Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Best of Seekerville from the Archives and Giveaway

Author-Speak Cheat Sheet by Janet Dean

Upon occasion, I play golf. Perhaps I should say golf plays me. Either way, there’s a language to this game. Terms that make me grunt, “Huh?” Like: “Pick the ball clean.” “Get down on the ball.” “Play your drives off your left heel.” I can’t blame my game on these baffling words of advice, but they’re not helpful if I can’t decipher their meaning.

Writing has its own language too. I call it author speak.

The judge in my first contest critique had written POV error in the margin of my manuscript. What was it? And how was it an error? Thankfully my critique partner Shirley Jump translated. Laugh if you will, but I still remember the frustration of wanting to know but not having a clue.

For those intuitive writers who create wonderful stories without studying craft, this post is not for you. Hang around and poke fun at those of us who might see value in a cheat sheet. But please keep those smirks to yourself.

Ruthy, I saw that!

For those who appreciate clarity and brevity with a touch of levity—read on. I’m no stand-up comedian, but levity rhymed so I couldn’t resist.

I made some of the terms clickable to prior posts in Seekerville. Here goes:

POV—Point of View=revealing the story world through a particular character’s eyes—usually the character with the most to lose in the scene.

Point of View Switch=Changing the character revealing the story world—either at scene breaks, chapter breaks or seamlessly within the scene.

Head Hopping=moving frequently from one POV character to another in a short span of time.

POV Error=the POV character knows something or thinks something he wouldn’t know or think. Beware of characters describing themselves as in: She ran a brush through her long blond curly hair.

Setting=time and place as seen through the POV character’s eyes—setting can provide conflict if the character feels s/he doesn’t fit. The setting can even be an antagonist. Make the setting as real as the characters. A few chosen words will bring it to life.

Protagonist=the character the story is about. In a romance, both the hero and heroine can be protagonists. Protagonists’ actions drive the plot.

Antagonist=opposition—the character with opposing goals to the protagonist who gets in the way of the protagonist obtaining his goal.

Villain=bad guy—an antagonist has his own goal, ethics, needs and problems.

Back story=past events that shape the character’s actions.

Back Story Dump=the opening of my first book. LOL Withhold back story in the opening. Like peeling an onion, reveal a little layer of character at a time. Keep readers asking questions.

Set up=the first peek at the fictional world and the protagonist—either right before the conflict erupts or right at the time trouble starts. Conflict propels the plot forward.

Inciting incident=the occurrence that brings the hero and heroine together and launches the story—it should give a sense of who the protagonist is and set the tone for the book.

Goal=what my character wants badly—the goal can change or be sacrificed. The POV character needs a goal in every scene that s/he either gets or doesn’t get. Either way, make things worse. Scene goals feed into the main, overall book goal.

Motivation=the reason the character wants what s/he wants—make it strong and make it both internal and external.

Conflict=the fuel for the plot. Along with motivation--conflict raises the stakes and causes trouble for the character—not professional wrestling but it has its down and dirty moments.

Book-length conflict=a single central conflict that relates back to the main goal—the book length conflict is complicated by internal and scene conflicts. Book length conflict forces the protagonist in a particular direction and challenges him to grow and change.

External Conflict=tangible obstacles to the goal that come from outside the character.

Internal Conflict=problems and issues that come from inside the character.

Episodic writing=unrelated conflict scenes with no rising central conflict—Alicia Rasley said to think sitcoms here.

Scene=character action taken to obtain a goal—with rising stakes that moves the plot forward.

Sequel=character reaction—brief introspection in which the character determines the next course of action. Avoid tea scenes.

Hooks=words/events that pull your reader in and keep him turning pages—use hooks on the first page, preferably in the first sentence. Use hooks at beginning and ending of scenes and chapters and within scenes.

Turning points= protagonist changes course because of plot turns.

Twists=unexpected story events/actions that surprise the reader. And sometimes even the writer.

Point of No Return=protagonist takes an action that commits him to move ahead. There’s no turning back.

Show Don’t Tell=show the character through dialogue, actions and physical reactions.

Climatic scene=confrontation in which the hero and heroine conquer the external hurdles resulting in the resolution of the external conflict. The protagonist must be involved.

Black Moment=all appears lost—the protagonists face despair and conquer their internal conflict and change.

