Friday, October 31, 2014

Seven Words of Writing Wisdom

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Words of writing wisdom...they were everywhere at the September 2014 American Christian Writers Conference in Saint Louis!
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Wherever I turned—from the opening address, to the keynote speaker, to workshops, to chats with fellow writers, all the way to the closing remarks—I found “writerly” wisdom to gather and tuck away for later contemplation.
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Since this is Seekerville’s SEVENTH birthday (!), I’ve chosen seven “words" of writing wisdom gleaned from various ACFW 2014 venues to share with you today.
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1 - DON’T BE BORING. This “word” was heard repeatedly throughout the conference. Keep your reader engaged. Escalate the stakes. Ditch drawn-out, ho-hum narratives. Pump up the dialogue, remembering that “white space” on a page lures a reader in more quickly than a solid page of unbroken text.
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2 - Deliver on reader expectations. Readers read fiction for how it makes them FEEL. They want to live vicariously through your protagonist. If you’re writing romance, they want to relate to the heroine, fall in love with your hero, and find a happily ever after. If you’re writing suspense or Amish or Biblical or speculative—whatever—deliver on the expectations that a reader holds for those genres.
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3 - The core of your story is about change—the protagonist’s journey. Plot is the externalization of the inner journey of character growth—what makes the journey happen. Keep this element in mind by establishing a simple moral premise for the story that will undergird the scenes throughout and guide character growth.
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4 - Goal, Motivation and Conflict drive your story. GMC keeps it on track, it’s the glue that holds it together. Make the GMC strong and clearly defined so a reader can buy into it, embrace it, and eagerly turn the pages to see what happens next.
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5 - Don’t let anything stop you from writing. If you believe God has asked you to write for Him or if you’re testing the waters to see if that’s something He wants you to do, find a way. Commit to regular writing (even if only minutes a day). Learn the essentials of the craft and apply them. Get words on the page so you can grow as a writer. Make writing a priority.
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6 - Don’t forget WHY you wanted to write your story in the first place. What initially sparked the need, the sense of excitement, the passion, to tell it? Write that “spark” down and post it by your desk. Stick it on the bathroom mirror. Place it on your nightstand or fridge--wherever you’ll see it on a daily basis as a reminder. When you’re slogging through that muddled middle, you will all too easily forget what originally inspired you. So make a point of regularly reminding yourself of what first lured you to want to write the story.
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7 - Don’t compare yourself to other writers. This is hard for me. I want to write fast like so-and-so. I want to come up with full-blown story ideas while I sleep like my friend over there. I want to be a social media sweetheart like that other guy. But God has made us all unique, with different strengths, energy levels, responsibilities, time constraints. Each of us has a part in God’s plan—only YOU can write the story God has given you to tell in the way He wants YOU to tell it. You aren’t accountable to be a clone of “that guy over there,” but you ARE accountable for how you use the gift and the calling God’s placed on you.
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BONUS WORD OF WISDOM. If you believe God called you to write, stick close to Him. Daily pray. Listen. Obey.
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For those of you who were also in Saint Louis, what other words of writing wisdom did you come home with? And for those of who were unable to attend, which of these “insights” catches your attention as most applicable to your own situation and why?
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If you’d like to be entered in a drawing for a copy of my November release “High Country Holiday” (in stores now!), mention it in the comments section, then check the Weekend Edition to see if you’re a winner of one of SEVEN copies!
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Glynna
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A Holiday Reunion... When Cody Hawk returns to Canyon Springs, Arizona, to make peace with his ailing father, his bad-boy reputation is still intact. So is his love for the woman he was forced to leave behind.  But the privileged Paris Perslow is still off limits.
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When Paris needs his help with the annual holiday gala, Cody braves the town’s disapproving glances for a second chance with his first love. Years ago Cody promised he’d return for her. But with everyone and everything against them, what will it take to prove to Paris that his love is the perfect gift?
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Glynna Kaye’s debut book “Dreaming of Home” was a finalist in the ACFW Carol and Maggie awards, as well as a first place winner of the “Booksellers Best” and “Beacon” awards. Her 4 1/2 star “At Home In His Heart” was chosen as a Reviewers Choice finalist by national magazine RT Book Reviews. “High Country Holiday,” her eight Love Inspired and the seventh set in the mountain country of Arizona, is on the shelves now!
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118 comments :

  1. Hi Glynna,

    Loved chatting with you in St. Louis.

    Great Words of Writing Wisdom.

    I guess one I would add is ENJOY!
    We should derive joy from our writing, from producing stories that honor God.

