Crafty Characters

Today’s featured article encourages writers to craft characters to fit the story.

After moving into a new neighborhood, I moseyed to the swing on the front porch. My neighbors stirred about filling hummingbird feeders, weeding flowerbeds, and walking their dogs. Curiosity mounted as I sipped coffee and enjoyed the cool of the morning. Who were these people and how long had they lived here? Did they have a family? What did they do for a living?
Loretta Eidson pic Oct blog
It wasn’t until later I realized that’s exactly what our readers want to know when they turn the pages of our novels. This is why we hear repetitive teaching about character development. Some of us learn fast and catch on the first time around. However, for others, all that information lays dormant in a mental filing cabinet until our understanding actually grasps its meaning. Learn more.

Nancy and Kelly

Lay Vs. Lie

Yes, the confusion of ‘lay versus lie’ is still a hard one to remember for many of us. This is a helpful article.

Q: In the battle of lay vs. lie, when do you use each and can you provide examples? —Annemarie V.

Don’t forget about “lain,” my friend! All these verbs have two things in common: They begin with the letter “L” and confuse the bejeezus out of many people. But here’s a simple breakdown that will hopefully help you decipher when to use each one and when to use their past-tense equivalents (I’ve also included a handy chart at the end to help, but we’ll get to that later). Learn more.

Out of Words?

As a writer are you out of words? Today’s featured article provides some helpful tips for this dilemma.

Nothing is scarier for a writer than to feel that they are out of words. It happens to me, alarmingly often, and from what I hear I’m far from the only one. The condition is akin to a fireman turning his hose onto a blazing fire only to realize there’s no water. Except, of course, that would matter. Learn more.

Kelly and Nancy

Writing Romance

Many genres include romance as the main thread or a subplot. This article provides tips on writing romance into our fiction.

You don’t have to compete with the greatest romance ever written to capture the heart of your reader. You have to make them fall in love with your character. Think of the most romantic line you have ever heard. So many great lines have been written and spoken over the years that it seems impossible to come up with anything better-so don’t try. If you long to write romance, chances are that it already exists in a unique form within you. Learn more.

Kelly and Nancy

NaNoWriMo

If any fellow writers are participating in National Novel Writing Month, today’s featured article provides some helpful tips in preparing for November.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo? November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) created as a nonprofit contest to write 50,000 new words on your novel during November.

When I first heard of it, I thought (snob that I was) how could anyone write a novel in a month? 50,000 words in a month? It would be garbage. I didn’t participate and I thought those that did weren’t really writers. (I was a snob – but I’m reformed now, so that makes me more heroic, right?) Learn more.

Kelly and Nancy

Writing a Synopsis

It is important to learn how to write a synopsis. This article helps to explain how to write one.

There is nothing in this writing world that can elicit more dread and loathing than saying the simple word ‘synopsis.’ The definitions of the word range from ‘a brief summary or general survey of something’ to ‘an outline of the plot of a book…’ So we are going to discuss writing a brief outline of a book. That sounds better than using that “S” word.

This is a great time to write an elevator pitch for your book. An elevator pitch is a two or three sentence summary of your story that you could tell someone in an elevator before you get to the next floor! And you can NOT use run-on sentences or talk real fast! I always use this as an exercise because once you’ve boiled your plot down to an elevator pitch you are well on your way to writing a syn… er, uh…brief outline for your book. Learn more.

Kelly and Nancy

An Interesting Article

This is an interesting article.

Have you ever read a book with the sinking feeling that the story seems so very, very familiar? In fact, it seems almost an exact replica of the story you are writing or have written. A story this author knows nothing about, just as you knew nothing about theirs. The farther you read in the already-published book, the more deflated you become. What hope is there for your story now?

Not only have I had this feeling in the past, but I am in the midst of it right now! As I am currently reworking the first novel I ever finished (almost 15 years ago!), a story no one but a few close friends know, I am also reading the latest novel by one of my most favorite authors. And there it is. A very similar plot line. Very similar time period. Even a few of the same character names! It would be extremely easy to be discouraged and scrap my own rewrite now.

And yet . . .Learn more.

Nancy and Kelly

Adoption Story

We found this international adopting story interesting.

Youth pastor Bruce Sperling and his wife hoped to adopt a child, but their plans were cut short when he drowned in 2006 while trying to save an imperiled kayaker.

Now, nine years into widowhood, Jill Sperling is pursuing that dream with efforts to adopt a boy from the impoverished Caribbean nation of Haiti. Her adoption agency, Bethany Christian Services, cautions that the process could take close to four years under Haiti’s newly tightened procedures, but Sperling is undeterred. Read more.

Kelly and Nancy

Writer’s Block

Writer’s block happens to all of us. This article provides writers with a workable game plan when writer’s block strikes.

I’m on record saying writer’s block doesn’t exist. When I say that, I’m not saying that you won’t experience a feeling of idea-lessness or that life circumstances will never get in the way of your writing. Lots of people go through stretches where it is legitimately impossible to write. What I mean is that most commonly, that feeling of writer’s block is just a feeling that you can actually power through. Learn more.

Kelly and Nancy