Friday, April 19, 2019

Writing Through the Tough Times Brings Discovery

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I’ve never met anyone who had an easy life. I’ve met a lot of people that looked like they did—from the outside. But once I’ve gotten to know them, I quickly learned that things were never what they seemed. This holds true for writers.

Those who have the luxury of writing full-time have the same struggles faced by those who have limited time.

That leads me to what I think is one of the biggest lies about writing—the myth of finding time to write. Truthfully, that time is never found. It’s carved out of our busy lives. It doesn’t matter if you’re a bestselling author or just starting to put pen to paper. And whether or not we consistently carve out that time, no matter what’s happening around us, will determine how successful we are.

As writers, we need to realize tough times will come. And it’s during those times that our commitment will be tested and our resolve will be forged.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Marketing Strategies to Improve Book Sales

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

Today’s article will finish the topic from the Southern Writers article, “How to Sell One Thousand Books in Three Months.” Last month The Write Conversation posted the blog “How to Use Pre-Publication Planning to Sell More Books” Today, we will review the after publication marketing plan. Publishers expect an author to market their book. The marketing section of a book proposal is a selling component of any pitch.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Platform Building for Writers: Focusing on Content More than Numbers

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

“Just post something.” Once platform-building began to take more time than writing, this subtle mantra echoed in my subconscious. Of course, I wanted to post something worthwhile on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, LinkedIn, and more. But who has time to keep up with all of that when you’re writing a book and blogging every week? I was overwhelmed and desperate. I just wanted to post something.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Writer, What’s Your Side Hustle?

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

Let’s face it, most writers simply cannot financially support ourselves on writing alone. If you are one of those best-selling authors who does, you have permission to totally stop reading now.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Marketing Strategy: Make Followers Feel Special

by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

I recently posted a cover reveal as a FB live. I have not posted the cover anywhere else yet, I wanted my FB followers to feel special and be the first to hear the news from me (it is on amazon if one knows the title of searches for my books). This is part of engage marketing where you interact with your readers and make them feel special. They should become special to you too as you interact. Growing a tribe focuses on growing friendships and making them feel you care about them. 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

The Work of Jesus' Hands

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

In this season of Easter, my thoughts and imaginings have turned to hands. Of course you know what started me down that path. The image of Jesus’ nail-scarred palms are everywhere. But as I reflect on those precious hands, I realize the story of our Savior’s hands begin much earlier. 

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Write What You Know x 2

by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

“It's better to write about things you feel than about things you know about.”
- L. P. Hartley (1895-1972), British novelist

Humorist Mark Twain said, “Write what you know.” 

And other writers have been debating his advice ever since. 

Does “write what you know” mean to base our stories on our practical life experience – education, occupation, travels? Or does “write what you know” mean to tune into our emotions and write from the overflow of our heart?

Friday, April 12, 2019

What is Flash Fiction?

Edie here. Today I'm so glad to introduce you to a friend of mine. Lindsey Brackett is a wonderful writer and her first novel, Still Waters, has garnered a lot of critical acclaim. Beyond that she's a talented editor and writes wonderful flash fiction. I invited her to share about Flash Fiction today and she's also provided a place for us to submit our own stories. Please give her a warm TWC welcome!

What is Flash Fiction?
by Lindsey P. Brackett @LindsBrac

When I first started teaching at writers’ conferences, I represented a company entirely devoted to the art of flash fiction. But before I began attending conferences, I didn’t even know flash fiction existed. Once I discovered it, though, working in this form of short fiction changed my writing—for the better.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Soul Care for Writers

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson 

Those who write have opened themselves to specific stresses. We pull from what’s inside us to create a gift. Our individual goals and dreams are as varied at the words we use. No matter why we write, I believe we each fight this battle to bring forth words to make the world a better place. We are hope givers, joy bringers, and light shiners. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Publishing as a Second Language – Defining Editing

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

It may surprise you to see “editing” listed as a term we need to know to understand publishing. After all, doesn’t everyone know that editing is simply the process of correcting, condensing, and polishing a manuscript in preparation for publication or other distribution?

The truth is there is nothing simple about the process of editing and that is why we need to take a closer look into exactly what that means.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Don't let Fear Paralyze Your Writing

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

I have a confession. It’s not the kind that involves a lie or something terrible, instead, it’s something frightening and it’s affecting my ability to write.

You might ask, what is so terrible that a writer can’t write? What’s so frightening that she can’t manage to enter her office? 

Monday, April 8, 2019

How To Craft An Introduction for Your Speaking Engagement, Part 1

by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

“I can’t speak for you this weekend, ma’am. I don’t have anything to say, and no one wants to hear me anyway.”

“Yvonne, you do have something to say, and we do want to hear you. I’ll see you tomorrow—on stage.” And she hung up.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Writing from the Desert

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water (Psalm 63:1, When David was in the Desert of Judah).

Bump, roll…thump! Bump, roll…thump!


Saturday, April 6, 2019

What Would You Do If Writing Let You Onto The Big Stage

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

I’ve just finished Tim LaHaye’s Jesus. It’s a look back through history at why the world is still fascinated by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. In the last chapter, he writes that while following Christ is a choice with eternal consequences, often the journey will be unpopular here on earth.

It got me thinking. (Don’t you hate that.)

