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Thursday, February 23, 2017

More Complicated Than Icebergs—But More Fun

By Peter Leavell @peterleavell

She spills on the fancy tablecloth again.

With practiced efficiency, my family finishes the dishes, whisks off the fine linen, and tosses it into washer.

My kids are good at cleaning up messes.

You’ve heard writing teachers compare character development to icebergs. Icebergs? Engines full reverse! Writing fascinating characters is so much more than a floating chunk of ice.

When the laundry is done, we put the cloth back on the table. The color across the center of the squared tablecloth is a cheerful yellow and blue. The bright patterns reflect our love and joy.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Broken Blog

By Yvonne Lehman

BROKE… at Christmastime!

On December 12, I became literally broken – physically. Then I discovered the truth in 1 Corinthians 12: 12, 26 (NLT): “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up only one body… If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it…”

There I was, 20 minutes before 14 Sunday school class members were to arrive for a Christmas party at my beautifully decorated home, the flocked Christmas tree beside the fireplace, two tables set with lovely china, crystal glasses, cloth napkins, aromas of meat concoctions in the crock pot and oven, candles glowing and emitting their holiday scents. Dirty Santa gifts festively wrapped. My Let It Snow novel ready to be given to each. Perfect!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

How To Brainstorm An Epic Series Without Killing Your Partners

by James L. Rubart

In May of 2011, right after the Blue Ridge Christians Writers Conference, Susie Warren and I shared a flight from Asheville, NC to Atlanta. During the forty minute plane ride, we brainstormed a time travel novel.

I always thought we’d write it someday. 

It’s not going to happen. Why?

Because it grew into something far grander.

What Our Seed of an Idea Grew Into

Over the past year, Susie, her brilliant son David, and I, developed the framework for a six-part book series (which will be closer to a TV series in style) about a time traveling detective named Rembrandt Stone.

The challenge?

Monday, February 20, 2017

Making it Real -- Research Before You Write!

By Pamela S. Meyers

Although the Internet has made it easier to research settings for our stories, I love traveling to the settings of my stories for research. I get a feel for the area far more than a street-view picture on the computer can never do.

Several years ago, I wrote Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, which is set in my hometown. Since the story takes place in 1933, the best place to gather information about the town back then was to review microfilms of the weekly newspaper from that time. Fortunately I only live about an hour's drive away because I spent a lot of time in front of a microfilm machine at the town library. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Going with the Flow

By Marcia Lee Laycock 

I stared at the small rubber raft, then peered at the mighty Yukon River, the third largest river in North America. My friends had left the raft for me to use to get to their cabin about fifty miles downriver from Dawson City. The raft looked very small. I knew it was a bit risky, but I remembered my friend’s words - “You won’t have to paddle much,” he’d said. “The current will take you.”

I tossed my pack into the small craft and launched. That’s when I noticed there was only one paddle. That concerned me, but I was already out into the current and heading north. For a while I tried to steer, but all I managed to do was go in circles. I knew it would take all day to reach the cabin I’d stay in that night, so I wasn’t too worried, though there are strong eddies in the Yukon River and with only one paddle it wasn’t easy to avoid them.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Pitching Pointers

by Michelle Griep @MichelleGriep

It’s that time of year to start registering for writers conferences. That means there will be a whole lot of angst-filled author wannabes out there, biting their fingernails down to stubs . . . which makes it super hard to type anything.

Not that it’s scary to go to a conference, mind you. The real terror sets in when it’s story-pitching time. Sitting across from a god-like agent or editor who can crush you faster than the bat of an eyelash—or fast-track you to stardom. I'm not going to lie. It is a bit daunting. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

A Dog, A Monk and A Judge Walk Into a Book Store

Sorry. There is no punchline. But Ron has author wisdom to share involving all three of those elements. How could I resist?  
Meet Ron Marasco ...

What things would you do differently…

I think I would have liked to begin my writing career with the understanding I now have about editors. Older writers sometimes have negative and cautionary things to say to young writers about editors. But it has been my experience that your relationship with you editor can be one of the truly rich experiences of your working life as a writer. The key is to approach it as a naturally collaborative relationship—as it is—as opposed to an adversarial relationship--which it only is if it gets off on the wrong foot!