    Coffee's on!!!!!!!

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  2. Hi Glynna:

    Great points of wisdom. I enjoyed them all and need them particularly right now in my writing challenge.

    I'd like to put an affirmative spin on some of these thoughts.

    Always be entertaining. When you provide a page-by - page highly rewarding reading experience, boredom never comes into play.

    Deliver on reader expectations quickly. Old saying: a debt paid early is twice paid. Expectations delivered sooner than the reader anticipated are twice enjoyed.

    Change is the trajectory. The ‘how and why’ of that change is the story. Foundation. Motivation. Maturation.


    Do contrast yourself to other writers. Discover where other writers excel and use the best of what you learn to strengthen your own writing.

    Please put my down for a chance on your new book.

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  3. Helen, I agree about enjoy. Before conference I realized I couldn't "make" my agent and editor appointments go well, but I could control my attitude. So my main goal at ACFW was to have fun. And I had a blast!

    Since it's Friday, I thought I'd splurge, so I brought along a chef to make omelettes anyway you want them. I would do it myself, but I'm hopeless in the kitchen.

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  4. Very good points thank you.

    I'd love a copy of “High Country Holiday” thanks.

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  5. Hi Gynna, thank you for the great post. #5 & #6 I need to print out and place in front of me daily. Also, the bonus word of wisdom needs printed out and posted nearby.

    I love the cover of your new book and would love to win a copy. Thank you for the chance.

    Happy Birthday Seekerville! It has been a wonderful month of wisdom and I have enjoyed every last day. I am looking forward to many more birthday celebrations with you all.

    May the Lord bless each and every Seeker and Seekervillager today!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

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  6. Glynna, I'm so glad you were able to go!!!! Yayayayayaya!

    I love gleaning things that spark my interest or light a new path. A friend showed me a picture of a mansion and I realized I could write a whole story around that house.

    God shines inspiration on us in the most marvelous ways!!!!

    Fill those cups of joy and raise a toast to God... and kind hearts working together in Seekerville!!!

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  7. a wonderful posting...as always...thanks for the chance to read this novel, glynna.

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  8. MADE-TO-ORDER OMELETTES!!!! I'M SO IN!!!

    Thank you, Terri!

    Vince, your wisdom shines through those words. I just combed a manuscript this week, my first Waterbrook novel, and that's exactly what I was looking for: To make sure the scenes weren't about what they were about... :) And that action or rising emotion filled the page.

    I found some rookie mistakes... and I found some solid passages!

    Your advice is "true dat!"!!!

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  9. Good morning, Helen! I loved getting to chat with you, too, although the decibel level around us sometimes make that tricky! :)

    Yes, ENJOY, that's a an excellent one.

    Thanks for putting on the coffee for everyone!

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  10. Hi, VINCE! Good points! Entertaining is so important. "DON'T BE BORING" was something that speakers often slipped into their ACFW presentations with a smile--and it IS so vital. Give your reader a reason to turn the page.

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  11. Good morning, Terri!

    Yes, attitude can make ALL the difference in just about every aspect of our life. It sounds as if you picked the right one for ACFW!

    And thank you for the chef and omelettes! I know people say those are easy to make and I love a good omelet, but somehow mine never turn out quite right. :)

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  12. Good morning, MARY P! Thanks for joining us today. Your name has been throw in the "cat dish." :)

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  13. Hello, CINDY W! I was delighted with the cover, too -- I think it's one of the prettiest holiday ones on the store shelves right now!

    Thank you for your blessing over the Seekers & Seekervillagers! We've all been so blessed by the virtual community God founded and the readers and writers He's drawn here.

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  14. Happy Friday, Seekerville. Last day of our party. A good day to ponder the wisdom of Glynna Kaye.

    I brought the last hurrah donuts to the Village. Enjoy. For next month we diet. LOL.

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  15. Good morning, RUTHY! Do you think I took enough pictures of the St. Louis Arch? :)

    The weather was perfect there for getting out and around downtown and the riverfront. My sister and I had reservations for a riverboat cruise, but when we got there it had been canceled due to flooding up north and debris coming down the river which could have proved dangerous. Having grown up in the Midwest, I LOVE those big rivers -- the Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio. We don't have anything quite like them here in the West.

    By the way, this week I saw a weather graphic that shows NEW YORK and NORTHERN ARIZONA getting above average snowfall this year, so get ready to do some shoveling! Snow showers are expected in the Arizona mountains on Sunday!

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  16. Hello, KarenK! Thank you for dropping in! Your name's in the kitty dish, too! (Sure hope Ruthy remembered to rinse it out.)

