Monday, September 30, 2019

Theme—The Abstract Element of Novel Writing

Edie here. Today I'm excited to introduce our newest columnist, Kathleen Neely. I've known this talented author for several years and so glad she'll be blogging regularly here on The Write Conversation. Be sure to give her a warm welcome!

Theme—The Abstract Element of Novel Writing
by Kathleen Neely @NeelyKneely3628

A writer makes many decisions when beginning a new novel. Characters. Structuring a plot. POVs. First or third person. Past or present tense. 

However, theme, perhaps the most important element, is often neglected. 

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Don't Let Your Writing Get Caught in a Crab Bucket

Edie here. Back in 2010 I met a writer and really loved her spiritual insight and her writing style. I invited her to contribute a guest post to The Write Conversation. She did and then we eventually lost connection. This summer we ran into each other again. She'd taken some time off from writing, but now was back at the keyboard. Today I'd like to re-introduce Susan Browning Schulz. I know you're going to love her post today!
Don't Let Your Writing Get Caught in a Crab Bucket
Susan Browning Schulz

Crab fishermen have long known they don’t need to put a lid on their buckets, as long as there is more than one crab in the bucket. Some call it the Crab Bucket Syndrome. When there are several piled in the bucket, if one tries to crawl out, another one grabs hold and pulls it back down. 

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Showing up as a Writer

by Cathy Fyock @CathyFyock

80% of success in life is showing up. –Woody Allen

I love this Woody Allen quote, and I’ve been thinking about how we as authors “show up.” 

I believe that these statements are those that are made by authors who are not only showing up, but making real progress with their work. How many of these are messages with which you identify?

Friday, September 27, 2019

An Unlikely Publishing Story – Hope for When You Feel Like Quitting

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

Jerry loves God and those around him. He ministers through his local assembly, studies the Bible, and counsels his friends and neighbors. Concerned about the direction in which his country is moving, he’s become increasingly fervent in his witnessing.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Proverbs for Writers

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

Here are some proverbs I believe apply to all of us, but especially those of us who are pursuing the dream of being writers.

Proverbs 3:12 (NLT) For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.

We are writing for the Lord in response to the call he has placed on us. Some of us do it enthusiastically. Some of us not so much. Perhaps we’ve become discouraged by the struggles of getting published. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Passive Tense isn’t Good for Writing or Our Bodies

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Writing is not a physically engaging activity. We sit in our chairs exercising our fingers over the keyboard while the rest of our bodies slip into passive mode. 

While writers are concentrating on their manuscripts, they too often forget about taking care of themselves. When we choose high-sugar content snacks and beverages instead of good nutrition, our bodies suffer. The result is unhealthy bodies that suffer from stress, insomnia, and susceptibility to diseases. Energy is depleted. Unwanted pounds creep up. Over time, we can guess what that can do for the quality of our writing. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Serious Writers Never Quit—A Book Review for Writers

The past few weeks I've attended several writing conferences and as faculty we were asked—at every event—what books and resources do we find most valuable. 

Although I've been asked this question before, it seems like it's becoming more and more common. As I pondered my answer, I also considered why so many are asking. 

Monday, September 23, 2019

Top 5 Tips For Surviving a Content Edit

by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

Some people hate editing, but I love this phase of writing. For me, that's where a good story becomes great. Where description becomes reader experience. When the pig gets lipstick.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Less Burden—More Joy

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

Coffee and donuts. They go together like love and marriage. Someday I’d like to write a poem and I’d like to start it with the line, “Coffee and donuts, sittin’ in a tree.” I’m not sure where to go from there. I get that far and all I know is that I want to be in that tree.

I confess I’ve had a few too many donuts. Sad to say, the bough on that tree would be bending pretty low about now. That’s why I decided to go on yet another diet recently. Also sad to say, I’ve already fallen off the wagon.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Music – Words to the Soul

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” Plato

Plato’s words become especially real to me on Saturday morning. It’s my time of reckoning (with myself) after a busy week of trying to hold life together. Good days and bad have bounced back and forth like a volley ball. Then Saturday. Pulling myself away from a normal healthy breakfast, I indulge in a stack of pancakes smothered in real butter and maple syrup, two pieces of bacon, and a pot of green tea. All the while allowing soft mellow music to coax away any grey emotions that have clouded my soul, obscuring God’s presence and purpose in my life. 

