Sunday, October 17, 2021

What's Your Writing Why?


by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

As a writer, do you remember the actual reason you believe you are called to write? Maybe you felt this feeling, this calling during the past year. Or maybe you felt the need to put words to paper many years ago. 

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Should Writers Also Be Journaling?


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, October 15, 2021

Feeding Hungry Souls with Our Words


by Crystal Bowman

When Jesus stepped out of a boat, a large crowd gathered around Him, He had compassion on them and healed many who were sick. As evening approached, the people were hungry. His disciples wanted to send them away, but Jesus told them to feed the people. The disciples were puzzled since they had no food. “We don’t have enough money to buy food to feed this many people,” they said. Then Andrew brought a young boy to Jesus who had two small fish and five small loaves of bread. Perhaps it was his lunch. Perhaps his parents sent him out to sell the food. The story doesn’t include those details. But one thing we do know is that the young boy freely offered what he had and gave it to Jesus.

You know the rest of the story. Jesus blessed the food and broke it. As the disciples distributed the food, it multiplied until more than 5000 people had enough to eat. An amazing miracle in the hands of Jesus!

So what does this have to do with writers? 

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Don't Give Up on Your Writing Dream


by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

Last month on The Write Conversation, I shared several success stories of artists and professionals who didn’t give up in Perseverance For Writers: Finding the Write One When the Others Won’t Work. Notables who persevered past rejections—sometimes, a huge collection of them before finding the right answer or getting that first acceptance. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

How to Prepare Your Writing Life for the Unexpected


by Cindy K. Sproles @CindyDevoted

There isn’t a person I know who can say that 2020, and truthfully 2021, hasn’t affected them. We haven’t seen such chaos and internal unrest since the 1960s. I remember as a child, being afraid to close my eyes to sleep and wondering if the world would end. Now, here we stand again, amid that same type of unrest and fear. Between Covid-19, its variants, and the civil dissatisfaction, I feel like I’m four years old again, reliving those same fears. In my 60s, I would lie if I didn’t say the angst keeps me up at night.

Though this last year, I’ve experienced loss. Of course, I’m not the only one, but it seems to be more loss than the average Joe runs sees. This past year Covid has claimed two of my sweetest writing friends, and cancer has taken another. My heart hardly had time to recover before the next death hit. It has become increasingly vital to address our writing careers from the backside going forward rather than the opposite. 

Monday, October 11, 2021

Speaking Tips for Writers: Meet Ellie Kay


by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

Who Is Ellie Kay?

Ellie Kay is an international speaker in both the general and faith-based markets. She is also the author of fifteen best-selling books and is known for her presentation, Heroes at Home. She has given that presentation to all branches of the military in the Unites States, Europe, and Asia.

Ellie can offer countless speaking tips for writers. Let’s look at three of them.

Be Inspired to Research

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Looking for Something Better


by Martin Wiles @LinesFromGod

They needed something else…something better…and quickly. 

One year had passed since my daughter, our son-in-law, and their two (and now three) children had moved twelve hours away to Searcy, Arkansas. Another company had bought out our son-in-law’s employer, and our son-in-law had signed a two-year contract to keep from losing his job. A part of the deal entailed the real possibility of being transferred to Arkansas. And he was. 

Saturday, October 9, 2021

What are Five Good Reasons to Publish a Christmas Novella? (Besides Trying to Sell Books?)

Edie here. I hope you'll celebrate with our own Beth Vogt as she gets ready to release her Christmas novella: Unpacking Christmas! I asked her to share her thoughts on releasing a novella and specifically one at Christmas. I know you'll be blessed & encouraged by her insight!



by Beth K. Vogt @BethVogt

My book, Unpacking Christmas: A Thatcher Sisters Christmas Novella, is up for preorder on Amazon. So many writer friends are celebrating with me, telling me they hope I have great sales. 

I say, “Thank you,” and then tell them I don’t care about the sales. Honestly, yes, that’s what I’ve said.

Friday, October 8, 2021

The Fruit of the Spirit in a Writing Career (Part 1)


by Joshua J. Masters @JoshuaJMasters

When we think of a fruitful writing career, we usually weigh our success with the number of books we’ve published, how many articles we’ve had printed, or the quantity of paperbacks we’ve sold. But for Christian writers, the development of our character should be of greater concern than the success of our career as an author. But developing Christian character is the greatest thing we can do for our writing.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

What to do When Writing Inspiration Leaves You Adrift


by Lynn H. Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

Writing by the Ash Wind

Do you know this term? To do something by ash wind? 

It’s an expression I just heard a few weeks ago. It’s an old sailing term—to sail by ash wind—and the moment I learned of it, I could see the writing application. 

In case this is a new concept for you, let me explain: 

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

How Do the Characters We Write Speak to Us?


by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

Characters are really nothing more than ghosts in the imagination of the writer. We start with the bones (structure), add muscles and organs (also known as goals, motivation, and conflict, as well as character traits), and finally, put flesh on everything and start pumping blood and oxygen. Sounds so simple when we break it all down, right? 

But what actually brings characters to life? It’s how they tell their story. 

We writers have only four real ways for a character to “talk” to us:
  1. Dialog
  2. Body language
  3. Action
  4. Thoughts (POV character only)
Motivation is WHY a person talks or moves or thinks. We’ll talk about that next month. This one is about HOW the character expresses and what it tells the reader. Each one is directly linked to what’s going on with that character. It’s a window into what the character feels and thinks and believes. 