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  17. Good mornin', TINA! Now's the time of year you get to bask in FABULOUS weather and snicker at me. Highs only in the 40's Sunday--with snow showers. 50's and 40-50 mph wind gusts tomorrow. Guess summer is OVER in the High Country!

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  18. Glynna,

    Great list. I especially agree with not comparing ourselves with other writers. Our writing career is as unique as our 'voices' in our books. And most the time when we are comparing, we aren't comparing apples to apples!

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  19. Hello, ROSE! Yes, "Comparing" usually does one of two things -- gives us an overinflated view of ourselves or makes us feel BAD about ourselves and dissatisfied with where God has placed us at a given point in time.

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  20. Helen, thank you for always keeping the coffee going!
    You're a morning trouper! :-))

    Yay, Glynna, this was a great reminder of the basics and it's going into my keeper file—thank you for sharing!

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  21. Hi Glynna,

    It was so nice to meet you in St. Louis even though it was very brief.

    Thanks for high-lighting seven great things to remember from conference.

    Your cover is beautiful. I hope you have a great day!

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  22. Last day of the party, huh?!? It has been a great month! I am sure November will be fun, too, at Seekerville.

    Beautiful cover, Glynna! Can't wait to read it and Cody's story.
    Count me in the drawing, please.

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  23. Good morning, MARY H! I probably need to make a checklist of things like this and keep it at my desk to review each morning before I start writing--especially the one about remembering WHY I wanted to tell the story I'm working on. It's so easy to get down in the weeds of a muddled middle and forget what sparked the idea in the first place. Just remembering that often injects me with "Ah Ha!" moments and refuels my focus.

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  24. Hi, JACKIE! It was good meeting you, too, even if we didn't really get to chat. With my hearing impairment, it's always hard to find a quiet corner to visit at an event like ACFW--where close to 600 people are all talking at the same time! :)

    I'll let my editor know how much you and others like the cover of "High Country Holiday" -- maybe she can pass the word on to the artist!

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  25. Hi, JACKIE S! Yes, a whole month of birthday party soon coming to an end! But does the "party" ever REALLY end in Seekerville??? :)

    I can hardly believe how October has flown by and hate saying goodbye to the brilliant maples, locust and aspens. Most of them will be stripped by the end of the weekend due to high winds and rain/snow showers. But it sure was a GORGEOUS autumn in the High Country!

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  26. That was a great list to end off the birthday month :)

    I'd love a chance to win your book!

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  27. But I love to be boring - you know - no drama, angst, conflict. Trouble is, no one else likes it - not in a book anyway. Thank you Glynna - super post and I'd LOVE to have a copy of High Country Holiday. Seeker books are the best!!

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  28. Good morning, VICTORIA! Your name is in the kitty dish. It's been quite a month, hasn't it? I still can't believe Seekerville began 7 years ago and is still going strong. THAT is entirely due to Seekervillagers -- readers and writers alike! (And, of course, to our noble leader, TINA!)

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  29. Hello, CINDY R! The kitty dish is filling up! So true that in real life we'd like the waters to stay pretty much calm -- but boy do we want to see our story heroes and heroines in HOT water, don't we? :)

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  30. I'm with you on on not comparing yourself to others. In may case, that means not making myself feel like a loser because everyone else does ______.

    I've got a big embarrassing secret as a writer. I don't like to read many books. (I'm ducking in case any of you had a tomato for your omelette.) Stephen King insists writers need to to read.

    1-2 50k books a month is more than enough for me. I get too involved in the stories. If I read too much, it brings me down. Just yesterday, I came to the realization that no matter what other authors do, I may not ever read 10 books/month and that's okay.

    Thanks for the post. Feel free to toss my name into the hat. Love the cover!!!

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  31. Great tips Glynna. I think I need to print them and put them around like you suggested. Have great day. And I'm trying not to be jealous that I didn't go to ACFW. So happy you were able to go and then share these great tips.

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  32. I'd love to win a copy of High Country Holiday.

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  33. I've got the shovels ready!!! We actually hired a plow guy a few years back because we have a big farm driveway and I have parents here at 6:30 AM... It became a toss up: Shovel or write???

    Shovel or write????

    :)

    You guessed it! WRITING WON!

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  34. Glynna, fun to relive the conference with you. I loved visiting with Seekers and Villagers and meeting new people.

    Thanks for seven nuggets of writing wisdom!

    Jeff Gerke said one thing that gave me a new perspective about the sagging middle. He said the middle is the heart of the story. The middle is the reason plot wise that we write the story and should be action packed. He sees the first half as giving everything needed to write the middle. And the last part of the book as bringing the fun to an end in a climatic confrontation. Was fun to think of the Three Acts that way.

