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Preparing For The ACFW Conference

I follow another My Book Therapy member, Melissa Tagg and she wrote something on her blog that really impacted me. So much so, I printed it and posted it on the shelf above my computer.

Here’s what it says,

“What if we took the time to write on Post-it Notes words to reflect how we want to make people feel?”

“What if we were bouncing off our seats with excitement for the stories we’re living out each day? And what if acting on these what if’s meant the difference between a so-so existence and a focused, productive and a passionate life story?”

“How about you? What wonderful word(s) would you put on a Post-It Note for your novel…or your life?”

It reminded me of the reason I started this journey. I wanted to write stories that led people to a deeper relationship and knowledge of God. Somehow I got my wires crossed and started feeling like I was about to sink with the seemingly impossibility of it all. Instead I needed a reminder to recognize what a great opportunity I have while living this journey of life and writing.

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Hey Awesome Writers!

I’m on the road this week – so I asked my friend Phyllis Wheeler, who runs a publishing start-up if she’d step in with a blog to sort through how to choose between traditional publishing and self-publishing. Hope it’s helpful!

PS – Ever want to sit down and talk through your writing journey with a writing coach? JUST launched a new book that does just that! Follow the journey of an aspiring writer (and learn along with her!) in Conversations with a Writing Coach. $4.99 Available only on KINDLE!

Take it away, Phyllis!

*****

Should you self-publish?

Self-publishing has changed over the years. There are now some high-quality self-published books out there, and the authors are reaping 100 percent of the profit. Should you join them?

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The Reason We Write

My friend, Lori, posted this quote on my Facebook page last week:

“We write to taste life twice.” ~Anais Nin, author

I think she posted the quote for two reasons:

I love quotes. Love, love, love them.
I am a writer who often wrestles with the why of writing. You know what I mean: Why do we willingly do all of this? The writing. The rewriting. The deadlines.
I think my friend read that quote and thought, “Beth will ‘get’ this.”

And I did.

But I did more than read the quote and think, “Good one.” I pondered the quote for a day or two … until it became this blog post.

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Listen to me! Or: The non-list-making, non-threatening, let’s-have-a-cup-of-coffee-and-chat method of creating living breathing characters.

Christian books should reach beyond our hearts to touch our souls. Regardless of the genre — suspense, romance, historical, or chick lit — stories can touch our lives, even change us. And, while plot lines are important…it is characters that drive stories. When we think of the Hunt for Red October, we think of Jack Ryan. When we think of the Fugitive, we think of Dr. Richard Kimball. Characters drive the plot. So, how do we create characters that live and breathe and drive a story into our hearts?

Throw away the list!

When I began writing, I did what seemed logical – I filled out character lists. Answered hundreds of questions. But my characters still felt flat, and more than that, their actions, dialogue and conflict didn’t seem to connect. At the time, I was home schooling, and as I looked at developing my children’s self-esteem, it hit me. People reveal themselves from the inside out, based on how they see themselves, or want others to see them. And discovering how a character defines himself is the key to making them come alive.

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