Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Writing Circles and Walk-On Characters

by Molly Noble Bull

Circles and walk-on characters might seem like unusual writing terms. But they are important if you want your book or story to succeed. Here’s why.
Walk-on characters, in movies and novels, are never given names, and they never says much. For example, the waiter or waitress in a cafe could be a walk-on because all he or she does is hand each character a menu and say, "Are you ready to order?" Other walk-ons might be the person at the checkout counter at Wal Mart, the ticket person at the movies, the maid or butler in the home of a wealthy character, etc. The author might refer to these characters in the story as the waiter, the waitress, the checkout lady, the maid or the butler.
Waiters and waitresses, maids and butlers can also be important characters in a story. If they are, the author must give them names—like Mr. Jones, Sally Brown, Pastor Wilson. Characters with names are described and engage in conversations rather than merely speaking a few words.
But have you ever heard of the writing term “Full Circle?” Full circle means that what happened at the beginning must happen again near the end of the story.
I remember seeing a movie once where at the beginning of the story birds flew south for the winter. Near the end of the movie, spring had come, and birds were flying north. This is a perfect example of full circle writing.
When a character speaks a lot and is given a name other than a general name like the ones listed above this character must be mentioned again before the end of the story in order to come full circle. Let us say that near the beginning of the story the heroine is robbed by a man with tattoos all over his body. She calls him Tattoo Man, and he is never found. At the end of the story, the heroine picks up a newspaper and reads that a man who sounds like Tattoo Man was arrested for stealing a woman’s purse at a shopping mall.
And the heroine thinks, Tattoo Man. I always hoped he would be brought to justice. Now he has.
That is really all that is needed to make a story full circle. But it must be done. Otherwise, the story is likely to be rejected.
Circles and walk-on characters might sound like strange writing terms. But they are very important if you want your story or novel to sell.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Running to the arms of God

Tuesdays with Tiffany
by Tiffany Colter

Sometimes I get scared.

Do you ever feel that way? Learning all the different parts of living the writer's life can be VERY scary. You're putting yourself out there daily to rejection and pain, with splatterings of victory.

Not trying to sound negative; it's just part of the writer's life.

A few nights ago I was in bed, sound asleep, when our 5 year old came in. She was scared. She'd had a bad dream and something bothered her in her room. She was on my husband's side of the bed and I heard her say, "Daddy, can I sleep with you?"

He made room for her, hugged her, kissed her, and brought her in to bed. For some reason I instantly thought of all of you blog readers. I saw something in that moment, that one mundane act...

When we are going through our lives there are moments when we become afraid. We feel lonely. We need reassurance. During those times God brings us beside Him and comforts us. We stay warm and close to him for a season. But we can't stay there forever. Just like happened with my 5 year old, after a bit God takes us back to where we were and let's us try again. Our daughter stayed in bed with us for an hour or two and then we carried her safely back to her bed. She needed to try doing it again, but she knew we were right down the hall if she needed us.

The same is true with God. He is there waiting for us if we need Him, but He knows it is safe for us to return...

Even when we're unsure of ourselves.

So if in your writing or marketing you feel unsure, you're scared...get close to God. Find your place of comfort...then trust Him when He carries you back to "your bed" and tells you to try again.

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Laughter rests your soul

In the last two days, our family has had several silly moments. Not one or two, but many.

I've found out how badly I needed a laugh.

We've had such a stressful summer that life was getting overwhelming. We were feeling heavy-hearted and like all we were doing was climbing uphill.

Then starting Friday, little things just kept happening. We started to giggle. We slept in on Saturday. We giggled at more unexpected silly things. A word here, a surprise there, a funny show...the laughter kept coming.

None of it planned. Little moments of blessings.

Now, two days later, our shoulders are relaxed and we laughed ourselves onto the floor at dinner. Our poor guest (who had never eaten a meal with our family before) was completely befuddled. At the end of the evening and weekend, our hearts are much lighter. We feel rested and refreshed.

Are you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted?