    Janet

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  35. Hi Glynna! Thanks for the tips. I'm adding your seven words to my ever-expanding notebook of writing tips, thanks to the wonderful ladies here at Seekerville. (Can I blame my ever-expanding waistline on them and all their wonderful food as well?)
    Also, I just want to say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE all your Canyon Springs books and am excited can't wait to read your latest one. :)

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  36. Where did October go? Fun parties always end too quickly! Love that we're another year older but still fresh and vibrant thanks to all the great information and fabulous people in Seekerville!

    Janet

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  37. If writers everywhere listened to Seekerville, I'd never come up for breath, I'd be sunk in the ocean of awesome books. You guys ROCK!!! Has anyone told that lately?

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  38. Donuts... Did someone say donuts?
    Maybe with some cider. Yummy.

    Janet

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  39. WOW, Glynna, talk about a treasure trove of wisdom, girl -- you nailed it!!

    Excellent points, all, especially points #5 & #7 -- two biggies for me!!

    And the best point of all??? "If you believe God called you to write, stick close to Him. Daily pray. Listen. Obey."

    AMEN AND AMEN!!

    Since I didn't actually attend the conference, I didn't learn any particular "words of wisdom," but I did learn that I definitely want to attend future ACFW conferences because they are just a blast!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  40. Good morning, CONNIE Q! Don't think of your "secret" as embarrassing! You certainly don't want to "bring yourself down!" Have you figured out, though, why reading more has that effect on you? Is it certain storylines or types of books in particular that you should steer clear of?

    We're all made differently, have different reading tastes, and have different amounts of time available for reading. I actually read far more non-fiction each month than fiction!

    Some authors even maintain that reading another author's work while working on your own WIP can be detrimental--that you pick up their voice and style. I haven't found that to be my own experience but, like I said, we're all made differently! So read and ENJOY what you can, whenever you can!

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  41. Hi, SANDRA! Wish you could have joined us in St. Louis, too! I always feel so energized after a writing conference.

    I hope you and your hubby don't blow away tomorrow! Bundle up -- and get back down the mountain before the snow flies on Sunday!

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  42. Hi, CathyAnn! Thank you for popping in! Your name's in the kitty dish!

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  43. RUTHY -- I'm not looking forward to big snowfalls and driving on slick roads, but there's nothing that beats a day you can cuddle down with a cup of hot cocoa to read (or write) as you watch the fluffy flakes descend outside your window!

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  44. Wonderful reminders, Glynna!

    And I'm SO sorry I couldn't make it to St. Louis for another chance to be with you and the other Seekers and friends in person!!! Glad you had such a great conference, though!

    I definitely need to reread this post before I sit down with my wip this afternoon. For some reason, the words just aren't flowing this week.

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  45. Hi, JANET! I thought Jeff's workshop was VERY meaty, too, and intend to get his book on the same topic. I think everything he shared and shared so well prepares you to write faster--to have things thought out in advance so you don't risk getting stalled out later in that all-important middle.

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  46. Glynna, such great Words of Wisdom.

    I'll add: Write Tight.

    Maybe it's just me, but I like terse, tight, hard-hitting prose.

    Okay, maybe it is just me! LOL!

    Connie, I read when I go to bed at night. During busy times, I'm usually up late...which means a very tired writer when I finally crawl between the covers. A page or two, and I slip into dreamland. Takes quite a while to read a book that way...all that to say, I can relate.

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  47. Good morning, LeANNE! We DO consume a ton of food around here, don't we!?

    I'm so glad you enjoy your visits to Canyon Springs! It's a little town I've grown to love, so even in my next Hunter Ridge series there will be visits to CS and familiar faces occasionally putting in an appearance!

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  48. Thank you, MARIANNE! WE LOVE ROCKIN'! And Seekerville is ROCKIN' because of all the Villagers who make this their home!

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  49. The last day of our 7th Year Birthday Party Celebration! I'm a bit sad to see it end. Hasn't it been fun! Love all the Sevens...

    Then Tina mentioned the "D" word. DIET!!!

    Yuck!

    I've brought cake to celebrate one more day of Seekerville fun!

    Plus Halloween candy...all types. What's your favorite?

    I'm slicing Red Velvet cake and reaching for Peanut M&Ms...at the same time! YUM!

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  50. Connie Queen, new profile picture!@!! LOVE IT!!

