Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Little Wisdom of Solomon When it Comes to Our Writing

Nothing New Under the Sun
LoRee Peery

I sent my last finished work in progress to beta readers. The working title had remained the same since I selected it. On a whim, I researched “my” title. Wowza. It’s been used more than a few times. And I discovered another author had a November release under that title.
Back to the drawing board, praying and brainstorming. Potential titles occupied my subconscious for days while I checked my dedication page, my blurb, my synopsis changes, making sure all would be ready for submission to my editor.  I thought it would be fun to email my critique partners and get feedback as I continued to labor.
I took notes and worked on characterization for my next story. I went about daily activities, which included selecting a book from my stash for reading pleasure. The heroine was another pregnant one. It seemed as though half the books I’d read over a six-month period involved pregnant protagonists.
My just completed WIP stars a pregnant heroine. Get over it, LoRee. There is nothing new under the sun. A few months from now another theme or similar character or setting will be prevalent.
What makes a story, a theme, characters, or conflict new to a reader? To me, it’s the individual skills or voice of the teller. Each author is unique because she brings herself and her background to the page. And that includes who we are at that point in time as a writer, as well as everything we’ve been exposed to in life.
That’s sure nothing new to my heavenly Father. After all, He created my uniqueness before He made me! (Jeremiah 1:5)
Each of us grew up within an ordained situation. Parents, place in the family, cultural influence that spans generations, location, time in history, maturation. It all contributes to who we are as individuals.

Humans are shaped by the people around us over the course of a lifetime. Our family, friends, school, church, followed by higher education, or life on the streets, job choices, peaks and valleys of life—they all matter. All those influences shape us into who we are. Personality, problems, and prayer affect our choices.
Enter love. Opening ourselves to love expands who we are. We become vulnerable as we broaden our world by letting in love and members of our spouse’s family. We’re exposed to more life experiences and realize how so much of living mirrors similar happenings in the lives of others.
Nothing new…I once heard there are no new ideas. I’ve been told authors claim there are only a few plot lines, repeated over and over and over. If that’s true, why don’t the books we read and write result in boredom?
My answer? The history that individualizes me doesn’t match anyone else’s. No one else can characterize based on my DNA, my relationships, my journey, my take-away lessons, my point of view, my errors in thinking.
It’s a crazy whirlwind life when we follow our dream of creativity. Completing the path set out for us to travel is ours alone, ven if it is old news to someone else.
Have you had a recent break-through that you consider a new one? (It doesn’t matter if it’s old to someone else! It’s what you do with it that matters.)
“That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So, there is nothing new under the sun.” — Ecclesiastes 1:9
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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Nothing Like a Little Suspense to Keep You on Your Toes


Marcy G. Dyer is a Registered Nurse and suspense author. Like so many other writers, she began writing at a very young age. Her debut novel, Down & Out - Desert Winds Series Book One, is available now. The second book in the series, Out For Blood, will be released on 08/11/2013.

addition to writing, Marcy is a freelance editor. She does editing for individuals, Desert Breeze Publishing, and Prism Book Group.

Marcy is an alumni of the Christian Writer's Guild and long-time member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She hosts a small critique group for ACFW and is involved in two other critique groups.

As followers of Jesus Christ, Marcy and her family are active members of Crossroads Fellowship in Odessa, Texas.

A little about DOWN & OUT
When a down on her luck publicist moves home to Odessa, Texas, she’s thrust into a volatile job with a handsome security consultant showing her the ropes when a stranger decides she must be his and he’s determined to win her love – at any cost. Can the handsome consultant protect her from the stalker or will she end up buried in the desert?


Candace hunkered down in the floorboard of the truck. Why had she taken this job? She really didn't need to eat. Maybe if she had to do without food for a while she could fit into smaller jeans, like the munchkin at the western store wore.

A gunshot rang out, and Candace vomited.

"Great. Barbie just tossed her cookies." Beth Anne sighed.

