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Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/27/2020 in Posts

  1. 11 points
    I just spotted a review on one of my books (I don't have very many, about 10 total) that does a better job of describing and explaining it than I can. This is for my book called Blessings and Trials (I'm giving it away FREE next week as part of my school's summer reading program): "As a fan of Peretti's "Darkness" duology and others in the same vein like Hudson's "On the Edge" and Beale's "War in Heaven", but also a fan of Tolkien, Sanderson, Eddings, and Salvatore, among others, when I stumbled on this I was immediately excited to see a genre mash-up that took a biblical worldview that included vivid imagery of spiritual warfare and weaved it into an epic fantasy setting, with plausible reasons for the existence & use of magic-like abilities & powers. The moral compass here is strong, the bad guys are clearly bad, and well-personified; the good guys are clearly good, and well-differentiated from each other; there are arcs of repentance & redemption as well. I just finished book 2 and had to come back here and re-review the first one since it had been re-published with a new cover & date. Can't wait for book 3!" I literally have chills from reading that guy/gal's opinion of my book. I'm floored. I can just say wow. I'm on the verge of tears. Somebody totes gets me and that book! I just wanted to share this moment of authorial excitement and triumph with my fellow Christian writers here. There are people out there that want to see Godly stories. Well, at least a couple. Don't give up! Never surrender!
  2. 6 points
    You know, I get plenty of authors who ask me the same question, so you're not alone. But yes, make it a practice to write a 1,000 words per day minimum, 5 days a week! You'll never regret it.
  3. 5 points
    Yes, he does go a bit woo woo at some point. I just ignored that bit. Threw out the chaff and kept what was useful.
  4. 5 points
    I've tried them, but they haven't helped my writing significantly. What has made absolute sense to me is C. S. Lakin's approach to characterization: 1. What is the lie s/he believes? 2. What happened in their past that got them believing that lie? 3. What do they need that the lie is keeping them from? Lastly, to quote Orson Scott Card: "Characterization only begins when there’s a second character and you can show the relationship between them." Basically, you need characters interacting with each (or the world) to be able to see who they are. Answering characterization questions doesn't always allow you to see this.
  5. 5 points
    When you do, let the rest of us know! Most of us feel that way. You're in good company. Neat! I do, and there are a lot of great people that do that on here. Give it a little time. People like to get to know each other (as much as you can on a computer) and when they are fairly sure you will not drop off the face of the planet like a lot of others who join the site do, they tend to reach out to you. My advice is to interact and get to know people. Stop off in the critique section, even if you are just helping others, and not ready to get your own work out there yet. I know from personal experience they will start asking after yours if they can't find some. Romantic Historical Fantasy. I did not not know that. Nice to see more of us!
  6. 5 points
    I try to write something six days a week, and word count varies based on my schedule. I've found it helps to have a couple scenes plotted out before I start writing. That way I don't sit there and stare at the page for a long time Also, I always read/edit what I wrote the previous day. That helps me get in the mood to write more. And that's great you homeschool! I was homeschooled all the way through and loved it!
  7. 5 points
    Writing buddies and accountability partners. Someone who can't wait to see what you write next is great too! 😊 I don't think I asked: What genre do you write?
  8. 4 points
    I came across this prayer this morning and it made me think of you all and the community you have built here, so I wanted to share it with you. I found it in Scott McElroy's Finding Divine Inspiration but he quotes it as being from Julia Cameron's The Artists Way. O Great Creator We are gathered together in your name That we may be of greater service to you And to our fellows. We offer ourselves to you as instruments. We open ourselves to your creativity in our lives. We surrender our old ideas. We welcome your new and more expansive ideas. We trust that you will lead us. We trust that it is safe to follow you. We know you created us and creativity Is your nature and our own. We ask you to unfold our lives According to your plan, not our low self worth. Help us to believe that it is not too late And that we are not too small or too flawed To be healed - By you and through each other - and made whole. Help us to love one another, To nurture each others unfolding, To encourage each others growth, And to understand each others fears. Help us to know that we are not alone, That we are loved and lovable. Help us to create as an act of worship to you.