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  51. Hello, JULIE! So glad I got to see you in St. Louis even though you didn't get to come to the conference itself. And thanks again to you and your hubby for all special arrangements! Dinner was a treat (even though I was still stuffed from a very late lunch) and the museum was absolutely fascinating. As a former Missourian, I've always loved St. Louis. So much to see and do!

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  52. Hi, MYRA! When the words don't flow and you feel like banging your head against the wall, that is NOT fun. Especially if you're on a deadline! Maybe you can take a leisurely walk around the block and blow out some of those mental cobwebs!

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  53. Good morning, Debby! Write tight. That's definitely a good word of wisdom!

    I can SO relate to only getting a few pages read some days. This week I've been so tired come evening that I've smacked myself in the head with my Kindle more than once as I drifted off. Finally gave up and turned out the light! :)

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  54. DEBBY - You WOULD have to go and mention Red Velvet Cake! I love that! Do any of your grocery stores carry those cute red velvet cupcakes and mini-cupcakes?YUM.

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  55. Glynna, I really like how you worded #3 "plot is the externalization of the inner journey of character growth". And #5 If God wants you to write, find a way!

    Thanks for the chance to win 7 copies of High Country Holiday!

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  56. Hi, Glynna,

    Thanks for all the words of wisdom. I agree that in sticking close to God and prayer we can accomplish great things!

    I would love a chance to win your book!

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  57. Glynna, you must be a Southern Girl at heart with your love for Red Velvet Cake. Cake and cupcakes galore are available in my neck of the woods!

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  58. Glynna, what wonderful words of wisdom! The one that always resonates with me is not comparing myself to other writers. God gave ME this story to write, in my voice. Not someone else.

    And yes, sticking close to God? Essential.

    Thanks so much for sharing this!

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  59. Good morning, DONNA! I believe it was Jeff Gerke in his 4-hour ACFW workshop on "Write a Book in a Month" who made that "plot is the externalization of the inner journey" statement. I thought that was a clear and easily understood way to look at it.

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  60. Hi, REBECCA! As all the Seekers can attest, sticking close to God is the key to facing all the challenges life dishes out--and those surrounding getting published and staying published are no different. It's always good to remind myself of that.

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  61. DEBBY -- I'm HALF southern (Texan), but it was actually my Yankee-born mom who fixed me Red Velvet Cake for my birthdays as I grew up!

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  62. Great post! Just what I need to see as I have given myself a challenge to finish my wip and begin a new book during the month of November.

    Have a great weekend everyone!

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  63. Hello, JEANNE T! You're right-- when we compare our talents and gifts to that of others, it's so often in a negative way to put ourselves down, to essentially say to God "You've been stingy and haven't given me enough." That's NOT what God wants. He wants to grow and stretch us in the unique direction HE wants us to go, not to copycat or envy someone else.

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  64. Good morning, WILANI! You've set yourself some great November goals! I always love starting a new month--it's like getting a clean slate, isn't it? Who has to wait for January 1? Not me!

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  65. Hi Glynna:

    First: I want to make an official second to LeAnne Bristow’s comment:

    Also, I just want to say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE all your “Canyon Springs” books and am excited can't wait to read your latest one. :)

    Ditto!


    Second: Three times since last night I’ve read your headline:

    Seven Words of Writing Wisdom

    As

    Seven Wonders of the Writing World.

    I have no idea what they would be but I would love to know what the Seekers think these would be. Right now I don’t have even one suggestion. (Maybe, whiteout?)

    Vince

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  66. Glenna, these are all excellent words of wisdom! #1 through #4 are sinking into my mind thanks to Seekerville posts and Tina's class. I need to put #5 on my frig/mirror/computer! Please enter me for High Country Holiday! Thanks!

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  67. One of the best things about ACFW was meeting so many Villagers! That put a permanent smile on my face.

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  68. oops nanowrimo.org

    November is National Novel Writing Month.

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  69. Hi again, VINCE! So happy you're a fan of Canyon Springs, too! :)

    That's funny that you read the post title as "Seven Wonders of the Writing World." Computers are definitely one -- I tried for too many years to hammer out a story on a typewriter and spent most of my time REtyping the same scenes again and again and not getting very far.

    Another "wonder" has to be the "UNDO" function in word processing programs. Whew! LOVE that one! And "cut & paste."

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  70. Hello, SHERIDA! That #5 "Don't let anything stop you from writing" is one I constantly have to remind myself of. It's so easy to think "I have to leave for work early and won't even get 500 words written, so what's the point? Maybe I should clean he bathroom instead." :)

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  71. Great reminder, Tina!

