Monday, April 19, 2021

Take Your Book Launch Team to the Next Level with Pizzazz & Power


by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

Launch teams also called street teams or scream teams encourage members to spread the word about the new book everywhere. Start asking people to sign up several months before the release and include people who already love your writing. Checkout https://thewriteconversation.blogspot.com/2016/04/street-teams-for-book-launches.html to learn about starting a team. Let’s add pizzazz to make it fun and power teams up with effective strategy.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Invite God into Your Writing


by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

At one of my writing meetings in March, a friend shared with the group some interesting facts she’d come across in a recently read book. Often our devotions or book reports shared in our meetings stick with me for a few days as I keep going over them in my mind. But this time, something that was shared has impacted me greatly. It’s still on my mind more than a month later. The friend has no idea. 

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Reflection, Fellowship, Inspiration—Writer's Tools


by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

The tall iron gates lay open like welcoming arms. We entered and trudged slowly along the wide pathway, the only sound the crunch of gravel beneath our feet. As we rounded the bend, the sprawling eighteenth century stone villa came into view and looked to be perched on a cloud of gentle sloping hills. 

Friday, April 16, 2021

Writers Are Seed Planters


by Crystal Bowman

I’ve been involved in volunteer ministries ever since I was a high school graduate. Summer mission programs, Sunday school teacher, Bible study leader, vacation Bible school teacher— and for more than 20 years I’ve been a mentor for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). 

But through these 40+ years of being in ministry and sharing the Gospel, I rarely saw anyone come to know Jesus. However, I am overwhelmed by the number of times someone who was exposed to my teaching came to me with exciting news that they had received Jesus as their Savior. They would tell me that something I said, something I taught, that walk on the beach, that Bible study in my living room, or those weekly two-hour phone calls started them on their journey to find Jesus. And I would be happy for them, but often wondered why I wasn’t the one to be with them during their come-to-Jesus moment. 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Differences Between Self-Publishing and Traditional Publishing


by Susan U. Neal @SusanNealYoga

Should you traditionally publish or self-publish? Some authors can’t land a traditional publishing contract, so that is not an alternative. Since the pandemic, it has become even more challenging to get a traditional contract. Other authors are traditionally published and could continue to do so but are curious about self-publishing. They may get frustrated about specific aspects of the traditional world.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Taking the Next Step in your Article Writing


by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

Every now and then it is a good idea to take stock of where you are sending your articles. Are they hitting the mark? What part of your article writing business do you want to do better? 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Develop Your Book's Hook With These Three Questions


by Cindy K Sproles @CindyDevoted

Writers hear valued advice daily. Conflict drives the story. Character development is critical. The plot must push readers through to the end, only to mention a few. There is one aspect of our writing that jumps ahead of conflict, characters, and plot. It’s the first thing the reader sees. The line that makes them decide on the spot, whether they will continue to read. The hook—and oh, baby—is this ever important.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Giving an Encouraging Word


by Martin Wiles @LinesFromGod

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NLT

I ignored the call, imagining it just another spam call from someone who wanted to ruin my Saturday morning with their nonsense. 

Writers’ conferences present a double-edged sword. I hang on every word from speakers, authors, and editors who are more experienced than I. Experts who share their journeys and help me with mine. I hear their instructions and cautions. Be patient. The publishing world takes time. 

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Choosing Mediocrity to Become a More Successful Writer


by Beth K. Vogt @BethVogt

I’m always looking for encouragement as a writer. Something to motivate me to write. Something to push me through a slump or to challenge me to improve my craft. Sometimes my goal might be to put words on the page, other times I’m searching for a metaphor or simile that will elevate my scene with deeper emotion.

Want to know what motivated me the most in recent weeks?

Thursday, April 8, 2021

7 Newspaper Articles You Could Be Writing for Your Paper


by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

Conference season is just around the corner. If you’d like to pad your one-sheet with a few more writing credits before an upcoming conference, I have a suggestion for you. Consider writing for your hometown newspaper. 