Resolution=the resolution of the internal plot. Shows how the character has changed. In a romance the resolution promises the hero and heroine a happily ever after ending—HEA

It’s my belief that if we just had a perfect cheat sheet, the writing life would be easier. I haven’t found that perfect one yet, but I hope this one makes sense to you. Add other terms that you may need. And keep the list handy.

But remember above all—have a story to tell. Make it unique. Fresh. Twist the clichés. Have fun. Tell the story only you can tell.


Janet's third book from Love Inspired Historicals,
The Substitute Bride, a mail-order bride story set in Iowa, released in February 2010 and is available here.

This article first appeared in the November 9, 2009.

Today, as part of our 3rd Seekerville Birthday, we are giving away FOUR prizes:

a 10 page Seeker critique to include an additional one page single spaced synopsis (contest entry style) & an Unpubbed Island Necklace, and I totally spaced this third prize....

Writer's Little Instruction Book "Getting Published" by Paul Raymond Martin.

and duh there isn't a reader prize here...what was I thinking????

We're tossing in a surprise Seeker book. If you have it you have just started on your Christmas shopping!

Simply post in the comments and let us know you want your name in the drawing.

Remember your post today is also another chance to win a Kindle.

Winners announced in tomorrow's Weekend Edition.


  1. Interesting! If I ever decide to write a novel I know where I'm coming for help. I do already know "Show Don't Tell" I've seen that on A LOT of writing blogs so I'm guessing that's pretty darn important! ;-)

    I don't need to be entered I've already won once this week. Consider this a Kindle entry though! :-)

    XOXO~ Renee

  2. If I win the unpubbed necklace, would my wife like it?

    who is watching the Braves - Giants in Game 2. It's 4-4 in the
    8th inning. He's also going over a list of agents that specialize in inspirational fiction.

  3. This is a post I'm sure to be referring back to. Wow - lots of great explanations. Didn't manage to read through them's the end of my day here, but I know where to come. Yay.

    Please include me in just the Kindle entry for today. Thank you!

  4. Again...wonderful info. Wish I'd had this when I first started! I love the way some of these are worded...I'm forever learning!

    Thanks Janet!

  5. Walt, you're a hoot. If you win the necklace you can turn it into a keychain.

  6. Good list.


    You don't want to use back story in beginning chapters.

    Contests only judge beginning chapters.

    Then some judges make comments about how you should have 'explained' (requiring back story) something that you don't want the reader to know the reasons behind until later.



    Coffee's on!!

  7. Loved this post. I am definitely saving it. Thanks, Janet!

    I'd love a chance to win: violin_girl_2(at)yahoo(dot)com

  8. Oh, my gosh. Helen you nailed it.

    Or being knocked down in a contest for not showing the internal and external conflict of the both the hero and heroine in the FIRST CHAPTER.

    Come on. Internal AND External.

  9. Wow! That's a lot of useful information! The most common critique for me is "Show, don't tell", as I looooove colorful descriptions and fluffy euphemisms.
    Some editors say I could write a beautiful story about nothing but they need ACTION :)

    I'd love to enter (I don't know if I've been entered for the Bob Mayer post (and if I'm allowed to enter at all, as I live far far away :))

  10. I love coming here for helpful information. Ever since I joined ACFW a few months back, this has been one of my main sites for seeking (pun) info.

    I also love how you all banter back and forth . . .

    I've been reading and posting since the beginning of October and have really picked up some great info and few laughs along the way!

  11. Ooops! And I do want to be entered in this drawing, also . . . reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  12. I have to say I was one who didn't know what alot of the abbreviations were when I first started blogging and I know I asked here more than once what some where.
    I do know the POV now but didn't to start with.
    dont enter me either as i am not a writer (and to tired and sick to put the I as a capital)

  13. Great post...I am probably guilty of head hopping.

    Just enter me for the Kindle today...eventually I will be ready for a critique.


  14. I want my name in the drawing!!! Love the cheat sheet. Thanks. :-)

    jessica_nelson7590 AT yahoo dotcom

  15. Happy Birthday, Seekerville.
    Great sheet, Janet. And in my printer.

    PLEASE put me in for the critique. Even if it's Ruthy. I'm not afraid of her....much.

    Or neclace - though I'd rather Walt win it.

  16. Thanks for that info Janet. I had no idea what POV meant in writing. In my line of volunteer work POV means privately owned vehicle. It's funny what letters mean in different kinds of work. That necklace sounds great. Would love it.

  17. Walt....

    Dude, you must be rockin' it this morning. I thought Atlanta was done for when I fell asleep.

