Hey friends! I’m speaking in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on November 5th for the 2nd Annual Keystone Christian Fiction Writers’ Conference! If you’re in the area, come and spend the day with us. It’s going to be fun, informative and hopefully inspiring. I would love to have you stop by my class and share some time with me there. Agents from Hartline Agency will be there. Jeanette Windle is the Keynote and other published authors will be there to share their knowledge and support.
I always thought being a Christian fiction writer was the next thing to sainthood. Not only did the author write the most entertaining story possible, but they also left the reader with a message. Their story had a purpose.
When I decided to write fiction I struggled with all the criteria I felt I needed to meet. Would my story be believable? Could I show Christ like I wanted to? Would my words sound preachy? I stressed over my fears for months until I remembered a simple quote from Mark Twain that set me free.
“Write what you know.”
I am a Christian. I live a Christian life because of my love for Christ. I strive to do good, but so often fail. I know what it means to live in a fallen world. I know heartache and other emotions—sorrow, joy, fear, disappointment, struggle with vengeance—all the makings of a great novel.
So I write what I know.
Nowadays my challenge has changed. Writing has taken on a different meaning. I need to be selective in sharing what I know. What experiences do I know that could connect with readers? What emotions can I express on the page that would connect with a reader to pull from them their own emotions? Sorrow? Joy? Disappointment? Struggle with vengeance?
I still read novels by others so I can learn more about my craft. I go to writers conferences to sharpen my skills as well as participate in critique groups to stay connected with like-minded people.
But I always come back to what I know.
I challenge you to do the same. Attend this fall’s writers conference. Connect with fellow writers on Facebook and share your ideas. And write what you know. You’ll be a blessing to others when you do.
Did back-to-school shopping freeze your brain? Has the weather thrown you for a loop?
If you’re looking for topics to stir conversations, check out Edie Melson’s September’s Idea Starters. If you haven’t done so, follow her blog. She never runs short of informative as well as inspirational items for writers.
Ever find that every step you take you feel like you’re two steps behind?
That’s me. My 2016 goals are in place. I have a plan to meet each goal. And they’re good goals, too! The first week of the year went rather smoothly … pacing myself, telling myself You can do this. It’s a piece of cake!
If you’re like me, something happens to throw you off your game. It could be the simple trip to the store for a few things that turns into buying enough supplies to get through Armageddon. Or maybe your neighbor needs you to watch their kids for a while so they can help a relative stricken with the flu. Better yet, your spouse wants to start on that project you’ve been wanting done for years—only they need your supervision.
Writing is wonderful. And there, you will find darlings–those phrases and word pictures that you dearly love. But we need to watch our relationship with these darlings.
Variations on the “murder your darlings” saying, including “kill your darlings” and “kill your babies,” have been handed down in writing workshops and guides for decades, and almost every major 20th century English author has been cited at one time or another. In addition to the common attribution to Faulkner—“In writing, you must kill all your darlings”—which seems to have been popularized in guides to screenwriting in the 1990s, the advice has also been attributed to Oscar Wilde, Eudora Welty, G.K. Chesterton, “the great master Chekov,” and Stephen King, who wrote, “kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”
I read lots of blogs on lots or different subjects. I comment on some and repost others if I think they are pertinent to the audience that reads my blog.
I’m forwarding the latest post on a blog from Novel Rocket and Kellie Coates Gilbert as she offers sage advice about cyber-security. Times have changed and anyone who is on social media needs to aware. While we’re here to support each other, me must remember that there are cyber bad guys watching. It’s not a time to be paranoid, just informed.
As a struggling writer myself, there are times when the last thing I want to do is write on something other than my focused work. But also as a newbie writer, I’ve learned the benefit of listening to those who are where I want to be. And they’re saying to make a name for yourself you need to blog.
Check out Heather Kopp’s post that addresses the benefits of blogging as she shares her found Aha! moments. I appreciate her insight almost as much as I appreciate her friendship.
What have been some of your Aha! moments while blogging?