Before ad agencies began to promote back-to-school as “the most wonderful time of the year,” the majority of people would say the phrase applied to Christmas. And while I do enjoy the Christmas season, to me, Easter is the focal point of the year for believers in Christ. What would Christmas be if it hadn’t
Do you struggle with acknowledgments for your inside book cover? Yes, me too. What I have to say isn’t always what I want to say.
Alan Greenspan said, “I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”
Before we get swept away in crafting an exciting plot, we need to wait! Wait until we weigh down our main character.
Susan May Warren pointed out recently in a blog post on Novel Rocket how important it is that we connect with the characters. “Plot is interesting, but not unless it is about someone we care about.”
What makes us care about a character?
It hit me recently that I’ve been at this writing thing for 20+ years. I sold my first story—a Keys for Kids devotion—in March of 1997. Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised, then, that the honeymoon with the writing craft is long past and some days my love for it falters.
I’ve done many things to keep that love alive. Here are some that I’ve tried. If you and writing are having relationship problems, they might work for you too.
Every story hinges on the premise, which is the idea that drives the story from beginning to end. The premise is a short blurb, often found on the back cover. The author may or may not write it out, but it is always there, at the very least in the author’s mind before and during the writing process.
How do you write a premise?
According to Joe Bunting at The Write Practice, a premise must contain three elements:
1. The protagonist
2. The setting
3. What the protagonist wants and why he can’t get it.
GET SOME SLEEP
This is a case of do what I say, not what I do. (I’m writing this post at 11:36 PM the day it’s supposed to go live.)
Most of us think more clearly and are far more productive if we’ve had adequate sleep. For some, that means getting eight hours every night. For others, six or seven may do nicely. Consistency, they say, is most important.
On ikeepsafe.org, they recommend that we “unplug two hours before bed. This gives your brain a chance to unwind and get ready for sleep.”
No screen-time for two hours before bed? Hmm, I wonder …
Writing involves not only good technique but also personal investment. It involves practice and learning.
An acquaintance said recently that practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. In other words, if we continue to repeat our mistakes, we are not getting any closer to perfection.
Michael J. Fox said he doesn’t aim for perfection but for excellence.
Sometimes it’s a matter of semantics. The key is to do our best at whatever we are doing, and that will always require effort, practice, and time.
When my son arrived in Lima, Peru, while on a mission trip some years ago, he was struck by the riot of colour in the city. His email said, “It looked like a kid had gone crazy with a box of crayons.” Without naming any colours, he had created a picture of the scene I will never forget.
How can we add colour to our writing so it lives in the minds of our readers?
As an artist as well as a writer, I know the importance of colour. Yet I’ve read a few manuscripts with a distinct lack of it. Rather than “fifty shades of gray,” perhaps we should be looking for fifty words to express exactly what we envision.