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Category Archives: tips

Conference Time

by Colleen Coble My beloved ACFW conference is right around the corner. You might be planning to attend or you may be gearing up for another kind of conference this fall so I thought I’d give you a few tips … Continue reading

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Five Ways to Tell You’re Not Mrs. Muir

By Cathleen Armstrong Have you seen The Ghost and Mrs. Muir? That 1948 movie about a widow who lives by the sea and writes a book with the help of a ghostly sea captain? From the time I first saw … Continue reading

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What Does the Author Need?

By Cindy Woodsmall As writers, we are attentive to the settings, plots, characters, and all things that make for great storytelling and honed writing. We capitalize on our characters’ thoughts and feelings, and there is nothing quite like exploring the … Continue reading

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Words, Camera…and Action!

By Bonnie S. Calhoun What comes mind when I say those words? Typically someone would think of a movie set in the oldun’ days. Someone had a tripod camera and a megaphone and a snappy board with numbers on it. … Continue reading

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Writing in times of CHAOS

By Susan A.J. Lyttek This past summer events occurred and piled up that often had me stressed or panicked or both. Some of these included getting my eldest ready to move out on his own, my youngest preparing to start … Continue reading

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When Real Life and the Writing Life Collide

By Kathleen Y’Barbo Watch out or you’ll end up in my novel! We’ve all seen this slogan or others like it on t-shirts, mugs, and all sorts of items. Until recently, I hadn’t given the process of creating characters from … Continue reading

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Conflicted about Conflict?

By Ane Mulligan My first novel was a Biblical fiction in which I strung together a bunch of scenes from Jesus’ life, interspersed with the fictional characters. There was no conflict, other than the Pharisees wanting to crucify Jesus. I … Continue reading

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Bum Glue

By Janice Cantore What do you do when you’re stuck at a spot in your manuscript? As you sit in front of the computer you seem to be hitting delete more than anything else, or worse, you’re staring at a … Continue reading

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A Shy Girl at a Writers Conference

By Tamara D. Fickas Conference season is winding down, but the ACFW conference will be happening next month in Dallas. This time of year, posts about what to do at a writers conference abound. We spend a lot of money … Continue reading

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Nuggets of Ideas

By Donna Schlachter We recently returned from a research trip to California, where we stayed in a bed-and-breakfast situation, sharing meals with our host family. They were a delightful couple, and during one of our conversations, she mentioned she’d been … Continue reading

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Creating Characters: Who Will You Be?

By Johnnie Alexander I rested in a vinyl chair, weary and in pain, pensive and in love. My day-old daughter nestled in my arms, her thick black hair brushing against her shoulders. “Who will you be?” I whispered. In that … Continue reading

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Not Qualified? Think Again!

By Sarah Sundin “Who am I to write a novel? I didn’t major in English! I’m ‘just’ a mom/teacher/police officer/nurse.” Ever think something like this? Many of us feel our lack of literary credentials will block us from achieving our … Continue reading

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Teaching Writers

By Susan Lyttek There’s a huge difference between teaching a writing class and teaching writers. Let me explain. Most of the year, I teach writing classes to kids and teens. When teaching a writing class, you start with the assumption … Continue reading

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Using Psychology to Create Deep Characters

A PSYCHOLOGICAL APPROACH TO DEVELOPING GRIP-YOUR-HEART CHARACTERS By J.A. Marx How do we write a poignant story that’s realistic, emotionally satisfying yet not watered down? After you’ve given your character a personality, a vocation, a purpose for living, and a … Continue reading

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Measuring Greatness

By Loretta Eidson Recently, I posted this quote by Mark Twain on Hootsuite: Great people can make you feel that, you too, can become great. I’ve heard numerous times throughout my life that if we want to be smart we … Continue reading

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