Writing Prompt Contest

Many writers are visual creators. In other words, they picture their scenes much like a movie, then write the text.

It’s okay if you don’t create that way—neither do I. But we must be observers of life and then be able to relate those observances to our audience.

To that end, I’m posting a picture today to serve as a writing prompt to get your creative juices flowing on this Monday morning. [Read more…]

I have a message to share, but where do I start?

Getting your message organizedMany of us write because we believe we have a message God wants us to share. In fact, our first book is often about lessons learned from a personal experience that we believe will help others. We want to convey information that will help others navigate and conquer a similar problem.

That was certainly the case for my first book, Help! My Husband Has Sexually Abused Our Daughter (updated, revised, and retitled Carried by Grace in 2014).

Communication happens in 3 ways:

  • What we say (which accounts for only 7% of the message!)
  • Tone of voice
  • Body language

But in books, we rely strictly on the written word. In nonfiction writing, tone of voice and body language are communicated through our style of writing. This makes our word choices vital (though our word choices are always vital).

Getting Organized

You have a message to communicate, but if it isn’t done is an organized manner, your message may get garbled.

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you seek to organize all the elements of your book:

  • Is there a learning progression to what I am presenting? (like learning the alphabet before one learns to spell and read.)
  • Are there principles that build on one another? Have I presented them in the correct order?
  • Am I assuming a certain knowledge level in my target audience that they really don’t have? Knowing your target audience is essential, and don’t think in general terms, e.g. all Christians.
  • What do I want my readers to learn? Have I presented the material necessary for those lessons?
  • What benefits do I hope to give my readers? Have I fulfilled those?
  • Have I documented my sources so I can cite them correctly and where necessary?

When I sat down each day to work on my first book, I prayed before I did anything else. Because I was communicating God’s Word and principles in what I wrote I needed the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

If you have a Christian message to share, I highly recommend you do the same. I not only pray before I begin to write, but also while I write.

Just as a fiction plot must be laid out in a path the reader can follow, the topics of a nonfiction book must be arranged in a manner that promotes learning for the reader.

Take heart. You are created in the image of God, the master creator, and you have the mind of Christ (Genesis 1:27, 1 Corinthian 2:16). That means you have the capability to create!

What has you snagged in writing your nonfiction book? Leave your comments below.

Using text stats to help with SEO

Search engine optimization. Otherwise known as SEO. If you’ve been writing for the web, more than likely you’ve heard this term even if you don’t understand it.

I recently had my admin assistant do a Google search for several keywords, among them were editor and freelance editor.

Ahhh!

My website didn’t turn up anywhere in the first 6 pages of the search results—we stopped looking at that point. Not a good thing for a person who runs a freelance editing business. To fix this I need to ensure editor or freelance editor appear more often on my services page.

Why do I need search engine optimization?

[Read more…]

The Major Plot Events of a Novel and When They Occur

building blocks, an analogy of plot eventsThis month’s last post on plotting concerns the major plot events, or building blocks, of your story.

Most writers understand all fiction has a climatic scene, aka the climax. They also know it occurs very near the end of the story.

However, many writers miss several other plot events essential to their story. [Read more…]

Story Premise: What it is and how to develop it

In last week’s “To Plot a Story,” guest Deborah Lyn Stanley stated, “A one-sentence premise is essential to a strong story.”

Many writers may not understand what a premise is or how to arrive at that one-sentence, so let’s take a look at it today.

Premise. Little boy meets alien.In almost all of my books on the craft, discussion of premise is missing, or perhaps they use different terminology. So is it any wonder when I ask writers what is the premise of their book, they answer with a blank stare. [Read more…]

Snag a Publisher!

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Get Published!

Looking for a publisher? Then be sure to get 5 Things Every Writer Needs to Do When Submitting a Manuscript (make sure you avoid these common mistakes). Sign up below for your free download.
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