    Obviously not!


  18. Ruthy,

    Yes, I'm in a good mood. Apparently all the Braves needed was for Bobby to get ejected again.

    I'm even up for a critique from you. :-)

  19. Wow Janet, I sure wish I'd had this when I started writing. There were so many of those terms thrown at me.

    yep, by Ruthy too. You can't imagine how much punch she can still maintain crossing the prairies and the Rockies.

    Its one thing knowing what they mean but then its applying them. Thanks for the links to other posts.

    Ruthy, No breakfast this morning? Okay, I'm up and hungry. How about some pancakes. I have a stack of buttermilk, a stack of protein pancakes, a stack of blueberry and a stack of (don't faint) chocolate chip pancakes. Oh yum.

    And to go with them, there's a variety of jams (homemade of course) fruit spreads, maple syrup, blueberry syrup and whipped cream.

    In case you need protein I added a platter of sausage, bacon, ham and sizzling pieces of steak.

    Hey its Saturday. And still our birthday.

  20. Wow, now we have three Renee's around here.

    Aus Jenny hope you feel better.

    Veronika, so what's a nice girl like you doing in a cold place like that?

  21. Worthy encore!!

    Yes, critique please!
    May at maythek9spy dot com

    Thx. Have a great Saturday!

  22. Banter?

    We banter????

    What a polite way of saying it, Renee!!! You are now my new BFF.

    Helen, I hear ya'. Getting those opening chapters just right, pleasing some judges, not pleasing others....

    But it's a GOOD thing if two judges LOVE it and one judge HATES it, because at least you've evoked emotion.

    Emotion sells.

    Pepper, thanks for admitting I'm not that scary.

    I am, but thank you for softening the blow. So important.

    And you and Helen have survived and still talk to me so it can't be that bad, right???

    Or is it the threat of bodily harm if you snitch that keeps you coming back? Might have more to do with it.

    I love delving back in posts, seeing where we were, where we are, imagining God's plan.

    Oh, to have his vantage point, LOL!!!

    I brought chocolate chip cookies, good Saturday food, and tonight we're featuring a hot dog roast, ball park style and I'm providing limitless Zweigle's hots, red and white, natural casing and crusty DiPaolo rolls to put them on.

    A perfect match.

    Game three for the Yankees/Twins tonight. And Tampa Bay/Texas series.

    I'm imagining myself just behind A-Rod and Jeter on the third base side, cheering and swigging diet soda.

    Do you know they don't sell coffee in stadiums?

    So sad.

  23. So right Sandra. The application that's the ticket!

  24. I'm a survivor also. You talk a good game tho... :)

  25. So I keep reading here about Ruth and not being afraid of her, but I checked out her website and books and all seems to be as sweet as can be . . .

  26. What a good post with great reminders and definitions.

    The 'show don't tell' gets us all, doesn't it?

    RRossZediker at yahoo dot com

  27. Janet, I would've loved to have this cheat sheet 4-5 years ago. When I hear the word, "protagonist" I still have to pause because it sounds like the bad buy of the story.

    Helen, I've had the same issues w/giving the right amt of info in my opening. It's either too much or too little.

    Another issue for my stories has always been starting off w/a prologue or not. One judge's comments I'll never forget:

    The comment was on my historical western that started off in a prologue. My young herione had switched places w/the bride and my hero didn't realize this until the next morning. Then chapter one jumps to thirteen years later.

    The contest judge wrote,

    "I hate this! I hate this! I hate this!"

    She didn't like me jumping 13 years later but wanted me to stay in the present. She sprinkled another, "I hate this!" a few more times throughout chapter 1 just in case I didn't get it the first time.

    I didn't change my story. Her words were so strong, that I figured if I could evoke that much emotion, I was doing something right.


    bcountryqueen6 at msn dot com

  28. I'd like the ten-page critique.

    Jodie Wolfe

  29. Good reminder of what I should be thinking about while writing. Backstory sometimes trips me up. I'll go back through a first draft and find some backstory dumps that I need to spread throughout the story.

    Thanks for the great post, and please throw my name in the hat for a prize.


  30. Walt-baby, you ARE in a good mood!

    And I was totally with Bobby last night, the first baseman clearly lost contact with the bag.

    Glad they won.

    Although I LOVE Buster Posey. Not as much as Jeter, I mean, come on, the boy's a-stinkin'-dorable but he's new...

