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Monday, May 29, 2017

What to Do When Your Publisher Ends Your Line

by Patty Smith-Hall

Last week, I received the news that every writer dreads hearing. After ten years and hundreds of wonderful books, Harlequin cut the Love Inspired Historical line. In one brief email, forty-eight spots for historical romance vanished. Veteran authors were suddenly without a home for their books. Talented editors were left unemployed. Worst of all, dedicated readers were left shocked at the demise of a line that was like a member of their family.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Birthing a Book

by Cindy Sproles

Any parent having experienced the birth of a child, either by giving birth or simply being a part of it, will say the process is hard. Labor can begin days before birth and the closer the event approaches, the more painful the process. Plain and simple, giving birth is hard work, so when writers use the analogy of birthing a book, the comparison is valid. Months of developing a story, putting it on the page, and finally popping out the words, THE END are nothing short of labor intensive.

When we finally hold that bundle of joy in our hands, words can’t express the joy and pride we feel. The priority becomes the care for that baby, - the feeding, changing, and guiding it through life.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Story Foundations for the Serious Writer

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnn Mills

Story ideas can be like fireworks. They soar and explode in beautiful colors…then their dance fizzles to the ground and we turn our attention to the next one. But story ideas don’t have to fade away. A writer can take those wild moments of inspiration and build a credible, colorful, creative, and compelling story.

Where do story ideas come from when we’ve spent hours brainstorming and feel like giving up? Buster Moon from the movie Sing says: “When you've reached rock bottom, there's only one way to go, and that's up!”

Friday, May 26, 2017

Plotting with Passion

by Dawn Crandall, @dawnwritesfirst

Hello, my name is Dawn, and I am a Plotter. Of the first degree.

Even before I started to write my very first novel, which also became my award winning debut novel, The Hesitant Heiress, I'd tried out many plots in my "before writing" writings. It's just something I love to do, and as I've learned over writing my four published novels, it makes things easier in the long run. It might be partly because I write my historical romances from deep first person point of view from only the heroine's side. Because of this, I need to figure out all of the other associating characters just as well, and also make it so the reader will be able to get to know them as well as the heroine does as the book unfolds.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

She Couldn't, But She Did


by Peter Leavell @PeterLeavell

Once upon a time, a young girl wanted…

But then she was told she couldn’t. And she believed them.


My temperature rose 10 degrees writing those words, even though my heart chilled to absolute zero. Repression of any kind is wrong and must stop. But here's the rub. Overcoming repression makes for fantastic stories.

I’ve written on gender bias, slavery, Native Americans, and religious topics. At the moment, I'm obsessed with female repression. (To be clear, I love hearing how the oppression was overcome, thus learning a bit more about how I can be of service to the oppressed.)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Picture Your Story

by Yvonne Lehman

There’s a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words.

However, with a thousand words you can write The Lord’s Prayer, The Preamble to the Constitution, the Twenty-third Psalm, the Gettysburg Address, and the Boy Scout Oath.

Much depends upon the picture, the words, and personal opinion. Pictures are worth thousands of words when I make a storyboard, an effective tool for me. There is more than one definition of storyboard and varying ways writers make or use them. My way is to cut out pictures that represent my characters and story.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Help! I've Fallen Out of Love With My Story!

by Lisa Jordan, @lisajordan

As I wrote out my synopsis, I came to a heart-sinking realization—I wasn't in love with my story anymore. When I brainstormed the initial story, I was so excited and on fire to dive into character development and plotting. And yes, I still like certain elements of my work-in-progress, but the crux of the story left me feeling a bit...meh. If I didn't love it, how could I champion it to my agent, my editor, or most of all, my readers? So I asked a group of writing friends for some advice. I’ve compiled their responses to help other writers who may be struggling with story love as I have been.