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Make Your Characters Come Alive with Visceral Reactions


by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

Have you ever been told your characters are cardboard? Or have you read a book where you were left wondering why you couldn't identify with a particular character? It could be that the character isn't reacting in a "normal human" way, which includes visceral responses.  

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

What's the Best Format for Your Writing & Your Audience?


by PeggySue Wells @PeggySueWells

Once you know your audience and the take-home value your writing will provide to that audience, it’s time to decide on the best vehicle to convey your message. There are myriad ways for a writer to communicate including:

Monday, April 5, 2021

How to Avoid Weasel Words When You Write


By Kristen Hogrefe Parnell @khogrefeparnell

By night, I write novels, and by day, I teach English online to ninth graders. One of my joys is when students realize my desire is not to be overly critical but to help them express themselves as clearly and effectively as possible. During one such session, a student thanked me for my detailed comments but said he didn’t understand why I highlighted certain words on his essay. 

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Writing from the Comfort You Have Received


by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

 

Each month, we tuck a bit of money back into our savings account. It’s automatic and has been a great help in times of need.

 

God’s comfort is much like our savings account. When we turn to Him in our struggles, when we trust His promises during suffering, He comforts us. What we may not realize is that in the process, we are accruing a surplus for a later time of need. 

 

But unlike my bank savings account, God’s comfort account is intended for others. Hurting people who will come into my life needing the comfort God once gave me.

 

You see, what we receive from God is not only for our good but for the good of humanity. 

 

As writers, we have a long reach into the world.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Make the Characters You Create Come to Life


by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

Bob Newhart. Dick Van Dyke. Lucille Ball.

 

Each of these were real persons. And many of us feel like they are our long-time friends because we’ve watched their shows on TV and in the ubiquitous reruns for decades, right?

 

But Bob Newhart didn’t really run a bed-and-breakfast, did he? And I am sure, when Mr. Van Dyke took his wife out to dinner, he really wasn’t taking out Mary Tyler Moore. Although I have to admit, that would be who I’d expect to meet.

 

And Lucy? (Makes you smile just thinking about her, doesn’t it?) Well, it does seem that Ethel was a real friend to her. Only her name wasn’t Ethel, it was Vivian. In fact, when Lucy did a new series in the 60s, Vivian Vance agreed to come back but only if they changed her name.

 

So, what made the characters so real that they continue to be meaningful for us today? And how can we use those tools to make our characters come to life?

Friday, April 2, 2021

Find Your Writing Community


by A.C. Williams @ACW_Author

Writing is a solitary career. Sure, you can participate in critique groups and collaborative projects, but when it comes right down to actually putting words on a page, we write alone. That’s why one of the most important elements of a successful writing career is belonging to a writing community. 

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Why a Writer Needs Healthy Writing Habits


by Lynn H. Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

Writer, Get Out of Your Chair!


Wait? What? That’s not right, is it?

This is a site for writers. Writers write. 

BICHOK, right? (That’s Butt in Chair Hands on Keyboard). 

 

Oh, this must be an April Fool’s Joke, right?

Sadly.

No.

 

Let me tell you a little story. We’ll pretend it’s hypothetical but between you and me it is 100% true.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

What to do When a Writer is Weary of Social Media


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I know, I’m supposed to be the cheerleader of all things social media. But let’s get real here. Some days—some weeks—it just makes me tired. There are times when every writer gets weary of social media. Usually it happens when certain situations arise:
  • I haven’t had any meaningful conversations in a while.
  • My updates seem to be going into a black hole because no one is noticing them.
  • Life in general has gotten chaotic and it’s squeezing the life out of me.
  • My numbers aren’t moving up, they’re sitting there like an old tire in a mud hole.
  • It seems like everything I read on social media is rude, wrong, or just plain shallow.
Yeah, I’ve been where you are.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Mini Memoir Moment: Me—Ways to Write about Yourself


by Marcia Moston @MarciaMoston

I know “notorious badman” Sam Bass didn’t write his own “Wanted Dead or Alive” poster, but I couldn’t resist using the description of him with its surprising last sentence to make a point for this lesson. The fine print on the poster reads:

