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Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/20/2020 in all areas

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    I’m new to writing, I’ve written several stories over two years but never seem to make it passed 5000 words. I have a terrible time showing vs telling and keeping the same tense throughout the story. How do you guys manage that?
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    From one newbie to another. The learning never stops and just when you think you understand, it all changes. I can tell you that every one here has helpful information and yes, sometimes it's daunting. They may contradict some of the things I'll tell you, I'd trust them. I still get it wrong sometimes. One thing I've learned is that everyone has a different perspective so take it in stride and learn from it. They may be seeing something you or someone else hasn't yet. That said, not everyone will enjoy your story. Be ready to hear that. I've been told you need to hook the reader in the first page or two. Do as much research as you feel is needed. Try not to name real people or places, unless you're quoting facts that can be verified or proven. It may be a lawsuit if it's not and even if it is you may want to stay away from it. So if it's fiction make up the specifics. A beta reader is someone you TRUST to tell you the truth even if it hurts your feelings. The book will be better for it. Trust me on that one. And they will not try to steal your idea. Yes, I'm told it happens all to often. As for feedback, be open unless you're looking for something specific. Then ask for it. You probably get more than you asked for though. Another thing to consider when reading through the story is to ask "is this really important to the story?" Sometimes it's not, you put it in because "it sounded good", don't be afraid to cut it out. How you deal with feedback is however it works best for you. I did print some out for review. Sometimes I made the suggested change, read it through and then put it back the way it was or changed it even more. I can't tell you how many reams of paper I've been through. It's always different reading from the screen than paper. To save money I'd suggest reading on screen until you think it's good then print it out and read it two days later. You'll be surprised. I'll tell you what everyone told me. In the end it's your book, do what you think is best. For marketing start getting people interested now. Just talk to them about it, bits and pieces. Use or lose any or all of this as you feel necessary. But I hope it helps in some way.
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    A huge loss for us, a great celebration in heaven.
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    Ravi was one of my heroes, one of the most gifted Christian apologists of our time. It is now up to us who remain to read widely, think clearly, listen patiently, and speak loving answers to the questions he will not be here to answer on our behalf.
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    Oh, so sad. And for such a well-known and respected man, I wonder if they will be able to have a funeral. Thanks for this, Johne. I hadn't heard.
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    Hello friends, It has been almost a year since I joined our community. I was so blessed and felt so edified in a variety of ways. I'm grateful for each of you. Though I've always wanted to write a book, I had no clue what it entailed. Learning the aspects of writing fiction has been like facing in a rubber raft the ocean swells I've only ever seen in movies. After initial feedback on this site, I was encouraged and figured I would set out on a huge learning curve toward at least leaving my children and grandchildren with a book. Then my writing was interrupted by a move into a new country and language group. But by that time I knew I wanted to stick with the book idea to the end- so writing has now been a significant part of my life for close to a year even though I've been mostly absent on the forum for many months. I want to start posting chapters but I'm holding my breath, wondering a few more things. Will you speak from your author hearts and help me out? The first chapter changed too many times to keep up with. Likewise the others. I feel like I'm about half way through with the idea that is leading down a hard-to-find path. I also feel like I'm sitting in a fog or in a tail spin or both. What I have thought of as the inciting incident is now 12000+ words in. What I thought was the first plot point is now over 44000 words in (if I don't count possible backstory info of another 7000). I feel like the story I have so far is about a third bulkier than I want. I don't know whether to keep writing out everything I can think of in a press to some sense of an ending, or to stop and focus on putting up chapters for feedback. I'm still trying to understand what a beta reader is and when to seek those. And I don't think I can yet deal with feedback on commas etc anyway. But I am feeling challenged to keep the threads of the story woven and I know I already have some slipped stitches. I have this fear that if I begin seeking feedback, attending to it will be overwhelming. And how do I know what type of feedback to request? How do you keep up with feedback and changes? Do you print out feedback and work through the stack? How often do you seek feedback? And, seeing how much the story has morphed already, how many times revising becomes something of a red flag that I'm wasting time and energy? And at what point do I print out the whole thing so I can quit trying climb into the laptop every day? Also, I am not sure how much research to do. Is there a red flag of too much? My story is set in a certain period which I have experienced but there are still aspects I did not experience first hand and so I have done a lot of research to see perhaps where I should draw the line and limit the story. And what about naming specific provinces or towns? Must I? I suppose. But it seems threatening to take that step. I would appreciate your tips and suggestions and prayer. I think I have a story that will work but I'm not sure what is most important to do next. Long post. Maybe I'm just having a weary day. A four-day lock-in just finished, so people can go out for walks again. That might help. But I really look forward to hearing from yall. Grace and peace, Carolyn
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    Yes, one. Just one, but it makes me quite ridiculously happy. I hope whoever bought it really enjoys it.
