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2018 MCWC FACULTY SPOTLIGHT

JULY 22ND TO THE 27TH

INTRODUCING DON CATLETT!

 

This year at MCWC, our SM guru Don Catlett will present a six-session series designed specifically for writers. He’ll also meet privately for 45-minute sessions ($20 each session) with anyone who’d like to sign up for help to start a blog or improve the social media venues with which you are already involved.

If you need help with social media, Don’s the fellow to help you:

Surviving and Thriving Online – Just for Authors Series

A six-workshop series presented in the afternoons

Websites, blogging and social media can be confusing for authors. However, no matter what kind of writer you are, it’s important to get your work and your name out there. What better time to learn how you can do things differently to market yourself and your book online! Each session in the Just for Authors series gives you specific action points to start using immediately.

DON’S CLASSES

12 Tips for Writers to Boost Your Facebook Engagement

When you’re ready to approach book marketing with a social media presence, the last thing you want to do is waste your time on platforms that your readers don’t use. Knowing that you need to be on Facebook is half the battle in your marketing. Join us as we learn how-to tips for using the most popular social media platform to engage with your readers.

10 Do’s & 10 Don’ts when using Twitter for Authors

Twitter is the go-to social media network for many writers. No other platform compares to this microblogging site where you can connect with authors of your genre and network with influential bloggers, reviewers, editors, cover designers and literary agents. Learn how to build a Twitter following in just 5 minutes a day.

5 Ways to Use Instagram as an Author

With 400 million users on Instagram, it’s important for authors to check out whether they want to make use of the image-rich site for their book promotions. Should you promote your author brand on Instagram? Join us as we go beyond your writer’s desk or book signings and learn to work with this great platform for authors.

7 Blogging Tips for Writers and Authors

Everyone is blogging these days, from unknown authors to literary legends—and you should be too. But since blogging has become ubiquitous as a book-promotion tool, it’s important to do things right! Learn the tips to make sure your blog has a positive impact on your writing career.

10 Secrets for Amazing Author Websites

Hey authors, are you losing your audience? Learn ten “secrets” for creating a successful website that connects visitors with you and your book. Learn how to develop an online presence that is both memorable and engaging.

9.5 Security Mistakes Authors Make Online

You and your book can be ambushed online. Learn these 9 1/2 common mistakes that will impact you and your audience, and how to fix them. As Ben Franklin said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

 WHO IS DON CATLETT?

Don Catlett: media expert & advisor to multiple startups, has spent more than 16 years working at the crossroads of web design, photography, marketing, & social media. Since launching Clearly See Media in 2008, he continues to hone his skills as a digital advertising specialist for companies including Amazon Publishing, Lamplighter Publishing, QVC, The Shopping Channel, The Learning Parent, Child Evangelism Fellowship, Home Educating Family Magazine, Christian Homeschool Magazine, and AHEAD National Conferences. He also provides marketing direction and advice for building a presence with social media.

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Online registration is now open! Please go to http://www.montrosebible.org for all the details and to register!

Marsha Hubler, Director

 

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2018 MCWC FACULTY HIGHLIGHT

JULY 22nd to the 27th 

INTRODUCING LISA CRAYTON!

 

Starting this week until the Montrose Christian Writers Conference (July 22nd to the 27th), a member of our fantastic faculty will be featured once a week. If you have any desire to write (in any genre), consider attending this conference. You’ll go home with tons of information and the inspiration to keep on writing until you get published. You might even connect with an agent or editor who’ll possibly be interested in your work!

LISA CRAYTON’S WORKSHOPS:

Tips & Tools for Effective Research

Research is a building block for effective fiction and nonfiction projects. Discover keys to effective research, including where to find relevant source material, and how to sidestep plagiarism and other thorny research-related minefields.

Right to Heal/Write to Heal

Inner healing is possible through Jesus Christ. Writing offers a pathway to healing while also providing a means to help others (children or adults) recover from brokenness. Offers tips, inspiration, writing prompts, and more for writers seeking to move beyond pain to purpose.

Successfully Selling to Mainstream (“Secular”) Markets

Mainstream markets seek articles, columns, essays, fillers, and books. Learn how to write for (and market) to local, regional, national, and international markets.

Writing for Women

Women are hungry for content that addresses their unique needs. Discover nonfiction and fiction needs, market opportunities, and more.

WHO IS LISA CRAYTON?

Lisa A. Crayton, a former corporate editor & writer for multi-million-dollar corporations, is a creative, versatile nonfiction writer with more than 30 years’ experience. She’s an author & award-winning freelance writer who writes for general and Christian markets.  She’s the author of I Want to Talk with My Teen About Money Management. Moreover, she has served as a contributing author for several nonfiction books & her work has appeared in regional, national, & international publications. Among other things, she has written articles, columns, essays, devotionals, fillers, Bible study guides, & book chapters.

