Save Thyme with Writers’ Conferences

So many potential mistakes that costs time… . These first three articles discuss the importance of attending writers’ conferences and how to best utilize them and save time. This third article reveals two other very common mistakes to avoid in order to save even more time. Of course, I made these mistakes as well… .

writing, publishing, story, fiction, novel, mistakes, writing mistakes, Thyme for Writers, journey, Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado, agents, editors, craft, skills, writers conference, tools, titles, story, how-to books, heroine, hero, Jeff Gerke, Jayne Ann Krentz, Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Save Thyme with Writers’ Conferences
Karen with Susan Elizabeth Phillips and          Jayne Ann Krentz
Learning the Craft of Fiction Writing
writing, publishing, story, fiction, novel, mistakes, writing mistakes, Thyme for Writers, journey, Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado, agents, editors, craft, skills, writers conference, tools, titles, story, how-to books, heroine, hero, Jeff Gerke
Save Thyme with Writers’ Conferences

I studied and worked hard at learning my new craft of fiction writing. How-to books filled my shelves, and yes, I not only read them, but I studied them. There were books on

  • character development,
  • plots,
  • showing not telling,

to name just a few, along with workbooks where you can practice — and practice I did. Finally, I finished the first draft and applied for one of the few select spots in a fiction clinic with a great publisher and editor, Jeff Gerke.

The Fiction Clinic
writing, publishing, story, fiction, novel, mistakes, writing mistakes, Thyme for Writers, journey, Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado, agents, editors, craft, skills, writers conference, tools, titles, story, how-to books, heroine, hero
The Journalist

This book was my baby. I spent countless hours creating a strong heroine in a field that fascinated me – journalism. That’s right, I was fascinated with journalists who covered exciting, dangerous events so I made my heroine a journalist.

Jeff asked me a simple question that changed the course of my book, Hidden Bloodlines, (and my series — The J.C. Classified Series). “Why isn’t your heroine a lawyer?” He sagely pointed out that it’s better to write what you know. As a lawyer myself, I’ve lived the life, and if my character lived what I know, she would feel “real” to the reader and have a greater impact. You want your readers to fall in love with your characters.

writing, publishing, story, fiction, novel, mistakes, writing mistakes, Thyme for Writers, journey, Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado, agents, editors, craft, skills, writers conference, tools, titles, story, how-to books, heroine, hero, Jeff Gerke
Scales of Justice

Jeff then asked me to tell him the entire story in a nutshell. Most writers like to tell their story and I held nothing back. My story was too complicated — there were actually two books within one and they needed to be separated. I was back to the drawing board with a heroine who was now a lawyer and a plot that needed to be simplified.

The Plotter vs. Pantser

If I were a “plotter,” a writer who creates detailed outlines prior to starting, at least the overly complicated story may have been identified prior to writing the entire manuscript. However, I am a “seat of the pants” writer where this risk is higher. I’ve attended conferences where the recommendation is to blend the two. That may work with some, but not all, and certainly not me. That’s part of the excitement for me to write — the developing story and the twists and turns of events.

How about you? Are you a “plotter,” “pantser,” or a blend of both?

Why Storyboards Are Great Tools for Picture Book Writers with C.A. Henderson

children’s books, authors, writers, writers groups, tools
Christine Henderson
Why Storyboards Are Great Tools for Picture Book Writers

I’d like to welcome Christine Henderson to Thyme for Writers. Christine enjoys writing about family life. Her writings have been featured in numerous anthologies including Chicken Soup for the Soul and Heaven Touching Earth as well as The Secret Place Devotional guide.

Why Storyboards Are Great Tools for Picture Book Writers

by Christine A. Henderson

children’s books, authors, writers, writers groups, tools, storyboards, Thyme for Writers, Christine Henderson
Why Storyboards Are Great Tools for Picture Book Writers

I brought a new picture book story to my children’s writers’ group meeting and asked for their assistance in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the story. They all liked the unique plot and the characters but they thought the story was too long. For those of you who write novels, it’s probably hard to imagine that 900 words is too long to tell a story. However, these days 800 words tends to be the max length that publishers want to see.