    Whereas Jeter is delightfully tried and true. And cute. And have you noticed those eyes....????

    Okay, enough baseball.

    I hope you're industriously working, Walt, my friend, because I love that idea you through out last week, the story of Thomas and his assistant.

    Oh my stars, Walt, that has all the makings of a great book. It just needs to be written.


    Yes, looks are deceiving aren't they?

    She looks like a cute moppet.

    In reality she is a take no prisoners sort of gal.

    With a red pen.

  32. Thanks for the cheat sheet. Most I knew, but hadn't heard the full definitions. Some, I still hadn't heard. HEA...I would have never guessed that one. I may just have to keep this list handy to remind myself the elements I need to be sure are in my story. Please add me to the drawing!

    lr . mullin at live . com

  33. Interesting post. Please enter me in the contest.

  34. I almost missed this articale! It said it posted a week ago and wasn't on my dashboard. Grr.

    But I found it now, that is all that matters! :) Great post, I knew pretty much all those terms, but it is wonderful to hear their meaning all over again. Buries it deeper in the memory bank. :)

    Since I already have a seekerville necklace, a critique would be invaluable. Thank you for the chance!! :)

  35. I Just finished a breakfast burrito, so I brought a slew of leftovers for us all to share.

    Ground Beef

    And the new family creation oozing butter and delicious apple scents, APPLE DUMPLINGS Herringshaw style.

  36. Love this post and am excited about Seekerville's birthday party. I love checking this site out daily! It is so much fun rubbing shoulders with great authors!!!!!
    charsaltz (at) yahoo (dot) com

  37. I feel the same, Charlotte. When I'm working at my computer, I enjoy checking back here at various times during the day to see how the comments have multiplied. I've noticed posts that received hundreds of comments. I wonder what the highest number of comments on a Seekerville post is???

  38. It's clear I have to start at the beginning of seekerville and read my way through to the present day. Do you think I could quit my day job and become a full-time Seekerville student?

    rowanwood AT rogers DOT com

  39. This was an interesting post to read. I'm not sure if I was visiting Seekerville the first time around.


  40. Mwwwuuaahhhaaa Tina Renee's are taking over the world!

    XOXO~ Renee

  41. Super info here, Janet! Amazing how every profession develops its own "language." I sometimes overhear my husband's business calls, and he's talking about BDFBs and using all kinds of weird telecommunications acronyms. It's like Martian or something!

    Walt, if you win the necklace, you MUST post a photo! Maybe it's coconuts or palm fronds or seashells or ... or ... orchids!!!

  42. Charlotte?? Really, great authors? Who? Did I miss them?

    What Seekers are is great swimmers.

    We swam off the island. Pammers is like between the mainland shore and the island right now. Her fingers are all pruney.

    Let's pray for a nice large publishing house BOAT.

  43. Kav you are cute.

    As soon as the birthday party month is over that tab will be replace with Seeker U. The School of Hard Knocks. Lessons from the island.

    We'll categorize all our writing craft posts in there.

  44. I like to use the abbreviation BS when I'm critting and find too much backstory. For some reason this seems to grab the writer's attention.

    For anyone who's taken a Margie Lawson class, you can add a lot of classic 'margie-isms' to your editing, too.

    Happy Birthday Month Seekerville. October is the best month to be born in. Good choice!

  45. oops, meant to ask Sandra -- protein pancakes?

  46. We count unique visits for rating the activity in Seekerville not comments. Because as you can see from Mary Connealy post last week, some post encourage and generate more chatter but not necessarily more visits.

    Emily Rodmell, Assistant Editor at Steeple Hill is the highest we have ever had in the 700 range but most of the posts this month have had a unique visitor daily range of 500.

  47. 500! Excellent! I bet that makes you all feel so satisfied to know that God is using you in the lives of so many!

    Usually I only comment once and then maybe copy a post into my documents later. But the comments that fly back and forth let us see the personalities of the authors. Or they let us see how much your young-at-heart readers enjoy the atmosphere here.

    (I'm actually avoiding some editing work and lesson planning by visiting around today . . . Sigh)

    And I was writing "the other Renee" because on a few other sites I was confused for Steeler Girl. I think I'll just go by Renee Ann, and if I receive notes meant for her, she'll know!

