It took me ten years to get my first book published so what do I know, huh?
I suppose I may STILL not know anything, but clearly that possibility isn't enough to shut me up.
What I want to talk to you about today is something I remember doing every time I’d start a new book.
(I’m trying to make that into an acronym that isn't reminiscent of something profane but I’ll move on now)
Write because whatever you learn you can never MASTER without putting it into practice.
Finish because NO PUBLISHER is going to buy an unfinished manuscript from an unpublished author, and also to prove to yourself you CAN finish a book.
Hopeless because I don’t want you to sit at your desk, hoping and praying and dying for an email that may or may not ever come. That’s a waste of time. Cast your bread upon the waters and start the next book until the waves wash soggy bread onto your ankles or you get a book contract.
HOWEVER (those capital letters aren’t meant in a yell-y way) Write and keep writing doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also be studying, learning, polishing your skills. That’s what Seekerville is for, to give you ideas for skills you could improve. That’s why you enter contests, to get a neutral pair of eyes on your manuscript.
Here’s what I’m leading up to…I just wanted to share this with you.
When I'd start a new book, I’d open up my Word document, a bright white surface upon which I was planning to explode my story and I’d lay one hand flat on that computer screen and I’d pray. I’d ask God to give me the desires of my heart and I’d ask of myself -- REMEMBER EVERYTHING YOU KNOW. Put everything you know into this book.
To explode my story.
To use strong words.
To show don’t tell.
To make my characters charming and likeable and troubled and conflicted.
To tell a great story.
Oh there's just so much to remember!!!!! YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER ALL OF IT!!!!!
REMEMBER EVERYTHING YOU KNOW.
Put it all on the page.
Pray that God will give you the desire of your heart.
Pray that God will make your words more than you are capable of creating.
And then write a book so good, so captivating, so fun, so fast, so perfect that NO EDITOR ON THE PLANET CAN SAY NO. A book so good that Love Inspired will say, “Oh, yes, we will JUST this once publish a 100,000 word women’s fiction because we are that in love with your book.”
A book so good that if Barbour Publishing just can’t quite bring themselves to publish a 150,000 word fantasy with aliens and dinosaurs and ghosts, they’ll be so excited about it they’ll phone someone who can.
A book so good J.K Rowling will invite you to her castle for high tea and ask you for pointers.
Now, tell me what you’re working on right now. Can you see that you’re letting yourself get away with doing less than your best? Are you clinging to scenes and moments you love even though they don't tighten and advance your story? What can you change? What do you NOT love about your book? Let’s talk today about strengthening your book to make it the best book in the world.
After the war, nearly dead from his injuries, it appears Seth got married. Oh, he's got a lot of excuses, but his wife isn't happy to find out Seth doesn't remember her. Callie has searched, prayed, and worried. Now she's come to the Kincaid family's ranch in Colorado to find her lost husband.
Callie isn't a long-suffering woman. Once she knows her husband is alive, she wants to kill him. She's not even close to forgiving him for abandoning her.
Then more trouble shows up in the form of a secret Seth's pa kept for years. The Kincaid brothers might lose their ranch if they can't sort things out. It's enough to drive a man insane--but somehow it's all making Seth see things more clearly. And now that he knows what he wants, a person would have to be crazy to stand in his way.