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.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Writing Quotes to Inspire—Louis L'Amour

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I think there are times when we all struggle with some type of writer's block. It's easy to let this stop us in our tracks. Instead, we often just have to keep writing, even if it seems like nothing but trash! LOL!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

10 Pieces of Writing Advice We Should NEVER Follow

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Have you noticed the phenomenon that occurs when you confess you’re writing a book? 

It doesn’t matter if you’re an established author with thirty-plus books under your belt, or someone working on a first novel. 

Announce you’re writing a book, and you’ve opened yourself up for unsolicited advice.  

Writing Advice You Should NEVER Follow

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

More Changes to Facebook — Quality Rating for Pages

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Facebook is working hard to improve the experience of users. I shared last week about the New Changes to Facebook Groups. In the past week Facebook has also rolled out the start to a new series of changes to Facebook Pages. 

I've shared before that Facebook is cracking down on fake news and doing their best to ensure more engagement. Now they're getting serious about enforcing their user guidelines. To let everyone know how every page is doing there's a new tab on pages for PAGE QUALITY. 

Monday, January 28, 2019

Literary Leftovers, Critique Groups, and a Matter of POV

Years ago when I first started writing, I'd never heard of POV and had no idea what it even meant. Show don't tell?? Why can’t I use a plethora of adverbs? Omniscient is something God is. 

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Judgment Call

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

Distances, depths—I confess it, I just can’t judge them. I think I go a little mental. Judge-mental, maybe? There’s a shelf in the deepest part of our garage. I know the car is in far enough when the WD40 crashes onto the hood. That’s when I think, “Okay. Perfect.”

Of course, “perfect” to me looks more like hail damage to my husband.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

It’s your book’s birthday: time to celebrate!

by Cathy Fyock @CathyFyock

It’s your book’s first (or second or third) birthday . . . so what? It’s your opportunity to make a big deal of this anniversary and gain new exposure for your book.

Friday, January 25, 2019

A Primer on Active vs. Passive Voice for Writers

By Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

When you think of the word passive, what comes to mind? A wimpy, limp-handed mama’s boy? An acquiescing woman (or man) who never stands up to their spouse? A timid puppy that rolls over on its back when it encounters a bigger, meaner dog?

In grammar, voice is about the relationship of the subject to its verb. Every verb has voice. It is either active or passive. 

Thursday, January 24, 2019

New Changes to Facebook Groups

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Once again we facing changes from Facebook, this time with groups. But it's not all bad news, I promise. 

Facebook groups... the good, the bad and the ugly...

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Welcome to the Middle of Your Novel

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Writers energetically welcome the beginning of their novels. Whether a writer is a detailed plotter, a pantster, or a mix of both, an individual process guides them into characterization, plot, setting, dialogue, and emotion. Creativity is king and dictates the imagination. Writers inhabit a world of excitement … until the characters step through the first doorway and the middle slowly spirals down. This is where the writer risks the reader skipping through pages and pages to the climax or puts the book aside.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Dipping the Quill Deeper: Developing the Devotional Life

by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson

I am an early riser. Not because I want to be. There are times when I think back to the “days” when I slept until ten … or eleven … or sometimes into the early afternoon. You remember those days, don’t you? We called them “the teen years.” We stayed up late, we slept late, we enjoyed what was left of the day. 

Monday, January 21, 2019

10 Tips for Writers to Build Marketing Confidence

By Karen Whiting @karenHWhiting

To seek out new markets, readers, and connections. To boldly go where no writer has gone before! 

A takeoff on the words that launched a successful TV series, one in which my husband’s cousin played Bones, may sound trite, but it takes boldness, courage, and imagination to build marketing confidence. 

Writing shows you have imagination and desire. Take bold steps to grow your tribe and learn to do it with conviction. The more prepared and equipped you are to market, the easier it will be to execute your promotional ideas.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Are You Ready for New?

by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

Whether you are someone who begins your new year with the school calendar each August, or you follow the calendar that begins each January, most of us begin a new year in some fashion. 

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Has God Breathed Life Into Your Writing?

By Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

In this year of new beginnings, many of us enthusiastically vow to put aside our fears and dream bigger, do better, and accomplish more. Our motives are pure, but statistics tell the sad news that 80% of our New Year’s resolutions fall apart by February. 

Friday, January 18, 2019

Answers to Some of the Questions Authors Ask—Help Pirates!

by Traci Tyne Hilton @TraciTyneHilton

#4 In a series where I answer questions I suspect you are asking

Indie Author:
I’ve been robbed! Google told me my book is free on a site and I KNOW that’s where all of my sales are going! I would have been rich if it hadn’t been for this site stealing my intellectual property! What can I do? How do I fix it? Is all hope gone? Can I sue them? Can I call the police? Can I speak to the manager?

Deep breath.

It’s going to be okay.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Have You Entered the WRITING ZONE?

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call THE WRITING ZONE.

Okay, I confess. I borrowed the intro from a television cult classic. But truthfully, have you ever read a better explanation of what it means to be a writer?

Today I’m offering some tips to help you find your way to the writing zone.

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. 

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.