All posts in category Writing & Promotion Tips

The Truth about Lamp Lighting

by Staci Stallings The Bible says that God’s Word is a lamp at my feet. My dad always said that God put the lamp at our feet and not on our head. That means we’re supposed to focus on the next step, not how we’re getting all the way down the tunnel. I’ve […]

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The Challenging Art of Weaving a Story 3/26/2021

by Staci Stallings Every book is a challenge. Some are more challenging than others, and some are challenging in different ways than others. For example, when I wrote a book about a dancer, I had to do lots of research about dance. I had to learn terms and how to put specific movements […]

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Finding Flow 2/12/2021

by: Staci Stallings For the past couple of years I’ve been intensely interested in the concept of flow or flow state. Some call it optimal performance state. Basically, it’s when you go from System 2 thinking (consciously thinking about something) to System 1 thinking (automatic thinking or subconscious thinking). A good way of […]

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Get Up and Get Out: Find Your Research Gems in Conversation

by Carmen Peone “Just to let you know, I wouldn’t marry her!” said my working cattle ranch-owning contact.   His words made my chest clench. Yet, his profound statement changed the course of my first romantic suspense story’s attitude.  I didn’t want another weak woman saved by a macho man. I wanted real characters facing and overcoming trauma—like […]

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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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