This is one of my favorite verses.
John 15:5 - 8
5“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
What is your favorite verse?
The Conference is being held at: Camelback Church of Christ
5225 E. Camelback Rd.
Go to www.christianwritersofthewest.com for more information and to register.
I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
I will not be posting over the holidays and will be making some changes to my blogging schedule next year.
God bless you,
We’ve all heard it. The first sentence, first page, the middle of the book, and the last chapter are the most important parts of the entire book. But, what do we need to do to make certain that our first sentence is more than good. No, GREAT!
Our first sentence is completing with thousands of other first sentences. I don’t know about you, but after I go through a stack of books based on their covers, I open them at the beginning. The first sentence HAS to hook me. After I read the first sentence then I read the entire first paragraph, then the entire page, just to give the author a chance. If I’m not hooked by the end of the page I shelf the book and move on to the next one in my stack.
Below are six things we should always include in our first page:
1. AN OPENING HOOK! is a must! A sentence or two that will catch our readers’ interest attention. Next week we’ll talk more about “Hook”.
2. Our main character’s name (the protagonist’s name must be on the first page, preferably in the first paragraph)
3. Introduce our main character: sex, age, human or not, personality
5. Something that concerns the antagonist – fears: future, past, someone, something, of being inadequate, etc; how she feels different; he lives in an unusual place from the rest of his peers; she does or is something different or unfamiliar; the antagonist’s weakness.
6. The protagonist’s life goal, someone, something extremely important to him
7. A hint to the time of year; setting: on Earth; in the past; future, alternate universe
Now, it’s your turn. What else do you put in your first page that will help us “hook” our potential readers?
Instead of a blog today, when I need to be busy getting ready for tomorrow, I wanted to do something different.
I wanted to list a few of the many people and things I am thankful for.
My God and His Son, Jesus, - who deserves praise even through the storms.
My husband, Norm - he is my leaning post, my confidant, and my best friend. I love you so much!
My son, Brian, his wife, Morgan and their kids. I love them all and love spending time with them.
My son, Dave and his wife, Meaghan. I love both of them and am thankful for their insight and wisdom.
My sister, Barb, and her family. My sister and friend always and forever.
My friends and critique partners, Brenda, Crystal, Karen, and Nanc'.
My friends Marti, Samantha, and my many other friends. Great friends are hard to come by.
I am also thankful for the roof over my head, food in my stomach, and for a vehicle that runs.
Even though my health isn't what I would like it to be, I am thankful that God is always with me, holding me.
I am thankful for the fun times my husband, and I have on the motorcycle.
Usually, however, the plot jumps into my head, then I make my characters fit. I want my characters to be interesting, someone my readers will care about, but more importantly someone who is real. Since I am a pantser, my characters take on their own personalities as I write. I enjoy watching them develop and mature as the story unfolds with each tap of my fingers on the keyboard.
Your turn! How and where do you get your character ideas?
I can’t begin writing without:
* Something to drink – usually water or coffee (a full glass or cup - not half-full)
* Having read my Bible and written in my journal
* Having checked and responded to my email (I don’t get a lot, but...)
* Having checked and posted to both of my Facebook accounts
* Having everything set out and ready – my mechanical pencil, Blistex, phone, and tablet or scratch paper
* Checking my website, www.deekincade.com, site stats
So really, I don’t have any rituals. Right?
Well, maybe I do have one.
Hey, my writing friend poked her nose in and said I have more than one!
Humph! Not me. I can’t wait to see her list.
I wonder. Does it count if I’m trying to start a new early morning habit? Probably not because it’s not a ritual, it’s a habit I’m trying to start. I’m working really hard to remember to exercises before I start writing. If I don’t do them early, I will not do them, at all.
Anyway, I enjoyed competing in NaNoWriMo. I was able to get a lot accomplished. Besides the focused writing effort, there are local blogs and meetings available. But I think the one thing that impressed me was the encouragement.
Many participants freely encouraged with helpful advice and thoughts that helped me keep on track. Others took time from their own writing to write, I mean, write paragraphs of helpful hints.
Okay, even though I’m a pantser, I did make up a skimpy outline, and I followed it.
This year I would love to do something that will ensure more of my NaNoWriMo writing is useful to my current project.
Am I the only person who had this problem?
Please, share your ideas and suggestions!
I think our concern here is to be realistic. I’ve heard that only 1% of 1% of all new authors’ books submitted to publishers are published. And that the average number of sales is around 200. The average number—if a very popular book sells 100,000 copies that would mean, on the other end, the author would sell between five and ten books.
Not encouraging prospects. Not if you’re in it for the money.
After a lot of deep thought, I finally came up with two reasons. The first reason I write is the safest for me to tell you. I want to write so I can, hopefully, help readers with their walk with God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Several years ago I had the opportunity to read some wonderful books where the character was
going through something close to what I was dealing with. As I read how the fictional character responded or learned, I realized that I needed to change how I looked at the same issues. Fiction is a low-pressure way to teach God’s truths.
The second reason is harder for me to write about...because I feel vulnerable. I...uh...want to prove to others, even myself, that I can do it. That the lies were just that, lies, That God does not make mistakes, and I can do some things well.
Be vulnerable and share your reasons below in comments.
As we discussed last week, backstory is the story before the beginning of your book. All of our characters have one. However, as with cayenne pepper—sprinkle it on. Lightly. Very lightly!
But, how much?
That’s easy, use VERY little. We need to remember to ask these questions:
* Will the backstory help the reader understand why our characters act/react certain ways to each scene?
* Does knowing some of the backstory help readers understand and more importantly care about our main characters?
* Will the backstory help readers understand and advance the plot?
Now for the difficult part. Where do we put these little seasonings of backstory to spice up our book? When backstory is placed in the wrong spots, it will slow the plot, or the story will come to a complete stop.
There are four important points to remember:
1. Never add backstory in a fast-paced scene, which includes dialogue
2. Always add backstory where it will “fit” with the scene or action, so it feels natural
3. Never cram all backstory in one place
4. Always remember to scatter backstory into action or dialogue scenes
5. Each sprinkling should give just enough backstory to hint at the past – however, somewhere in the last half of the book, make sure all of the backstory has been revealed
6. Remember – action speaks louder than words. Show the characters’ backstory through action –
The man spun on his heel and glared at the ten-year-old boy behind him. Never taking his eyes off the kid, he slowly raised his arm, clenched his fist, and swung.
My heart jumped; heat, along with long remembered pain seared through me. The scene in front of me morphed into the past.
My past and my father.
Your turn. What strategies do you use? How do you add backstory to your writing? Please share your thoughts and ideas below in the comment section.
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