Saturday, July 31, 2021

Mini Memoir Moment: The Power of Place in Your Writing


by Marcia Moston @MarciaMoston

How the Home of Your Past Influences Your Present Preferences

Think about a place of your childhood. What first comes to mind? Whether it’s the family kitchen, the grandparents’ woodshed, the baseball field, or the big tree in the backyard, our earliest memories are attached to a place. Places stick in our minds because they embody something more than the physical space they occupy. The places of our lives, especially those of our childhood, are saturated with emotional and psychological associations.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Curiosity and Passion: The Writer’s Friends


by Craig von Buseck @CraigVonBuseck

As a writer of history and biography, I have found two essential keys to writing success—curiosity and passion. These two tools come into play from the choosing of a project until the submission to an editor or publisher.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Creating Authenticity Within Fiction


by Kathleen Neely @NeelyKneely3628

Authenticity within fiction may sound like a paradox, but let me explain. Today’s readers are very selective. Inaccuracies lead to poor reviews, something most writers dread. Research is not just for time period novels.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Dipping the Quill Deeper: “Be a Fish”


by Eva Marie Everson

I took French in “middle school,” as we called it. “Junior high,” it is now called. My teacher was a wonderfully funny and creative man named Jack Griffin. If I’m not mistaken, he is the first teacher my classmates and I ever called by a first name. Never in class, of course. In class he was “Mr. Griffin,” but outside of class we called him “Jack.” Even in his presence.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Adding Subtext to Your Writing - Another Layer to Baking a Novel


by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

Last month, I equated writing a novel to baking a cake in my post, Baking a Novel. I must be craving sweets, because this month, I find myself writing about more layers to this cake. However, if the spatula fits, lick it … or something like that.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

13 Things that Might Be Holding You Back as a Writer


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Choosing to be a writer can be a daunting prospect. It involves courage, creativity, and yes, commitment. When we’re unwilling to make that commitment, we can destine ourselves to failure before we’ve had a chance to succeed. 

This post isn’t meant to beat anyone up, but rather to make us aware of some of the things holding us back on our writing journey.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Using Concrete versus Abstract Character Objectives for Your Story


by Zena Dell Lowe @ZenaDellLowe

One of the most important things for your story is to have an active (not passive) main character who has a clear, objective goal to pursue throughout the entire story. And yet, one of the most common problems that I see are stories with passive main characters who don’t drive the action of the story because they have no clear objective. To that end, I thought it might be helpful to clarify the differences between concrete and abstract objectives. 

Friday, July 23, 2021

5 Tips for Reusing Old Blog Posts


By Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

 

If you’ve been blogging for years like I have, you probably have a cache of posts on your site. While some may have gone viral or remained popular, most probably appeared in your subscriber’s inbox and on your blog for a week or so, then got buried under other content. Since only a portion of your subscribers actually opened your email (sorry folks, this is the sad reality), you may wonder, is it okay to repost old blog posts?

Thursday, July 22, 2021

You Are Never Too Old


by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

“You are never too old to set another goal or to 
dream a new dream.” C. S. Lewis

Many times, I’ve met someone who has retired, and they sit like a gnome in the garden, gathering dirt and bugs and mold. They’re not thrilled, but don’t seem to have a clue what to do about it.

That isn’t what God wants for us. Yes, we’ve worked hard all our lives and we’ve earned the reward of being able to sit back and take it easy. For many of us, however, the reward seems fragile because our financial resources don’t allow us to live as we dreamed. But that’s for another blog.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Find Writing Peace


by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

Why can’t I fall asleep on the nights when I need sleep the most? Lightning flashed through the closed curtains, and thunder cracked right outside my window. I pulled my curtains open to watch the light show, and then quickly shut them so I wouldn’t go blind. God, please protect us, I prayed, and then lay down to rest. I am grateful for the heavenly Sentry who stands watch through the thunderstorms of life. God never sleeps (Psalm 4:8, 121:4), and I know I can count on Him to be alert and at work when writing exhaustion overtakes me. Or when I am scared and need relief. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Why You Need Writer Friends