  9. 4 points
    Where can I order my angels? I’ll write the books, I just need them to churn out blog posts once a week.
  10. 4 points
    I just got done writing one about how you can take the patients you learn while gardening and apply it to writing. 😱🤯😃 Ok, I just thought of it! 😊 You guys are awesome! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! 😊
  11. 4 points
    Thoughts on celebrating our 42nd Anniversary. “For what God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” The Truest Words! We've been married, Mary Lee and I, for 42 years this month. Our love still unites us, deep, uninterrupted, steadfast. What God has joined...
  12. 4 points
    This is cute. I went to the ortho doctor today. I had to go through the questions and temp check just inside the building. I couldn't remember which floor the ortho office was on. I asked a woman standing in the hall to check the building list to let me know which floor I had to go to. She did and then she was afraid to ride the elevator with me. I told her to come ahead. We stood in diagonally opposite corners. Turns out, she and I were going to the same office.
  13. 4 points
    "This guy" is a millionaire who made his money with his words. He came up the hard way. But set all that aside - what he's saying isn't at all provocative. He's saying we can find the time to write and the only thing stopping us is our own decisions, our own will. Sure, things happen which interrupt our daily pattern, and we each have to deal with those things as best we can. We still each have 24 hours in a day and must decide how to spend those hours. He's saying that at some point, writer's write and for most of us, the biggest thing that stands in our way is ourselves. (This is hardly a novel thought here.)
  14. 4 points
    Not to be nit-picky, but it might be helpful to first think you're adding depth, rather than weight... more on that in a moment... You might look at your previous stories and list out the main conflict and most important milestones: the milestones that couldn't possibly be removed from the story and still get the characters to the end. What's left may be interesting journeys between the milestones, or in the worst case, just story filling. (The first might be considered depth, the second, just extra weight...) Often, a simple conflict leads to a quick resolution and a shorter story. Metaphorically, you put a cover over a little fire, and it goes out. A more complex conflict might take a longer time to get to the resolution, especially if trying to resolve the conflict brings unexpected consequences that become deeper problems. You throw water on a grease fire, and suddenly have a whole lot of additional fires, spreading everywhere... Start with a simpler problem, and figure out the milestones needed to get to the solution. the reader will probably presume the same outcome. Now, surprise the reader as the grease fire suddenly explodes everywhere, suddenly there are many different milestones, and lots more of them.
  15. 4 points
    I use the NaNo site and during Camp NaNo, I created a Discord server. Having a small group of people to check in with, give word count/progress updates to, and participate in word sprints has been super helpful.
  16. 4 points
    I've heard of a writer who sets a deadline, then tells a few friends about it. He also agrees to pay each of those friends 20 bucks if he misses the deadline. By his own admission, he hasn't missed a writing deadline. For myself, I find I have to ask someone to private message me to check if I'm reaching my goals. Just knowing that someone will ask and will expect an honest answer is usually enough to motivate me.
  17. 4 points
    Natalie, you need to join one of the groups here offering accountability. Click on Clubs in the blue banner at the top and chose what suits you.
  18. 4 points
    Hi again, Natalie. I forgot to mention that I'm a homeschool dad, although my wife does most of the teaching. Concerning motivation, I, too, find it difficult to write without some form of instant feedback. Delayed gratification is difficult for me, even though I'm trying to be more disciplined. I guess I'm in it for the long haul, and anything that gets published or noticed is a bonus. I don't know that this helps any. Just know that you're not in the lack-of-motivation boat alone.
  19. 3 points
    Ron Grasmick and I just published a new Christian science fiction book entitled The Jesus Road II. It's up at Amazon now. Wish us luck on sales!
  20. 3 points
    Yes, I've heard of them. I'm sure there are a few writers who have been picked up through their service but here's my thought: agents have piles of submissions on their desks or in their email boxes and they're going to take the time to go to a site to read through more submissions??? I don't see them doing this. Just my two coppers' worth.
