Friday, March 22, 2019

Four Qualities to Look for In a Writing Critique Partner


By Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

In last month’s post, 4 Reasons Why You Need a Writing Critique Partner, I shared four reasons why every serious writer should have a critique partner. Today, I’d like to share four qualities to look for in choosing one.

Four Qualities to Look for in a Writing Critique Partner

Thursday, March 21, 2019

How to Use Pre-Publication Planning To Sell More Books


by Susan U. Neal RN, MBA, MHS @SusanNealYoga

Have you ever sold one thousand books in a few months? I did. I published my tactics in the Southern Writers article, “How to Sell One Thousand Books in Three Months.” Edie Melson suggested I share some tips from this article. I will review my strategies in two blog posts: “Pre-Publication Planning to Obtain High Book Sales” and “Marketing Strategies to Improve Book Sales.” To sell this volume of books an author needs to develop a plan that covers book inception to years after release. Here’s my method:

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Don’t Just Rehash Scripture, Scrapbook It When You Write


by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

Blah. Limp. Not enough. I scanned my paragraphs again and knew they weren’t sufficient. Where was the oomph? After all, I was talking about Scripture. My words had taken up space, but they weren’t useful or vibrant. I realized I was just rehashing what Scripture said, not adding any nuance or understanding in my book. I needed to “scrapbook” my writing. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Will You Surrender Your Writing to God?


by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

Sitting on the floor of the attic after discovering this little ceramic plaque, I realized anew how letting go must be one of the hardest choices ever made.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Marketing Strategy for Authors: Meme as You Write


by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

The best time to create marketing tools for a book is while you write or edit your words. That’s when the ideas are fresh in your mind. As a bonus, you’ll create materials ready to post when the book releases. I tend to do memes as I’m editing each chapter or unit. For writers who just make the deadline, it might work better to create memes after sending the book to the publisher or editor. The lag time before the release is another great time to get creative and focus on marketing.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

P.R.A.Y. When Your Writing Is Stuck


by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam 

When you find yourself at a loss for words to write, do you whine, slam your fist on the desk or quit and get up and walk away? I have to admit I’ve done all of these at some point (or maybe all three at one time). But I’m still writing, so what made a change for me?

Saturday, March 16, 2019

A Writer Looks at Lent


by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

As this posts we’re ten days into Lent—a penitential time in the Church year where Christians examine their lives and set aside time to reflect more fully on those sins and bad habits that often beset us. During Lent, believers prepare their hearts for Easter through prayer, repentance, and self-denial, so that we can more fully hear the voice of God. 

Friday, March 15, 2019

Lessons I've Learned on the Writing Road

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Following my heart to become a writer has taught me a lot. I still remember the first time I got brave enough to call myself a writer, and the excitement the first time I sold an article.

It wasn’t all rainbows and roses though. I remember the excitement of having my first manuscript taken to committee—and the devastation when the publisher ultimately rejected it.

I wouldn’t have traded a single minute of my experience. Even that rejection was good because truthfully, neither my manuscript or me was ready for publication.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Writers Beware - Avoid These 10 Time Thieves

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

As writers, one of our most valuable resources is time—especially time to write. We dream about it, plan for it, even run away to find it. Yet it’s often ourselves who stand in the way of having the time we need to write.

Today I’d like to share some hidden—and some not so hidden—time thieves.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Pinterest Basics for Writers

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

In the past year, Pinterest has come into its own as a valuable social media platform. Where once it was known as the place to go for ideas for things, it's now a powerhouse in the social media realm. 

But like any social media platform, it has its own culture and best practices. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Tips For Learning the Craft of Writing


by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

“How do you ever learn it all? There’s so much and it changes so fast.” The conferee leaned forward in his chair and scratched his chin. He had a great question. My answer was simple. “You don’t. You continue to study and learn.” 

Monday, March 11, 2019

Tools for Writers & Speakers, How Writers & Speakers Can Use a Flip Chart Effectively, Part 2


by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

If you haven’t read How Writers and Speakers Can Use a Flip Chart Effectively Part 1, it appeared in the Write Conversation on Monday, February 11, 2019. Here are the main points from it:
  • Find an adjustable flip chart stand with a case.
  • Adjust the height of the flip chart yourself.
  • Make sure the flip chart stand has wheels that lock.
  • Buy a flip chart with lined paper.
  • Use a flip chart that comes with adhesive sheets.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Growing Fruit from Writing Failure


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control… Galatians 5:22-23

For me, this verse is tough. Some of the things listed are easy. Some…well…not so much. 

