I had the pleasure of attending the Lancaster Christian Writers Conference last week (Yes, that is where I did the pitch I was freaking out about…I’ll tell you about it later), and it was just so excellent! I had to share a few of the highlights with you:
Keynote 1 by Bob Hostetler – The Gifted Writer
This keynote used Moses as an example.
- Lose Your Shoes: Your shoes are manmade, your feet are Godmade. Get rid of anything that is standing between you and God using you. Fear, bitterness, resentment, shame…define your shoes and remove them.
- Choose Your Hard: No matter what you choose, it will be hard. So choose your hard. Facing Pharoah is hard, but so is living in fear of him. So choose your hard.
- Use What’s In Your Hand: If God placed the passion or call to write in you, then there is something in your hand, and He will use it. Identify what is in your hand–what He has given you–and use it. What promised land might you miss if you don’t pursue God’s call?
Bob Hostetler – Hooks that won’t let go!
He gave us 20 – yes, 20 – potential approaches to take with hooks! Some encouraged me and some made me feel inadequate…but here are the top five I took away!
- Surprise Me
- Introduce Tension
- Incite Imagination
- Begin in the middle
- Strike a mood
Gregg Bridgeman – Men are More than Black & White Part 1 (Authentic Dialogue)
This workshop focused on dialogue and the differences between men and women in their dialogue. It was truly inspirational! I’ve often been afraid my male characters sound rather more like women and unsure how to fix it since I am, in fact, a woman, and it contained straight forward, applicable pointers for fixing the dialogue to ensure it is distinct. Now, keep in mind, this is a generalization to help with writing – he was by no means saying every single man and every single woman are like this. Simply that many are and by incorporating that into writing, it will be more obvious who is speaking. Here a few of the many points:
- In general, men use active voice with ownership. Women use passive voice without ownership. E.g., “I blew a tire when I ran over something sharp” vs “There must have been something sharp in the road because the tire is flat.”
- Exception to the above: Men tend to speak more passively about relationships, while women tend to speak more actively about relationships. E.g., “I was thinking about my sister” vs “I called my sister”
- Men portray facts logically when telling a story, while women portray them chronologically. I.e., men will say whatever they think is important first, while women tell events in order no matter the importance. E.g. “I blew a tire when I ran over something sharp coming down that hill” vs “I was coming down the hill and must have run over something sharp because now the tire is flat.”
And then…my pitch.
Sigh. It has been awhile since I did public speaking, and it showed. For someone who used to do presentations for hundreds of people, I sure stuttered a lot! Granted, this is a lot more personal than presenting data, but still. However, I don’t think it went terribly, because the publishing company seemed interested in Drawn Into Love, especially when I noted I had a couple additional books drafted that could form a series, and I promised to send them over some potential series titles. So most of last night was spent figuring out titles for the books I’ve already written (or mostly written), a potential series title, as well as coming up with a concept for a novella that is related (per his suggestion). So, after sleeping on the email (sleeping is a relative term, considering I got insomnia and woke up at 3:30 AM), I sent it over, I guess we’ll see what happens!
My biggest prayer right now is that God’s will be done. I don’t know if I am ready to go to an Indie company vs my dream of an agent signing with a large company – but at the same time, I truly want this book (and all my books) to ultimately just glorify God and bring readers closer to Him, and I believe He alone knows best how to accomplish that. So, I am praying He will guide me in any decisions that may have to be made.