Friday, April 5, 2019

Becoming a Middle of the Pack Writer

Edie here. I'm so thrilled to introduce you to my friend, Starr Ayers. Not only is she an excellent writer, she has a wonderful blog and is an amazing photographer. I know you're going to love her, so give her a warm TWC welcome!

Becoming a Middle of the Pack Writer
by Starr Ayers @StarrAyers2 

My memories of grade school are sketchy, but I do recall a first-grade writing assignment.  Our teacher passed out ruled sheets of handwriting paper and told us to print our names on the first line. How hard could it be, right? With a pencil as thick as my thumb and my tongue thrust between my teeth at just the right angle, I scrawled my name with broad, deliberate strokes on the top line of my paper. As my teacher ambled through the rows of students, she gave nods of approval―until she came to me. With a scowl, she eyed my name written on the first line of the top margin, instead of within the first two lines, and with a gruff reprimand gave my blonde bangs a quick yank. No wonder it’s taken me over two-thirds of my life to realize I’m a writer. If not for that early trauma, I’m convinced I’d be a New York Times bestselling author by now.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Waiting for the Right Time to Write

by Lynn Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

March of 2019 marks ten years since I began writing. I sat at a computer in our bonus room and the story in my head found its way onto a page. That book remains in a drawer, but that night was the beginning of all that has come since.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Tips for Tagging Dialogue

by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

Dialogue tags can be one of the most useful tools in your toolbox, or they can be completely wasted words, depending on how you use them. Putting just a little thought behind which tags you use can make all the difference in the world. A dialogue tag – also called an attribution – is a small phrase, which usually tells the reader WHO is speaking. But it can tell us so much more.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

After the Conference—How to Navigate a Writing Conference, Part 2

by PeggySue Wells @PeggySueWells

Wonder of wonders, miracles of miracles, you attended a writers conference and met with an editor about your project. 

At the end of your 15-minute meeting, the editor handed you his or her business card.
“Send me the proposal. I’d like to take a look at that.”

Monday, April 1, 2019

It's Time to Quit Social Media

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Yep you read that right. And even though it IS April Fool's Day, I'm only half kidding.

The Queen of social media is telling you it's time to QUIT social media. 

NOT permanently (thought you were going to get out of it, didn’t you!), but I'm suggesting you take a break periodically, and re-examine your plan.

I used to keep up with social every single day, whether I was home or traveling. But I’ve learned that I can’t sustain a reasonable social media schedule seven days a week, indefinitely. So I’ve given myself permission to have weekends off and to relax when I’m traveling.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Learning Obedience

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

He who is faithful in very little is faithful also in much... Luke 16:10

When I was young all I wanted to be was a writer. As a matter of fact, I actually wrote my first novel in eighth grade…long hand, with a purple ink pen. But through the years, my dream of writing drifted farther and farther from the realm of reasonable possibilities, until I finally I gave up.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Find More Time to Write by Avoiding The 12 Productivity Mistakes

By Edie Melson @EdieMelson

There are a lot of tasks we must master as we make writing a priority. But with these additional tasks, our productivity may drop. 

Learning how to juggle this multi-tasking is part of becoming a professional writer. 

Friday, March 29, 2019

What NOT To Do at a Writing Conference—Tips from a Director

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I’ve been on both sides of the writing conference scene—for a long time. I attended conferences for 10+ years before I took a position on a leadership team. I’ve now been in leadership for almost that long. And I’ve seen a lot of things.

Some good.

And some not so good.

Today I thought I’d let you peek in the window at my unique perspective ad take a look at some of things we should never do.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Art of Self-Editing Part 1

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

Part of my call as a writer is to help others through coaching, mentoring, teaching, and editing. One thing I’ve learned in my writing and in helping other writers is the vital importance of learning to self-edit. Someone said, and I can’t remember whom, “The heart of writing is re-writing.” 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Capturing Your Character’s Whims as You Write

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Exploring our character’s whims gives the writer insight into juicy morsels of personality and unusual plot points. Those impulses, sudden desires, and uncharacteristic actions make our characters real to the reader. The reader can experience the story through an original outlook on life. Perhaps the reader can identify with the emotions and behaviors enhancing the adventure.

How do we capture those special moments and build them into our story? 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Dipping the Quill Deeper: A Christian Writer or a Writer who is a Christian

by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson

Lately I’ve struggled with something personal. A thought, really. One that the enemy brought up, I know, to confuse and confound me … to slide a tentacle up and around my throat ever-so-gently … almost unnoticeably … until time to squeeze.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Tips for Writing Effective Description

by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

Description helps our readers see the scene, we all know that. But there are varying ways to describe a scene. 

Here are a few considerations when writing description. 

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Cut and Dry

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

I confess, I’ve done a bad thing. Logic warned me not to do it, but I did it anyway. I cut my own bangs. Every time I take the scissors into my own hands, I promise myself I’ll never do it again. That’s because I never fail to end up looking at little like Spock, minus the ears. And yet this is definitely no way to live long and prosper.

When am I going to get it? I’m just not a skilled bang-cutter. When I try, I’m operating miles outside my area of expertise. 

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Tips on Back of the Room Sales For the Speaking Author

by Cathy Fyock @CathyFyock

Back of the room sales how to’s.

You’ve just given a dynamite presentation. Your audience loves you. How do you maximize the opportunity for back of the room sales? Here are some ideas for making sure you’re getting full benefit.

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.