Start with a giggle from a funny show. Look for reasons to tell humorous stories. Be deliberate. Laugh.

I promise you'll be on the road to a refreshed outlook and a rested soul.

Please visit me over at God Uses Broken Vessels.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Revisions...When is enough, enough?

Posted by Eileen Astels

This is a question I personally struggle with day in and day out. I pray that once I reach a certain point in my learning curve, that the number of required revisions for my work will be exponentially less than where it stands now. I honestly cannot tell you how many times I have revised my very first novel that I wrote nearing four years ago. Way too many, is the answer that comes to mind. And yet, I'm still seeing improvement with each pass through, so it can't be too many, can it?

Since that first novel, I have written two others. But I continually bounce back to my very first baby, in an attempt to freshen it up with what I've learned along the way. I want that first novel to really come to life. But why? Why can't I let it go? Will I ever be ready to say: Enough is enough?

What do I keep revising that causes so many run-throughs, you might ask?

Well, there's the fleshing out of my characters, there's the trimming of unneeded backstory, word tightening (how I love to search for adverbs and adjectives that replace a grouping of insignificant words), invoking all the senses wherever possible, improving the general flow of my sentences and paragraphs (this is a biggy for me), infusing emotion, building more conflict, adding a sprinkling of humor where it is lacking, discovering redundancy and fixing it, the list goes on and on. I'd add being a grammar police to this list too, but I fear what I am fixing might still be wrong, since grammar isn't my strong suit. That, I'll have to leave for a professional to help me with once I'm finally satisfied with my work.

So when will I be satisfied? If ever?

My husband keeps telling me to think "good is better than perfect" when I drone on about how tedious a job writing has become. I have difficulty accepting that in this hugely competitive publication world. I don't believe we writers have that luxury. We better revise until we feel it's as perfect as we can possibly make it. But then, there's the serious writerly commitment to never stop learning, always keep studying the craft of fiction writing to keep improving. With that logic, I have to wonder if there will ever be a point when I'm able to say enough is really enough, and release my baby into the submission phase.

I'm left to prayer, here. Prayer is the only answer I feel I have to release me from this writerly conundrum. I pray that when God feels my writing is good and ready for me to be proud of, He'll give me a sense of peace, and a drive to begin submitting to publishers and/or agents in a serious attempt to reach the culminating goal of publication. He has much to teach me along the way, perseverence and commitment are just a couple.

So, what about all of you? How do you come to the decision to submit your babies? What sound advice can you all offer? I would love to hear your thoughts on how to know when enough is enough.



Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What is this blog anyway?

Tuesdays with Tiffany
by Tiffany Colter

For those of you fairly new to writer's rest you may not be sure why exactly you want to spend your Tuesday with Tiff. In fact, I couldn't even get my beautiful graphic to load to today so why should you care what I have to say?

Well, it's because this is where I market myself, My Writing Career Coaching products, my homeschooling lessons that will be released July 27th, and my upcoming books.

That's why you came, right?

Oh, it isn't?

Well, how about this. You came because you were told by someone else that I share from my heart tips to build your writing business?

Is that closer to the truth? I hope it is. Otherwise, I'm failing miserably.

My point in that opening was two fold.

First, no one wants to come to your blog to be manhandled. They don't want to be forced in to buying a product or service. They don't want to feel like they've stumbled on to an infomercial.

They also want to know WIIFM!! What's in it for me!! That's because ALL of us, myself included, won't stop at a blog-or if we do stop, we won't stay long, if the blog doesn't provide us with SOMETHING. That may be as small as a small laugh or as big as a life changing principle.

The SECOND is if people find something in your blogs or articles that give them something they will develop a RELATIONSHIP with you. They will see you as someone they can go to and they will trust you. Don't violate that trust by throwing every imaginable option at them. Treat them like a friend. Tell them what you've found that helps, and what doesn't. Then, as a friend, they will recommend you to others when your book releases.

So focus your conversations, blogs and articles on the needs of others. Seek to fill that need by developing relationships. That is how you grow as a person and as a marketer.