Monday, March 29, 2021

Why and How Writers Should Use Pinterest


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

This burgeoning network has become a great network for writers to connect with readers and grow their online visibility. These are some basic Pinterest tips for writers to help you capitalize on its value.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Make Writing Your Ministry—Not Just a Career or a Hobby


Edie here. Guys I've got to tell you, we have the MOST amazing contributors here at The Write Conversation, and it just keeps getting better. Today I'm announcing our newest columnist, Dr. Craig Von Buseck. This man has had such an impact on my writing life! He has inspired me through classes I've taken from him and from the way he lives out what he teaches. I know you're going to be as blessed as I am. Give him a warm, TWC welcome (and check out his newest book, Victor! The Final Battle of Ulysses S. Grant - info at the end of the post). 

Make Writing Your Ministry—Not Just a Career or a Hobby
by Craig Von Buseck @CraigVonBuseck 

“Give me 26 lead soldiers and I will conquer the world.”

This famous quote has been attributed to Benjamin Franklin. Ironically, it has also been ascribed to Karl Marx. Both of these men succeeded in conquering the world with those 26 lead soldiers – the alphabet – for good and for evil.

The words we write have power and God can truly use them to change the world. As reformer Martin Luther said: “If you want to change the world, pick up a pen.”

I first sensed a call from God to help in changing the world during my senior year of high school. In those days, the members of my church youth group would sit in the balcony during Sunday services. I vividly remember many Sunday mornings when I could ‘see’ the biblical stories the pastor was preaching in my mind like watching a movie. 

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Creating Heroes: Ten Ways to Reveal the Heroic Qualities of Your Character in Story (Part 2)


by Zena Dell Lowe @ZenaDellLowe

In part 1 of this blog post, we discussed the first five things that you can do as a writer to help reveal the character qualities that a true hero must possess. (Link at the end of the post) Today, we’ll discuss the final five.

Friday, March 26, 2021

In the Writing World, Are You a Moses or an Aaron?


By Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2 

Some compare writing a book (or a blog post, an article, or a poem) to giving birth. Others use the more picturesque description of a journey or a path. The most honest among us refer to it as a battle.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

For Writers, Effective Communication…


by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

…Or not so effective communication.

 

Back in the 1960s, we had what’s called the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Russians placed missiles in Cuba, which could easily reach many cities in the United States. Our government could not tolerate such a threat and we demanded the Russians remove the weapons. The situation escalated to where war appeared imminent. Russian Premier Khrushchev sent President Kennedy a letter saying his country would comply. A short time later, Khrushchev sent another letter saying the exact opposite and almost dared us to come take his missiles.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The Most Valuable Writing Advice I’ve Ever Received


by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Writers develop their expertise over time and by penning millions of words—some of those words are outstanding and appear on the printed or digital page. Others face rejection either by us or another professional. But along the way, we read and hear writing advice meant to help us enhance our craft. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

6 Ways to Hone Your Writing, Develop Resilience, and Build Your Platform at the Same Time


by Sue Schlesman @SueSchlesman

As writers, we’re multi-taskers.

 

I’m not talking about our ability to make dinner, proof kids’ homework, and write a new chapter simultaneously, although we’ve probably all done that. I’m referring to the honed ability to persevere, get feedback, and recover from that feedback without hiding for a year while I half-heartedly tweak a manuscript I no longer believe I can finish.

Monday, March 22, 2021

4 Tips To Add Conflict to Your Story


by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

When I first tried my hand at writing a novel, I wrote a happy story where everyone was nice. There wasn't any conflict and very little tension. I had a lot to learn. I read articles and blog posts by seasoned authors, who said every story needs conflict.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Don't Let Your Past Keep You from Your Future


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson


My friends, I don’t feel that I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead. I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven.This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done (Philippians 3:13-14 CEV).