CHILDREN’S BOOK AUTHOR.  Crayton is the author of 10 nonfiction children’s books, all traditionally published. Five releases in 2018:  Freedom Riders (library bound & Interactive e-book), Teens Talk About Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence, Everything You Need to Know About Racism, and Everything You Need to Know About Cultural Appropriation.  She’s also the co-author of a six-book series on financial literacy topics

LITERARY JUDGE. Crayton has served as a judge for the Christian Book Awards (fiction, nonfiction, & Kids NF categories), Christy Awards (Kids Lit), & other contests. 

MENTOR. For more than 10 years, she mentored new & intermediate writers enrolled in the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild.  

MEMBERSHIP. She’s a member of: Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, American Society of Journalists & Authors, Evangelical Press Association, American Christian Fiction Writers, & Advanced Writers & Speakers.

EDUCATION. Crayton earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from National University (2012). She earned a Bachelor of Arts, dual degree, cum laude, in Public Relations & Journalism from Utica College (1985). She also earned a Certificate in Digital Media from Regents University (2014).

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Please check all the details of the conference at http://bit.ly/2pdcYQC 

Hope to see you there!

 

Today’s Writers’ Tip

Plot Number 11: The Metamorphosis Fiction Plot

     

(Photos compliments of Wikipedia)

We’ve all enjoyed stories that have a powerful transformation take place with one of the characters. But writing a metamorphosis fiction plot takes quite a bit of pre-planning and character development. This subgenre is different from your “ordinary” transformation of the main character in an “ordinary” novel at the climax and resolution because…. Well, let’s look at the characteristics of writing an excellent unique story:

The Metamorphosis Plot

Wolfman

Dracula

Beauty and the Beast

  1. The metamorphosis usually results from a curse.
  2. The cure for the curse is often love.
  3. The forms of love include love of parent for a child, a woman for a man (or vice versa), people for each other, or man for the love of God.
  4. The metamorph is usually carried out by the antagonist (the “bad guy”) if the curse can be reversed by the antagonist performing certain acts, and the protagonist can’t hurry or explain the events.
  5. In the first dramatic phase, the metamorph usually can’t explain the reasons for his curse.
  6. The story should begin at the point prior to the resolution of the curse (release).
  7. The bad guy should act as the catalyst that propels the protagonist toward release.
  8. The antagonist often starts out as the intended victim but finishes as the “chosen one.”
  9. The second dramatic phase should concentrate on the nature of evolving relationships between the antagonist and the metamorph.
  10. The characters generally move toward each other emotionally.
  11. In the third dramatic phase, the terms of release should be fulfilled and your protagonist should be freed from the curse. The metamorph might either revert to his original state or die.
  12. The reader should discover the reasons for the curse and its root causes.

Have you got your metamorphic wheels turning? If you’ve wanted to try this subgenre, now you have the ammunition to do so. Have fun!

Next time we’ll look at fiction plot number 12: Transformation

 All information compliments of:

Tobias, Ronald B (2011-12-15). 20 Master Plots (p. 189). F+W Media, Inc. Kindle Edition.

(I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in writing good fiction in any subgenre!)

 

Happy writing!

Marsha

Amish Fiction for Ladies!

Visit the Amish and Mennonites of Snyder County, PA

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Today’s Writers’ Tips

Plot Number 9: The Underdog

Plot Number 10: Temptation

Because plot number 9 is so short, we’ll look at plot number 10 as well. If you got a good handle on plot number 8, RIVALRY, then you’ll have no problem with number 9. So, let’s get to it:

PLOT #9

THE UNDERDOG

Joan of Arc

Rocky

Cinderella

  1. The underdog plot is similar to the rivalry plot except that the protagonist is not matched equally against the antagonist. It looks like there’s no chance of the hero winning.
  2. The antagonist, which may be a person, place, or thing (such as a bureaucracy), has much greater power than the protagonist.
  3. The dramatic phases are similar to the rivalry plot becaue it follows the power curves of the characters.
  4. The good news! The underdog usually (but not always) overcomes his opposition.