    Are any of you Seeker Villagers planning to try the November national novel in a month challenge? Or are you reserving your energy for Seekerville's "Speedbo" in March?

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  72. Debby, I didn't know Red Velvet cake was a Southern tradition. I love it and have tried to make it but not very successfully, I'll admit. Now it comes in cake mixes, so far easier, though I think twice about ingesting all that Red food coloring. LOL I'm no fun.

    Janet

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  73. Glynna, I'm so sorry to have spelled your name wrong! Don't know if I can/should blame that on the small screen of the phone, auto-correct, or my brain, but I do apologize!

    And I didn't mention that your cover tor High Country Holiday is beautiful, just like a Thomas Kinkade scene!

    Your "bonus" word is the ultimate takeaway thought!!!

    I've joined Nano again this year even though November is always a busy month, at least I get a few more words down.

    Thanks again!

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  74. Wow -- I can't believe it's the last day of partying! Where did this birthday month go?! This really surprised me:

    “white space” on a page lures a reader in more quickly than a solid page of unbroken text."

    I never thought about that before! A great visual measuring stick when editing.

    Glynna, I just finished reading High Country Holiday this week. Loved it. Classic Christmas! It would definitely translate well into a movie. The kind of story you keep picturing in your mind even after you've finished reading it. So, no need to enter me in the draw.

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  75. Tina with the NaNoMo can you set your own goals like with speedbo? I know that physically I am not able to do 50,000 words in a month.

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  76. Hi again SHERIDA! Don't worry about the misspelling! I'm used to it -- Glenna, Glena, Glenda, etc. :) I'm sure as someone who also has a uniquely spelled name that you've seen and heard all sorts of variations of your own, too! But our names make us stand out from the crowd, right?

    I love the cover, too, although in Canyon Springs a rustic wooden or split rail fence would probably be more true to Arizona mountain country! I love the way the church windows seem to GLOW in the twilight!

    You'll have to keep us posted on your November writing progress! Just as during our spring Speedbo, I'm sure it's energizing to know you're one of many who are shooting for a goal. I'm racing toward a goal, too--an end-of-November book deadline! Yikes!

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  77. Glynna,
    Great advice. As I write, I need to keep GMC at the front of my brain. Otherwise, I end up with a Tea Scene bonanza! I keep Dixon's book at the right side of my desk so it stares at me all day long as a reminder.

    I just received your latest, High Country Holiday directly from Harlequin. I've started ordering from them to make certain I don't miss my favorite authors! Congrats on the new book!

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  78. Awwww, thanks, KAV! So glad you enjoyed "High Country Holiday!" It's so much fun seeing it on the store bookshelves with all the other holiday stories.

    I'd wanted to write a Christmas story FOREVER, but the timing of my books coming out just never fit--for some reason snow & Christmas trees in May aren't that popular (although I HAVE seen snow on the ground in Arizona that month!).

    Ronie Kendig, in her "Mind Magic" ACFW workshop touched on that "white space" element. Getting sufficient "white space" on a page can be tricky, though, as my editor prefers a manuscript be turned in as 12 Pt Courier New double-spaced, so I really can't accurately determine what the final outcome will be when it's "book size." But I try to break up long passages into separate paragraphs and to remember dialogue, dialogue, dialogue! Dialogue almost always visually draws a reader in.

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  79. Good morning, Lyndee! (Or at least it's still morning in Arizona!)

    Oh, boy, those Tea Scenes--otherwise known as the dreaded "episodic" -- which all of us live in fear of hearing our work labeled as by an editor! You're so right, a strong book-length and scene-by-scene GMC helps keep us on the straight and narrow!

    I probably need to sign up for the subscriber service, too, as sometimes my local Walmart skips shelving an entire month of books and I have to go on-line to order them. Fortunately, our Barnes & Noble just started carrying Harlequin lines, including Love Inspired.

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  80. Hi Glynna, loved all the writerly wisdom, especially the advice to remember what lured you to write that story. So important to have that reminder in mind when the plot isn't moving forward and your're tempted to chuck the whole thing. Also, appreciated the suggestion not to compare yourself with others. Positive results will come to those who keep at it and accept God's timing.
    Happy 7th Birthday, Seekerville. Have a lovely weekend everyone.

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  81. That was encouraging, Glynna. Just what I needed for today. Love the cover of your new book too.

    Hard to believe it's the last day of October. It's been a great party, Seekerville :) Happy Birthday!