Publishing is a tough business.

It’s almost impossible to write anything for public consumption without feeling like you’re throwing your heart into the lion’s den.And I don’t know about you, but I give negative comments a lot more credibility than the positive ones. The good ones I tend to disregard with the thought that the person commenting was just being nice.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

A Writer Looks at Lent


by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

As this posts we’re a little over four weeks 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. These acts of contrition do not and cannot earn us points with God for Jesus already paid the price for our sins when He gave His life for us on the cross and God raised Him from the dead to forever make intercession for us. The work was fully done for those of us who believe. We are His through grace, God’s unmerited favor.

Friday, March 19, 2021

All Because I Went to a Writers Conference - The Value of Investing in Your Writing Career


by Crystal Bowman

The year was 2006, and I had been in the publishing world for ten years. I was writing for two major publishing houses, had thirty-five children’s books published with five bestselling titles. Though I had a pretty strong resume, I felt like my writing life was at a standstill with no contracts on the horizon. I had heard about writers conference but had never attended one, and the more I learned about writing, the more I knew there was more to learn (like not using a word three times in one sentence.) 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

How Writers Use Instagram with Linktr.ee


Excerpt from Social Media for Today's Writer
, Bold Vision Books
written by Edie Melson & DiAnn Mills

Since 2017, Instagram has continued to be one of the fasted growing social media networks. The users aren’t just growing in numbers, but the range of users is expanding, making it valuable for all ages and demographics. With the creation of Stories within the app, it has multiple applications for brands as well as individuals who want to be social.

 

So how do writers use Instagram effectively? I’m so glad you asked!

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

The Writer’s Prayer Guide

 


by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

“Father, please help me as I write today.”

 

“Father, I’m stuck. Where do I go from here?”

 

“Father, thank You for that line. That’s exactly what I needed to say.”

 

Before I write any blog post or article, when I get stuck, when I need inspiration, and when I have a breakthrough—I pray. How often do you pray when you write?

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

When You Wonder If Your Writing Even Matters…


by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

Katherine was a human computer. 

A black woman in the mid-century America NASA space program. Among other responsibilities, she calculated the trajectories for both the Mercury and Apollo missions. 

But no one knew about her work. 

Until the book and movie “Hidden Figures” revealed the true story of the “West Computers” – women who were at the heart of NASA’s advancements. Yes, even Katherine G. Johnson.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Learn to Promote Your Book & Your Brand from the 2020 CAN Crown Marketing Award Winners


by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

The 2020 CAN Crown Marketing Award winners created great campaigns to promote books and brands. Each campaign had a specific focus, but the authors worked in multiple directions to achieve their goals. We can learn from their success.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

When God Surprises


by Martin Wiles @LinesFromGod

She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” John 20:2 NLT

She knew what she was doing; I had no idea.

My wife and I—along with about one hundred other guests—sat under a large tent at our daughter’s wedding reception. Only the wedding had taken place four months earlier, courtesy of COVID. 

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Choosing to Strengthen Your Writing Dream with Prayer


by Beth K. Vogt @BethVogt

My friend Fran visited Colorado Springs the other day and we met for breakfast. 

Fran has also always supported my writing dreams, even back when I was the tired mom of little kids. My dream was nothing more than me saying, “I’m going to get back to writing again one day.”