 

PLOT # 10

TEMPTATION

Adam and Eve

Our Lady’s Child

  1. The temptation plot is a character plot. It examines the motives, needs, and impulses of human character.
  2. This plot should depend on morality and the effects of giving in to temptation. By the end of the story, the character should have moved from a lower moral plane (in which he gives in to temptation) to a higher moral plane as a result of learning the sometimes harsh lessons of giving in to temptation.
  3. The conflict should be interior and take place within the protagonist, although it has exterior results in the action. The conflict should result from the protagonist’s inner turmoil—a result of knowing what he should do, and then not doing it.
  4. The first dramatic phase should establish the nature of the protagonist then be followed by the antagonist (if there is one).
  5. Next, the nature of the temptation is introduced, which establishes its effect on the protagonist, and shows how the protagonist struggles over his decision.
  6. The protagonist then gives in to the temptation. There could be some short-term gratification.
  7. The protagonist often will rationalize his decision to yield to temptation.
  8. The protagonist might go through a period of denial after yielding to the temptation.
  9. The second dramatic phase should reflect the effects of yielding to the temptation. Short-term benefits diminish and the negative sides emerge.
  10. The protagonist should try to find a way to escape responsibility and punishment for his act. 11. The negative effects of the protagonist’s actions should reverberate with increasing intensity in the second dramatic phase.
  11. The third dramatic phase should resolve the protagonist’s internal conflicts. The story ends with atonement, reconciliation, and forgiveness.

Wow, there are some complicated details to writing a TEMPTATION plot, so get your notepad ready and incorporate these points in your manuscript. You’re on your way to creating a fascinating read

Next time, we’ll look at plot # 11: Metamorphosis

All information compliments of:

Tobias, Ronald B (2011-12-15). 20 Master Plots (p. 189). F+W Media, Inc. Kindle Edition.

(I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in writing good fiction in any subgenre!)

Happy writing!

Marsha

P.S.: WRITERS, DOWNLOAD THE REGISTRATION FORM FOR THE

MONTROSE CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE AT https://bit.ly/2HGlNYQ

 

BLUE RIBBON CHAMP

Skye must learn to control her sour feelings when a Down syndrome boy comes to Keystone Stables and is crazy over her.

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Today’s Writers’ Tips

Plot Number 8: The Rivalry Fiction Plot

Rivalry? Now that’s an interesting concept, especially when considering fiction plots. Rivalry…in other words COMPETITION between two characters.

I suppose the most classic example of this kind of plot would be found in the greatest book ever written: the Bible, with the conflict between God and Satan. So, let’s have a look at the characteristics that make a really good rivalry fiction story:

PLOT #8

RIVALRY

Two Royal Navy men boxing for charity. The modern sport was codified in England.

(Photo compliments of Wikipedia)

The Bible (God vs. Satan)

Paradise Lost

Moby Dick

Ben Hur

  1. The source of the conflict in the story should come as a result of an irresistible force meeting an immovable object.
  2. The nature of the rivalry should be the struggle for power between the protagonist and the antagonist.
  3. The adversaries can be equally matched.
  4. Although their strengths needn’t match exactly, one rival should have compensating strengths to match (or almost match) the other.
  5. The story should begin at the point of initial conflict, introducing the status quo before the conflict begins.
  6. Start the action, (the catalyst scene), by having the antagonist instigate against the will of the protagonist.
  7. The struggle between the rivals should be a struggle on the characters’ power curves. One is usually inversely proportional to the other: As the antagonist rises on the power curve, the protagonist falls.
  8. The antagonist should gain superiority over the protagonist in the first dramatic phase. The protagonist usually suffers the actions of the antagonist and so is usually at a disadvantage.
  9. The sides are usually clarified by the moral issues involved.
  10. The second dramatic phase reverses the protagonist’s descent on the power curve through a reversal of fortune.
  11. The antagonist is often aware of the protagonist’s empowerment.
  12. The protagonist often reaches a point of parity on the power curve before a challenge is possible.
  13. The third dramatic phase deals with the final confrontation between the rivals.
  14. At the resolution, the protagonist restores order for himself and his world.

Wow! If you ask me, this is a basket full of important characteristics you need to incorporate into your rivalry plot. But if you read some classics and see how the authors of those works handled this subgenre, I’m sure you’ll be able to crank out your own rivalry fiction plot that could become a best seller!

Next time, we’ll look at plot # 9: The Underdog

All information compliments of:

Tobias, Ronald B (2011-12-15). 20 Master Plots (p. 189). F+W Media, Inc. Kindle Edition.

(I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in writing good fiction in any subgenre!”)

Happy writing!

Marsha

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Visit the Amish of Snyder County

Louellen Finds True Love

(Volume 1 in The Loves of Snyder County Trilogy)

http://amzn.to/2nPcHzA

  

Amish wife Louellen Friesen questions her husband’s loyalty,

her Amish beliefs, and her own passions.

