Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Map Out Your Blogging Calendar with These 10 Tips


by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

A new year means 52 new blog posts for us who are weekly bloggers. Some writers may be more adventurous and post more often, but I’ve found I need to blog just once a week to keep up with my schedule of writing, editing, and marketing. (If you can blog more, like Edie, I am rooting you on!)

When I plan what to write for my blog, I don’t worry about the number 52. Fifty-two posts is a lot to plan at one time. I focus more on the number 3. What can I write about in the next 3 months?

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Develop the Right Tools to be a Successful Writer


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

As writers, we’re warned early on to avoid the trap of comparison. Each of us has a different path to success—and a different path to publication. These varying ways of living life as a writer aren’t good and bad or even better and best—they’re just different.

Today I want to encourage you to do just the opposite.

Monday, January 14, 2019

How a Writer Can Put Power into a Point: Part 2

by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

Here is the link to Part 1 of How a Writer Can Put Power into a Point, it appeared on the Write Conversation Monday, December 10, 2018. Here are the main points from it: 
  • Speak in a Conversational Manner 
  • Don’t Read Your Slides
  • Keep Your Slides Simple

Now let’s go into Part 2.

Face Your Audience
Look at your audience. Imagine how you would feel if your audience had their behind to you for most of your presentation. With that in mind, don’t read from the screen with your back to the audience. 

If you need to read one or two of your slides, stand to the side of the screen. 

Remember your audience came to see you, not your slides. Face your audience to connect with them. 
  
Be Prepared
Be so well prepared that should the technological equipment fail to function, you can go on without the slides. 

I spoke at a women’s retreat where the power did go off on the second day. With my preparation of an outline and brief notes, I continued without the projector.

Stay away from the Projector’s Glare
When you speak, don’t block the screen. You don’t want the glare on your face. It does nothing to improve your looks. It ages you.  

When you don’t need your slides, turn the projector off with a media remote control if one is available. If one isn’t, turn it off yourself or have someone do it for you. 

Before your presentation, ask if the other person knows how to turn off the projector. If he/she does, that’s great. If not, give the person the opportunity to practice ahead of time.

At the end of a presentation I attended, eight women stood in front of the projector to have their picture taken. No one had turned off the projector. They had the glare on their faces for all the pictures. 

Use an Electronic Pointer   
Avoid the temptation to place your index finger on the screen to point to text on the slides. Newer models of media remote controls will have a pointer on them. Use the electronic pointer. If yours doesn’t have one, present the content without pointing. 

An author made a DVD of her presentation. Although she had excellent content, she pointed on the screen with her index finger throughout the presentation. I found it distracting. Her audience may have too. 

Furthermore, she blocked the view of the audience every time she pointed with her index finger. When the DVD showed the men and women in the audience, I could see them leaning to the right or to the left to see the screen.

Avoid Chemicals, Perfumes and Other Strong Odors
Many people suffer from allergies or asthma. As presenters, we want to do what we can to eliminate toxins that trigger allergies or asthma in our attendees. 

Everyone in our audience deserves a healthy, safe environment. 

Prior to my awareness and purchase of the Expo low odor dry erase markers, I wouldn’t use dry erase markers. I didn’t want to be responsible for someone in my audience going to the emergency room because of an allergy or asthma attack. 

Use Humor
When you speak on a heavy topic or give a lengthy presentation, break up the tension with humor. Please don’t insert a string of jokes that have nothing to do with your topic.

You can use an example from your own life or something that happens during your speaking engagement. For example, during an hour and a half presentation, I tripped over the cord on the microphone. I laughed at myself and said, “My name is not Grace.” The audience laughed with me.

We laughed harder when I tripped over the cord a second time.

You may find a cartoon online or a sign in your everyday life that enhances your presentation. Have your cell phone ready to take pictures. If your topic is self-editing, you’ll find countless billboards that will provide humor for your presentation.

To wrap up, here are the main points again:
  • Face your audience.
  • Be prepared.
  • Stay away from the projector’s glare.
  • Use an electronic pointer.
  • Avoid chemicals, perfumes and other strong odors.
  • Use humor.

Follow those guidelines along with the ones in Part 1 for a successful PowerPoint session. 

TWEETABLES
How a Writer Can Put Power into a Point: Part 2 - @YvonneOrtega1 on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Following these guidelines can help any writer put together a powerful PowerPoint session - @YvonneOrtega1 on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Yvonne Ortega speaks with honesty and humor as she shares her life and struggles through presentations that help women find comfort, peace, and purpose. Her background as a licensed professional counselor gives her a unique perspective into the heart of women. Her counseling experiences in jails, prisons, and outpatient services add depth and humor to her presentations, as do her years of teaching mostly high school and college Spanish. Her presentations are interactive and down-to- earth with application for the audience from God’s Word and his promises. 