Check out my other blog to find out how I learned a great deal about marketing by reading a ketchup bottle and watching a horror flick.

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Rest for Health

You might have noticed that this message is back posted to my regular Sunday time.

Unfortunately, I had to deal with bronchitis for the last week.

Guess what?

You guessed it!

The doctor prescribed rest, lol.

My schedule had become so out of control on business travel, classes, pageant work, family, etc...

I hadn't taken time to rest in several weeks. And my body let me know in NO uncertain terms.

Isn't it funny that we think we are absolutely indispensable until we are of no use to anyone? sigh.

So last week I let everything possible go. This week, I'm working back into only the most important things.

That is my lesson. My very humbling lesson! I am not so important that the world can't get along without me.

My job is to do God's will and to slow down on the busy overkill. Why do I have to relearn that over and over?


Take a look at your schedule. Is it really what you are supposed to be doing or is it more busy stuff?

Would your body appreciate a break?

Mine did.

On the mend,

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Five Senses

by Molly Noble Bull

The speaker at a writers’ conference gave a testimony about the five senses once, and I will never forget what she said. Though I didn’t actually attend the writers’ conference where she made these amazing discoveries, I purchased the tapes, and I have played them again and again.
Here is what she said.
She explained that the first few novels she wrote didn’t sell. She would send them to editor after editor, and all were rejected. She wondered why and made a decision to find out. As a result of her research, she began to do things differently.
Somehow, she concluded that when she had at least four of the five senses on almost every page of a manuscript, the book sold. When she did not, the novel was rejected.
Here are examples of the kind five senses I am talking about.
Linda’s sky-blue eyes set off her dark hair. In fact, he’d never seen a woman with hair that black—unless it came from a bottle.
Hearing: He stood at the water’s edge, listening to the rush of the sea against the rocks and the whoosh of a salty breeze.
Touch: Seated on the blue velvet settee and waiting for Jim to join her there, she traced the carving of a bird on the oak arm with her fingertips.
Smell: As soon as she entered the door, she smiled, breathing in the scent of gingerbread and cinnamon and stewed apples.
Taste: The milk was so sour it almost made warm buttermilk sound good.
Sometimes it is almost impossible to get more than one or two of the five senses on a page of manuscript. Therefore, I suggest combining two or more in the same sentence.
Examples of Combinations:
Salty breeze
Warm buttermilk
White sheets of a frozen clothesline
The vapors from the oily solution his mom had rubbed on his chest made his nasal passages open and his eyes water and burn.
Fiction novels that contain the five senses on almost every page sell, and if you can put two or more in one sentence, you might sell even sooner.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Dead Sea Marketing

Tuesdays with Tiffany
By Tiffany Colter


It is Tuesday and I'm so excited. I love coming over every week to share marketing tips and reflections on the writer's life. I hope that this is a place where you are not only refreshed but that you learn.

Yesterday on my main blog I posted a "Tough Love" message and received some of the nicest comments I've gotten from any blog. I'd encourage you to check it out, as well as the follow up blog.

Dead Sea Marketing

What do I mean by that?

Do you know what the Dead Sea is? It is a stagnant body of water in the Holy Land. Things flow in but they never flow out.

Many times writers talk about being overwhelmed by crit partners, rewrites, blogs and conferences. They spend so much time learning how to write that they never have the time to actually write.

The same thing happens with some marketers. I've been guilty of this. I've spent so much time learning how to market and talk about marketing that I never actually do it. In fact, my two blogs were actually born out of that realization. I wanted to unstop the plug in my marketing by sharing it with other people.

What I learned is that I now have a hunger and passion again where things had once gone dry. I am not storing up all of my knowledge for my own gain; I share it with others.

My new internship program was also born out of that. I wanted to have a way to learn more while at the same time teaching. It is an exciting way to help people who are committed to a dream, but not necessarily able to afford it, to move forward.

Is your marketing looking more like the Sea of Galilee-teaming with life, feeding the hungry bodies and souls of those who long for your gift?