  48. I'm so glad you shared Janet's fun post again! Great job, Janet. I remember my first online writing class where I had to ask what backstory was. And once the teacher told me, I realized it's pretty self explanatory. :) But you have to ask if you don't know! :)

  49. The Other Renee, I love your screen name!! :) Very clever.

    And hey, Walt and Ruthy, you can NOT be so happy and cheerful about a Braves victory! I stayed up till 1:25 am hoping the Giants could pull it out (my nephew plays for them). Then had to get up at 6:30 am for a cross country meet. I'm now tired and grouchy.


  50. Good morning Seekerville! (Or afternoon by now in most of the country.) Just popping in for a quick break--I'm racing toward a November 1 deadline for my Steeple Hill book #3, "At Home In His Heart."

    Amazing to think that only a little over a year and a half ago I was on unpubbed island, sitting on the beach and scanning the horizon for some sign of Captain Jack, hoping for an escort to the Mainland! So I encourage all of you who are awaiting a similar voyage to hang in there. It CAN happen! "Never think that God's delays are God's denials."

    Now back to Canyon Springs!

  51. Aus Jenny, so sorry you're sick! Hope you feel better soon.

    Like many of you have said, I wish I'd known the writing lingo years ago too.

    Casey, I missed breakfast but the apple dumpings were delicious! Can't wait for the hot dog roast tonight. You all come back!

    Tickled by the number of unique visitors this month! Not that we're all not unique but some are new to Seekerville!

    Tina, dear, I don't swim. But was blessed to find a huge piece of driftwood that I clung to all the way to the mainland. A bumpy ride, but isn't it always? :-)


  52. Janet & Tina,

    This is a most informative list. Wish I had it when I first started out. Had no idea what POV was and SDT (Show don't tell) meant nothing to me. Took me years, literally, to finally comprehend what show don't tell means. Still struggle with it.

    Need to vent a little here, if you don't mind (Helen you won't feel so bad!). Just got two judges' comments back from a fairly prestigious contest. I was in a great mood after the first one. The judge wrote nothing but glowing comments, with only one small suggestion for improvement. She said she hoped I had been submitting it because she wants to read the rest and it should be easily published (or words to that effect).
    How is it that I didn't final in this contest, I wondered. With such a glowing commentary, the score must have been high!

    Then I opened the other one. This judge tore me down and if I had been a new writer, I probably would've quit after reading that. Why do some people feel the need to DECIMATE a writer? I don't understand it at all. When I judge an entry, even if I hated it, I usually try to start with some positive feedback and gently go into the negative. I feel like I've just been sucker punched!!

    Well, thanks for listening. Guess I'll wait a day or two, then see if I can salvage anything usable from the train wreck.

    Okay, so a critique by Ruthy could NOT be as bad as that. Bring it on!

    Hey, Walt, where did you get the list of agents who specialize in inspirational? Or did you create it yourself.

    Have a good weekend, everyone!

    sbmason (at) sympatico (dot) ca

  53. Ah. Questions. Questions. Questions.

    Sue, I went to my local Borders, bought a latte, and then sat down with the 2011 Guide to Literary Agents. I then went to the back and wrote the name of every agency who the book says handles inspirational fiction. (Debby Giusti's agency did not appear in the list, which I'm sure would surprise Debby. :-) )

    I then went online last night and looked up every one of the agents. (I've narrowed it down to a list of 15 to concentrate on.)

    Ruthy, I'm working on it. Still trying to write a synopsis. I've got several turning points and have several people already planned for interesting deaths.

    Missy, who's your nephew?


    Walt (aka wmussell(at)hotmail(dot)com) who has a major headache and is hoping for today
    -> a Seekerville critique
    -> an Auburn victory over Kentucky
    -> a call from Colorado with good news.
    -> all of the above

  54. Sue, I'm sorry about the rough feedback. I just hate it when there's no positive mixed in. I also try hard to use the sandwich method: positive feedback, places to improve on, then more positive. Hang in there and take what you can use and ignore the rest.

    Walt, my nephew is rookie catcher Buster Posey. My hubby's sister's son. :) So now that you know, you have to cheer for the Giants!

  55. Walt

    Sounds like a great plan. Hope you get all the above!! And especially that the headache dissipates. No fun.

    I heard about
    Looks pretty good. Haven't made the time to really go thru.

    I'm visiting with my folks so... Y'all have a good one!

  56. True.

    I never could swim very well.

  57. Thanks for the re-post Seekerville. This list breaks everything down and makes it seem so simple. Or, am I just making it harder than it is?