  21. 3 points
    Here are 9 free writing books to download. You can choose as many as you like or all of them. I do not know how relevant they are. Just thought I'd share that they are free. Oh, and only for three more days.
  22. 3 points
    I think that love, real solid love, reaches far beyond the expressing of emotions. Emotion may be one useful way to express it, but that can also be a smokescreen, merely giving the illusion that love is there. There are other expressions that are far richer. When someone shops or cooks a meal for a sick friend, they're showing real love. When a less-mature friend spouts off and is rude, mean, or generally out of line, love may be expressed by what someone does not do, so love can be almost invisible, except to the most sharp eyed. Love can be right in front of us, but taken for granted. That friend who remembers your birthday, takes the time to send a card, who checks up on you for no reason, and who encourages when you need it may not be appreciated nearly as much as they deserve to be. I might suggest that love is less an emotion to be expressed and more a way of life to be embraced. It's a lifetime learning experience, it's hard, and in the ultimate irony, it's probably more enriching than anything else we can find. For a light version of love, we can express some emotion, and be pleased. For a solid version of love, we can look at the cross and be amazed.
  23. 3 points
    That's a great attitude to have, @EBraten. The ways of doing things are always changing. At some point, someone will think of a way to make ebook content harder to steal, and then, something new will come out and people will jump on ways to steal that. We can't be ruled by fear of what could happen, but we should also be aware of the risks and put safeguards in place.
  24. 3 points
    No, the lawyers will take your money anyway- but they just don't bring any results. Trust me, I know.
  25. 3 points
    @Joseph S. Roberts topic Beating resistance made me look up the book, and that got me wondering... Has anyone read The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles? What are your thoughts? https://www.amazon.com/dp/1936891026/ref=cm_sw_r_apa_i_egYZEb09ZE3D5
  26. 3 points
    I think it's a matter of personal preference, and difficult to compare author to author. Some authors have a high output, while others (like me) have enough of a challenge just writing/finishing novels. I don't because because it's not within my bandwidth, and I tend to save these story ideas to integrate into future novels. Technically, yes, but that comes with a huge asterisk. As mentioned up-tread, there are people who will pirate your "free" material for their next novel. If you could hunt these people down, and prove that they stole your material, are you willing to take on the legal fees to sue? Add to this that most lawyers would likely advise against chasing these lawsuits because they rarely yield anything. Most authors have enough trouble protecting copyrights on their published books. Mine are regularly pirated and pop up on sites all over the place. I could spend several hours a day sending DMCA take-down notices, but it's like playing a game of whack-a-mole. Besides, most of these sites only have the sample portion of my book (harvested from sites like Amazon) because they're really trying to infect you with malware. But I digress. The bottom line: If you post anything on-line, do it with the understanding that you're basically tossing it up into the wind. It could go anywhere and be used for anything.
  27. 3 points
    That sums my why too. Since I started, I have discovered that writers are special people who see the world more deeply than non writers. They are also more compassionate and attuned to human longings. I like belonging to their tribe!
  28. 3 points
    It is very sad about Wattpad. The idea is lovely and the stories that are not pornography are fresh in a way that makes me glad they haven't been through the sausage grinder of public opinion. But more and more there is nasty stuff. I have left it behind me, hoping someone will come up with a similar platform with all the safeguards.
  29. 3 points
    Sorry to disagree, but don't waste your time blogging about your stories. First, they can be ripped off. Plagiarists can just take them and publish them anywhere they want. Believe me, I have experience with this and it isn't pretty. Yes, your material is technically copyrighted, but that won't stop them. You can sue ( I did and wasted $10,000 and still didn't get a penny out of it), but really, is that what you want to waste your time doing? Second, why don't you do book reviews, opinion pieces, interviews or something that will attract attention without attracting the wrong kind of attraction? It's just my advice, but believe me I have good reasons for it.
