like what I answer, but these are my opinions:


What is the best way to edit a book? I have written a fantasy novel (125,000 words approx.) and have rewritten it twice. It is at a stage that I think is satisfactory and the best that I can do with it. For the next step I would like to get it edited. Whom would I go to do that?

You can hire an editor.

You can have other writer friends look at and edit it.

You can re-edit yourself.

Any of these methods will work, before you send it to a publisher. If the publisher wants your project, they will assign you an editor who will help you edit your book.

Good Luck, hope to see your project published soon.


Got any tips for an aspiring teen writer? I'm an aspiring teen writer. I want to be an author someday. One problem I have is that I can't seem to stick to anything. I'll start writing a story then throw it to the side after I'm only a few pages into it. I just get bored with my work so easily . . . I'll have all these ideas for the story but I get too lazy to wait to get to the part where my ideas coming into play. I just don't know how to . . . build up my stories. Also, I want to improve my writing. I don't think it's as good as it could be. Any tips or words of encouragement? Mostly tips would help.

Oh yeah, and do you think it's important for me to expand my vocabulary a lot or is it all right to use just a thesaurus? Sometimes I feel like if I just knew a bunch of words off hand then writing would be that much easier. 

A few tips:  Read a lot . . . Those who read a lot are usually more well rounded authors.

Write daily. Don't get lazy or too bored. It is okay to put a project away if you find it going nowhere (I have a draw full of them), but review it in a few months and see if you can rewrite it and finish it.

Keep an idea book . . . when an idea hits you, WRITE IT DOWN - I carry a notebook with me always. Someone at dinner tonight had an idea, and I wrote it down in my notebook.

Read the newspaper - think about if you were there and how you would relate it in a short story format.

Enjoy writing, if it becomes a chore you don't want to be a writer.


Do you think anyone could write a book if they put their mind to it?

My answer YES - that how some writers get started. Look at Jeffrey Archer that is what he said in his biography.


I want to be a writer. Can somebody give me some tips? Can somebody help me? I love to write. What books have you read, did they help, for you writers?

If you want to be a writer, the best advice I can give you is write.

Keep a journal,.

Write about what interests you.

Review books in your school paper or local paper.

Start taking writers' workshops.

Read more books - both fiction and non-fiction books.

If you want to write in a certain genre, read as many books you can in that genre. Look for different styles in the genre's books.

Read more classics and authors who use different styles . . . Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Arthur Conan-Doyle, Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen King, H.G. Welles, E.B. White, Julies Verne, Max Lucado, L .Frank Baum, Hal Clement, Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, etc.

Challenge yourself to try new writing and new ideas.


 Story help? I love writing, but I have a whole folder of half-written stories on my computer. I seriously need inspiration! I want to write a story called "Pickhart's Rose," set during WWII when children were evacuated to live in the country. One child goes to live with this old man: Mr. Pickhart, a retired gardener. It's all the about the events over the course of this child's stay with Mr. Pickhart. I need inspiration, sub-plots and good boys' names for that period!

Wonder why you have half-written stories? Have you tried to outline what you do in your stories or novellas?

A suggestion is do your research of assigned orphans of World War II. I also suggest you read the books or watch the movies Good Night Mister Tom and Bedknobs and Broomsticks for inspiration. Both these books/films address what you talk about in your novellas.

Any good baby book will give you some boys names.

Good Luck in writing it, try to finish this one.

So until next time, Reach for the Stars

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About the Writer:

Bennet Pomerantz is a media review columnist in 175 newspapers with his weekly column AUDIOWORLD. His fiction and reviews have appeared in the pages of Affaire De Coeur, Gateways, Mystery Scene, Power Star, The Hot Corner, Washington Entertainment Magazine, and many others. He is also known for his review appearances on the MCN Forum. View his web site at Audioworld.