  58. Susan -- I'm sorry a judge sliced and diced your entry without offering any encouraging commentary. Having been victim to a few bludgeonings myself (as have all of the Seekers, even after publication), I know how it hurts soul-deep to be on the receiving end of a judge who almost seems to delight, for whatever reason, in drawing blood rather than offering a helping hand. Know that you're not alone.

    Set it aside, then later go back and see if there are kernels of truth buried in it that you can make use of. If not, toss it. But don't allow the negative, cutting words to undermine your confidence or your trust in where God is leading you in your writing.

    It's for these very times that years & years ago I started keeping a "good things" notebook where I recorded every single GOOD thing that judges had said about my entries (there's a blog post on it somewhere in the Seekerville archive). I'd rather receive knowledgeable, helpful feedback than sugar-coated comments, but after an occasional judge who used words solely to wound (thank goodness they are few and far between!), I'd pull out that notebook and prayfully read it again and again.

    If you haven't started gathering together in one place your positive contest comments, this would be a great time to start!

  59. Sue, I'm so very sorry for your terrible judging experience and the conflicting feedback. Unfortunately, this happens more than any of us care to admit. It has sure happened to me more than once!

    But I agree--as a contest judge I ALWAYS try to find as much to praise about the ms. as possible, and also be gentle in pointing out what needs work. It's so subjective, though--what appeals to one judge may turn another one off. You just never know, so weigh every critique carefully and go with what makes sense overall.

  60. THE GOOD THINGS METHOD: Overcoming Post-Traumatic Contest Syndrome

    I'm not as clever as some who can do a "hot" link, but paste this path in your web browser to take you to the Seeker post I referred to in my earlier comment.

  61. Definitely put me in the drawing :-)

    I love this post. Having judged contests I do wonder some times if the writer will understand what I am saying. We do have this author-speak going on, but we also have the professional-speak like "WIP," "New York House," and "request for full." I wonder. If we know all the terms does that mean we should be published by now?

  62. As long as we're discussing contests, I want to bring up an interesting comment that flattered me, even though I didn't finish in the contest. The judge commented that she (I'm assuming the judge was a female) had read my story in a previous contest and said I had improved it. However, there was a part I had cut out that she like d a lot and she suggested I put it back in.

  63. While we're taking contest bragging rights (Walt started it)
    I received one of the best comments ever in a contest in which I didn't final either.
    The judge said, Out of the 11 entries she'd read, she hadn't read a ms with a distinct voice...until me ;-)
    At the time, I wasn't sure what it meant - but it sounded like a good thing :-)

  64. Thanks Tina and Janet,
    feeling not to bad this morning and hopefully will stay that way as the day progresses. felling sick is the pits.

  65. Can I just tell you all again how much I would loooovee a Seekerville critique? You can use all of Janet's Author Speak terms on me.

    I'm enjoying the birthday celebration.


    Joy G Lee

  66. Happy Saturday, Seekerville! Cana you believe it's in the 80's in MN in October?

    Now, if only my Twins could beat Ruthy's Yankees!

    Go, Twins!!!

  67. Very good, Walt! Just curious -- had a previous judge told you to cut that part out that she'd liked?

  68. Pepper -- I think "distinctive voice" is a GREAT comment to receive!

  69. Thanks, Glynna
    I thought it was nice too.
    And the rest of the comments she made pointed toward 'distinct voice' being a GOOD thing, so that made me feel even better.

    I wasn't hoping for a 'distinct' voice like um...Gilbert Godfrey :-)
    I was hoping for Andy Griffith distinctive :-) So I'm glad it was a positive reaction.

  70. Glynna, no one has ever told me to cut the specific part. However, it was part of a previous opening chapter that people had told me was "nice, but backstory." So I pulled the entire first chapter and am adding it piecemeal back into the book.

    That particular first chapter was what allowed me to place in the ACFW Phoenix contest earlier this year. However, I came to the realization that it was good enough to place, but not good enough to publish. Junking a contest winning entry to make it better was the hardest thing I've ever done as a writer, I think,

  71. Let me correct that. Not "oontest winning." To use horse racing terminology (since my beloved Auburn Tigers are playing at Kentucky tonight), I "showed."

