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Creative Nonfiction

Creative nonfiction? How can you be creative writing “the truth”?

This blog post is loaded with some valuable nonfiction tips for you who like writing in that genre. Thanks to author Patti Souder, who has shared this information at writers’ conferences, we have some tips that will spruce up your writing and make it publishing ready.

Patti has been writing articles, drama sketches, and nonfiction books for over 20 years. She also has taught creativePatti.+Anniv.Power.Point.2014 writing on the college level, so her suggestions are well worth noting.

In a proverbial nutshell, I’ve listed the highlights of one of her workshops entitled “Creative Nonfiction: An Oxymoron?” So if you’re a nonfiction writer, take note of the excellent advice this experienced published author suggests.

Literary Elements Used to Create CREATIVE NONFICTION

Borrow from fiction techniques:

  1. Develop characters.
  2. Use dialogue.
  3. Include details.
  4. Adopt an effective point-of-view: Use inner thoughts.
  5. Limit your tag lines.

Incorporate poetic elements to increase your artistry:

  1. Use imagery to create sensory impressions.
  2. Borrow from nature: Example – a moth beating its wings against a window can picture the frustration of helpless people when oppressed by authority.
  3. Use metaphors
  4. Vary your rhythm, style, and length of sentences.

Important Elements to Remember

Creative nonfiction is NONFICTION:

  1. Be factual.
  2. Anchor your manuscript in real experience.
  3. Do your research.

Creative nonfiction requires PERSONAL PRESENCE:

  1. Go beyond mere facts.
  2. Add your voice.
  3. Share personal perspectives and reflections.
  4. But remember that your writing MUST be grounded in actual experiences.

Don’t avoid the challenges you might face from folks who question your writing:

  1. If you’ve written the truth, let the challenges come.
  2. Be ready to back your manuscript with research findings, testimonies, and recorded facts.

So, there you have some excellent tips on writing “creative nonfiction.” Whether drama, personal interest articles, drama sketches, or biographies, you can make your writing come alive with a fiction spark if you incorporate some fiction techniques in your work! Just remember, your nonfiction can get “weighed down” if you use boring techniques. Spruce it up with some hints from Patti, an experienced published author!

Marsha

Director of the Montrose Christian Writers Conference

B.J. Taylor .PhotoP.S. If you’re interested in memoirs or writing for Guideposts, don’t miss next July’s Montrose Christian Writers Conference. B.J. Taylor, representing Inspiring Voices and Guideposts, will present a Major Morning series on those topics.

 

 

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SNOW

Dallis Parker dreams of owning Snow, a wild Mustang stallion from the Poconos, but most people think the horse doesn’t even exist. Then Dallis goes on a snow camp trip with a teen youth group, and her chance of finding out the truth falls right into her lap.

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DO YOU KNOW YOUR WRITING/IMG_9699PUBLISHING TERMS?

This past Montrose Christian Writers Conference in July, we had a lot of fun on Wednesday evening playing a Jeopardy-type quiz game with faculty and conferees called the Odd Ducks’ Dilemma. One of the categories on the quiz board was entitled WRITING/PUBLISHING TERMS, which the contestants who were seasoned writers had no problem answering. But the newbies to this business got stumped several times.

In this blog post, we have the list of the writing/publishing terms included in the conference quiz game. For you who are more experienced, this little quiz will be old hat for you. It’s a 20-question matching quiz to sharpen the writing/publishing part of your brain. So, take a few minutes, grab a pen and paper, and let’s go:

  1. _______GENRE   A. $ EARNED AFTER BOOK IS OUT

 

  1. _______MANUSCRIPT SUB. B. YOUR NAME PRINTED W/ARTICLE

 

  1. _______ QUERY LETTER C.  SUMMARY OF BOOK ON COVER

 

  1. _______ COVER LETTER D.  UNDERLYING MESSAGE

 

  1. _______ PROPOSAL E.  CLEVER BEGINNING OF STORY

 

  1. _______ CRITIQUE/EDIT F.  CATEGORY

 

  1. _______ REJECTION  G.  “PLEASE LOOK AT MY WORK”

 

  1. _______ CONTRACT H.  ALL ABOUT YOU & YOUR WORK

 

  1. _______ MARKETING/PROMO I.  “DOES NOT MEET OUR NEEDS”

 

10._______ PITCH   J.  SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT YOU

 

11._______ HOOK     K. SENDING IT TO THE PUB. CO.