  30. 3 points
    I'm in the process of setting mine up. I'm sure it will change over time, as I grow, and so does my audience. However, I know I have to start somewhere. So I will be doing weekly posts (small to start) with two main topics, but a single goal. The two topics will be: 1) writing - everything from first drafts to publishing and everything in between. 2) My personal journey. The goal/purpose of both will be to help others. Not only do I dislike blubbering on about myself, but I also know I will lose steam if I make it all about me. However, helping/focusing on others is not something that bores me. Granted, blogging is not for everyone, but if you do choose to do so, you will need to think about the long term. Is the topic something you will be able to blog about a year from now? Two years? Three?
  31. 3 points
    Hi, my name's Jamie. I've been writing off and on since high school, and recently felt the pull to become more disciplined in it. I've taken some classes and had a few articles published over the years, but let myself get too distracted to actually finish most of the project ideas that have been piling up. All this extra free time so many of us are having seems like the perfect time to start. I'm hoping to meet some people on here who can critique, motivate, and inspire me, and hopefully I can do the same for you 🙂 .
  32. 3 points
    The Writing Life: 33 Inspiring Writing Podcasts to Subscribe to Right Now 1. Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing Every writer looking to improve their knowledge of the English language should bookmark this podcast. With helpful and insightful tips on grammar and storytelling, Mignon Fogarty’s widely popular podcast is sure to help you improve your writing skills. A great place to start: A popular episode from this podcast is “Top Ten Grammar Myths” Take a listen to an intriguing recent podcast titled “4 Tips for Staying Motivated on Long Writing Assignments.” 2. The Writer Files Hosted by Kelton Reid, The Writer Files is a long-running podcast that delves deep into habits and habitats of famed writers. Reid interviews writers from a broad spectrum, giving each listener a chance to see into the mind of an accomplished wordsmith within their genre or interest. A great place to start: Learn the secret to how to land your pitch meeting and more with Emmy-nominated TV writer and professor Sandy Fries in “How Emmy Nominated TV Writer Sandy Fries Writes.” ” Take a listen to Reid’s recent and helpful podcast episode titled “Productivity Secrets from NY Times Bestselling Author John Zeratsky.”
  33. 3 points
    I was homeschooled!! Was the best thing ever! The couple times I attempted mainstream school I was so bored and frustrated! On the one occasion when I was 12 and had to go to a mainstream school for a term, I was so bored by the slow pace of the classes that I read Silmarillion cover to cover in under 3 weeks (in class). 🤭
  34. 3 points
    Hi! I am an avid reader of all things science-fiction and fantasy (ADORE Tolkien and C.S. Lewis's writing) with a passion for illustration and design. Although I write some poetry and short stories, my strength lies in illustrating books for other authors. You can check out some of my work on https://www.behance.net/danielleduring. My portfolio is constantly growing and expanding so be sure to follow me for updates :) I am excited to connect with other Christian creatives to read and share all things wonderful and inspiring!
  35. 3 points
  36. 3 points
    I'm a homeschool mom of two! Hi!! I've had a terrible time trying to get up early (depression and restless sleep), but this works well for me, too, because my brain hasn't started focusing on the tasks for the day. No one needs me yet because they're still asleep. It's like my little world has been paused, and it's the perfect time to focus on writing. This has never occurred to me ... and it hit me hard. I know God gave us gifts and expects us to use them, but I never thought about him expecting an account of what we did with them. I definitely need to take this into perspective.
  37. 3 points
    Same. I write for fun, and I write best in the evening between 8 - Midnight. Sometimes I write, sometimes I do other things, frequently I'll do a little of both (or all!). It's all good.