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  82. Glynna!! One of MY personal ACFW highlights was sitting next to YOU at the Gala Awards dinner! (Being between you and Mary Connealy was wonderful!). :)

    Thank you for this writing wisdom--such excellent reminders for us.
    Hmmmm....maybe I need to print out your list and post it beside my computer. ;)

    Please enter me in your drawing--your book sounds amazing and I LOVE that cover.

    Hugs, Patti Jo

    p.s. HAPPY HAPPY 7th BIRTHDAY SEEKERVILLE!!!! You are the BEST!!!! :)

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  83. Great advice, Glynna. #7 especially resonated with me. :) Drop my name in for the giveaway!

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  84. Great points, Glynna!

    I can't believe it's Oct. 31st already! Happy Seventh Birthday, Seekerville! I'm already looking forward to next year!

    Happy Halloween All!

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  85. Hello, PAT JEANNE! Don't you just HATE those "tempted to chuck the whole thing" moments? But I usually have those AT LEAST once in every book, so having a written reminder of the WHY next to my desk or in my writing journal often pays off to get me moving back to the heart of the story that originally captured my imagination.

    I also have to remind myself when I'm starting to take it all way TOO seriously: FOCUS ON THE FUN of writing!

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  86. Hi, JAMIE! Glad you found the post an encouragement! I know sometimes I just needed to be reminded of the basics.

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  87. Hi, PATTI JO! I was so neat to finally get to meet you--and so many other Villagers--at ACFW! So wonderful to be sitting next to you when our very own TINA's name was called for a Carol Award, too!

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  88. I decided to go ahead and sign up for NaNoWriMo. I am not sure how it works with this. I loved doing Speedbo. Is anyone else doing this?

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  89. Good afternoon, ANNA! (It really IS afternoon in Arizona now--and a beautiful one at that. Almost 70 with blue blue sky and sunshine, so the little trick or treaters should have a nice evening for gathering their "loot.")

    I think #7 resonates with a lot of us. We need to get our eyes off ourselves (what we don't have) and others (what they have that we wish we had) and focus on God and the direction He wants us to go.

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  90. Happy last day of October, EVA! I'm with you--where did the past month go? And, in fact, where have the past TEN MONTHS gone?

    We'll blink and the next thing we know we'll be ushering in 2015 with another Seekerville Rockin' New Year's Eve party!

    I absolutely love Autumn, but it's so SHORT! It's hard to believe the first snowfall in the Arizona mountains may put in an appearance this weekend...and the very LAST one not for another 7 months! LONG winters in the mountains some years...and at least one weather site is predicting a higher-than-normal snowfall for the region. Too bad I'm not a skier so I could get excited about that! :)

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  91. Sitting here waiting for the trick-or-treaters to start coming. I can' believe this is the last day of October and the Seekerville birthday party is coming to an end. It was so much fun.

    I enjoyed the post today and seeing all the neat pictures of the Arch. My sister lives in St. Louis so I have been there many times.

    Making time for writing is the part of the post that spoke to me. I took note of when you said to write everyday even if only a few minutes. I always think there isn't any point if I have only a little time, but I know that a short time a day will still add up to a lot more than doing nothing! Please enter me for the book. What a beautiful cover. I am about ready to start reading holiday books.

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  92. Paris Perslow has got to be one of the best character names I've come across in a long time!

    Thanks for #6 -- I need to remind myself of that spark and then hang on to it. So easy to lose track of it in the pursuit of the craft.

    Lovely photos of the Arch.

    Nancy C

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  93. Hi, SANDY! It won't be long and we'll be seeing trick-or-treaters here, too. Some years we get over 100! The littlest ones are the cutest and they usually show up early, not long after dark--with mom or dad or an older sibling hovering in the background.

    That's neat that your sister lives in St. Louis. I used to live in Columbia, so enjoyed occasional trips to Six Flags, the zoo, the Arch, the art galleries, etc. My room at the ACFW hotel had a fabulous view of the Mississippi, most of the arch, and that beautiful old courthouse.

    I love reading holiday books, too, and can hardly wait to read all those Seeker novellas that will be coming out shortly!

    Making time to write is so important. It's too easy to think there's not "enough" time and psyche ourselves out. But then I read about popular authors who wrote entire books on a 30-minute subway ride or lunch break.

    For myself, sometimes I sense an inward resistance--but if I just sit myself down at the computer and start writing something, ANYTHING, often I'll get sucked into my story world and forget that I wasn't "in the mood to write." Which is why I often set a timer so if I do get caught up in the writing, I won't lose track of time and be late for work!