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    Thank you so much, Rebecca. This is a wonderful resources for all of us. I am eager to see what other podcasters we have among us. Blessings, MaryAnn
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    And there is nothing wrong with being a short-story writer! Easier to finish and edit and rework. And some of them may become the basis for a longer story later, IF that's what you want do. Personally, I have written many, many, many more short stories than "novels" (all three of them, none published. Short stories can get your feet wet and teach you a lot.
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    When you do get up to 10 posts, you should go share something on the Critique Forum. The critiques and advice I've received there have really taken me to a whole new level as a writer. When I first joined this forum a little over a year ago, I couldn't make it past a 5-7,000 word short story either. Now I've published one novel and have another at the beta-reading stage. I know, I sound like a "Before and After" advertisement, but it's true. Sometimes all you need is a little help...or a kick in the pants. We'll be happy to provide both.
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    Z has given you some solid tips. In many ways, I'm also a newbie, only a few stories further down the road than you. Here's my thoughts on some of your questions: I find that getting feedback while I'm writing the first draft actually distracts and interrupts me and my work process. When I'm writing that first draft, I need to just write it. Editing or worrying about word count and where the plot points are has the same effect - it distracts and interrupts me. So while I keep an eye on word count, I try to ignore it. When writing, I need to write. Without worrying about details. While I haven't sought out Beta readers on any of my work yet, they come after the writing and editing process. They are there to spot what you missed - plot holes, things that don't make sense, things that don't flow nicely. First chapters are notorious for changing often. You're not alone there. I always find the opening scene easier to get done when I've written the end - knowing where the story is going helps me see where to begin. Having said all that about writing and not looking for feedback - that's my writing process. There are times when I've been stuck and needed to get feedback in order to carry on. You might be at a point of needing that for yourself, of needing to hear someone say "you haven't missed it - you're on the right track". You've already taken a huge step by posting these questions. If you would like someone to take a look at what you've got so far, feel free to private message me. Hope these thoughts help you, Carolyn.
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    Many Muslims I have met are deists. God has a hundred names but they will never meet Him as a person in Islam. Even paradise is simply a "garden of earthly delights" without interaction with God.
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    Oh, my! John, how touching. 🧡 And thank you for serving! 👏
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    Welcome, Joe, from another Circle fan! It's great to have you with us
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    Ravi’s is a “joy unspeakable and full of glory”
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    I miss my buddies in the service. For 18 years I witnessed that some of the most unsung heroes were the non-operations (support) people who make achieving all mission objectives possible. With their operations band of brothers and sisters, it was truly a team effort. When things kicked off in Afghanistan, I went to my nephew’s Army basic training graduation ceremony at Ft. Benning, Georgia. As the “pass in review” of the proud graduates took place, I couldn’t hold back tears. That very morning, it was announced that the total number of U.S. service members killed to-date was almost equal to the number of soldiers proudly marching past the reviewing stand. A whole battalion. It was like memories and echoes of patriotism marching past me.
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    That was a man who was undoubtedly devoted to the Lord. We mourn his passing.