  38. 3 points
    This is from Steven Pressfield today. https://stevenpressfield.com/2020/05/keep-writing/
  39. 3 points
    Before I was married and had children, I had much more time on my hands and desired to write - but did not. I did not start to write until I was married and had three small children, when I had the least amount of time I will ever have. I am and have always been terrible at time management, yet my coworkers and friends marvel at how I have been able to complete five books, and have large chunks of three others underway. Not that I make any money at it - that man in the article has a real achievement beyond what I have learned - but I find that mixed in with the selfish pleasure I get from it, I have used my writing to explore the following: - What are the big questions in life I need to first know and then answer? - What are the most important spiritual treasures I should pursue, and how? - How do I find the spiritual fortitude to overcome adversity and endure suffering? - What is the path to a life of peace? - What is a concise description of the path of spiritual growth, its obstacles and how to overcome them? - How did the Lord save me and deliver benefits to me, and can I share this with others? The things I have learned by researching and writing over the last 16 years - the fiction and the nonfiction - have steadily transformed my life. I don't know if I would have learned those things any other way. Driving kids around, shopping, helping with homework, hugs and trips to the zoo - there was no way those things wouldn't have happened. That is part of being a parent, and as a Christian, a vital part I take seriously. But writing? I had to go out of my way to do that. Everybody needs to have something they go out of their way to do, something that does not come for free, something that does not easily fit into their schedule. It is not and should not be writing for all people, but for those whom it is, there is a way, and it is worth fighting to find that way.
  40. 3 points
    If I'm being paid for a gig, I give it my best and never miss a deadline. I mean, if I don't make deadlines, I lose clients. BAM! Instant consequence. If it's working on my own fiction, for the life of me I can't seem to find the accountability I need. I RARELY meet my writing goals. I don't even know what works for me anymore. Any advice? What do you guys do?
  41. 3 points
    Geeze, Alley, I've never had a creative block in my life. Or any inner battles, either. I just write my way through things and keep going.
  42. 3 points
    I don't think so, Shamrock. I detect none of that in him. I think you're reading too much into it, I might humbly suggest.
  43. 3 points
    I agree with Johne, Shamrock. The guys just saying that if you have time in your busy life, you should use it to write, that's all.
  44. 3 points
    First rule of Romance: Love loves an obstacle. Add more obstacles. - Jealous of third party? - Competition for time from work? - Liars spreading maliciojus gossip? - Misinterpreting a situation, meaning of something said - ex-boyfriend or husband shows up to cause trouble - debt collectors - other skeletons from the past Parallelism: - A secondary romance between two other characters that goes wrong, as a counterpoint. - A rival at work or in the family unrelated to the Romance - A character who does not choose romance and finds happiness or misery - grass is greener Character flaws: - Add an additional flaw, and character arc for how to fix it, or enable the lover to come to accept it More than romance: - The plot has to be about more than the romance. Add more reversals to the non-romance part of the story related to work, school or family troubles. Imagination and emphasis: - I was a beta reader for a good writer, but her "first kiss" scene was too short. Make sure the important events in the genre's expected flow are given the space they need. Humor: - add a sidekick - have the MC write a blog with funny anecdotes - make the humor relevant to the plot, not just for laughs. I came up with a humorous flaw for my heroine: obsession with her body odor. Someone recommended a great new perfume with exotic ingredients. However, while the perfume attracted lots of (the wrong) men (including the friend, who was really trying to hit on her, taking advantage of the situation), it smelled repulsive to the man she was after! Turns out, a spy also used that same perfume, and discovering who that spy was hinged on noticing that odor. Setting: - Add some new and interesting locations. - Make sure you get the most out of the locations you already have. Theme: - A powerful, universal theme (often unrelated to the romance, but instead the character flaws). - Develop the theme both through the romance and the non-romantic scenes. Impossible disaster: - My heroine in A Most Refined Dragon had her spirit change places with that of a dragon, but she loved a man. She is drawn into a conflict, and based on her actions and the actions of the dragon whose place she took, is sentenced to remain in that body forever, or face death. Finding a way around that took the whole second half of the book. - My hero in my current WIP, The Loyalty of Trolls, just when things were going great with his girlfriend, turns into a goat, and his friends the trolls are the mortal enemies of were-goats. (Notice my fondness for turning people into animals?) God bless your efforts!