Yvonne is also a speaking and writing coach and the owner of Moving from Broken to Beautiful®, LLC. She is the author of four books: Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer, Moving from Broken to Beautiful: 9 Life Lessons to Help You Move Forward, Moving from Broken to Beautiful® through Forgiveness, and Moving from Broken to Beautiful® through Grief

Yvonne is a member of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA), the Christian Authors Network (CAN), the National Speakers Association (NSA), and Toastmasters International. 

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Am I Content to Follow God—No Matter What?


Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him and He will do this. Psalm 37:5


A few summers ago, a group of us drove to the beach. We took several cars and, although I’d never been to that particular beach, I agreed to drive. Things were a little crazy when we left and, after we got on the road, I realized I hadn’t gotten written directions, or even the address to plug into my phone.

Friday, January 11, 2019

You Have a Great Scene, But What to Do With It?


by Marcia Moston @MarciaMoston

I’m sitting in a sterile hospital room with my husband. He’s here to find out the impact genes, age, and eating habits (I won’t discuss all those fast food and Dunkin’ Donuts wrappers I find in his truck) has had on his heart and arteries. A nurse enters and instructs him to take everything off and put on the blue-print dressing gown folded on the bed. “It opens in the back,” she says. Bob starts to undress. He understands her directive conveys another message: from this point on he will relinquish his right to privacy, what he usually keeps covered will now be laid bare. 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

7 Tips to Make You a More Observant Writer


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

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.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Quotations—How Writers Find the Original Source


by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

Often when editing a book for someone I come across a quote that is either improperly sourced or not sourced at all. When I ask the author about it, I have heard many answers. But the most appalling is, “Well, it was on the internet so I thought it was okay to use it.”

Yes, you can use it but not without proper credit and, sometimes, permission.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Writing So They Can’t Put it Down


by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

It was a fast read.”

In the beginning, hearing the words, “It’s a fast read,” almost made me feel a little sick. Was it a primer? Too elementary? But no. It was quiet the opposite. Being a fast read was one of the highest compliments I could have been paid. To have a reader pick up my book and continue to be so enthralled they couldn’t put it down, was a pat on the back.

Monday, January 7, 2019

A New Year & A New Column for Writers

Edie here. I cannot tell you how excited I am to have Ralene Burke joining us here on The Write Conversation. She's an amazing spec fiction author and has a heart to help other writers. I know you will be as blessed as I am to have her here. Be sure to give her a warm TWC welcome!


A New Year & A New Column for Writers
by Ralene Burke @RaleneB

Happy New Year, writers! My name is Ralene Burke, and I am the Marketing Director for Realm Makers (more on that in a minute). I am so thrilled that Edie invited us to have a monthly column on The Write Conversation. I have so many exciting things to share with you in the coming months—writing tips, special guests, and more—all having to do with some aspect of the growing genre of speculative fiction.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

A Locked Room of Promises


by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

The Lord has made a promise…He promises it as the one who fixed the sun to give light by day and the moon and stars to give light by night. He promises it as the one who stirs up the seas so that its waves roll. He promises it as the one who is known as the Lord who rules over all. Jeremiah 31:35, NET (The Introduction to the Book of Consolation)

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Writing To a Non-Christian World


by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth


But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect I Peter 3:15 (NIV)

A few years ago, I was sitting at the lunch table at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. This is one of my favorite places because I usually get there early and I never know who will join me. But I can expect that they love writing.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Evaluate Your 2018 Writing Year - What Worked & What Didn’t


by Lynn Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

Have you made resolutions for the new year? Did you choose one word? Do you think all of it is a waste of time because it won’t really make any difference by Valentine’s Day?

I’ve been all of those people over the years. I’ve made resolutions, chosen words, and sometimes refused to do any of it. I’m not knocking any of those options (I still like to choose one word), but over the past few years, there’s one simple process that I’ve found to be truly beneficial for me. You can do this exercise at the conclusion of any major or minor event—a calendar year, school year, vacation, writing conference, or birthday party—and it will be pay off down the road. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Subtext for Writers, Part 2 - How It's Done Right


by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

Last month, we talked about WHY we use sub-text in our stories. This month, we talk about a couple of ways to do it.

Character Information and Backstory
Why do you pick the characters you do for your story? We look for 'types' of characters - old, grumpy men, irritating children, aging hippies, warm grandmothers, gruff soldiers - we could names hundreds of character types, any of which might be the perfect one for a particular role in your story.