by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

I recently spoke on a conference panel about the importance of being a writer (and speaker) in community. Reflecting back over a lifetime in this calling, I realized how passionate I am about not going it alone. So, today I’d love to share with you some reasons why you need writer friends.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Traditional Publishing and Getting More Marketing Help


by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

Authors may complain that publishers don’t do enough, but traditional publishers really want to come alongside their authors to help with marketing. It needs to be a team effort. The biggest key to success is communication. For authors, that means to connect with the publicist or marketing department and let them know about your promotional activities. 

Sunday, July 18, 2021

I Took My Character to Coffee


by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

No really, I did. I got the idea from when my daughter was in Junior High. Some days she’d return from school and I could tell something was on her mind. Of course when I’d asked, the answer was nothing or I dunno. 

Frustrated and I’d wonder how to get it out of her, I tried all sorts of things. One day, I had an idea and waited to try it. I knew she loved to get a taco over at The Bell, so on a day she came in sad, I asked if she’d like to go for supper there. And she did. 

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Writer’s Block—When the Words Won’t Come


by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

Nothing was working. I’d paced, took a long walk, sat in the garden and daydreamed, even succumbed to a soothing cup of tea. Words still eluded me. Fear leaped into my heart and I wondered if this was it. Had my writing finally dried up and my years of weaving words into stories come to an end? A drab end, to be sure. Never accomplishing all I had dreamed of, hoped for, or imagined. 

Friday, July 16, 2021

How to Have More than Three People at Your Book Signings


By Crystal Bowman

Now that we are emerging from pandemic isolation, it won’t be long before author book signings return to encourage face-to-face marketing. Book signings sound like fun, right? People actually get to meet a real-live author and purchase an autographed copy of their book—maybe even with a personal message written on the inside cover. So exciting! But here’s the reality—book signings can be the most humbling experience of an author’s life.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Improve Book Sales by Enhancing Public Relations Through Media, Retailers, & Consumers


Susan U. Neal RN, MBA, MHS @SusanNealYoga

Authors want to get higher book sales. To gain that traction, we can market our books through media, retailers, and consumers. Media coverage spreads the word about a book. When retailers carry a book, it becomes available for readers to purchase. When more readers know a book exists, book sales rise. Taking a comprehensive marketing approach to media, retailers, and consumers will stretch your book’s visibility.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Publishing as a Second Language - One Sheets vs. Book Proposals


by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

This year as I was preparing for Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference One of the top questions I received from those I mentored was—“What’s the difference between a book proposal and a one sheet?” Most had heard of a book proposal but the concept of a one sheet was new and they were not sure where to even begin to create one.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

The Basics of Plot for Writers


by Cindy K. Sproles @CindyDevoted

Some say I’m a pantser, writing by the seat of my pants and never knowing where the next turn in the story will be. I’ve never liked that title. None of us are truly pantsers. Few, if any, just sit down at the computer and begin to write without any thought of direction. I don’t outline every plot point but I do have a clear idea of where I want my story to go and how I want it to end. We all have to know where we want to go and what road to follow, otherwise, the possibility of becoming lost is great.

Monday, July 12, 2021

How Writers Can Get Speaking Engagements


by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

Texts, phone calls, and emails fill my “in box” with the same concern: “I’m an author. How can I get speaking engagements?” I will start with one step that many believers include as their last, rather than their initial one. 

First, pray for speaking engagements.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Misunderstandings & Faith That God Will Guide Us Through


by Martin Wiles @LinesFromGod

What she got wasn’t what she wanted. 