  45. 3 points
    Word sprints with a friend are my favorite way to dig in and really get my fingers moving! ❤️
  46. 3 points
    I am bored with the multi-day storms, so you get it gifs. 😁 The plotting! The start! The realization that the plot is wrong and you're winging it! The sword fight you love! Realizing it is better placed in another part, but you liked it where it was. Being given advice mid-tantrum. Snack break! 😁 Writing the final battle! 😁 The party when it's finished!
  47. 3 points
    😱 I've been waiting for this one!! 😊 🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳 Congratulations!!! And you need a cake for nailing book number two! 😁
  48. 3 points
    My first novel, I went through 17 drafts or so. There wee so many problems in my writing, so many things I needed to learn. It is impossible to learn all the skills at once, so each of my editing passes, I fixed one or two things. This was years ago, but I remember some of it: - one pass for dialog tags. Remove them when they are unnecessary, not get fancy, and use right punctuation. - one pass for authentic dialog - British slang for the English woman, prison slang for the prisoner, etc. - one pass for addding a better villain - one pass to make the chapter beginnings and endings flow - one pass for dialog / narrative balance - not too many pages of dialog without narrative and vice versa - rewrite the beginning and ending - one pass to conform to 4-Act structure better (a key plot point was too short and needed to be expanded) - several passes to make it shorter and remove boring stuff During my first book, I realized that writing scenes with many characters was hard, so I started with small scenes and worked my way up until I could handle battles with dozens of characters, then thousands (not all named, of course!) All through the process of that first novel or two, I read books about dialog, setting, structure, character arc, self-editing, scene-sequel, cliches to avoid, you name it. You can only learn a little at a time. Then, as I went from book to book, I identified weaknesses. My first book was a mess with a timeline that stretched out for 25 years. So I wrote a short story that lasted a day (really a novelette of 20,000 words.) My next novel spanned a period of a single month. Thus I learned how to manage the timeline better. My current novel will last a whole summer and into the Fall. My first novel didn't have much romance - I knew I couldn't handle that. To grow myself as a writer, I wrote a Fantasy Romance. I also edited a few romances for others here at CW. That helped me see how they do it. My current novel is a YA fantasy. Why? I never wrote any stories with teenage characters before, so something else to learn. My first fantasies were in a fantastic world I created. My novelette was set in the town where I live. Making a "normal" suburban town seem interesting was a challenge. It helped me to improve my command of setting. My current novel is set in Cambridge and Boston, where I work. It is fantasy, but I make extensive use of real places. My goal was to take a dingy corner of town where the bridges and railroad tracks and warehouses are and make it completely magical. Another trick - read poetry by the masters. I am not a very good poet (though my daughter is - she is an MFA grad student) but reading poetry helps me to loosen my prose and improve my vocabulary. It really helps me with description and capturing mood. My desire to write began in high school. In college, I suffered depression and all creativity left me. I tried taking writing classes, but dropped them in despair. After college, the Lord helped me recover. It was slow. Write a letter to the newspaper. Write an article for the church newsletter. Learn how to write business proposals as a management consultant. I went on a mission trip to Romania with a church choir. When I returned, I was able to write Christian songs and poetry. Ideas for novels came to me, but I couldn't get started. Still no confidence or discipline. Got married, had kids. Then one got sick and at the same time I lost my job. I spent every night in the hospital with my daughter for a week. With nothing to do, I got a notebook from the gift shop and thought, "This may be the last time I have this much free time for awhile." I decided to outline a novel, right there in the hospital. It took nine years to finish. It was twenty years after the idea came to me, but I finally got it down on paper. That week in the hospital was about 16 years ago. I have not stopped writing since. In my twenties, my best friend said I'd never finish any of my stories. That was hard to swallow. You may have similar voices in your life. You have to decide who you are going to listen to. Here is another voice: Don't give up.
  49. 3 points
    I passed my test after a few reshoots. I used the max tries for the 50 foot shots and had to redo the tik tac shoot around the barricade. I called the place where I was originally scheduled to test and they are sending me a refund for the $100 I paid for test that cancelled when everything closed. So now I am not out an extra $100 for testing.
  50. 2 points
    I am working downtown and there are riots going on a block away from me.
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