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Showing posts from 2009

A Tale of Two Novels

Have you ever been convinced that an idea you came up with wasn’t actually yours? In my case, I believe that God provided the idea for a novel that I intend to complete.

As I said in my very first blog, I have been writing on the fantasy novel I entitled Livinity for eight years. In the meantime, other story ideas have to come to mind, but beyond writing brief descriptions, I virtually ignored those ideas. I felt that if I didn’t focus on Livinity alone, I wouldn’t be able to accomplish my goal of publication. Although determination and discipline are factors that can aid my goal, there are other factors as well.

For example, marketability. While at the FWA conference, I learned that in this difficult economic time, fantasy and other genre novels by new authors are not necessarily in a good position to be published. Not impossible, but also not likely. After the conference, I was encouraged to do something I had planned not to do: work on another story while simultaneously edit…
The Conference!

A lot has happened since my last entry. Namely, the FWA Conference was last weekend in Orlando. I am so grateful that I chose to attend for the second year in a row. Every workshop was excellent. The FWA consistently chooses fantastic speakers and authors to come teach the sessions. I couldn’t pick a favorite if I had to, but I’ll mention a few.

The very first workshop I attended provided answers to questions about synopses that I’ve had for years. For those who wanted to bring a laptop with their current novel and its working synopsis, the speakers (Robert & Sharene Brown) went over several different types of synopses and showed us how to transform our novel into each of these. I got some one on one time with Sharene (a publisher) and she had such insight! Now, whenever the guidelines for submissions to an agent or publisher request any type of synopsis, I’ll have it ready.

Another excellent workshop was on Point of View with Rebecca Melvin. She is an aut…

Breakthrough

Writing is a gift God gave me. I am certain of that. I credit him for a great deal of my completed novel. Sometimes I reread sentences with no memory of writing them. And it's usually the best lines, leaving me to wonder if it was really me. So I thank Jesus and ask for continued inspiration.

Today, he graciously answered one specific question. My ever-helpful critique group (John again) pointed out some things in my dreadful synopsis last week. Many things, in fact. I struggle with synopses like most authors do. And it hasn't gotten much easier even with feedback.

However, the breakthrough! I must credit my Lord for the thought thrust into my head with gentle, but firm hands. My main character, Chloe, needed more than what I gave her in the synopsis. But that meant changing the story. How daunting, and NOT what I wanted to do. Yet Christ was with me, and as I fretted over how to strengthen her, he sent what appeared to be the obvious answer. An idea I should ha…

Third time charm?

The third rejection is in. A publisher. Turns out, this time was a charm. They explained in detail why and sent very helpful comments. I understand most agents/publishers do not bother, or don't have time, to explain why they are rejecting a manuscript.Besides that, something really cool happened the other day.I’ve been struggling with the beginning of Livinity since…the beginning.And I hadn’t quite figure out why or what to do about it, except to just move on and hope that something would magically happen. The magic was much more practical than I would have guessed.A fellow writer (Thank you, John!) at our critique meeting pointed out some things in a scene that needed a serious overhaul.Not at the beginning, but about 1/3 of the way in.So a little bit of magic sparked an idea to use some of his critique notes at the beginning.Really, they could be used throughout the whole book, but one step at a time! I’ve been discouraged from starting the book with a prologue.I had one or…

Back From Vacation

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"Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning." Lamentations 3:32 (NLT)
I have to admit it's difficult to come back to the realities of a job and taking care of a home after relaxing poolside for about a week. My parents live in Yuma, AZ, and, as you can see, they have a beautiful pool and patio. My husband, Brian, and I spent as much time as possible on those floaties.
My sister, Larisa, and her husband, Philip flew from Portland making this a family reunion of sorts. We had a wonderful time with them, my parents and my other sister, Aunie. It's hard to come back not quite knowing when we'll all be together again.
I allowed myself to do nothing productive on our trip except spend time with family. So now back home means back to the pursuit of a writing career. Lately, one of the things that comes to mind while setting myself up for some unknown number of rejections is fear. Yet fear doesn't always render me helpless to do things. …

to begin

I wish I always began by thanking God for each day. Something to strive for.
I am going to borrow a tool from a friend in my critique group. She bought a book with exercises for writing and showed me the first one. It was simply to decode the words "thebegin" to get a person thinking outside the box. More specifically, to get a writer to open their mind to new ways of writing. The entire book looks fascinating, and once I get the title and author, I hope to purchase it myself.
I won't tell you the answer to "thebegin" except to say that it is quite simply a way to start.
For me, I am starting my first website simply as this blog. And I look forward to what is to come. I don't know the end of my story, like I know the end to the one I've written, but neither does anyone else. In college, I had dreams, and not only of becoming a published author. I wanted to marry and have a house. Those dreams have come true and I am truly blessed in the life I li…