 

12._______ STORY LINE   L. “ENCLOSED PLEASE FIND …”

 

13._______ THEME    M.  $ FOR NOT BEING PUBLISHED

 

14._______ PLOT      N. EARNED BEFORE BOOK IS OUT

 

15._______ BLURB     O. ESSENTIAL REVIEW OF WORK

 

16._______ CREDITS   P. OF THIS A WRITER DREAMS

 

17._______ BYLINE   Q. LIST OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS

 

18._______ ADVANCE   R. ACTION IN YOUR STORY

 

19._______ROYALTY  S. WHAT YOUR STORY IS ABOUT

 

20._______KILL FEE T. THE EDITOR’S INTEREST PEAKS

 

Well, how do you think you did?  Here are the answers:

  1. F
  2.  K
  3.  G
  4.  L
  5.  H
  6. O
  7.  I
  8.  P
  9.  J
  10.  T
  11. E
  12. S
  13. D
  14. R
  15. C
  16. Q
  17. B
  18. N
  19. A
  20. M

If you missed this year’s Montrose Christian Writers Conference, you missed a real treat. Next year’s conference is scheduled for July 16th-21st, and we’ve already gotten verbal commitments from some of the faculty: film actor and best-selling author Torry Martin, fiction expert Barbara Scott representing Gilead Press, award-winning B.J. Taylor representing Guideposts and Inspiring Voices, Gloria Penwell representing Bold Vision Books,  Carol Wedeven doing a picture book WIP, Cathy Mayfield doing a WIP Teen Track, fiction author Mike Dellosso, and Don Catlett will be back with updates about blogging and social media and private mentoring sessions.

Watch for more updates as I connect with more best-selling authors, agents, and editors to make next year’s MCWC a double dynamite conference!

Keep on writing!

Marsha, Director

 

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Book2.On.Victory.Trail.Cover

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT!

INTRODUCING RAISING A YOUNG MODERN-DAY PRINCESS

By Authors Doreen Hanna and Karen Whiting

Book.Cover.Hanna.Whiting.Raising a Young MDP

 

How Did Raising a Modern-Day Princess Come to Fruition?

Author Doreen Hanna was married to Chad for 43 years. Chad’s heavenward journey in 2014 was a celebration of his life, Hanna.Doreen. pic (280x243)leaving a legacy through their two girls: Brandy, married to Roberto Corea for more than 20 years and the mother of Doreen’s four grandchildren. Kamy, is Doreen’s youngest, who is presently single and is a tremendous help to Doreen in this season of her life and ministry.  It seemed only natural that both girls assist in the creation of the Biblically-based “rite of passage” for teen girls curriculum first implemented in 2000, which led to the co-authored book, Raising a Modern-Day Princess with Pam Farrel, published by Focus on the Family in 2010.

Doreen’s recognition for a Biblically-based “rite of passage” led to researching the purpose of a rite of passage because those words are not commonly used in our society today. Yet, they are lived out in our daily lives. A birthday, an anniversary, and graduations are all rites of passage.  They represent transition, worthy of acknowledgement and celebration.  Doreen shares within the pages of Raising a Young Modern-Day Princess true stories of the challenges she faced in raising her daughters in her attempt to encourage the Fruit of the Spirit in their lives and the value of celebrating this rite of passage.

Author Karen Whiting’s formative years included the joy of creative activities with her grandmother. Karen’s marriage led to four children of her own. She used her creative gifting to educate and entertain them over the years.  Karen’s gifts are once again utilized through Raising a Young Modern-Day Princess as each chapter ends with creative activities thatKaren Whiting (princess tiara) reinforce that chapter’s Fruit of the Spirit. In addition, she shares several personal stories that attempted to implement a certain Fruit into the lives of her daughters and the challenges or successes she encountered along the way.

Other contributing authors also share their stories that will bring our reading audience to laughter and sometimes to tears.

Within our homes, and possibly churches too, celebrations of spiritual rites of passage are often overlooked.   How many of us remember the moment we accepted Christ, but we can’t document the time, day, or maybe even the year?  Or the date, time, or place and how we felt after being baptized?  Today we are beginning to celebrate our spiritual steps in our Christian walk that can make a lasting impact in our children’s lives and a significant documented memory.  Like the rocks the children of Israel set in places on their journey to the Promised Land to remember how God met them at those places, our “spiritual steps” are reminders of how God has met us in special places and ways.

Doreen and Karen hope that RYMDP will be heartwarming, insightful, and enjoyable as you implement some of the fun activities that will nurture the Fruit of the Spirit to grow in your daughters’ or possibly granddaughters’ lives, and you will have the joy of seeing it blossom and bear fruit for you and others to enjoy.

