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Category Archives: tips

Springing into the Next Story

by Jan Drexler Spring is here, and it’s time to start my next book! With this new beginning, I’ve already spent hours of preparation. I’ve cultivated the bed of ideas, throwing out stones and stray roots. I’ve poured over research … Continue reading

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Posted in Authors and writing, Brainstorming, Characters, Friends of ACFW, Outlines, Plots, Setting, Story Structure, tips, writing | Tagged | 1 Comment

Tips for Fighting the Dreaded Writer’s Block

By Amy Clipston Through the years I’ve found that my book projects fall into two categories—they either write themselves or writing them feels like having my teeth drilled. In other words, the characters either tell me the story or I … Continue reading

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Posted in Advice, Authors and writing, Friends of ACFW, Outlines, Plots, tips, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What About Book Reviews?

By Nora St. Laurent A book review is a thoughtful discussion of a book’s content, style, strengths, value, limitations and recommendation for it (or not) for possible readers of a genre and/or subject. Here is an example of a possible … Continue reading

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Observations from a Writer

By Denise Hunter Most writers are observers by nature, aren’t we? We observe ourselves, we observe others, then we use what we observe in our writing. Like the other day. I was driving down the road alone and had to … Continue reading

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How to Write a Novel

By Henry McLaughlin When I’m introduced as a writer to a group of non-writers I get a wide range of reactions. Some look at me as if I’m from another planet. Others back away as if they might catch a … Continue reading

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Choose a Setting You Love

By H.L. Wegley Thirty-eight years ago, my wife and I and our three kids boxed up enough supplies for a week and headed for Lake Chelan in Central Washington, a glacier-fed lake, fifty-five miles long, nestled snugly between Cascade Mountain … Continue reading

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Back Story – When & How

By Ane Mulligan When I first started writing, I did what most new writers do. Believing the reader couldn’t understand my story or like the heroine without knowing her back story, I loaded the first chapter with all that information. … Continue reading

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Fall down, get up. Again.

By Davalynn Spencer When we hear that people have experience in a particular field or endeavor, we often equate that experience with success and only success. However, if that were the case, their experience would not be genuine. Experience bleeds. … Continue reading

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Four Approaches to Character Names

by Christa Kinde Whenever I’m invited to talk about the Threshold Series, one question keeps cropping up. How do you pick names for your characters? While it might sound like I’m dodging the question, the honest answer is … it … Continue reading

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Take Me Out to the Ballpark

By Tamara D. Fickas I’m not a big sports fan. I don’t really follow any of the big sports teams, although I do sometimes root for a team based on being the underdog, or the favored team, or because I … Continue reading

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Characters or Story: What Drives Your Writing?

by Glynn Young I was having an email exchange with a writer and poet who had just published a novel. Specifically, we were discussing how each of us wrote fiction. She had trouble, she said, with multi-viewpoint novels. Her stories … Continue reading

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Changing the Past

By Loretta Eidson Last Sunday, Steven Goudeaux, pastor of our East Memphis church, made several powerful statements during the morning service, but one, in particular, caught my attention. “You can change your past,” he said. I lifted my eyebrows and … Continue reading

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Let’s Go Back! Flashbacks and Making Them Work

By Cindy Patterson As writers, it’s our job to transport our readers into our stories so deeply, they feel as though they’re no longer reading. This is no easy task. We spend so much time working out our plots, scenes, … Continue reading

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Change Your Motive, Change the World …and the industry

by J.A. Marx If you’ve been around ACFW for any length of time, you’ve heard the one question every agent and editor asks: “Who’s your audience?” The tighter we narrow down the audience for our story, the happier we make … Continue reading

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Novel Preparation 101

By DiAnn Mills We writers have habits, some quirky, that help us get started on new writing projects. Today I’d like to share with you how I organize my thoughts and preparations before writing chapter one, line one of a … Continue reading

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