In my travels the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to hear about other the journey to publication from a lot of different authors. I noticed most of us have a similar story. Very few had a direct route. Instead we traveled a circuitous trip full of bumps and detours.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

It’s Important to Tell Our Readers a Story


by Beth Vogt @BethVogt


“Tell the readers a story! Because without a story, you are merely using words to prove you can string them together in logical sentences.”
Anne McCaffrey (1926-2011), first woman to win a Hugo Award for fiction

Let’s just be honest with each other, writer-friends: We complicate this whole writing process. 

Friday, March 8, 2019

Where Should a Writer Begin?

Kathleen Neely @NeelyKneely3628

So, you want to write a novel. Where do you begin? Let me answer that through the experience of mistakes. 

The Least of These was the first novel I wrote, although not the first to reach publication.I had what I deemed was a great novel idea, so I went to my computer and began penning the words that would intro my great story. My mind had events, but no overarching concept. I had characters, but I didn’t know them closely. I had a conclusion that held no character growth, no take-aways. That novel took about eighteen years to write. I abandoned it numerous times, but kept returning to my inferior manuscript. When I got serious about writing, I knew I needed help.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Value of Studying Personalities for Writers


by Lynn Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

Are you a personality geek?

I kind of am.

I’m not to the point that I would claim to know and understand all the variants of all the different types out there, but I may get a little bit too excited when I read a description and have that “Oh, my word! How did they know I do that?” moment. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Subtext for Writers, Part 4 - Images, Metaphors, and Genre


by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

We’ve spent the last three months exploring the various ways we create subtext for our characters, using the way they interact with other characters to explain “what lies beneath”.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

How To Navigate a Writing Conference (Part 1)


by PeggySue Wells @PeggySueWells

A writers conference is an opportune time to talk with editors, publishers, agents, and authors. Understandably, many writers feel nervous about discussing their ideas and work-in-progress with these industry experts. But with some strategic preparation, you can have a productive face-to-face meeting.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Narrowing Your Reading Audience—Spec Fic Style!


by Ralene Burke @RaleneB

I love Christian fiction. Really, I do. But when I sit down to read, more often then not, I want to get lost in new worlds and go on grand adventures and meet new kinds of people. We don’t often see much of that in the normal Christian fiction.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Writing From the Cave


by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble. (Psalm 142:1-2, A Maskil of David. When he was in the cave. A prayer.)

Some of the richest words in the world have been written from the caves of life.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Why Would I Return to a Writers Conference?


by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

Six years ago, I attended a writers’ conference for the first time. It was one of the steps that started me on this journey. This past weekend, I was lucky enough to return to the Asheville Christian Writers Conference (ACWC) that was held at the Cove outside of Asheville, North Carolina.

For the sixth time. Six times?

Friday, March 1, 2019

Tips to Keep From Being Legalistic about Social Media


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson


Social media stresses a lot of people out, but it doesn’t have to.

One of the biggest issues is that people tend to approach it with a have-to-do, legalistic mindset. Truthfully, because successful social media is all about relationship building, it works best when we treat it organically.

Because it’s easier to manage with a set of guidelines:
  • Be consistent.
  • Avoid self promotion.
It’s easy to get caught up in the to do list and forget the point.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Writing Rejection Doesn’t Define Who We Are


by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

Rejection does not define who we are unless we let it. (Rene Gutteridge)

Rene Gutteridge is one of the major influencers in my writing life. From a critique at one of my first writers’ conferences to her teaching at conferences to her own novels and her blogs and articles on the craft, I have learned from her.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Tips for Facing the Challenges of the Writer’s Life


by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

A writer’s life doesn’t fit the 9-5 mold of most of the working world. Challenges smack us in the face, and we must be ready to evaluate what we are doing right and what we are doing not-so-right. Sometimes we need to evaluate our habits and if necessary make changes that will help us be successful in our writing career. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Dipping the Quill Deeper—The Value of a Critique Group


by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson

In March 1997, five Christian writers gathered around a table in Longwood, Florida with one goal in mind: to become better writers. We wanted to be the iron that sharpened iron by use of honest critique that included “what works” as well as “what needs to be improved upon.”