A Little More About the Authors:

Doreen Hanna is the Founder & President of Treasured Celebrations. She founded Treasured Celebrations to empower girls of all ages to discover their purpose, value, and strength in today’s society.   She has been accomplishing her goal for more than a decade by training leaders with her same passion.  She has authored the Modern Day Princess books and curriculum published by one of the most highly recognized publishers in the industry, Focus on the Family/ Tyndale.   Her resources have been implemented in every state in our nation and in 22 countries across the world.  She often speaks to women’s groups and parents, and she trains leaders internationally.

Karen Whiting, a freelance writer and author of 22 books, loves to let creativity splash onto the page as she writes. Whether offering creative solutions for busy women or designing crafts for tweens, her books reflect how imagination and writing intersect.  Karen’s books include the popular tween series “God’s Girls” and “God Encounters” Ages 10-12 (small group prayer encounters). Her more than 400 articles and devotions have been published in over four dozen magazines including Brio magazine, Focus on the Family, Today’s Christian Women, Reminisce, and Devo-Zine. Karen also directed an award-winning tween and teen puppet ministry for more than a dozen years and hosted a TV series, “Puppets on Parade,” at WLRN for Miami educational television. Karen is a speaker for women’s groups, retreats, schools, and mother-daughter events.

Thank you, Doreen and Karen, for sharing the exciting news about your new release!

Marsha

www.montrosebible.org

www.horsefactsbymarshahubler.wordpress.com

www.marshahubler.com

P.S. Authors, if you’d like to be featured on my blog, please let me know at marshahubler@wildblue.net

 

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A HORSE TO LOVE

 Keystone Stables Book 1

Foster kid Skye Nicholson hates everyone and everything until she meets Champ,

a gorgeous show horse. Ride with them in their exciting adventures in the Keystone Stables Series, 

eight-books for tweens.

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JUST SAYIN’ (A WRITERS’ LUNCHEON & A CONFERENCE)

VLUU P1200  / Samsung P1200

For you who have attended any Susquehanna Valley Writers Luncheons in Mifflinburg, PA, and/or any Montrose Christian Writers Conferences, Montrose, PA, may I assume you are looking forward to them again?

I have some details about both events, so either mark your calendar or watch for more specifics as time moves on:

THE SUSQUEHANNA VALLEY WRITERS GROUP LUNCHEON

www.susquehannavalleywritersworkshop.wordpress.com/

Kathie.Mitchell.2016Now organized by Kathie Mitchell and Bonnie Swinehart, the luncheon here in the Susquehanna Valley has been moved toBonnie.Swinehart.2016 March of 2017. The exact date has not yet been set; however, the luncheon will be held at the Carriage Corner Restaurant in Mifflinburg, PA, where it’s been held the last few years.

 

THE 2017 MONTROSE CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE

                    (Check out the details of this past conference if you were unable to attend:

http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx

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Get ready for another week next July of heart-warming praise and worship times and challenges every morning and over 40 workshops and WIPs.

Faculty verbally committed at this time:

TORRY MARTIN

JEANETTE LEVELLIE

CAROL WEDEVEN

DON CATLETT

CATHY MAYFIELD

(We’ll have about 16 award-winning authors, editors, and agents on next year’s faculty!)

Classes tentatively planned:

MAJOR MORNINGS – fiction, collaborative writing, promotion, promotion, nonfiction

WORKS-IN-PROGRESS – TEEN TRACK, fiction, picture books, poetry

OTHER CLASSES – marketing, working with an agent, using the right words, self publishing, social media, blogging, public speaking, gift books, magazine articles, character development, the story arc, public speaking

 

If you have any requests for topics to be presented, please let me know, and we’ll try our best to include those in next year’s conference.

Keep on writing and watch for updates!

Marsha

http://www.marshahubler.com

http://www.horsefactsbymarshahubler.wordpress.com

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WHOLESOME, SAFE BOOKS FOR TWEENS

SNOW, PHANTOM STALLION OF THE POCONOS

 SNOW

Dallis Parker copes with bullying at school by dreaming about owning Snow, a wild Mustang, who most folks believe doesn’t even exist. Then she actually touches the horse, and her life is changed forever.

http://www.amazon.com/Snow-Phantom-Stallion-Marsha-Hubler-ebook/dp/B013GUF078/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449523382&sr=1-1&keywords=Snow%2C+Phantom+Stallion+of+the+Poconos

What is Haiku Poetry?