  72. Teresa (gratefuliving)October 9, 2010 at 8:28 PM

    This 1st time on this site. not a writer,however I love to read!!!!. I have always been curious how writers come up with some amazing story lines. I am especially glad there are more Christian writers who are using their faith to reach out to others using this medium. I only wish more publishers would use some symbol or words to better idenify Christian base novels,like Steeple Hill. Since I am interested in the written word,I am going to use this blog to break down some of my books,so I can get a better feel of the written word. Thank all of you for amazing stories. I hope I will be able to read them for many more years. please enter me in the drawing. teresarn2010(at)mediacombb(dot)net.

  73. Teresa, we're so glad you dropped by!

    Pepper, yes, that's definitely a good comment! :)

  74. Thanks for the post! I'd like the reader drawing, please :)

  75. Hi, gang. Sorry to be awol today. I had grandma duty. You guys didn't even rate a bug on my windshield compared to seeing Elle.

    She had gotten even more beautiful.
    What are the chances really, that my granddaughter would be the single baby on the planet that gets more beautiful everyday. I really lucked out.


  76. Good index of terms to have lying around. Thanks!

    Eva Maria Hamilton at gmail dot com

  77. Yeah, I hear you Walt. Dumping an entire book that won and finaled which you now realize is not marketable is even more fun.

  78. So Mary, is Elle going to be a writer when she grows up?

  79. I would love to win a ten-page critique. My heart is pounding at the thought, though :)

  80. Mary, you can enjoy that honor until I have a grandbaby someday. :)

  81. Renee, you go, girl! You've been first in Seekerville for a number of days. Good for you!

  82. Janet,
    Great tutorial for writing!!! Way to go, girl friend!

  83. There's lots of baseball talk going on here so I'll jump in and say I'll quit visiting and commenting @ Seekerville when the Pirates win the World Series.

    XOXO~ Renee

  84. Walt - OUCH! Like Tina, I can identify with what you had to do, as painful as it must have been. I have some unpubbed award winners that maybe SOME DAY I'll rewrite in hopes of making them more publishable--either that OR (more likely) I'll end up cannibalizing pieces of them to use in other manuscripts.

  85. Hey, Janet and Tina! Just wanted to say hi. I spent the whole day--well, most of the day--scrapbooking with friends. I stared at pictures of my cute little girls when they were age 5 and 2. So adorable! But I'm starting to write again, so I'm feeling good about that too. :-) It's all good.

    Have a great Seekerville Birthday Weekend!

  86. Hi Teresa,
    So glad you found Seekerville. We're thrilled to have you join us. Lots of fun ahead this month. Stop back often. You're one of us now!

  87. Hi Melanie,
    So glad you're back to writing!!! You're so need to share lots of your stories with the world...namely us! :)

  88. LOL, Renee!

    Walt, it looks like you're probably on pins and needles right now. Will UK make a comeback?? :)

  89. Teresa!!! So glad to have you here!!!

    Here's a cool site that's doing it's best to bring all Christian fiction under one roof so you can find new and exciting Christian authors to read.

    Sorry, like Glynna, I have not mastered the hot link technology.

  90. Tina...I'm living there! I'm Russian and got used to those harsh and snow-powdered winters we have here. I wish publishers like Harlequin accepted email submissions: sending a manuscript to NY isn't that easy from here! :)

  91. A bold move, Renee. Apparently the Pirates have no chance in heckerville?

    Veronika, I checked out your blog. You've been blogging a long time, girl. Great blog.

    Can you order Amazon in Russia?

    Yes I imagine postage to NYC is a killer.

  92. Interesting post glad I stopped by this evening. Please enter me for the Kindle.


  93. I went to their website and looked up the menu for protein pancakes. They are made by US EGG in Tempe, Arizona and are yummy. Here is the description on the menu.

    So good, so famous, we had to get them patented. Filled with blueberries, granola, cinnamon and silvered almonds. Simply the best.

  94. Tina, thank you for your nice comments! I'm glad you enjoyed "Veronika Asks". I created it back in 2006 and still working on it.
    About Amazon, I don't know: I never tried, actually. I guess we can, as long as we have a credit card.

  95. Thanks for all the moral support guys! And thanks for that great idea, Glynna. I think I will do that!

    And Walt, very ambitious compiling that list. Must've taken a few lattes to get through that book!

    Thanks for listening and commiserating! If you guys received bad feedback and are now published, well, there's hope, right?

    Of course there is!!

    Thanks again.


  96. I have saved this info since I do hope to finish at least one book and have it published in the future.
    Great info. Thanks for passing on to us.
    Thanks for the opportunity to enter this great giveaway.

    Pls include me in the Kindle giveaway.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com