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    In such a story, I would show several logical, theologically sound approaches that fail, but make some headway, then one thing that breaks through. Desperate need helps, as I can attest from personal experience. In my life, the prayer was simple: "God, I still don't even know if you exist, but if you don't, there is no hope for my life." For me, that came after I met people from a church who treated each other differently from the way I had ever seen people treat each other. I didn't know what it was then, but it is Christian love. Prayer. A second thing that changed my life was a person noticing that I was depressed and offering to pray for me. Several days later I remembered that this person said they would pray, and peace entered my heart for a few hours, allowing me to get some work done instead of giving up. Another thing I might do (also based on personal experience) is weave in their backstory, then have several key elements of their life match a Bible verse that they stumble upon at the right time. Another example from personal experience. As a kid, I dreamed about climbing the hill behind my house. I never got to the top of the hill in my dream. Over the years, it became a symbol in my mind of the path to heaven. Sometimes my climb would be interrupted by a distraction (often a beautiful woman) and I would leave off the climb. A second image from my childhood was a book by Alexander Key called "The Forgotten Door" where aliens from another world could run as fast as deer. I wished I could run as fast as a deer. Shortly after my desperate prayer given above, on a whim, I searched the Bible for verses about climbing hills and found Habakkuk 3:17 and following. That passage is a psalm about praising God even if every human activity fails. It ends with the hope that God "will make my feet like hind's feet; he will make me to climb on my high hills." (A hind is a deer.) Meditating on that prayer every day for 18 months enabled me to complete my bachelors thesis at MIT and graduate. It took me seven years to graduate and that last semester they warned me in a letter that they were going to expel me if I didn't finish that term. So such a deep connection between a Bible verse and a person's childhood could be a springboard for personalizing faith.
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    By Victor Remes ‘He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High. Psalms 91:1a Right, in case you didn’t know and was wondering why there are queues outside your local supermarket; people wearing masks and rubber gloves. Well, it’s because we are in a season of a complete nationwide lockdown caused by the covid19. As our UK Government has enforced the law of social distancing and setting out only a few law/rules to follow, our normal lives have been completely turned upside down. People are being faced with a life-threatening illness, families worried about tomorrow for their loved ones, People being let go so that large and small businesses can afford to survive; children having no school, college or uni. Places, where we would normally go to meet with friends and family, are closed including church; not going to lie; the church part got me. You get the idea. As we need to adapt to a new normal, we are left to figure out what we can do to keep going throughout this time. Some have turned to pick up new hobbies like Tiktok; haha you won’t catch me there anytime soon. But I’ve been spending my time exercising, reading more books, practising the guitar. Doing this of course when I am not working. Something that I’m trying, is dedicating my time with God. I feel that this world crisis that we are having isn’t a coincident, really, I believe He’s got us where He wants us to be right now. The time we have right now I believe that God wants us to spend it mostly with Him. Especially for those that never had proper personal devotions/prayers before and only are dependent on Sunday church to be their fix for the week. In the opening verse of this piece; I’ve picked Psalms 91:1a to help me. Let’s break it down. “He who” (You) “Dwells” otherwise meaning (spending time) “In The Secret Place” (where no one can distract you / or Where God can meet with you). “Most High” (with God). So, putting that together “You spending time where there are no distractions and where you can meet with God”. This truly puts you in a place to experience the mystery of God and having humility allows us to truly meet with Him. In Exodus 34:29-35 – Speaks about Moses after spending time with God was unaware that his face had become radiant because he spoke to God. and because of this radiance Moses was left with no chose but to wear a veil when facing the people of Israel as they were afraid to come near him because of the power of God. The only time he would remove this veil is when in the presence of God. In Matthew 17:1-2 – Also speaks about Jesus having this radiance because of the presence of God. It actually says that Jesus was “Transfigured” and that “His face shone like the sun and His clothes became as white as the light”. What am I trying to say here? Notice that both Moses and Jesus after spending time with God were both transfigured by the presence/power of God. With everything going on, I know we have time; let’s dedicate 10 mins worshipping, 10 min reading the bible and 10 min praying that is a total of 30 mins. I want us to remember this, God loves to spend time with you, just as you are, this is where humility comes into play. You can speak to Him about life, anything you want to talk about. But you will also need to learn, is hearing His voice and by doing this you will, therefore, build or even strengthen your relationship with Him. I hope this has encouraged you to take the necessary actions needed in your Christian walk. Let’s come out of this pandemic transfigured by the glory of God. God Bless You All Peace! Please visit our blog on the following link: https://pathofwarriors.wordpress.com
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