Saturday, March 25, 2017

5 Steps to a Novel Contract

Edie here. Today I'm so excited to introduce you to debut novelist Elva Cobb Martin. Her first book, Summer of Desire, released yesterday. Be sure to read all the way to the bottom to see the details. Blessings!

by Elva Cobb Martin 

Here are the five steps in a nutshell for those of you who may have a baby crying, or your washing machine walking across the floor, or something burning in the kitchen. . .
  1. Never Give Up
  2. Hone Your Craft
  3. Attend Writers’ Groups and Conferences
  4. Help Other Writers on Their Journey
  5. Learn How to Submit to Editors and Agents

You Recommended Us and They Listened!

Back in December I asked you—our loyal readers—to take a minute and nominate The Write Conversation for the Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers.

All your generous emails and comments paid off. I'm excited to announce that The Write Conversation made it!

The magazine his arrived for many contributors but it hasn't yet hit the newsstand. Nor has the web version of the list gone out. But as you can see, we have the pictures that show we're in there.

You all have been so loyal as we've tweaked things, changed things, and gone through some tough times. It's an honor to serve with the amazing contributors who selflessly share their wisdom about the publishing industry. 

Many thanks & blessings from all of us!
The Write Conversation Crew

The Write Conversation #writing blog is on the 2017 Writer's Digest 101 Best Website for Writers (Click to Tweet)

Friday, March 24, 2017

Personal Profile or Author Page - Which is Better?

by Lori Hatcher

Did you know there are different types of Facebook accounts?

If you’re an author who hopes to sell your book using this powerful social media engine, you need to know the difference. If you’re a speaker, agent, coach, or Mary Kay consultant who markets your services or products via Facebook, you also need to know. If you’re a grandma or grandpa who only uses the internet to post cute pictures of your grandchildren or pets, you’re safe. Permission to take a coffee break and come back tomorrow.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Ratchet Up the Tension By Making Your Hero’s Life Difficult

by Henry McLaughlin 
@RiverBend Sagas

Today, let’s explore the question: How can I make it worse for my hero?

Bring In a Gun
Mickey Spillane is credited with saying, “When your plot gets stuck, have someone come in with a gun.”

Why? Because the gun, no matter what the situation, makes things worse.

It doesn’t have to be a physical gun. It can be anything. Your heroine is exploring a strange house and the lights go out.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What’s in Your Character’s Closet?

by DiAnn Mills 

A creative writer grabs a reader by the heart and leads that reader into the character’s inner world. Consider that place a closet where life experiences are stored. There a character’s motivation comes alive. Secrets are revealed. Habits exposed. Fears emerge. Dreams surface.

If the writer successfully captures the reader’s imagination, the reader becomes the character, living the story vicariously from beginning to end.

What does the reader find inside the mysterious and always enlightening closet of your character’s world?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

When You Wonder If Your Work Even Matters…

by Lucinda Secrest 

Katherine was a human computer.

A black woman in the mid-century America NASA space program. Among other responsibilities, she calculated the trajectories for both the Mercury and Apollo missions.

But no one knew about her work.

Until the recent book and movie “Hidden Figures” revealed the true story of the “West Computers” – women who were at the heart of NASA’s advancements. Yes, even Katherine G. Johnson.

“They worked through equations that described every function of the plane, running the numbers often with no sense of the greater mission of the project. They contributed to the ever-changing design of a menagerie of wartime flying machines, making them faster, safer, and more aerodynamic. Unlike the male engineers, few of these women were acknowledged in academic publications or for their work on various projects.”

We all want our work to matter.

Monday, March 20, 2017

A List of Blogging Dos & Don'ts

by Edie Melson 

I love to blog, and I try to share my love of blogging when I teach at writing conferences.

I also know that many of you aren’t such fans. Many try to love blogging because it’s a good way to connect with readers and build an online presence. Others, don’t even try to love it, but do it out of necessity. The rest are like me, and enjoy the process as well as the connections it brings.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Tell Your Story

by Andy Lee 

She’s been misunderstood for centuries. Thought to be a loose woman. Divorced. Living with a man not her husband. Why in the world would Jesus plan to meet a woman like her at the well that day? Surely he knew who he was asking for water.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Keeping Our Writer's Eye Sharp

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

As writers, one of the things we do best is notice and record the world around us. We see people, situations, and things with a different sort of vision. How do you keep your writer's eye sharp?

Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

I also invite you to use this image any way you like online. Post it to your blog, share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, anywhere you'd like. All I ask is that you keep it intact, with my website watermark visible.

Don't forget to join the conversation!

Friday, March 17, 2017

You Might Have Commitment Issues as a Writer If…

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Choosing to be a writer can be a daunting prospect. It involves courage, creativity, and yes, commitment. When we’re unwilling to make that commitment, we can destine ourselves to failure before we’ve had a chance to succeed.

This post isn’t meant to beat anyone up, but rather to make us aware of some of the things holding us back on our writing journey.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

3 More “Hot” Amazon Subgenres or Trends?

Note from Edie. Neither Cyle nor I is advocating writing in some of these trends. The purpose behind this post is to make sure we've got our eyes wide open to the trends swirling around in the publishing waters. 

by Cyle Young 

Every few months it seems that the hot genres, subgenres, and trends changeover. Some previous trends cool off, while others heat up.