Friday, September 20, 2019

A book Launch & a New Facebook Live Study

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Many of you have heard that I have a new book coming out. It's my first experience collaborating with another author and it's been so much fun! The book is unRuffled, Thriving in Chaos. I had the honor and pleasure of writing it with the amazing Rhonda Rhea for Bold Vision Books.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Rest for the Writer’s Soul

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

As conference season winds down, I am exhausted. Do you feel the same way? It’s hard to generate creative ideas, write excellent prose, and meet deadlines when worn out. How do we recuperate? Through rest. There are many different ways to rest.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

How to Write with an Attitude of PRAYER

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

Our Father God is faithful to hear the prayers of His children. And His writers. Just as God answers prayers about health, income, life’s trials, and daily surprises, He hears the prayers of those who seek to encourage others through the written word.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Blessing that Changed My Writing Career

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

Billy Graham once said that when we get to heaven, we are going to discover a whole barn full of blessings and answered prayers we never dared seek.
But I don’t want to miss out on any good thing God has for me—so I keep asking and praying. Who can I bless today?

Twenty years ago I found myself struggling over whether or not to keep writing. “No one will miss this book if I never write it . . . ” I muttered under my breath.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Helping Authors Understand Marketing

by Karen H. Whiting @KarenHWhiting

We all know the purpose of marketing is to reach customers in a way that motivates them to buy. Behind that basic concept there are many theories. I have no degree in marketing but have read many books and studied various theories that can apply t books. I want to share a few theories and how they work for authors. Let’s look at a few books and the theories they present.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Find Rest in God

by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

I wish I could say my soul is perfectly content—that I have the kind of soul-rest that comes from God. Or that I don’t have stress or impatience in my life and I quietly wait as I let God handle everything. But I’m a stubborn only child and often behave like a toddler ready to strike into a full-blown tantrum. I like to do things “by myself.” What the toddler is usually trying to say is I don’t need you, I can handle this on my own. Have you ever felt this way?

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Are You Speaking Strong Words or Weak Words to Yourself?

by Beth K. Vogt @BethVogt

My youngest daughter started college a few weeks ago and she’s excited to be playing volleyball at the collegiate level. We were talking about her being on the team, and she shared how the coaches are encouraging them to think strong words about themselves, not weak words

Friday, September 13, 2019

Co-Writing with the Holy Spirit

Edie here. Today I'm thrilled to introduce you to our newest regular columnist, Joshua Masters. I've known Josh for several years and I'm so excited he's going to be sharing his heart and his insight with all of us regularly! Give him a warm TWC welcome.

by Joshua Masters @JoshuaJMasters

If the genre we write has the word Christian in front of it, we should approach every project as a collaboration, a partnership where we’re the junior partner. 

The best-selling author of all time has invited us to join Him on His latest writing endeavor. No author has had a greater impact on the world or sold more books than the Holy Spirit. He need not include us in His work, but He enjoys mentoring and building a relationship with other writers. It’s a journey of deep relationship and learning as He guides us in the calling He’s given us.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Write Where God Leads You

by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

Why did I say yes to this assignment, I thought as I drove to the high school in my hometown. Armed with notebook, several pens, and my camera, I trudged into the auditorium. Already on stage sat a dozen or more fourth through eighth grade youngsters. 

Can these kids please not be as smart as the last ones? Two years ago, I’d covered the same event and those darn smart children spelled for hours and hours. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

A Debut Author’s Book Launch Primer

Edie here. Today I'm thrilled to introduce you to an author I met at a recent Christian book show. He writes for my publisher—Bold Vision Books—and I got an advance copy of his book and I LOVE it. I asked if he'd be willing to share some of the insight he's gained here on The Write Conversation and he said yes. So be sure to give him a warm TWC welcome!