Enough was enough. She wouldn't put up with the leprechaun's taunts any longer.

"I'm sorry if I don't live up to your standards, Dumpling," she snapped. "I've never had anyone shoot at me."

"Dumpling? You little--"

"Enough, you two. Quit acting like spoiled junior-high girls. If you haven't realized it, we're in a little bit of a mess here."

And if she ever got out of it, Candace would tell Carl he could shove his job. Everyone told her how dangerous New York would be. Right. She never got shot at there.

More shots rang out, and her hands shook. "Thank goodness we're in the truck. If they don't shoot the windows, we should be okay. Right?"

Josiah barked out a short laugh. "Don't know much ‘bout guns, do ya, doll?"

"Not really. I know gun safety, and I'm a good shot, but that's it."

"A bullet can go through the metal of the door." Beth Ann's tone grew snarkier with each word. "It may or may not have enough force to come all the way inside depending upon the caliber. There's your education for today, Barbie."

"Thanks for nothing, Dumpling."

Sirens sounded in the distance, and Candace prayed the police would arrive in time to save them. She couldn't die like this, hunkered down in the floor of a flatbed truck with a puke-covered seat. At least she hadn't peed her pants. Yet.

For a giveaway, check out our thought question.
We look forward to your responses.
A winner will be selected at random 
If you had a madman intent on making you his wife (or madwomen intent on making you her husband), what would you do?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

That Moment We Say The End

It Only Takes a Sprout to Get a Story Growing
By Shirley Kiger Connolly

When I choose to start a new story, the idea begins with a tiny plot busily sprouting in the back of my head -- you know that section  of my brain that's called the portion of creativity. 

Sometimes that little idea sits in my mind for weeks --sometimes  months --  sometimes even years. But it's there. It doesn't make a lot of sense just yet...but someday it will.

Eventually that moment comes when I know I must get started. I also know if I don't begin my story right then, that little piece of a plot that sprouted in my brain way back when just might  find a way to disappear  back to where it was before.

The first few pages

The first five pages are never easy for me. I have to begin them  over and over again -- then over and over again. It takes me forever to be satisfied with what I've written in order to get myself on to page six.

Many authors don't recommend  a writer waste her early writing days always busy self-editing. Rather, they suggest an author should simply write and write and write. Then later the writer can go back and see whatever it was she or he just wrote. 

According to most, that's the proper time to begin fixing the mess. 

Unable to Walk Away

In spite of the excellent counsel of other writers, however, for some reason I can't seem to do what I'm told. I can't seem to walk away from my mess, or move ahead before what I've done makes sense. I can't go on before I think I'm ready, and sometimes I'm not ready for a very long time.

But eventually that day comes. It's an amazing feeling to see beyond those first five pages then find myself at page ten, then  twenty, then thirty, until I suddenly have worked my way up to chapter three, moving merrily along. 

How exciting it is to watch my speck of a plot make its way from the back of my mind to the paper...more readily to the computer page -- from chapter to chapter until I can see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
Once I get through the to the other side, I no longer have to constantly look back. I know where I am; I understand where I've been; I know pretty much where I'm going. Most of all, I'm not afraid to get there.

Getting to the other side

It's probably not the best way to create that perfect story. Maybe it is hardly the technique that would work for you. But isn't that what part of the joy is all about...each of us able to call ourselves creative writers simply because we have our own  form and style and system? 
Each writer/author must do what works best for her or him.

It's when we come to the moment where we can write the words "The End" we all experience that great moment of satisfaction. That moment comes for the long-awaited nut-filled chocolate candy bar. That moment arrives for our prayer of thanks to go up. That is the moment we as writers look up many with grateful sighs.
We can breathe again

We've just written  something that might even make sense. We've written something with a beginning, middle, and end. Something that's been  exciting and challenging for those of us who put it forth in hopes it will also be appreciated by the reader about to take it in.

Before we know it, our brain will sprout a new story seed, and it will be time to start over again.