My wife and a couple of her lady friends love to visit a local restaurant for breakfast once or twice a week. I don’t care for the establishment. In fact, my bad experiences became so numerous that the only way I could ever visit was to do so with “no expectations.” After all, if I don’t expect anything, I can’t be disappointed. Going with this attitude also prevented me from getting a bad attitude when things didn’t go my way—which happened on every visit. 

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Writers, Let's Remove the Words “I Quit” From Our Vocabulary


by Beth K. Vogt @BethVogt

Anyone else have a rough writing week? Show of hands, please. Anyone?

Monday and Tuesday were frustrating days for me. Doubt got me in a headlock and tried to take me down and pin me to the mat. Thanks to an honest conversation with a trusted writer-friend—and a healthy dose of prayer—doubt didn’t win. 

By Tuesday afternoon, I got up off the mat as the victor. Worn out, yes, but I won the wrestling match. I also came away with a pivotal realization. There are two words that should be removed from every writer’s vocabulary: 

Friday, July 9, 2021

When a Writer is Stressed, A List of What NOT to Do



by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I don’t know about you, but life is a little stressful and my To Do list is full to overflowing. I sat down the other morning to take an honest look at all the things on my plate and I discovered that just like piling on too much at a summer potluck, I was overloaded.

 

It’s funny, but the worst offenders turned out to be the things I really shouldn’t have added in the first place. So today I’m sharing what I discovered. And by the way, discovering these was painful for me too!

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Offering Hope with Each Stroke: How One Person’s Story Can Inspire Others


by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

My newspaper editor gave me the assignment and contact information, and I made arrangements to meet the high-schooler and her mom at the library for an interview. Then-fifteen-year-old Tazmerria Wilson had quite the story to tell about playing on the high school’s golf team.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Mastering the Art of of Writing Dialog


by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

We basically have four ways to allow a character to express: 
  • through action
  • through body language
  • through thoughts (in the POV character)
  • through what they say
So, what do they say?

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

How to Create Characters Your Reader Cares About


by PeggySue Wells @PeggySueWells

You know your idea. You locked in your audience, and the take-home value you will provide in your work in progress. Your manuscript format is set. The next step is to understand the essentials found in every compelling story.

Monday, July 5, 2021

Let Our Words Fall Like Rain


By Kristen Hogrefe Parnell @khogrefeparnell

My husband James and I live on a lake, so every time storm clouds darken the sky, we have a front row seat to the rain event. The lake water reveals the faintest sprinkles as well as the force of pelting rain.

Most of the time, though, the droplets are somewhere in the middle: not hesitant or angry, but constant. One night after dinner, as I stared through our glass French doors toward the water, the thought struck me: Our words should be like rain.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Eyes On Me, In Writing & In Life!


by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

For you shall go out with joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands (Isaiah 55:12).

Quivering like jello on a cafeteria plate, the boy with the shocking red hair shot me a look of terror.

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Why Long Lines Are Good for Writers & Everyone Else


by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

My dad never met a stranger. He loved running into and meeting new people. When we would go on vacations, or take a day trip to the mountains, he always ended up talking to people he’d just met.

As a child, I was so embarrassed. I wasn’t like that at all. Meeting new people paralyzed me. My brain turned to mush and gaga was the extent of my vocabulary.

I was twenty-three.

Friday, July 2, 2021

Can Your Writing Change The World?


by A.C. Williams @ACW_Author

When I was young, I wanted to change the world. I dreamed about revolutionizing the entertainment industry. I wanted to write a novel that would turn the culture inside out. Everyone would read it and come their senses about life, the universe, and everything. 

Isn’t youthful idealism nauseating? 

Thursday, July 1, 2021

In Writing & Publishing We Must Remember God is Greater


by Lynn H. Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

Several years ago, I participated in a Whole30. During a Whole30 you avoid a host of foods including alcohol, gluten, sugar, dairy, etc. One of the big rules is that there is to be zero cheating. There are no excuses, no exceptions. But as I studied the FAQ, one question stopped me in my tracks. “What about communion?”