The Moving Word

Writer, Preacher, Bookworm, Student of the Word

Archive for the category “Writer”

Find Uncommon Ways to Express Common Things

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A skilled writer finds uncommon ways to express common things. We must never allow average into our vocabulary. The difference between plopping down a few words and turning them until they are perfect is a chasm as wide as comparing a young boy pitching a toy football in his bedroom to the MVP quarterback tossing spirals in the Super Bowl.

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The Informed Writer

Links to various things that I think writers might find interesting. Since we are all different, we will not all agree. But, hey, what can you expect for free. 🙂

See my other Informed Writer posts for a bevy of links.

Why Reading is Good for your Brain

Nine images from Washington Irving books

An African-American young man asks what’s wrong with reading? The culture NEEDS to change

Literary Agent is Attacked by an Author who had his Manuscript Rejected

Ten Surefire ways to Succeed in Publishing

35 Fossil Words

The 2012 Man Booker Short List

Read more…

Writing Fiction is Easy and Very Difficult

Putting pen to paper and describing the scene in our head is easy. Stringing dialogue based on the way we speak is not challenging. However, forming everything together into a cohesive, compelling novel that publishers will consider publishing is quite a different matter, indeed.

Countless people aspire to write fiction and dream of accolades and glory. Friends and family read their offerings and praise their efforts. They start building houses in their head and plan the outfits they will wear to book signings.

Confident in their mastery, they send their masterpiece to someone knowledgeable about writing and hear that their manuscript is filled with mistakes and inconsistencies. They either become angry, crushed or ambivalent about the advice.

Why does this happen? Because writing fiction is easy and very difficult at the same time and the sooner we realize this, the better. Anyone can tell a story but doing so at the highest level takes an incredible amount of work.

Read more…

What is Literary Fiction?

My reading tastes have changed through the years. In elementary school I voraciously read biographies. The school library had these biographies with orange covers and I read every one they had.

As I grew older, I began reading horror. In high school, I would get my work done quickly and sit and read the remainder of the class period. I read countless novels in the genre through the years. In time, though, I moved on and stopped reading horror completely.

Then I moved to mysteries/thrillers and read hundreds of them until I became fairly well-versed in the genre. They read quickly and I enjoyed the puzzles.

When I finally decided I had wasted enough time dreaming about writing a novel, I began work on a manuscript. Accordingly, as the plot developed, my reading tastes changed again. I needed to broaden my horizons to fill in the gap.

I began reading more books by women and more romance so I could do a better job understanding female characters. As I began studying writing in earnest, the mystery stories I was reading began to look stale and drab.

I began to seek out better books with higher quality writing. That led me to literary fiction, a genre I had little knowledge of. When people asked me what genre I primarily read, it was hard to give them a firm answer. So I went in search of one.

Read more…

Write To Be Quoted

Writers should never use flowery language simply to impress the reader with their skill. The story or the article is the focus, not us. We stand behind the piece we are writing.

Overwriting is an unforgivable sin. It cheapens the story and distracts the reader, negating any work we have done. Accordingly, the story or message we have labored to create has no audience because of our ego.

Instead, write to be quoted. We utilize all of our skills to construct powerful sentences that stand out in the reader’s mind. We have our own Hemingway or Dickens moment.

The turn of a phrase blends into the story but towers majestically above it. It is the master brush stroke, for which we rejoice and the agony of all our labors wash away.

Imagine the scene when the reader stops reading and shares the sentence with a loved one. Pursue this priceless moment with a passion, knowing  we have created a sentence that is resilient and timeless. Such craftsmanship is how books become old and well-worn.

Always strive to grow as a writer, never settling for mediocrity. Practice, learn, dream and when it all comes to focus in a pristine piece of prose, we are ebullient about the thing of beauty our mind has crafted.

Be proud and try to do it again.

Reviewing “Outlining Your Novel”

K.M. Weiland’s book, “Outlining Your Novel” is a wonderful resource for writers. She proposes a program where most of the hard work is done before we begin our first word. We design the plot, characters and scenes through brainstorming, planning and hard work.

Like an architect, we build the house on paper, so we can easily construct it on the property. When we finish the planning stage, we will have a clear destination in mind.

Writers can become lost in the morass of their imagination and produce a disjointed first draft that requires massive revisions and heartache. Why not save the stress and pain relievers by outlining?

Weiland is cognizant of the need for fresh ideas and allows writers the option of deviating from their original plan. Our characters become living, breathing individuals with a measure of freewill. They have to go their own way, sometimes. Accordingly, she provides input on how to let our characters blaze new paths while retaining our own vision. Some characters do need a leash, after all.