Or is it the Dead Sea? Stagnant from disuse?

What are you going to do to breathe life in to every area?

Something to think about. We'll continue the conversation tomorrow on my main blog.

And if you'd like to know more about my internship read this post and then contact me through my website.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Defining a Writer

Mission Possible Monday
by Carla Gade

How do you define a writer?
The American Heritage Dictionary puts it simply:

n. One who writes,
especially as an occupation.

And to be occupied? The above terms clearly states as a vocation, otherwise it is how one chooses to occupy their time, thoughts, and attention. And for a writer, pen in hand.

Like many of you, from a very young age I have been compelled to write. Stories, poems, newsletters, reports, articles, lessons. You name it, I write it! Being a writer is quite naturally who I am. It is not all of who I am, yet all of who I am seems to yearn to be expressed through creativity. Especially writing.

When my Mom moved to her retirement home she handed me a folder. You know the one. The folder mother's everywhere create as a portfolio of such containing samples of school papers, reports, art work, letters, what have you. When I looked through it something funny happened. It occurred to me that I was a writer. I knew I liked to write. Yet now the evidence was there before me. I had a history of writing. I still wrote. And surely I would continue to write. I was a writer.

It still took me some time to consider myself a vocational writer; even though I had already passed that threshold. Something significant eventually took hold. A metamorphosis occurred when I chose to come out of my little cocoon and fly. It was then that I truly became a writer, because I at last believed I was one. Now with a vocational portfolio of my writing material, there is no more denying it. A writer I am.

The other day, I traversed down a beautiful river with a group of 30 on a float trip. There I was, in my inflatable boat, imagination soaring. I couldn't help myself. And oh how tempted I had been to bring along a pen, although I thought better of it to avoid a potential risk of a puncture in my otherwise seaworthy vessel. As I floated along I began plotting. Oh, the inspiration! I also pictured scenes from the book I'm currently reading which mentions that very river. Someone had written about it. I shall too, I thought. It cannot be helped. You know why. Because you, too, are a writer.


To Consider:

How do you define a writer?"

When did you first know that you were a writer? How did that realization impact your life?

What experiences have you had that have encouraged you as a writer?

"I lived to write, and wrote to live."
Samuel Rogers (1733-1855)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Open House

Since we seem to be short on postings the last couple of days, how about trying something different?
What would you like us to talk about over the next few weeks, months, especially as a lot of us are gearing
up for the ACFW conference in Minneapolis in September.
Leave your suggestions in the comments and we'll do our best to please!

Another great place to ask the burning questions you just can't seem to find answers to is over at the ACFW forums.
Check them out.

As for me, going into my third conference now I'm still trying to figure out exactly what a pitch is and how to do it and
I'm wondering why my agent can't just do it for me. Could be because she'll be busy taking her own appointments, which
is very inconvenient for me, but I think she's really like that mama bird who's pushing me out of the nest, determined to
make me learn how to fly, even if it kills me.
Yeah. I bet you can tell how thrilled I am about the whole pitching process, can't you?
I'd love some tips if you've got any.

Let's talk!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Backstory Dilemma

Posted by Eileen Astels

There's a lot of talk lately about backstory. Especially regarding the near elimination of it in the initial chapters.

What do you think? Is backstory passive? Does it slow the read for you when you come across a line, or paragraph, or more of it?

I think that's really where the talk is coming from. If we really take a look at what our backstory does to our writing, we'll see that it more often than not does slow the pace and also interrupts the action it's been plunked into the middle of.

For beginner writers, it's even more imperative that we be especially choosy about WHAT and HOW MUCH backstory to include in our manuscripts, and I believe it would be a wise decision to make our backstory work double time for us. Meaning, we need to incorporate it in such a way that it adds intrigue, or an eye-opening experience (ie. huge character trait revealing, etc.) In other words, when you need to include a piece of backstory to make the scene make sense, then include it in as few words as possible, but write it in such a way that it becomes active, too. Keep the story moving forward, despite the fact that you're slipping in past experiences.