Monday, February 25, 2019

When Do You Let Go of a Piece of Writing?


by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

Stalled. Going nowhere. Can’t think of a way out. Nothing works. 

It happens to nearly every writer at some point. It’s happened to me before, but for a different reason. All I needed then was a brainstorming session with a crit partner, a little plotting, and I was off again, racing to the end. 

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Bank on It


by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

It’s getting embarrassing. I am embarrassingly dependent on my debit card. 

One day not too long ago I couldn’t find it. I looked everywhere all afternoon. Even by the next morning, still no trace. I searched high and low, near and far. I even searched under the sofa cushions. I have to be desperate to do that because it’s scary under there. I found 37 cents, three marbles, a T shirt (how had we ignored that lump?), seven M&M’s, a screwdriver, my favorite sunglasses, and the TV remote (hey, we’d been looking for that thing). But no card.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Selling Books from the Platform (without selling)


by Cathy Fyock @CathyFyock


You’re speaking at a conference or seminar. You’d like to sell your books. But you also know that the event planner has strict rules about not selling from the platform. 

How can you sell books without selling books?

Friday, February 22, 2019

Four Reasons Why You Need a Writing Critique Partner


By Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

Writers hear all the time that the life we’ve chosen (or the life that chose us) is a solitary one. After all, it’s hard to listen to the internal dialogue of our imaginary characters if the external dialogue of real-life characters drowns it out. The two-ears-one-brain thing has always made it impossible for me to write in noisy places filled with people – especially people who want to talk to me. So my best, most-productive writing usually happens when I’m alone.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

New Goals & A New Writing You

by Susan U. Neal RN, MBA, MHS @SusanNealYoga


The first few months of a new year fosters a time for reflection and planning. It is a time to look back on last year, evaluate what you did, and plan for the next year. The new year motivates one to meet with the Lord and meditate upon his will for a person’s writing ministry. Have you taken the time to plan for 2019?

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

To Edit or Not To Edit As You Write


by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

It’s strange the things you notice once you’ve been writing and editing your own work. These kinds of thoughts often zip through my mind:
  • Those praise music lyrics are missing punctuation. (Does that drive you crazy, too?)
  • I’m writing compound sentences in my e-mails without commas. (And feeling guilty about it.)
  • I can’t send this text until it’s perfect.(Half the time I’m missing something.)

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

3 Reasons the World Needs Your Words


by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel


Every writer comes to the point where we ask “Why does the world need my words?”

As I look back at a lifetime of being a word girl—ever since my very first job out of college as editorial assistant of “Carolina Country” magazine—I have observed that the words we speak and the words we write do have power—for Change, Challenge and Courage.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Prepare For Writing Conference Success

by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

Writing conferences offer training to network opportunities, so prepare to gain the most out of attending one. Conferences became my launch pad to success and it can be that for you! Amazingly, these steps also help build your marketing skills  as you define ideas, pitch, and expand your network.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

We’re All Members of a Single Body


by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

Have you ever worked on a project with a team and slowly took charge of the project?
Or do you feel overwhelmed and unneeded when someone is a stronger personality and they take over? To be honest, I have felt both sides of this issue. 

Saturday, February 16, 2019

A Case for Journaling for Writers (and everyone else)


by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

It was one of those rainy days of the soul, when a cup of tea and a book seemed to be the protocol of choice. Dragging myself to my library, I scanned the shelf reserved for unread books—stories that waited to spirit me away from the present into a better place. Adventures that would take my mind off myself and maybe, just maybe, would bring light to a dark day. At once my eyes fell on two leather-bound journals that had been mistakenly placed there. 

Friday, February 15, 2019

Answers to Some of the Questions Authors Ask—I'm Ready for the Big Time!


by Traci Tyne Hilton @TraciTyneHilton

#5 in a series where I answer questions I suspect you are asking

Indie Author:How do I get a traditional publisher to buy the book I indie published? It’s awesome and I could really use the bookshelf space I’d get from going trad. Also, how much money should I ask for when they offer me the deal?