Smiley.Face.Smilingpen and quill

If you’re a poet at heart, then you’ve probably tried all different kinds of poetic forms including the fun subgenre and smallest literary form: Japanese Haiku. If you aren’t familiar with Haiku, enjoy learning about this interesting form and try your hand at it.

Without getting extremely technical, traditional haiku can be defined as of poem with 17 syllables in three lines or phrases of 5, 7 and 5 respectively. Although haiku poems are often defined as having only 17 syllables, the term “syllables” does not always mean the same thing; therefore, some Haiku forms have more or less than 17 syllables. (To learn more about more complicated forms of haiku, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haiku#Syllables_or_.22on.22_in_haiku ) But for the sake of convenience and introduction, we’ll consider the three-line/17-syllable Haiku poem.

The best-known Japanese haiku was written by Matsuo Bashō (1644 –1694), the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan. During his lifetime, Bashō was recognized for his works in the collaborative haikai no renga form; today, after centuries of commentary, he is recognized as a master of brief and clear haiku. His poetry is internationally renowned, and within Japan many of his poems are reproduced on monuments and traditional sites. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matsuo_Bash%C5%8D )

One of Basho’s most famous Haiku poems is called “Old Pond.” Let’s look at it in the Japanese language, which, of course, has the conventional 5, 7, 5 pattern: fu-ru-i-ke ya (5) ka-wa-zu to-bi-ko-mu (7) mi-zu no o-to (5) Translated into English, we see the syllabication isn’t there, but the short and poignant meaning is:

old pond . . .

a frog leaps in

water’s sound

See how simple, yet descriptive, this poetic form is?

Here are a few general rules to apply as you go on your Haiku trek:

  1. Avoid the use of personal pronouns.
  2. If you use personal pronouns like I, don’t capitalize them.
  3. Use sentence fragments.
  4. Work on an eye-catching first line.
  5. Save the “punch” for the last line.

(For more details go to: http://www.ahapoetry.com/haiku.htm#comego )

Please forgive my importunity, but here are two Haiku I wrote years ago:

 

“The Deer”

A rack and a tail

The blast of a gun echoes

And he lives no more

 

 

“Peaceful Valley”

Sparkling cool waters

Trickle down dark mountain paths

Serene wilderness

 

So, there you have what Haiku is all about in a brief synopsis. Go ahead, try it; I think you’ll enjoy playing with words and creating a work of art in such a short form in such a short time.

Marsha

http://www.marshahubler.com

http://www.horsefactsbymarshahubler.wordpress.com

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WHOLESOME, SAFE BOOKS FOR TWEENS

SNOW, PHANTOM STALLION OF THE POCONOS

 SNOW

Dallis Parker copes with bullying at school by dreaming about owning Snow, a wild Mustang, who most folks believe doesn’t even exist. Then she actually touches the horse, and her life is changed forever.

http://www.amazon.com/Snow-Phantom-Stallion-Marsha-Hubler-ebook/dp/B013GUF078/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449523382&sr=1-1&keywords=Snow%2C+Phantom+Stallion+of+the+Poconos

IMG_9699DUCKS! THE PARADE OF PUPPETS! THE ODD DUCKS’ DILEMMA

and MUCH MORE FUN!

Writers’ conferences are not all hard work, listening to lectures, and studying the details of writing and publishing. Check out these fun times we had at the 2016 Montrose Christian Writers Conference held from July 17th to the 22nd at the Montrose Bible Conference Center, Montrose, PA. Watch for details concerning next year’s conference coming in a little while.

IMG_9651G.Roper.P.Souder.Maureen.Longnecker.2016Susan.Baganz.w.Duck.MCWC.2016Kriegers.w.Duck.MCWC.2016Eds.Skit.W.Theater.2016Portia.Richards.Shirley.Award.2016Ginny.Merritt.w.Duck.MCWC.2016Shirley.Stevens.Me.Duck.Hats.MWCW.2016IMG_9660

MONTROSE CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE MEMORIES

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IMG_9674IMG_9695Pieper.Marti.Photo.MCWC.2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Look for more MCWC photos in Facebook!

I look forward to seeing many of you again next year!

Keep on writing!

Marsha

http://www.marshahubler.com

http://www.horsefactsbymarshahubler.wordpress.com

 

 

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WHOLESOME, SAFE BOOKS FOR TWEENS

THE KEYSTONE STABLES SERIES

Keystone.Stables.Composite

8 exciting adventures about Skye Nicholson and her show horse, Champ

Book One

A HORSE TO LOVE

Keystone Stables Book 1

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002U80FZK/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

 

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