“Outlining Your Novel” is a treasure for aspiring and experienced writers that will be retrieved again and again.

Review of “Choose!” by J. Randal Matheny

Books come in different forms and serve various purposes. Some books are read, then shelved so they can be retrieved during times of difficulty. Like poems and Psalms, they wrap us in a protective coat and inspire us to persevere. With wisdom and guidance, they offer us a gentle push and help change our perspectives on life.

J. Randal Matheny’s book, Choose! 13 Choices to Transform Your Heart and Soul is one such book. It is a short but powerful book of devotional thoughts designed to spur our thinking and help us develop a healthier outlook on our daily lives.

[Read my interview with Randal]

Matheny writes about personal responsibility, which is desperately needed in our age. Too many people think that our life’s trajectory cannot be changed and we are stuck with misery.

Matheny asks us to choose better climes. He writes, “You have options. Your choices can transform your life. You’re not at the mercy of impersonal forces. The key is the type of choice you make. This book will show you great possibilities within your reach by focusing on choices within your control.”

Choose! is concise and filled with fabulous quotes and well-chosen passages from Scripture to educate us in the choices we should make. We choose how we handle this life and Matheny wants to play a part in helping us make wise decisions. His layered approach is useful with commentary, quotes, Scripture and practical applications.

Make a wise decision and purchase Choose! today.

 

 

Interview with Novelist Douglas Kashorek

In Churches of Christ, I had never heard of a man who had a novel published. I am working on one, and didn’t expect I was the only one. I was happy to be led to Douglas Kashorek, who has his first novel coming out soon.

I contacted him and I am honored to have the opportunity to interview him. For a biography and to purchase his book, I direct you to his website. Thanks, Douglas for your cooperation!

1. How did you get started as a writer?

Even as a child, I would write little stories.  It wasn’t until I was an exchange student in Japan at seventeen that I began to write seriously.  After graduation from high school, I got a B.A. in English/Education 7-12 and was exposed to great works and teachers who helped shape my writing.  I especially grew in my Biblical literature class.

2. What is your mission as a writer?

Glorifying God through showing how He can work in people’s lives if only they would choose Him has been my Colossians 3:17 mission.  Kin of Cain, which is book one of The Chronicles of Nod, East of Eden, has an anti-heroine everywoman who struggles against a life seemingly laid out for her and chooses sin and death though she could have chosen life all along.

3. How important is writing to you?

Writing is life; it reaches into the deepest places of who we are and reveals that which God only knows.  Through writing we even can surprise ourselves.

4. Did you have storytellers when you were growing up that influenced you?

In an airport bookstore when I was thirteen and not yet a Christian, I picked up a copy of Terry Brooks’ Sword of Shannara and was hooked on fantasy from then on.  Stephen R. Lawhead’s Pendragon Cycle introduced me to the power of historical fiction.  And, John Gardener’s Grendel fascinated me with the perspective of Beowulf’s monster.

Read more…

Writer’s Thoughts 9/9/10

Tips, Links, Quotes to Spur the Writer Into Action

“Planning to write is not writing. Outlining, researching, talking to people about what you’re doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing” [E.L. Doctorow].

“Please don’t start your submissions letter by telling me how much I’ll love your book. Let your book do the selling” [Laura Anne Gilman].

How to Structure Your Short Story

Write Short, Sharp Blog Posts

Is  Writer’s Block a Myth?

Is Show Don’t Tell a Myth?

Thoughts on Story Titles

Are We an Author or a Writer?

Ten Commandments of Fiction Writing

Five Tips to Polish Your Fiction

How to Write Intriguing Male and Female Characters

The Nighttime Novelist

“If you read good books, when you write, good books will come out of you” {Natalie Goldberg].

“While thought exists, words are alive and literature becomes an escape, not from, but into living” [Cyril Connolly].

If we will think. expand our reading and vocabulary, we can always arrive at fresh ways to say things.

10 Free Writing courses

Unlock Your Writing Through Visualization

How to be a Successful Writer

“…your reader is at least as bright as you are.”  [William Maxwell].

Writer’s Thoughts 8/25/10

Quotes, tips and meditations from the Writer’s Desk

Ten Ways to Write Skinny Sentences

How to handle pronouns in our fiction

The proper way to handle self-promotion

How much does a writer make?

“You have to protect your writing time. You have to protect it to the death” [William Goldman].

Kindle Sales Hit Record High

Ten Habits of Successful Authors

Becoming a Successful Freelancer

Five Tips to Effective Writing

Writing Smoother Sentences

Promote your Blog or Book Through Your Email Signature

Become a Disciplined Blogger

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