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Fall in Love With Social Media - 11 Things to Love


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson


Let’s face it, social media takes a lot of hard knocks and gathers a good bit of bad press. 

I know I’m guilty of thinking only about the drudgery of doing it, even as I acknowledge the necessity. 

But just like almost anything we have to do—or even love to do—there are good parts and bad parts.

Today we’re going to concentrate on the good parts!


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

PSL - Publishing As a Second Language – Networking Defined


by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden


The Oxford Dictionaries define “networking” as “the action or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.” What a perfect definition for writers!

If you are just starting out, you may be wondering why writers even need to think about networking. Isn’t the important thing that we learn how to write, create excellent manuscripts, then share them with the public to help change their lives?

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Writing for Every Type of Reader


by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

My mother is on the upside of 93-years-old. Weekly she reads two to three NOVELS. Not just short little novellas, but novels. Obviously, she loves reading. There’s no doubt it keeps her spry in her senior years. Her love of reading began to make me wonder exactly what draws her to read so intently.

It’s important to know there are two types of readers. Those who savor every word and those who read for the pure love of reading. The two vary greatly, so let's identify these reader types and what draws them into reading.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Tools for Writers & Speakers, How Writers & Speakers Can Use a Flip Chart Effectively


by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1


How can writers flip the chart? Not their lid. If you have a breakout session or a small group discussion scheduled, you may want to use a flip chart. However, you want to do it with confidence and polish. 

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Remembering The Power Behind Our Written Words



by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

These words I speak to you are not mere additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundation words, words to build a life on. Luke 6:46-47 (The Message)

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Overcoming the Stress of Writing the First Draft


by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

“The first draft is just telling yourself the story.”
Terry Pratchett (1948-2015), English fantasy author

We writers tend to stress about our first drafts. 

Friday, February 8, 2019

The Exuberant Exclamation Point!!! It’s Not Going Gentle Into That Punctuation Slush Pile


by Marcia Moston @MarciaMoston

I’m sitting in a hospital waiting area for open-heart surgery patients—one of whom is my husband. The text notification on my phone pings with a message of concern from a friend. The message ends with three exclamation points and the following clarification (just in case the three marks failed to convey the intensity of sincerity):  “Lots of exclamation points to indicate sincerity and concern.”

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Subtext for Writers, Part 3 - Words, Gestures, and Action


by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

We continue learning about sub-text through words, gestures, and action:

Using words to find what lies beneath may be the easiest of all—the one most of us already have down pat—saying one thing when we mean another. Characters are no different. We give our characters words to say while we give them an entirely different set of feelings, actions and behaviors. This is meant to intrigue the reader, to make them want to read more. Sometimes it's more difficult than others but, ultimately, a writer can have two completely different conversations going on between two people at the same time - one on the surface (text) while the other (subtext) is showing the reader what is really going on.


Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Grammar for Writers—Tenses Make Me Tense


by PeggySue Wells @PeggySueWells

Does your writing suffer from irregular tenses? Consistent tense is essential for the health of your manuscript and protects your reader and editor from timeline whiplash.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Finding Your Writing Tribe


by Ralene Burke @RaleneB

Hey, friends! It’s Ralene, your friendly fantasy fanatic again. You know, when I first got involved in the writing world, I was pretty normal—by writer standards anyway, pretty sure the non-writers still thought I was a bit weird. My first novel was a contemporary YA where I learned I knew nothing about writing and needed to start fresh. So, I wrote an adult suspense.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

When God Sends Us Into the Teeth of the Storm


by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

Immediately he (Jesus) made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. Mark 6:45, ESV

And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. Mark 6:48, ESV

The scene is pitiful. Evening has come and darkness encompasses the fledgling band of obedient disciples. They have been forced to go ahead of Jesus after an utterly exhausting day, and their efforts to obey are met with resistance and opposition. The One they rely upon is not with them, or so it seems. Even the weather is against them. Shoving and pushing, it stubbornly refuses to allow their little boat to make progress across the choppy water. 

Friday, February 1, 2019

Need More Time to Write? Just Say NO!


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I don’t mean no to writing opportunities—say no to some other things in your life. 

We all only have so much time in a day. And if you’re like me, life is filled to overflowing. So that means changing some priorities. 

Sounds easy, but to anyone who’s tried, it can be tough to carve out time for writing.