Saturday, May 28, 2016

A Recap of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Through Memes

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

As most of you know, I've spent the past week as Director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. It was an amazing week—full of inspiration and encouragement. Some of the highlights came from our keynote speakers. These are memes I created during their keynotes. It thought it would give you a glimpse of what we experienced.

"Embrace the changes in publishing and put into practice the things that are working." ~DiAnn Mills

"The odds are always in God's favor." ~James Watkins

"If we're not growing as writers, we're dead." ~Eva Marie Everson

The pearl starts as the irritant. What irritates you to write? ~Jane Jenkins Herlong

"Creativity begins with the creator." ~Alton Gansky

Friday, May 27, 2016

Prayers for the Writer’s Soul

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

I read something today that made me cry.

Not because it was sad, but because it was beautiful. One of my favorite authors and theologians, John Piper, in two paragraphs, described God. He used a simple word picture and everyday language. No Greek. No Hebrew. No plumbing the depths of his vast theological training. Just a simple example connected to a profound spiritual truth.*

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Traits of a Successful Writing Critique Group

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

Traits of a Writing Critique Group
I’m sure we’ve all participated in or heard stories about horrible experiences with critique groups. I’ve had a few myself. Unfortunately, I may have contributed to some of them. To any writers I did this to, I apologize.

I’ve been writing seriously for over ten years. During this time, I’ve participated in many critique groups, both on line and in person. I’m honored and humbled to serve as a writing coach or mentor over numerous groups over the years.

Besides this, I belong to a small weekly in-person group who keep me anchored and encouraged. Society of Solitary Scribes, you know who you are. And thank you.

Over the years, I’ve noticed that successful groups have character traits that distinguish them from the unsuccessful. In no particular order they are:

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Stories Have Souls That Breathe Immortality

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

An unforgettable story steps beyond “Once upon a time” to a kingdom that captures the heart of a reader forever. Not every story has that golden world, and not every reader experiences the same soul-grabbing story. What lingers as a memorable novel for me may not give you an exceptional read. But what we will agree upon is the story touched us, spoke to us, and we were passionately involved in the lives of the characters and their quest.
The magic kingdom is filled with rare, distinct, haunting, and extraordinary characters who accompany us to our sweet spot of remembrance. Readers and writers dream the character is real and imagine themselves joining the journey. Some readers become the hero or heroine, much like children don super-hero costumes and develop mannerisms of their favorite character.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

7 Tips to Help You Focus Your Writer’s Eye

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

7 tips to help focus your writer's eye.
By and large writers are an observant lot. Things others might brush over or miss entirely stay with us, sparking ideas that blossom and grow. An overheard conversation can lead us to the plot of entire book.

But like any skill that comes naturally, there's still room for improvement. 

I call it focusing the writer’s eye. Today I want to give you seven tips to help you focus your writer's eye.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Get More Value Before, During & After a Writing Conference with Social Media

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Many writers have the mistaken idea that social networking is only beneficial online. Or that it only helps when you can’t be at an event. Not true.

While it’s true that social networking can help you plug in when you’re not at a conference or event—many miss the benefits of networking online before and during the conference.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Some Hard Truths About Being a Professional Writer

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Some hard truths about being a professional writer.
True confession time.

Writing is both the thing I love best and the thing I hate most.

When the words flow, it’s heaven on earth. When they stutter to a halt, the opposite is true. And the truth is, both of these circumstances are a regular part of the writer’s life.

We write when we feel like, and when we don’t; when we’re inspired, and when we’re not. Most of all we write because we have to. Putting words on paper is life to some of us and an addiction without a recovery group.