A Debut Author’s Book Launch Primer
by David J. Marsh @MarshJDavid

First there’s the book. You’ve proofread your book so many times your latest idea of medieval torture is to read it again. You’ve read an advance reader copy and more changes have been identified—even as you’re sending copies out to influencers and your launch team. A release date has been set and the writerly truth rings true: no one ever finishes a book, they simply stop working on it.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Value of Writing Friends

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

Every career has the obvious—work peers. We travel to our offices sharing space with our coworkers eight plus hours a day. These people become our extended family. It’s easy to become part of their lives because we hear their daily struggles, joys, and adventures.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Tips to Manage a Microphone When You Speak

by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

After many laughs and nightmares with a mic, I now tell others that I can manage a microphone without losing my mind. If you and I understand the four types of mic, we can consider the microphone our friend most of the time.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

A Crossroad for My Writing

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross and follow me. If you want to save your life, you will destroy it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find it. Matthew 16:24-25

“Take my life and let it be, consecrated all to Thee.” 

I heard the words to that old hymn today and found myself transported back in time. Thirteen years ago I hit a crossroads with God. Even back then I knew He’d called me to writing—in my heart I knew—but all around me everything was rejection and heartache.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Writers Facing Discouragement

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

I have been very blessed to be able to attend several writers’ conferences and meetings this year. It’s always fun to meet writers and hear about what their work.

But it is also easy to become intimated. Everyone I met was so smart, so gifted, so successful.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Slow Your Story to Move Readers Emotionally

Edie here and I am beyond excited (and having a little fan-girl moment). Today I'm thrilled to share a guest post from one of my publishing heroes, C.S. Lakin. I've been a fan of hers for years and cut my writing teeth on her site, Live, Write, Thrive. This year she was part of the faculty at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and I got to meet her in person. She's also launching a new online video class, Emotional Mastery for Fiction Writers. Today she's sharing her expertise with us. So please give her a warm TWC welcome (and sign up for her class!!!)

Slow Your Story to Move Readers Emotionally
by C.S. Lakin @CSLakin

We writers need to face this truth. Our #1 objective when writing fiction is to evoke a response from readers. Readers read to react. If our scenes don’t move our readers at all, we fail as writers. That’s a sobering fact.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Why You Should Support Other Author’s Events

by Lynn H. Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

During the first week of each month, my social media feeds are full of book launch news. The latest releases from both long-time favorite and new-to-me authors are available for purchase and the authors are promoting their books with Facebook live parties, Instagram takeovers, blog tours, book signings, giveaways, and more. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Perspective Changes Everything—Tips for Writing Description based on Character

by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

Writers use words to paint pictures. Unlike screenwriters and the cadre of directors, set and costume designers, and cinematographers who use an entirely different set of tools, we writers have to describe the windy hillside, the absolute cold of space, the golden plains of grain. But it’s not quite that easy. We also have to tell the story through our characters and their feelings. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Tips for Fiction Writers: Which Character Has the Most to Lose?

by PeggySue Wells @PeggySueWells

Rewrite your chapter from the viewpoint of another character.

The assignment was a consumer of valuable time but that’s what my mentor required.

Enrolled in a mentorship program, each fresh chapter of my novel went to award-winning author, DiAnn Mills, who helped improve my skills.

I opened a fresh Word file on my laptop, MacBeth, pulled the weakest chapter from the work in progress and pasted it there. Then I went about getting through this requirement so I could move onto the next – hopefully more important—step. 

Monday, September 2, 2019

Before You Share Online T.H.I.N.K.

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I didn’t always enjoy social media. 

Before I spent time on the various networks I assumed that interactions there were at best, shallow, with little or no real-world value. I’d formed my opinions by listening to the comments and complaints of others.

It wasn’t until I actually took time to interact online that I discovered there were lots of things of value being shared. The people I’ve met and the skills I’ve learned through online connections have added so much to my life—professionally and personally.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Words that Fill Others with Courage

by Audrey Frank @audreycfrank

With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” The people were encouraged by the words of King Hezekiah of Judah (2 Chronicles 32:8, NRSV).

Like a present wrapped in beautiful paper, tied with a silver bow, the Hebrew word for encouragement is a gift. Upon opening it, one discovers that it contains not just one treasure inside, but many. Sāmak in its fullness means to sustain, uphold; to lay (one’s hand upon); to be braced, be steadfast; to lean upon, rely upon, gain confidence; to strengthen, refresh (Kohlenberger III, John R, Swanson, James, A Concise Dictionary of the Hebrew, 1996). 

Think about it! The gifts of sāmakwe can give others with our words!