All posts in category Writing & Promotion Tips

The Publishers that Prey – A word of caution about vanity presses

by Parker J. Cole Earlier this month, I received a call from a vanity press.  I’m not sure how they got my name, but I figure they’re another arm of Westbow Press which I published my first book under. At that time, I spent about three thousand dollars on them listing my book on different websites.   Nothing else. I KNOW […]

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10 Tips to Improve Your Writing 9/18/2020

by Carmen Peone Keep a notebook handy.   I keep a notebook and index cards by my bed and a notebook in my purse. I also keep my phone on me when I ride horses and email myself notes, which is good for my horse to have to stop and be patient.  I have a few […]

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Do Authors Have a Responsibility to Their Audience? 9/11/2020

by Shawn Lamb Since I write primarily for young adults, I am frequently asked about the content of my books. Is there anything inappropriate? Relationships? Language? Unbiblical concepts? This has led to innumerable discussions at events with concerned parents, and young people, who are particular about what they read. The type of event doesn’t […]

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How to Incubate Your Story Ideas

by Carmen Peone Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans. ~Proverbs 16:3   Every story starts with a spark—an idea.   And when we commit our writing to the Lord, He will bless it.   Sometimes all we have is the opening—a character, an event, or a location—but we don’t know where the story will go from there, or vice versa.   […]

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Story Parameters 8/14/2020

by Shawn Lamb Each genre has various parameters that govern the flow and structure of storytelling. Examples: Mystery novels usual follow a private investigator, police, or a person with sleuthing tendencies. The case slowly unravels without revealing the truth until the end. These stories are usually in-depth character studies when dealing with “who done it”. Thrillers are non-stop suspense stories with dark overtones, and are heavily plot driven. Historical fiction, romance, and contemporary also […]

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Why Backstory is Essential and How to Use it Correctly 7/21/2020

by Carmen Peone Backstory is the backbone of every character, even us. It’s God–given and shapes us into the men and women we are created to be. A character’s backstory is essential for stories that rely on empathy because compassion focuses on what the why of what happens means to the character.   Backstory is vital for tension and conflict. Without them, readers tend to close […]

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Hero, Villain, or Somewhere In-Between? 7/10/2020

by Shawn Lamb The typical writing course talks about protagonists and antagonists almost in a black-and-white contrast with very little gray areas. It is true that villains should be complex, yet the more one wants to prove a point, the more dramatic they tend to create the contrast between hero and villain. In […]

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Hooked on Beginnings 6/19/2020

by Carmen Peone Let’s face it, that first line is a bugger!   It’s the hook that grabs the reader’s attention right from the beginning and should sink a barb straight into their curiosity.   The first few lines are what will catapult readers into the story, and it’s your job to keep them turning pages. But if you can’t snatch their interest in the […]

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Story Structure 6/9/2020

by Shawn Lamb Structure is hanger upon which plot is hung.  The simplest structure is The Three-Act Method, which divides the story into three acts: beginning, middle and end.  This method of storytelling has been around since the Greeks. For centuries, verbal folktales reigned in many countries since most of the populous couldn’t read or write. However, for […]

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Two Forms of Inspiring Poetry 5/12/2020

by Carmen Peone Never in this world did I think I would love poetry.   Until God touched my heart with Haiku and Elfchen.   Elfchen is a newer form of poetry for me, but I have come to love its simplicity. It’s a place I can hone in on God’s creation and love.   In this time of fear, uncertainty, and quarantine, we can create a safe […]

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