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  94. Hi, NANCY C! I had SUCH a time trying to name Paris. She named herself for the first name, but the last name...! I always try to Google names so I don't accidentally give a character the name of someone famous (or worse, INfamous!). I wanted a "P" name, but every single one I liked seemed to pull up something unwanted. I finally grabbed a book off the shelf--one of surnames--and opened it to the P's, stabbed my finger onto a page and PERSLOW it was! :)

    I took WAY too many pictures of the Arch! It's SO photogenic!

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  95. Wow, Glynna! These really spoke to me. Especially #7. It's something I've been telling myself a lot lately. And I'm determined to follow that advice.

    Now, I'm behind. Was doing line/copy edits for my next LI today and just now finished! Whew!

    I'm tired but really happy with this story!!

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  96. Congrats MISSY, on getting those edits done! That's a great way to end the month with those behind you. You'll sleep EXTRA well tonight!

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  97. Glynna, I WANT YOUR BOOK!!!!!! You know that already, I sure tell you enough! You also know I love all your books!!!!! I tell you THAT enough too! I love your Arizona setting since my daughter went to NAU for college! I love the Flagstaff area.....gorgeous!

    Your post was excellent too. I don't write but I think many of your thoughts can transition to "life" too! Thanks!!!

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  98. Hi, VALRI! Thank you for stopping by this evening! I think it's always fun to read books that are set in places I've been. Your name has been tossed into the kitty dish! :)

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  99. Actually, I will totally seek out books in locales I am familiar with. I agree. It's lots of fun for a reader.

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  100. I love all your wise words, Glynna. Even the ones that order me to write every day! Yes, I agree. Practice makes better : )

    Engaging the reader. The reader wants to live vicariously through our protagonists. Isn't that what WE wanted to feel when WE read romances? That just drives home the point that you have to write the book of your heart or work VERY hard to infuse that kind of emotion into something you don't feel as strongly about.

    I wish I'd been able to share St. Louis with y'all, but God had other plans. I'm so glad YOU had a great time though!!

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  101. Wonderful words of wisdom! Thank you so much!

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  102. I enjoyed your post, Glynna - thank you!!

    I'm not a writer and didn't attend the ACFW conference, however, most of the points on your list can be applied to any line of work. It's essential that one be his/herself, be in continual prayer mode, and seek God's plan for his/her life and His guidance.

    I haven't read any of your books and would love to read "High Country Holiday"!!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  103. These words of writing wisdom will come in handy as I start NaNoWriMo. Loved this post and love the cover of your book!

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  104. Hi, AUDRA! Good to "see" you, but sorry things didn't work out for ACFW.

    Yes, Reader engagement -- so VERY important. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves for what WE are looking for in a story as quite often those will be the same things our readers hope to find in our books!

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  105. BONNIE - that's so true that many of the "words of wisdom" from ACFW can apply to us in other walks of our life as well!

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  106. Hello, SALLY! So happy you like the book cover! I was really pleased with it.

    Best wishes on NaNoWriMo! Stop in to Seekerville when you come up for air to let us know how it's going!

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  107. Would be hard to be always entertaining.. Please enter me :)

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  108. Number 6 hit me between the eyes. I need to remind myself about the spark that motivated me to start writing.

    Thank you for taking the time and effort to share your wisdom and knowledge with those of us that were not in attendance.

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  109. Thank you for sharing this wonderful advice, Glynna. I especially enjoyed Number 7 as I think we've all been known to fall into the comparison hole now and then. I filled in my hole about a year ago and it feels great. :)

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  110. Glynna you have given me the gist of my NaNo story!! October was slammed busy for me and I had just a bare notion of Risa and the story - #3, her journey, filled in some huge chunks!! Guess I best get to writin' already!!

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  111. Hi, DEANNA! You're SO right! It is hard trying to be "always entertaining!" Especially tricky when not ALL readers are entertained by the same type of things!

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  112. Good Morning, BOOK LOVER, BOOK WRITER! This morning as I blaze away to an end-of-November deadline, I'm doing my best to remind myself of what first grabbed my heart about this particular story, what compelled me to want to tell it in the first place. Remembering that really helps me get back on track.

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  113. Hi, JILL! So wonderful that you "filled in the comparison hole" last year! That's SO freeing, isn't it?!

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  114. Good morning, ROBIN! So glad you know where you're headed as you leap into NaNo this month! That should keep you focused and energized as the words add up!

    All of you who are NaNoWriMo-ing this month need to keep us posted in Seekerville to let us know how it's going!

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  115. Yes, Glynna, filling that hole is very freeing.

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  116. great article! Love the cover.

    I would add, get words down, even if you have to go back and edit later. Progress is progress.

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