Being inquisitive and stubborn, I really didn’t think I needed to shorten my story. Surely, new books had at least that many words or more. To test my theory, I went to my local Barnes & Nobles and picked up an assortment of new books that I thought fit my story idea concepts. Sad to say, that word count rang true. Most pages had an average of two to five lines of text with an upper end of nine words per line. The books were 24 or 32 pages with at least two of those pages either being blank or showing the publishing details and acknowledgements.

So it was back to the drawing board – literally. I had imagined a storyboard in my head with the images previously, but now I wanted to put it on paper. Not being a great artist, I drew my stick figures with a bracketed scene description below each drawing. Now I started adding the text. Once I did that, I could see what words weren’t needed because the picture showed that part of the story. It was easy to chop 100 or more words. The story hasn’t lost its plotline, but now it flows better with the images.

Another reason to do a storyboard for a picture book is to see if you have a short story, rather than a picture book. If your storyline takes place in just one or two scenes, it may not be a picture book because there aren’t enough options for illustrations. If that is the case, perhaps you could incorporate that story in a book of stories or submit it to one of the many children’s magazines who accept short stories.

You may contact Christine at:

www.ChristineLHenderson.com

Single Mom Survival with Linda R. McCutcheon

I would like to welcome Linda R. McCutcheon as my guest today on Thyme for Writers. Her path to writing came about as she faced a new challenge in life — that of of single mother. Here is her story… . 

SINGLE MOM SURVIVAL

by Linda R. McCutcheon

Suddenly, I became a single mom with two young children. I was faced with going back into the workforce, healing my broken heart, and learning who ‘Linda’ really was. Many times, I was working two jobs, taking night school courses, and keeping the home together. Exhausted? You bet! Overwhelmed? You bet! Empowered? Absolutely. I didn’t think I would be single for twelve years and I had many discussions with God about that, but He knew best. Who would have thought I could take the battery out of the lawnmower, use a saw, or balance my little paycheck? I learned much from taking night school courses, but the most I learned was from the School of Hard Knocks knowing I could trust God to protect my little family. Keeping endless schedules, working full-time, and spending weekends alone were challenging. God kept saying ‘just hold on’. Because of that, the girls and I became a team. We still smile and talk about our family traditions. God did bring a wonderful man into my life because I trusted in Him to ‘hold on’. It was so surreal when my daughter and I were dating at the same time. Many days weren’t easy but hard work paid off.

Writer, Pen, Paper, journey, writer's journey, tips, write, author
Writer’s Tools

As a single mom, I began to put my thoughts on paper and little-by-little doors opened for me to publish articles for on-line magazines. I always have a piece of paper and pen handy because you never know when an inspiring thought might come! There was nothing more satisfying then to know I was encouraging and helping others as I told my story. I certainly didn’t know I had a gift for writing or how much I loved to express my heart through the written word. It was an amazing time for me to continue to heal and understand this new Linda. Because of my life experience, I help mentor women on-line, have a blog for single moms, and published a book to inspire those who are on the same journey. My greatest joy is knowing that God is using me to reach others all over the world reassuring single parents that YOU CAN DO THIS! and claim Isaiah 43:18-19.

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SINGLE MOM SURVIVAL SUCCESS: Tools and Tips For The Journey

I have walked in the shoes of single parents whose path is tough, challenging, and many times downright frightening. These pages are written to encourage single moms (and dad’s) in their journey. For me it was the most challenging but most blessed as I choose not to be defeated. I share issues such as loneliness, grieving, contentment, making memories with the kids, forgiveness, and re-entering the dating scene. There are questions my daughters asked which will hopefully help in discussions with your children. You will find questionnaires to inspire and help as you move one step in front of the other. Hopefully this backpack of helpful tips can help you believe that YOU CAN DO THIS; not only survive but succeed!

Buy Links (e-book will be out in October)

1.Essence Publishing
http://essencebookstore.com/index.php?main_page=advanced_search_result&search_in_description=0&keyword=single+mom
2. Amazon.com/ca
https://www.amazon.com/Single-Mom-Survival-Success-Journey/dp/1460007956/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1504818239&sr=1-1&keywords=Single+Mom+Survival+Success

Social Media Links

Bi-monthly Blog: www.singlemomsurvivalsuccess.com
Facebook: Linda R McCutcheon https://www.facebook.com/lindar.mccutcheon.1