Friday, May 15, 2009

Is perseverance a skill?


Is perseverance a survival skill when it comes to writing? Let's look at the definition: steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., esp. in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

It's normal to feel discouraged when you don't final in a contest. It’s okay to sulk for a few days and not write, but once you’re over the initial shock, get back at it. There are many pitfalls in the business of writing. I’ll give you a personal example. My manuscript that just finaled in the Duel on the Delta, was written in first person point of view (past tense.) Now that the bloom is off of chick-lit, which was also written in first person, some companies are not buying first person. An agent pitched my novel to Harlequin’s Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense line, which is their Christian suspense line. The editor wouldn’t look at it because it’s in first person. Guess what happened next? The same editor is the final judge in the Duel on the Delta contest. I made a mad scramble to turn that entry into third person before the deadline. The entry was only 25 pages. Now, I’m working hard to turn the rest of the book into third person just in case the editor requests a full. What if I had said, “That’s too much work.” There would be no chance of my getting that novel published. You can’t give up. Many famous authors received rejection letter after rejection letter, but they persevered and it paid off. Take a moment to think about why you write. Is it a stress-relieving hobby for you like it is for me? I enjoy writing as much as I do reading. It’s a creative outlet and also very therapeutic. I’ll continue on. It’s a lot cheaper than paying a therapist !

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Contest Entry Survival Skills: Part 1

I’ll be posting daily some tips on entering contests and also some survival skills needed to navigate the contest waters successfully.
So, check back often.

I remember the first contest I entered. It was last year’s American Christian Fiction Writer’s Genesis contest. I don’t remember my score, but I remember how crushed I was when I received the results. I vowed to never write again. When I got over that, I bought every book I could find on editing and writing from eBay and www.abebooks.com . Fast forward a year later, the same manuscript that didn’t score high in the Genesis just finaled in the Duel on the Delta. My word of advice…study, study, study the craft. There are a lot of good websites out there if you’re strapped for cash and can’t invest in books right now. I’m no expert, but I’m learning and growing. I look back at the original manuscript and what it’s become today and I’m amazed at the transformation. So, don’t give up. With each stroke of the keys, you’re becoming a better writer.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Stand in Groom by Kaye Dacus


Stand In Groom, Kaye Dacus' recent release, is an excellent book. I highly recommend it after you'd had a stressful day and want to get away. One thing that really stands out in my mind about the book is that Kaye's heroine is a beautiful, full-figured, size 18 woman. Kaye shows us that a size 18 woman is as beautiful as size 4 woman. The hero, who works out several times a week and is in good shape falls for this shapely woman. This book also speaks to us of what God can do to heal relationships and past hurts. I won't go into detail other than to say that the heroine was hurt badly years ago and has never been able to forgive and let it go. God works everything out in HIS timing. Kaye does an excellent job of showing how God comes through and answers prayers. Our hero and heroine face many obstacles, but healing and a happy end is found for all. This was one of those books that I could not put down. Kaye did an excellent job of portraying her characters so well that we come to know them as friends and can't wait to see what happens next. So, make a bee line for your Christian bookstore and pick it up. You won't be disappointed!