Craft vs. Story (in fiction)

Yesterday we had some discussion in the blog comments about craft, or writing technique, vs. having a great story. Obviously, the formula for a good book includes both. Craft refers to all the mechanics of fiction: plot, characterization, dialogue, pacing, flow, scene-crafting, dramatic structure, point-of-view, etc. Story refers to the page-turning factor: how compelling is…
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Q4U: Fiction and Ministry

Wow. What a nice, long weekend. BUSY but great! Hope you all had exactly the kind of Fourth you most enjoy. Me, I had a crazy day with the family, starting with the pancake breakfast down at the church, then the big holiday parade, then the street fair. Back in the afternoon for a brief…
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Independence Day: A Non-Writing Related Post

Today our country celebrates its independence. I was thinking about how independence for a country is a wonderful thing. But as individuals? Not so much. The Christian life is all about my dependence on God. Marriage is about interdependence with my husband. Parenting is about my children’s dependence on me, and allowing them to be…
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Q4U: Your Tips for Agents & Editors

Yesterday I gave you some tips for making a great pitch at a conference. But as blog reader Karen pointed out, we agents and editors could use some tips, too. So tell us… what would make you more comfortable pitching to us at a conference? What do you need to hear from us? And let’s…
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All About Timing

Today I want to share a couple of tidbits about timing in the publishing business. First, we’re now about ten days away from the ICRS convention, which is where many people involved in Christian publishing will be from around July 11 to 17. This may seem irrelevant if you’re not going to be there, but…
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Weekend Update and June Stats

Do you ever read the blogs of those New York literary agents? I do, and I love hearing about their exciting nights on the town in Manhattan and their cute co-op apartments and their urban child-free lives. But here in Colorado, more specifically, here where I live, you haven’t had an awesome weekend unless you’ve…
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Roughing It

Unbelievably, I am now spending an entire weekend in the wilderness, completely away from technology. No computer, no email. Where I am, my cell phone doesn’t even work. (Okay, there’s no running water either. Who needs a shower when you’ve got trees and, um… dirt?) Not sure how I will survive, but some folks tell…
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Q4U: Writing Advice

Before we get to today’s Q4U, I just want to say thanks once again to all of my faithful blog readers. You’re awesome! I spent the week trying to answer reader questions and as usual, YOU addressed them better than I ever could. That’s the great thing about this little community we’ve got here. I…
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Ask the Agent: Colorful Language

I’d like to discuss the taboo of cursing in Christian fiction. It seems that many writers and publishers are willing to include rape and murder, but shy away from the occasional well chosen curse word. Personally, I think it can be a great literary tool. I do understand that it is often overdone and that…
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Ask the Agent: Writing by Committee

I’ve seen lots of published novels that read like they were written by committee. This doesn’t surprise me, because those immature in the craft (or just with less gift/ability, whatever you want to call it), DO write their novels by committee. Over a very long period of time, they take so many good suggestions that…
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Ask the Agent: Having It Made

How about shedding some light on whether getting published and “having it made” are synonymous. It seems to be the feeling among writers that once you get a contract and have a book or two published, all you have to do is run up a decent proposal and your publisher will buy it. I hear…
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The Stories We Tell

Whenever I walk into Barnes & Noble and see all those thousands of books… Whenever I hear statistics like 400,000 books published last year… Whenever I look at the query section of my inbox (currently at 105 emails)… Whenever I attend a writer’s conference and meet with writers passionate to see their words in print……
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Are You a Fighter?

Everyone knows getting published is an uphill battle. With few exceptions, it’s a long, difficult and often frustrating road with the possibility of heartbreak at every turn. (I’m so optimistic today, aren’t I?) The fact is that many of us have a desire, a dream, a passion which we believe is fueled by God. We…
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Read, Read, Read

As a follow up to what I wrote last week about getting away from your computer and getting to a bookstore… today I want to simply say this: Read. Yes, it’s that simple: You gotta read books! You hear it all the time. As writers, we need to first be readers. I know most of…
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I love words.

I love books and publishing and talking incessantly about them.

I love authors and all the intricacies of managing a writing life.

I sell. I negotiate. I coach. I brainstorm.

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