A little while back, over on Seekerville, Camy Tang offered a wonderful example of how to incorporate backstory so that it blends in with the scene, and also gives it a double purpose. Check it out. It's a great example to learn from.

Blessings, and write on!


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

What should I do now?

Tuesdays with Tiffany
by Tiffany Colter

Over on my daily blog I talked yesterday about time management and today about the changing realities in publishing. If you have a couple of minutes I encourage you to go over to that blog and read up.

Also, if you'd like to learn more about my 4 week class on time management that starts July 21 go visit the Christian PEN website.

Okay, so things are changing and time isn't waiting for us. So what should you do now?

In order to stay ahead of the game you need to find a few blogs that really help you stay on top of marketing and the industry. I take the time to stay on top of a few different blogs each week just to help me with the industry. I am by no means saying these are the only blogs, but they are worth your time.

Writer's Rest.
Well DUH, do you think I'd participate if I didn't think it was great. I like this site because there are many people and many voices to learn from.

Chip MacGregor's site
Chip doesn't post every day...not even every week but he does an excellent job of telling it like it is to anyone who is brave enough to ask. I really value Chip's insights and read every single post he puts up.

From Where I Sit
Michael Hyatt [I really hope I spelled that right] speaks as the head of a publishing company. His insights are great and it helps me to not only learn about the industry but seeing publishers as "real people" rather than people who hold my entire future in the palm of their hands.

Writing Career Coach
How can I not go there since it's my blog :-). But in all seriousness, this blog is there to help you. Many people leave comments and many more email me through the contact page on my website when the have a specific question. I want to help so if there are things you don't understand, ask. If you'd like to take one of my classes they are there too.
And next week I'll be making a big announcement over there. You won't want to miss it!

Rachelle Gardner
Again, an agent who really tells what they want and how to succeed. She is worth the time it takes to go over. Agents are so overwhelmed so I'm always excited when they're so eager to help.

Now that you have the blog what!

Learn from them. Find out what they suggest a proposal have [in their writer's guidelines] or see what trends they're seeing in the industry. These pieces of information will help you distinguish your marketing proposal from the countless others an editor/agent sees in a day.

And, when the time comes, that bit of added effort will help your target reader learn about you and your book. So marketing isn't just about cold calls, book signings and post cards. It's about what you're doing right now to prepare for your first published book. It is knowing about the industry you work in.

So, now that you have this information, what WILL you do now?

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter

Tiffany is a freelance writer and writing career coach. She has dozens of credits in local articles and has also been published in Charisma Magazine and Today's Christian. She loves to write and mentor other writers. You can learn more about Tiffany's writing career coach programs and classes at her website

Monday, July 7, 2008

Set the World on Fire

by Carla Gade

The Britt Nicole lyrics to "Set the World on Fire" always remind me that I have a special purpose to my life. My purpose is to glorify the Lord in whatever I do. It also reminds me that he has given me special talents and abilities with which I can honor him.

My utmost desire is that I would be faithful and honor him with the dreams and goals that I have. That he would take those dreams and indeed "give them wings".

The Lord has used Britt's lyrics to encourage many. Could it be that he might use me and the words he lays on my heart to be a light to others? Lord, may it be! Give him your dreams today.


To Consider:

"Set The World On Fire"

I wanna set the world on fire
Until it's burning bright for You
It's everything that I desire
Can I be the one You use?

I, I am small but
You, You are big enough
I, I am weak but
You, You are strong enough to
Take my dreams
Come and give them wings
Lord with You
Nothing I can not do
Nothing I cannot do

". . . whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."
1 Corinthians 10:31b

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Philippians 4:13

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Enjoy Your Holiday

Saturday Scribbles will return next Saturday. Enjoy your holiday weekend! Before you go, I want to brag on Carla for a minute. She has done a beautiful job on our graphics. I love my Saturday Scribbles button. Thank you, Carla!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Meet Michelle Sutton!

Hi, Michelle,
Welcome to Writers' Rest.