There is a significant correlation between popular movies and television show release dates and the desire for readers to purchase books of similar style, content, and feel.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

10 Spiritual Resources for the Christian Writer

by Katy Kauffman 

A war is raging. Light versus darkness, truth versus error, and hope versus desperation. God calls His children to be soldiers of light and bearers of truth. We are witnesses of the hope that is found in Jesus Christ. God has given us protective armor, the shield of faith, and the sword of the Spirit to help us fight powerfully and faithfully. For some of us, He has given us one more weapon—the pen.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Good, The Bad and the Memoir

by Cindy Sproles 

“I have a memoir.” An excited conferee said sitting across from an acquisitions editor.

An awkward silence filled the space between them. The editor tinkered with the manuscript. “We aren’t looking for memoirs.”

“But your site says you publish them.”

“We publish memoirs if you’re Brad Pitt, or George Clooney or you have a platform of millions.”

“But we have a story about how my mother overcame cancer.”

The editor smiled. “Thousands overcome cancer. It’s an over-done topic.”

Why are memoirs so hard to sell?

Monday, March 13, 2017

How Fast Should My Blog Grow?

by Edie Melson 

There are lots of exceptions to how fast a blog can grow. All I’m giving you is reasonable expectations for blog growth. 

The most important thing to remember is that healthy blog growth is organic. There are times when it will race ahead and times when it will plateau. We can all find examples of blogs that have grown incredibly fast, but we should never judge the growth of our own blogs by the exceptions.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

My Worth Isn't Determined by What I Say

by Sarah Van Diest 

Something to say?

We don’t always have something to say. It doesn’t change our worth, value or significance, it just means right now we are quiet. It is a good time to listen, to be still and know that He is God. It is a good time to employ our senses and take in from the world around us.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Tips to Refresh Your Creative Spirit When the Well Runs Dry

by Edie Melson 

We all have times when life spirals out of control. Maybe it’s too many writing deadlines, a family crisis or holiday madness. Whatever it is, it can drain us dry. I’ve learned that these dry times come when I don’t the luxury of taking a couple of weeks of to rest and recover. I’ve had to figure out how to keep going and recover while I'm doing it.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

What NOT To Do When Submitting to An Agent

by Tessa Emily Hall @TessaEmilyHall

I’ve worked at Hartline Literary Agency for a little over a year now—first as an intern for Cyle Young, then I began to work with him as a Jr. Agent. Learning about this side of the industry has been enlightening, to say the least. Although I’m primarily a writer at heart, the publishing process is fascinating to me as well. It’s thrilling to witness the multiple stages that a book undertakes along its path to publication.

My favorite part of this business, however, is helping other writers further their career and potentially play a role in the unfolding of their dreams.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Do You Squander Your Writing Gift?

by Linda Gilden 

Last Sunday my pastor preached a sermon from Luke 15 about the prodigal son who went to another country and squandered all the money his father had given him. When my pastor got to the word “squandered” it would not leave my mind.

First of all, that is just one of those words that stick with you. The sound of it brings a certain picture to mind. When you say it, you use facial muscles that you didn’t know you had. And although it is not a word that many people use frequently, once it surfaces in your vocabulary, you find yourself using it throughout the day.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

How Do You Write with Integrity?

by Cynthia Owens 

We each have ideals that exist in our minds—things like hope, compassion, kindness, and peace. We can attempt to live by these concepts, but until we capture them in some written form, they remain fuzzy and hard to grasp. What does it mean to be peaceful? How do we live compassionately?

One of these amorphous principles is writing integrity. How do we write with integrity? How do we even define it?

Monday, March 6, 2017

Take Social Media to the Next Level with These Two tips

by Edie Melson 

I teach social media all over the country. My students include writers, authors, ministries, even businesses. I’m asked over and over again for the secrets to my own success. Everyone is looking for that insider tip that can take social media to the next level.

Today I’m going to give you 2 of them.

But I’ve got to warn you, they’re not some difficult algorithm or complicated series of steps.

The simplicity of what I’m about to tell you will cause many to shake their heads and walk away. These tips seem too easy to work. Truthfully though, they are the secret to my own success.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

How Jesus Handled the Words Given Him

by Danetta Kellar @DanettaKellar

For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. John 17:8

We can learn much from the way Jesus handled words. In fact, his handling of words should be the metric by which we measure our own stewardship of this privileged craft.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Writing Books to Guide Authors from Steven James

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

My family likes to take Sunday afternoon drives through the countryside. We’ve been doing this for many years, that we know most of the roads around us. When we turn out of our development, we may take one of many routes we have already traveled, or we may find a new one. We only know we have to be home by dark.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Writers Change Lives

by Bruce Brady 

The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking; the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words. Proverbs 15:28 (NLT) 

What an awesome opportunity and responsibility!

The fact that God spoke the entire universe into existence is proof words are powerful.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

9 Things I Wish I'd Known at the Beginning of My Writing Journey

by Lynn Huggins Blackburn

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about my early years as a writer.
I had no idea what I was doing and I was so eager to learn. I took courses and went to critique groups and attended conferences, all in an effort to figure out how to do this writing thing right. And do you know what I remember most about that time?

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Idea Starters for Writers - Calendar Days - 30 Days of Crazy Holidays & Special Occasions in March

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

It’s time again for Calendar Days. These are just fun to read. They’re also a great way to jumpstart our creativity when looking for ideas for articles and blog posts. They’re also a fun writing prompt idea. 

In addition, calendar days are great conversation starters for social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, especially when two contrasting holidays fall on the same date. Take a look at the holidays and share the funny combinations you come up with in the comments section below!