A is for Action 3
mock-up of the cover

I’ve been asked numerous times to create a manual for people I critique for, so

here and there I’m gonna take a weekend and jot down some of my secrets.

Those of you who have enjoyed The Dan Treatment on your critiques will recall some wise bits of info being delivered, and might even wish some of it were available in a reference manual for you.

Well, I’ll get to everything in due course, but when Allison created S Is For Story, I thought it’d be a great idea for her friends – me among them – to take a topic and dive deep into it. 

AM 4
I said, what a great idea!

For those of you who have expertise on certain areas, let me know what topic you might wanna tackle. This could evolve into a series and eventually an anthology-type omnibus. Meanwhile, I’ll get back to work and on the next rainy weekend I’ll pop out another one of these.

This one will be on sale soon enough, but if you’d like to read it NOW and are prepared to sing its praises on Ammy – or say it sucks, I guess, because I’m asking for truth and not just praise – then use the Contact Me button and I’ll send you a copy!

Limited quantities. Hurry!

Feel free to share this with your friends.

Other Ideas That May Need Addressing For The Series

  • B is for Beta Readers, Blurb, (Why You Should) Blog, a Bad review
  • C is for Character Interview, Critique Partners, Conferences, Cliffhanger chapter endings, Contests
  • D is for Dialogue Tags, Death
  • E is for Editing, Easy To Read Means Hard Work In The Writing, Author Events
  • F is for Funny, Fresh Eyes, Flash Fiction, Find Time To Write
  • G is for Grabber Opening,
  • H is for Hook, Hesitate
  • I is for Interview (Character Interview), Doing an author Interview, Immersion, Indie (why every writer should learn indie even if they wanna be trad
  • J is for Jump Cut between scenes
  • K is for Kick ass dialogue, kick ass characters, kick ass stories, Editing Kills
  • L is for Love
  • M is for Mystery, Marketing
  • N is for Nothing Is What It Seems
  • O is for Outline, Opening lines, 5 things for your opening chapter
  • P is for Plot Twists, Pace, go where the Pain lives, Psycho, Paranormal
  • Q is for Quitting (stay motivated)
  • R is for Reaction Before Action, Character Reactions (not rushing on to the next exciting scene), React (Have A Character React The Way You Want The Audience To React), Realism
  • S is for Sex Scenes, Signings, Sample chapters, your blog Sucks, Steamy scenes
  • T is for Tension, Teasing
  • U is for 10 Things That Make Your Story Unreadable, Uncomfortable (getting out of your comfort zone)
  • V is for Vices (your characters, to make them interesting; yours that keep you from writing), Vampire Romances as in please no
  • W is for Write Drunk/Edit Sober, find time to write, the spousal fight that comes from writing all the time
  • X is for X rated, Xenophobe – how to write black characters if you’re white, and gay guys, and other stuff
  • Y is for yellow and describing other colors in your story like sunsets, Yearning (will they/won’t they in Moonlighting, Cheers, and a million other stories), or: YES! I made a book – now what?
  • Z is for Zoo as in describing animals and yes I mean poop smell but not just poop smell, Zombies (as in please no)

What you thought – is correct

My daughter discovered this book series yesterday. Read her first book cover to cover in the afternoon.

Troy Cummings

They’re easy to read, so that’s not a big deal – but this next item is.

I checked out how a guy like this ends up with a series at Barnes & Noble, published traditionally and available everywhere – because we would all like that kind of exposure.

On his Random House FAQ, he said this (emphasis added by me):

Q: Do you think that really what it all boils down to is that you just have to keep at it?  In other words, once you stop writing, then it’s really hard to start again? And that the same goes for drawing?  Or even playing the saxophone?  Oh, and also that the more you create, the easier it is to create the next thing, be it writing a story or drawing a picture or sculpting a national park out of mashed potatoes or anything, really?

A: Yes.


Food For Thought (a.k.a. A Writely Kick in The Rear)


You are allowed to have early works. You are allowed to not be perfectly polished the first time out. You’re allowed to do a lot of things from which you’ll learn. But yeah, listening to naysayers, that’s not something I’d say you’re allowed to do.


Don’t forget the writing contest!

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You could win, you know. Somebody has to.

Writing Contest!

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How can we forget? You tell us every day!

Yeah, well…

We are already tracking to have more entries for this contest than we did for prior contests, so

you better bring your A Game!


For details, click HERE and check out the original post announcement.

THEN ENTER and show your stuff!

  • Win valuable prizes!

  • Winning stories featured here!

  • ALL entries critiqued by ME!

Enter NOW!

Give Yourself A Pat On The Back!

But first, a commercial…


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people-2607201_1280We work hard at this writing stuff. We deserve a pat on the back once in while.

And who else is gonna understand anyway? Except other writer types?

The biggest things writers lack is confidence, and that starts by acknowledging that what we did is worth some praise.

Big or small, let’s talk about them all – and build that confidence we all need.

Applaud YOUR writing accomplishments for the week here.

Or praise another author friend who did something worth noting.


Imagine if you saw 10 other people telling you your accomplishment was noteworthy. What difference could that make in your writing the next week?

Let’s find out.

10 Reasons Why YOU Should Enter Dan Alatorre’s MARCH 2018 Word Weaver Writing Contest

Now I gotta come up with 10 reasons why you should participate in my MARCH 2018 Word Weaver Writing Contest?

Well, let’s see…

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  1. There are cool prizes.

  2. Low entry fee.

  3. Possible recognition and fame. That’s always cool

  4. The winners’ stories will be featured on the blog.

  5. The winners will also get an author profile on the blog. You need that kind of attention. Marketing is hard. This is easy.

  6. Did I mention cool prizes? You’ll wanna see these.

  7. We have pretty judges. Probably. Or at least helpful critiques. ALL entries will be critiqued by bestselling author Dan Alatorre. (He’s kinda pretty.)

  8. You need to flex those writing muscles.

  9. I knew ten was too many reasons, dammit! Why do I always do this?

  10. By participating, you’ll have the ability to help grow this thing into something we can all be proud of down the road.

    Comment. Tweet. Reblog.

    Share this contest with your writer friends. Help writers get the input they need to become BETTER writers.


My blog received over 60,000 views last year!

My writing contests winners are the top viewed posts on the site. You’ll be kind of a big deal.

That’s a lot of eyeballs on YOUR STORY!


  • I have over 11,000 Twitter followers

  • 1,411 readers have liked my Facebook author page, and

  • I will be posting and Tweeting and sharing the contest all month with free and paid media,  PLUS winners get a ton of recognition during the award ceremony following the end of the contest as we profile the winning authors and showcase their stories.

  • Best of all, EVERY entry receive a critique from ME – so don’t wait, get your story in asap!

It’s a lot of fun and YOU could win!

Click HERE for details and to enter.

You have questions. Ask away.

Hey, we have a writing contest going on – with lots of cool prizes!

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Check it out HERE

your humble host

This blog has long been a friendly place to come and learn, and what better way to learn than to ask?

You have questions. Writer stuff, marketing, motivation, you name it.


Your questions. Your challenges. Your issues.

If I don’t know, we’ll put it out to my vast network of author friends and get an answer. Or I’ll make something up.


Many people helped me when I was starting out because I was willing to ask what I needed to know.

That shortened my learning curve substantially.

– Dan Alatorre

So go ahead. Ask me anything.