You're a busy lady - how many hats are you currently wearing at the moment?

Let's see...Christian, wife, mother, sister, daughter, employee, pet owner, friend, author, magazine editor, mentor, blogger, book reviewer, giveaway coordinator, book promoter. I think I covered them all.

Congratulations on your upcoming release, It's Not About Me. Tell us about the book and the inspiration behind it.

Actually, the story came to me because of a friendship I had with a woman from my church in Phoenix. I can't tell you the details or it takes some of the "surprise" out of the story, but I'll just say the same thing happened to her, but she was a middle aged married woman and not a young lady like Annie in my story. But that was where the premise for my story came from . . . I asked myself, "What would happen if a girl with a perfect life had a tsunami of pain hit her when she least expected it? How would that shake out and where will she end up in regards to love, faith, independence, self-worth?"

How did you get started on your writing journey and what lessons can you share with us?

In August 2003 I was inspired to write a novel after e-mailing Love Inspired author Cynthia Ruchti and hearing her story about how she began her writing journey.

Do you have any spare time? If you do, how do you spend it?

In my spare time I do stuff with friends, my family, and church family. I go to rodeos, take walks, have picnics, go to lunch, go to parties . . . all kinds of things.

I have to ask, because you know I love Chocolate - when and how did the Chocolate Parties start at the ACFW conference? They're a great ice breaker and I always tell people to make sure they go!

I was trying to figure out a way to connect with people at my first conference and so many people I knew loved chocolate so we met in my room (about 40 of us) for the first party. I brought The Ungame (Christian version) with me and we broke the ice that way. It has been such an event that I've had one every year since. This year will be the fifth annual chocolate party in my room. :)

Writing isn't your full-time job yet, is it? What can we find you doing when you're not working away on a manuscript?

See the above hats! And I work full time for the Arizona State Government as a social worker.

As a newly published author, how do you feel about the current waves in the publishing business? Do you think it's going to grow increasingly more difficult for the unpublished authors to get their manuscripts into the hands of agents and editors?

Of course it'll get harder. That's why I went with Sheaf House. I didn't want to change who I was as an author just to sell a book. I love edgy fiction, I write it, and I'm gonna sell it. I'm just glad Sheaf House gave me a chance to do that.

You label yourself as a writer of Edgy Inspirational Fiction - what does that mean?

That means I'm too Christian for the ABA and too edgy for the CBA. :) Seriously, I write realistic situations that people find themselves in...even Christians. I show how people really feel and think inside when they are in those situations, and it's not always righteous. My character make bad choices sometimes and they have to live with the consequences. That's how real life is. I think people can learn from reading about other people's mistakes just like younger siblings learn from older siblings' mistakes. I hope to prepare people for those sticky situations so if they find themselves in the same place they'll make a better choice than some of my characters did.

Do you have a mentor, someone in particular whom you credit for helping you grow as a writer?

Too many people to count. Seriously, I have three full pages of gratitude and thanks dedicated to the first pages in my book. You'll have to read it to get that info. It's too much info to write here.

What future projects do you have lined up for your writing career?

I have nine novels already written. I'm focusing on the magazine and revising existing material. I have a ton of projects circulating right now so I don't need to add more just yet.

Parting advice for those still striving toward publication?

Hang in there. It's worth it in the end.

Thanks for stopping by Writers' Rest. May God continue to bless you and your writing!

Thanks for having me!

Visit Michelle at her website

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Blocking Writers' Block

by Molly Noble Bull

The first novel I ever wrote was a mystery for children nine to twelve, and I loved writing it. I had no idea what was going to happen, and I thought that made it as exciting for me as for my future readers.
Trouble was, it never sold.
That was when I realized that I needed to learn to plot, and I answered an ad in a writers’ magazine. Send money, and we will teach you how to plot. Guaranteed.
Well, I fell for it and sent the money. I got a manila folder, and inside, I found something like this.

