Like, you know, Verbal Pauses in a Short Story!

Fencing by Pearson Scott Foresman [Public Domain], via Wikimedia Commons
We all use them in our daily life, those extra words that give us a chance to regroup our thoughts when conversing.  Words such as “like” and “you know” have been parodied for years in both the film and written arts.  But other words such as “Because”, “Actually” and “So” go under the radar and many of these verbal pause words become part of the written narrative.

Verbal pauses are not good for short story writers. They create cultter, can bore and often frustrate or confuse the reader. Worse than can negatively effect the style you are creating within the story.

As a short story writer you must ask yourself:

  • Are these words necessary?
  • Are there more descriptive words that can be used? Is the room “very warm” or “hot”?
  • Are the words adding to the style or mood that you are trying to create?

A tool I have found helpful is the “word search” commands that come with most software. When I find a verbal pause word in my writing, I just type it in to the “word search” and find out where it appears in my story. Try this with some of your writings and you may be surprised.

The verbal pause sometimes does have a place in the short story.  When developing a character and their personality, the verbal pause can be an effective tool when used in dialog.

Well, I hope this article is informative and helps your writing in the future.  (I know, I know, I know…. I used a verbal pause!!)


Words for Charity 2017 Grant Program Submissions deadline in 4 weeks!

Publish for Charity an Illinois 501c3 will be closing submissions for the  2017 Grant Program for on April 30th.

Now is the time to submit your stories for review and possible selection as a winner of one of our generous $5000 grant awards.

Grant One – A grant of $5000.00 (minimum) will be awarded to the individual donator who short story(ies) contribution(s) generate the most gross donations to a charity.

Grant Two – A second Grant of $5000.00 (minimum) will be awarded upon a computer drawing of a contributor’s name.
This will be a random drawing with each contributing author receiving one entry in the drawing.

Grant Three – The third grant of $5000.00 (minimum) will be awarded to the individual randomly picked by a computer. This drawing will be weighted with each contributing author receiving one entry per story sold regardless of gross donations generated.

Of course a Grant program could not exist without some parameters in writing

Time period for submissions end on 4/30/17.
Measurements for Grants one and three will end on 7/31/17.
Stories previously published are eligible as long as the author has the right to do so.
WFC & PFC staff, board and ambassadors and their family members are not eligible.
All drawings will be made by computer algorithm based upon the rules set forth above.

“If you can run, bike or walk for a good cause, why not write for one”!

Control your Content!

The incredible beauty of writing is that there are no personal physical limitations to creating a great story.  Whether it is a novel, short story, poem, verse or any other format, the quality of the work is the story telling talent of the individual’s passion, imagination and skill.  Imagination and passion are unique inherent traits of each writer and this is what gives a story its creativity.  The true beauty of writing is that it has no limitation on creativity.


Skill on the other hand is learned.  What we learn through our education is part of this skill, with grammar being at the forefront.  What is just as important for the quality of a story (short or long) is the skill we acquire as storytellers.  It is this skill that is honed through time, process, and feedback that makes each individual’s voice unique and brings a quality to their work.

Let’s look at an area of writing; its content, that when performed at a level of high skill will create a quality reading experience that will enhance your reputation as a writer.

Content Inconsistencies – As a writer, your job is to have the reader leave the world they are currently in and enter the one you have created, to suspend all disbelief and move into an imaginary state.  To gain the trust of the reader, the writer must remain as consistent as possible.  A reader should never have to be brought back into the current state because of a lack of attention to detail in the story.

Content Repetition – Repetition can be either a hindrance or a powerful tool in creating a quality story, it is the skill of the writer that determines the outcome.  If the need to repeat something is essential to the story – many times repetition creates influence – then add some new detail that creates an inquisitive desire for the reader to continue. No matter what type of story you are writing, the quality and readability of your work will be harmed by irrelevant material.

Content Material – Every story has an ending. It is the road that is taken to reach that destination that determines the quality of the story. Engaging stories will reward the readers time by avoiding dull, inconsistent or wandering content.

I do have a short chuckle, when I hear the term “Content is key” when describing a blog or a website, as if this catch phrase was new or inventive to the Internet experience!  Since the time of telling stories around the fire at the base of the cave, content has been key!

Recommended Reading in the Rainy Season

Anthony Powell’s brilliant twelve-novel sequence chronicles the lives of over three hundred characters, and is a unique evocation of life in twentieth-century England. It is unrivalled for its scope, its humour and the enormous pleasure it has given to generations. Volume 2 contains the second three novels in the sequence: At Lady Molly’s; Casanova’s Chinese […]

via A Dance to the Music of Time: Summer – Anthony Powell — Book to the Future

Meet the Charities


Photo by Ed Gregory

When Publish for Charity (PFC) discussed the concept of “Words for Charity” a large part of the development time was spent on the Charities it wished to support.


After multiple discussions our criteria came into focus.  We wanted to offer writers a broad spectrum of quality organizations. These organizations would touch different areas of the philanthropic arena.  All of the organizations had to be creating an impact in their chosen cause and most importantly the organizations have to be delivering a substantial return on their donation dollar.

As we narrowed our focus, it became apparent that we could put together a small roster of quality Charities, that not only fit these criteria, but all had some impact on our lives or the lives of others close to us.

You can get to know more about these Charities by visiting

In the coming weeks we will be writing about each charity, from our personal experience, having witnessed their efforts or having been affected by the challenge that the charity is trying overcome.

There is no partnership between the Charities that were chosen and Publish for Charity or its affiliate program “Words for Charity”.  No money comes back from any of these organizations to PFC or  “Words for Charity”

If you wish to suggest a charity, please feel free to contact us at  The Charity should have a national footprint, and must  meet the criteria that have been developed.

If you are a writer, donate a story today and select one of our charities, as we are fond of saying “If you can walk, run or bike for a cause, why not write for one”