Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed . ~ 2 Timothy 2:15

Friday, April 26, 2013

Writer's block?

Some writers deny it even exists, but those of us who have ever struggled with wresting words from an uncooperative brain know better.

I just read an excellent blog on how to deal with the bane of the creative mind, "Battling Writer's Block" by Vickie Price Taylor. 

Vickie writes: Lora Zill, in her blog the blue collar artist, states that “if we can’t ‘express’ ourselves through our art, perhaps something has shaken us or caused us to doubt. We lack trust in our gifts, lack trust that when we sit down and stare at a screen…that God will show up.” 

Yep, that's why I'm struggling now--something has shaken me and now I'm wrestling with doubt, not trusting the gift, the call . . . 

I need to remember the words of D. L. Moody: "Do not doubt in the dark what God has shown you in the light."

Saturday, April 20, 2013

FICTION FOCUS: Need help writing a powerful scene?

SCENES are the building blocks of your chapters. If they fall flat, your readers most likely will put your book down. So writing powerful scenes with unique characters who have believable backstories and and different goals is crucial to a powerful story, one that keeps readers turning pages. And just like with anything about writing, we learn to write powerful scenes as we write and study the craft.

The Christian Writers Guild wants to help you grow as a writer and is offering a webinar on how to write powerful scenes on Thursday, April 25 from 8-9 p.m. EST.

In "Raising the Stakes: How to Write High Energy Scenes" author and Craftsman mentor DiAnn Mills  outlines the seven key areas in which you should build tension and drama:
  • character
  • plot
  • dialogue
  • emotion
  • setting
  • symbolism
  • narrative

(This webinar will also be recorded and be available for download on our website within two business days of the live event.)

DiAnn Mills has fifty books in print and has sold more than 1.5 million copies. She is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.

How to Sign Up:

Click here, add the webinar to the cart, and go through the checkout process.  

Next, go to the "My Webinars" section of your account and click the "Download" button. Follow the registration link in the download and you're all set.  

Webinars are free for Guild members, $25 for nonmembers. Learn more about CWG member benefits.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Writing webinars

Webinars are a great way to grow as a writer. You attend a writing class online, in the privacy of your own home, in your jammies or sweats, and in your own time, as you can attend a live webinar or download one when you have time to view it.

The Christian Writers Guild offers a library of webinars on all aspects of writing. They are free if you're a Guild member. (Click here for information about becoming a Guild member.)

Check out the 44 webinars available online at the Guild site by clicking here.

Friday, April 12, 2013

For serious writers only


Presented by DiAnn Mills
May 10, 2:00-2:30 p.m. (Eastern Time)

The Craftsman course is the Christian Writers Guild's highest level of instruction for serious writers of fiction and nonfiction. The year-long intensive mentoring program challenges you by showing you how to add tools to your Craftsman's belt. The process takes effort, stamina, and a passion for writing a quality book. To learn more about the Craftsman course, tune in to our free webinar with Craftsman mentor DiAnn Mills as she explains the road to excellence in achieving your goals. (You can also click on the links above, but the webinar will give details and insight not available on the web page.)

DiAnn Mills is the bestselling author of 50 books and has sold more than 1.5 million copies. Her Sworn to Protect won a 2011 Christy Award in the Contemporary Romance Category. Breach of Trust won the same award in 2010. Her latest is The Chase. DiAnn is the Craftsman mentor for the Christian Writers Guild.

(This webinar was recorded May 10, 2012. The archived video version will be available in your downloads section upon purchase. Free for Guild members.)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Let James Scott Bell help you write your novel

I'm passing along an interesting email I received from James Scott Bell today:

Dear Friends:

The ides of April approach, hope springs eternal, and as long as we
who write continue to put words on paper or screen, there will be
opportunities to please readers with our stories....

Which brings me to the subject of this update. I am pumped about two
opportunities for my writer friends to take their novels up the
escalator to the mezzanine level of powerful fiction.

FIRST, I'm pleased to announce a new computer program, up in "the
cloud," that makes me your personal writing coach. It's called
Knockout Novel, and is a dream I've had for years...and has come to
fruition via and designer Mike Fleming.

Knockout Novel is an online program based on my #1 best-selling
writing book, Plot & Structure, as well as material I've developed
over a decade of teaching live workshops. I've turned this content
into an interactive program that will walk you through the crucial
steps to creating a potential bestseller. Whether you only have an
idea, or are well on your way to a finished novel, this system will
supercharge your material and brainstorm with you. And you can keep
coming back to it with each new book.

Knockout Novel works whether you are a “plotter”
(outline-oriented) or a “pantser” (like to write without much
planning) or anything in between!

Knockout Novel is only $49 and you can try it out for 30 days risk
free. You can use it for every novel you write, and integrate it with
the excellent Hiveword novel organizer. Here is the link:

SECOND, I am going to be teaching a live, 3-day intensive fiction
workshop in Silicon Valley, California. It's June 28-30. Bring a
project with you, and I guarantee it will not be the same when you
leave. It'll be deeper, stronger, more exciting. We will be doing a
lot of interactivity, along with me giving you the best tools and
techniques I know. As #1 New York Times bestselling author Kami
Garcia recently wrote, "James Scott Bell elevates the subtleties of
plot, structure, and conflict to an art form. An hour at one of his
workshops is game-changing."

And there's a DISCOUNT for readers of my updates (that's you!): Save
$50 when you register and use this code: JSBELL50

I hope to see some of you there. I love what we do, spin stories.
Let's keep 'em coming.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Calling all historical fiction lovers . . .

One of my favorite authors, Sandra Byrd, is celebrating the launch of her third Ladies in Waiting novel, Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I, with a special giveaway. Check out the details at Books and Blooms Giveaway.

Other works by Sandra that I've read and loved include