Chapter one:
Jim Turner bumps into a beautiful real estate agent at Wal Mart that he wants to know a lot better. But during their brief conversation, he realizes that she is Sally Bennett, a girl in his class that he always teased and treated badly when they were children. So, he decides to pretend that he is not Jim, he is a cool and mysterious stranger, Grant Housley.

Chapter Two:
Jim as Grant Housley goes to Sally’s office and they strike up another conversation. She offers him a donut, and he is eating it when Bill Snow walks in. Bill has never liked Jim and is Sally’s boss. Bill would know that Jim is not a mysterious stranger in one glance. Jim hides behind a potted plant, knocks it over and races out the back door of the real estate office, looking like a teenager with a sugar addiction and a problem with potted plants.

Chapter Three:
Of course this is not what was written on the paper I paid good money for. It’s the first chapter of a novel I never intend to write. However, it is also an example of an important point. Writing out what you plan to write before you write it is a good way to keep from backing into the writers’ block corner. Been there—done that.

But what if you find yourself in that corner anyway? What can you do to get out? I am currently having that problem with my work in progress; so this solution is fresh on my mind.
In my case, I finished chapter seventeen of my work in progress and pulled to a dead stop. What happens now in the story? I didn’t have a clue.
However, I did have a solution to writers’ block that I knew would work. I had tried it previously.
Here is what I did.
I wrote “Chapter Eighteen” so I would know where I left off.
Then I wrote “Chapter A.”
Under Chapter A, I wrote what has to happen to set the end of the story in motion. Then I wrote “Chapters B, C, D, E and etc until I ended the story. Writing the end of the story before finishing the difficult middle freed me from the chains of writers’ block.
And if it works this time as it has in the past, my writers’ block should be completely cured by the time I go back and write “Chapter Eighteen.”
When I finally do, I will simply change Chapter A to Chapter Nineteen, Chapter B to Chapter Twenty and so on to the end of the book.

Blocking writers’ block is not that hard to do if you know how to do it. My method works for me. Maybe it will work for you, too.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Marketing with columns

If you haven't been to my daily blog go back there first to get part 1. Follow this link.

Okay, like I said on the previous page, earning $5,200 this year with your writing would be pretty nice and you can see how doing what I suggest will improve your writing and move your career forward but what if you just DON'T want to consider it.

A second option is looking in to columns. Yes, I know, saying you're a columnist does have a nice ring to it. Doesn't it???

But beyond the prestige of it, are there other benefits? Yes.

While you won't make a huge amount of money writing a column [typically] it will continue to help you work out the disciplines of being a writer [deadlines, working in spite of writer's block, consistent effort]. You can also earn a small amount of money writing the column. This idea occurred to me when I was talking to a publication that didn't pay but suggested syndicating the article for pay. This is a wonderful way to try to get your work in the hands of even more people.

So beyond income, think of the possibilities both of these offer to you as a writer. Think of how many different groups of people you can reach through your efforts. How would that increase the attractiveness of your proposal to a publishing house? How would it help you pay for conferences and other writing related needs? How would it help you improve as a writer.

Finally, think of the relationships you'd have established when the time came to promote your book. As a columnist you have an attractive byline. Look at the bottom..."Jane I. Writer is a columnist for the Daily Paper. Her book, This is super good, will be released from SmartPublishing in September."

Do you think some of your regular readers MIGHT check out your book??? Just something to think about.

Remember to bounce over to tomorrow [wednesday] to see the final installment of this 4 part series.

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter

Check it out!

Today is the debut of a new online magazine - Christian Fiction Online!
See the link on our sidebar and click on it. It's working as of today!

The magazine is presented by the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, and edited
by ACFW's own Michelle Hutchinson. As if she didn't have enough to do!
We'll be chatting with Michelle here at Writers' Rest on Thursday.

I'm especially excited about the new mag because I have a short story featured in this first issue.
It was definitely unexpected, but I'm really pleased and just hope I don't get hate mail....hahaha.
It was a sure step out of the box for me but I did have fun writing it.
Next month I will also have a column featured in the magazine, so be sure to add
the link to your blogs and websites. I hope you enjoy it!