Today’s Writers’ Tips

THE RIDDLE or MYSTERY Fiction Plot

PLOT # 7

Continuing our study of fiction plots, we’ll look at plot number 7 today: riddle or mystery. If you’re a mystery writer, and a successful published one, I’m sure you have mastered the “tricks of the trade.” Writing a riddle or mystery has certain characteristics different from “regular” writing. So, let’s have a look at the important points needed in a good mystery:

THE RIDDLE OR MYSTERY

The Maltese Falcon

The Lady or the Tiger

The Man Who Knew Too Much

Murder, She Wrote

  1. The core of your riddle should be in clever writing: hide that which is in plain sight.
  2. The tension of your riddle should come from the conflict between what happens as opposed to what seems to have happened.
  3. The riddle challenges the reader to solve it before the protagonist does. (And readers love this.)
  4. The answer to your riddle should always be in plain view without being obvious. (And that’s a “trick.”)
  5. The first dramatic phase should consist of the generalities of the riddle (persons, places, events).
  6. The second dramatic phase should consist of the specifics of the riddle (how persons, places, and events relate to each other in detail).
  7. The third dramatic phase should consist of the riddle’s solution, explaining the motives of the antagonist(s), and the real sequence of events (as opposed to what seemed to have happened).
  8. Write to a specific audience, i.e. age, sex, etc.
  9. Choose between an open-ended and a close-ended structure. (Open-ended riddles have no clear answer; close-ended ones do.)

So, there you have it. If you’ve never tackled a mystery, maybe now you’ll be brave enough to try one. And the mystery to solve is CAN YOU DO IT?

Next time, we’ll look at plot # 8: RIVALRY

All information compliments of:

Tobias, Ronald B (2011-12-15). 20 Master Plots (p. 189). F+W Media, Inc. Kindle Edition.

(I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in writing good fiction in any subgenre!”)

Happy writing!

Marsha

http://amzn.to/2GVxhqZ

Dallis believes the phantom stallion really does exist, no matter how much her friends make fun of her.

But what happens when she and Snow have a face-to-face encounter?

 

TODAY’S WRITERS’ TIP

FICTION PLOT : REVENGE

Continuing our study of fiction plots, we’ll look at plot number 6 today: Revenge

Ha! Here’s your chance to get even with all those evil people in your life who did you wrong; of course, you’ll change the names to protect the guilty, but you should have a barrel of fun writing what you’ve always wanted to say—or do—to those wicked folks in your life. So let’s have a look at:

PLOT #6

REVENGE

Anger Angry Bad Burn Dangerous Emotion Evi

(Photo compliments of pixabay.com)

Hamlet

The Outlaw Josey Wales

The Sting

As you write your revenge plot:

  1. Your main character should seek retaliation against the antagonist for a real or imagined injury.
  2. Most (but not all) revenge plots focus more on the act of the revenge than on a meaningful examination of the character’s motives.
  3. Your hero’s justice is “wild” vigilante justice that usually goes outside the limits of the law.
  4. Work on manipulating the feelings of your reader by avenging the injustices of the world by a man or woman of action who is forced to act by events when the institutions that normally deal with these problems prove inadequate.
  5. Your hero should have moral justification for vengeance.
  6. Your hero’s vengeance may equal but might not exceed the offense perpetrated against the hero (the punishment must fit the crime).
  7. Your hero first should try to deal with the offense in traditional ways, such as relying on the police— an effort that usually fails.
  8. The first dramatic phase establishes the hero’s normal life, which the antagonist interferes with by committing a crime. Make your reader understand the full impact of the crime against the hero and what it costs both physically and emotionally. Your hero then gets no satisfaction by going through official channels and realizes he must pursue his own cause if he wants to avenge the crime.
  9. The second dramatic phase includes your hero making plans for revenge and then pursuing the antagonist. Your antagonist may elude the hero’s vengeance either by chance or design. This act usually pits the two opposing characters against each other.
  10. The last dramatic phase includes the confrontation between your hero and antagonist. Often the hero’s plans go awry, forcing him to improvise. Either the hero succeeds or fails in his attempts. In contemporary revenge plots, the hero usually doesn’t pay much of an emotional price for the revenge. This allows the action to become cathartic for the reader.

So there you have ten points that you need to develop as you write your revenge plot. Work on these details, perfect them, and you just might write yourself a best-selling novel!

I believe as you outline your fiction plots, you can better define which plot you’re developing and better understand how to incorporate many of these characteristics to improve your writing 100%.

All information compliments of:

Tobias, Ronald B (2011-12-15). 20 Master Plots (p. 189). F+W Media, Inc. Kindle Edition.

(I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in writing good fiction in any subgenre!”)

Next time, we’ll have a look at PLOT #7: The Riddle or Mystery

Happy writing!

Marsha

A wild but cozy mystery for tweens with a secret code the reader has to crack:

THE SECRET OF WOLF CANYON

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