Dialog
First is how characters actually speak. No two people in the world, even ones in the same family or in the same culture, speak exactly the same as anyone else. Nor do we speak only one way. We each have a “mad” voice, or an “excited” voice, or a “stern” voice. We use “baby talk” with our small children and pets, “love talk” with someone we care about, and “explanation talk” when we’re teaching someone. Each one is very personal to us, as part of our entire range of voices. How does your character talk? And why? There MUST be a reason why or it doesn’t matter what they say.

Body Language
Next is body language. There are hundreds of books and classes on body language. But I really think, as I said in my blog in September, the easiest way to learn about body language is to pay attention to the people around us. How does Suzie look when she’s happy? Does the smile on her face light up the room? And how does George react to her happiness? Does he smile with her or does he fold his arms across his chest and frown? Does his body stiffen with anger? Does she notice and lose her smile?

Action
Action itself is also significant and an amazing way to open that window into what’s going on in the character’s head. Having a character MOVE according to the emotion she or he is feeling allows an interaction with the setting (Inside? Outside? On a mountain? In a dungeon?), and gives the reader context. So, does Suzie dance down the hallway, with George turning away and walking out of the room, slamming the door behind him? Does Suzie drop into a chair and reach for a tissue? 

Remember, the WHY isn’t important right now—although it is in the story itself. Instead, we’re looking for the REACTIONS of the characters’ emotions. 

Thoughts
Last but not least, thoughts allow the reader to actually crawl inside characters, to deeply understand what they feel. A major part of this, however, is that the rule of thumb says thoughts can only be thought by the point of view character. So, if you’re not in George’s POV, you can’t know why he’s upset about Suzie’s happiness. IF we’re in Suzie’s POV, we can read her thoughts on the page and see that she’s worried that George didn’t want her to get pregnant, so he must not want the baby. But, if she’s wrong and he’s worried about her dying in childbirth, the reader won’t know that until a) he tells her or b) we’re in his POV and he thinks it.

Which, of course, creates the opportunity for wonderful conflict!

Bottom line
The four ways characters are able to express don’t really limit a writer. Instead, each is an amazing tool for us to deepen POV, and to make each sentence really count.

How do you use these four ways? Share a couple of sentences!

TWEETABLE

Sarah (Sally) Hamer is a lover of books, a teacher of writers, and a believer in a good story. Most of all, she is eternally fascinated by people and how they 'tick'. She’s passionate about helping people tell their own stories, whether through fiction or through memoir. Writing in many genres—mystery, science fiction, fantasy, romance, medieval history, non-fiction—‚she has won awards at both local and national levels, including two Golden Heart finals.

A teacher of memoir, beginning and advanced creative fiction writing, and screenwriting at Louisiana State University in Shreveport for almost twenty years, she also teaches online for Margie Lawson at WWW.MARGIELAWSON.COM. Sally is a free-lance editor and book coach at Touch Not the Cat Books, with many of her students and clients becoming successful, award-winning authors. 

You can find her at hamerse@bellsouth.net or WWW.SALLYHAMER.BLOGSPOT.COM

From Sally: I wish to express gratitude to the giants upon whose shoulders I stand and who taught me so much about the writing craft. I would list every one, if it were only possible.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Why the Stories You Write Must Have a Problem


by PeggySue Wells @PeggySueWells

To have a story is to have a problem. Story is conflict. Crisis. There must be a problem, an interruption to paradise, a discord in harmony. Without this essential ingredient, you have a description, but not a story. 

Monday, October 4, 2021

5 Reasons to Join Author Street Teams


by Kristen Hogrefe Parnell @khogrefeparnell

As writers, we often fill the free space in our calendars with writing deadlines, learning opportunities, and platform work. Might I add one more item to that list? Apply to participate in another author’s street team or book launch team. 

Why should you join one, aside from the pure enjoyment of being an advance reader? 

Sunday, October 3, 2021

A Writer’s Purpose


by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it(Matthew 16:18).

Do you know your purpose, writer?

Saturday, October 2, 2021

5 Ways to Solicit Stories for an Anthology

Edie here. Today I'm super excited to introduce you to a woman I admire as a Bible teaching, writer and friend! Her newest book, Heirloom: Living and Leaving a Legacy of Faith is up for preorder and I asked her to share a post about how this book came about and what she learned while writing it. Please give her a warm TWC welcome!


by Kathy Howard @KathyHHoward

I had not planned to write this particular book. But God brought me the opportunity. 

It all began with a century-old letter. I found the treasure at my parents’ house, tucked under an ancient pair of spectacles in a dented metal box. I carefully unfolded the yellowed, brittle paper and struggled to read the faded ink. The letter was dated March 26, 1914. Addressed to Howell Adam Shouse, my great-grandfather on my mother’s side, it was written by his mother, Mary Dozier Shouse, more than a century ago.

Friday, October 1, 2021

For Writers: 3 Tips to Untangle a Complex Plot


by A.C. Williams @ACW_Author

I have really long hair, and there’s nothing worse than when it gets tangled. Tangles don’t just go away, either. The longer you leave them, the worse they get. And then when you finally take a brush to them, it hurts like the dickens to get them all out. 

A nice personal tidbit, right? But what does that have to do with writing? Well, when I think about tangles and having to invest hours of painful focus to get all the knots out, I think about some of the tangled plot lines I’ve had to edit over the years.