Friday, March 12, 2021

How to Write Your Author Bio


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson 

It doesn't matter whether you're multi-published, just starting out or working as a freelance writer. Every writer needs a bio. And just like writing a query letter, a proposal, or a synopsis—writing a bio is something almost every writer struggles with. So today I'm going to share some basics and show you how to write your author bio.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Write What You Know, But Learn As You Go


by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

Recently, I had the pleasure of contributing an article to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine for their Raising an Entomologist theme. The acceptance took me back on a reminiscent journey of my writing.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Learning How to Conduct an Interview – An Important Part of the Writer’s Tool Kit


by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

One of the greatest tools writers have in their tool kits is the interview. You do not necessarily have to do an hour-long interview to receive great benefit to your articles. Quotes from individuals strengthen your points and let your readers know that even if you are not an expert on the subject you know people who are well-versed and you work hard to make the connection.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

How to Become a Writing Conference Faculty Member


by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

As a conference director, I receive tons of requests to be faculty. Selecting teachers is always a tough job, one I dread passionately. Throughout the year, I meet hundreds of writers who have great “presence” but don’t have a great command of the craft. I look at a career in writing as rungs on a ladder. We begin at the bottom and learn to write. Hopefully, we gain experience and knowledge which moves us up a notch. Then we’re asked to teach. Mentor. Guide. The gamut of requests is huge and as much as I’d love to have everyone teach, there is more to teaching than charisma. It’s time we address exactly what conference directors look for when extending teaching invitations?

Monday, March 8, 2021

March Speaking Tips for Authors


by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

The kid in me wants to speak on all the online calendar topics for the month of March. Let’s look at how this would play out.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

The Power of Lament in a Writer’s Life


by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

Inspired by Psalm 40

 

I waited patiently for the Lord

            to open a door for my manuscript

He turned to me and heard my cry;

            he brought me up out of the slush pile,

            out of the miry clay of anonymity.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

How to Apply SEO to Your Blog – One Blogger’s Process


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

As writers we all have our own unique way of doing things. The same is true of bloggers, we know that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a critical part of any successful blog, but the application can be different for each of us. I thought you would like to see this blogger’s process of applying SEO to my blog. 

Friday, March 5, 2021

The Dangers of Comparing Yourself to Other Writers


by A.C. Williams @ACW_Author

For my creative writing minor, my college required that I take a poetry workshop. Not going to lie, I dreaded it. I’d never been good at poetry. In fact, the only poetry I’d ever been able to write had been limericks. Light, fluffy, funny, usually irreverent. I’d been told that a person’s skill at poetry was a measurement of the depth of their soul, and that seemed to ring true quite honestly. (Even as a teenager, I wore mismatched socks, dreamed of fantasy civilizations, and choreographed my own lightsaber battles in the back pasture of our farm.)

The poetry workshop actually turned out to be fun, and, God bless her, my poor beleaguered professor extended me such grace and patience. I struggled under the weight of the tiny word count and the expectation of descriptive vocabulary that superseded anything I’d attempted previously. In that semester-long workshop, I confirmed that I was not, nor would I ever be, a poet, but I learned something else too. Something more important.

I learned that I wasn’t a poet. I learned that many of the other students in the room were. And I learned that the creative world was big enough for all of us to not only coexist but to partner alongside each other.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

How I Write a Novel


by Lynn H. Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

I just turned in what will be, Lord willing, my seventh published novel. I’ve come to realize that despite my best intentions, the process always looks something like this . . .

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Mind-mapping: Using the Way We Think to Create Story


by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

I'm going to make an assumption here. You are probably very similar to the other 7.674 billion +/- people in the world. So you probably also think like everybody else. Not the same thoughts or in the same language or with the same result, but in the same way.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Discover the Take-Home Value of Your Writing


by PeggySue Wells @PeggySueWells

How does your writing—idea, message, or story benefit your audience? Why would your reader trade their hard-earned funds to purchase your project? Why would someone invest their limited time to read your writing? 

In other words, what take-home value do you provide?

Monday, March 1, 2021

How to Prevent Paper-Cut Words


By Kristen Hogrefe Parnell @khogrefeparnell

At what point do you print out a work-in-progress to give your red pen something to scribble on? Personally, I can only do so much editing on screen before I need to see the words on paper.