A Source for Ideas

Unlike many writers I didn’t grow up wanting to write. However, when I started helping a friend develop her writing skills, I discovered that this was the path God had planned for me. But I had one request from Him. If He wanted me to write, then He had to give me the ideas and topics to write about. He has never failed me to give me what I need.

So if you are looking for a good and reliable source for ideas, why not pray and ask God to direct? He is an excellent resource to call upon.

“Commit your works to the LORD, And your thoughts will be established.”

Proverbs 16:3

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Making Progress

In my previous post I wrote about my goal of finishing up my middle grade mystery in a month. So far…I’m doing okay. I really would have liked to have finished another chapter and a half, but considering I needed to make two trips to the library for some research materials (along with dealing with my normal day-to-day mom/wife duties), I think I’m making progress.

In fact, I enjoy writing up a few pages, and then, as I go off to do other things, I can mull over what I just wrote and come up with some good action scenes or some creative snatches of dialogue that will carry the chapter along.

I’m in the midst of Chapter 9. My goal this week is to get to Chapter 12 by the weekend. Of course, the self-editor in me keeps wanting to stop and make changes, but I think if I want to keep my deadline, I will just need to keep on writing and edit later. The flow must go on!

Until next time!

Taking a Break

After a busy schedule of deadlines and research, I decided to take a break and do something fun. What does a writer consider fun? Well, for me it’s writing from the heart. I’m setting a goal for the next four weeks to finish the middle grade mystery story I’ve been working on.

Currently I’m in the middle of Chapter 7, so I only have 12 1/2 chapters to go. That may sound like a lot, but I figure if I take two days to write one chapter, I’ll be ahead of the game. This is a realistic goal. If I can write more than that, fine; but I will not push myself beyond what my imagination will let me.

I really enjoy children’s mysteries. In fact my trips to yard sales, thrift stores, and library book sales always have me looking for old mystery stories written for kids. I like seeing how the authors created their plots and presented their clues, and I check to see if the ending was satisfying. There is so much I can learn by reading the work of others. Plus, it helps me recall a time where I would lose myself in a story. I want to be able to deliver that to a child.

I’ll let you know how I’m progressing. I’m really looking forward to this break!

Conferences

I attended the SCBWI Orange County/Inland Empire Editor’s Day this past Saturday. We had some wonderful speakers who gave very informative and inspiring talks. I particularly liked the presentation by Screenwriter Michael Mahin, who compared plot outlines used in movies to those used in books.

This is the second conference I’ve attended since I began to write. Do you have to go to them to get published? No. My picture book manuscript was accepted by Pelican Publishing before I had attended a conference. However, conferences are a wonderful way to learn more about your craft, meet other local writers, and find out the needs of a particular editor.

There are a variety of conferences throughout the year in many regions across the United States. Some are well worth the money; others could be a waste of time. Try to get some feedback on the conference from past attendees so you can see what they have to offer before you put down your hard earned cash. Make sure they will cover areas you are interested in.

I do want to go to the big regional SCBWI conferences held annually, but at this time they are beyond my budget. So I’m content finding a few good ones where I can get some great information and make some valuable contacts for a minimal cost.