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Posts Tagged ‘juvenile fiction’

THE 2017 MCWC FACULTY SPOTLIGHT – AUTHOR CAROL WEDEVEN

Writers, do you have a picture book manuscript and you’re not sure what to do with it? Should you find an artist to do your sketches? Do you lay out the book and send a “dummy” to the publisher? Are you sure your word count is correct for the age for whom you’re writing?

Get all these questions answered at this year’s Montrose Christian Writers Conference from July 16th to the 20th. Author Carol Wedeven is moderating a morning Picture Book Work in Progress. Carol and no more than eight conferees will work on their picture book manuscripts, moving one step closer to publication. Then, in three afternoon classes (open to anyone), Carol will present the nuts and bolts of writing for children:

 Seeing Through the Eyes of a Child

If you really want to write for children, dare yourself to become the child who will be your reader. We will observe, think, feel, believe like that child until you are able to see through that child’s eyes.  As soon as you connect heart to heart, you are ready to write.  It’s guaranteed.  Interactive, hands-on handouts from tears to hilarity.

Putting Characters in Place

Pushing and pulling are allowed, encouraged, expected. What words place a main character, a secondary character or a “walk-on” in just the right space within your story’s setting?  See it happen as we choose words which either pull a main character forward or push a secondary or walk-on character toward the background where they belong.  Interactive, hands-on handouts and the final aha!

Writing for Picture: Magazine or Picture Book for Children?

You submit a picture book manuscript, but the editor calls it a short story. What’s the difference? Is it possible to craft one form then change it into the other? How? Using award-winning picture books, you will see, hear, experience, and understand the basic element which makes the difference between manuscripts for picture books and magazines. Interactive hands-on handouts. An eye-opener session!

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Carol Wedeven: author of 11 children’s books, curriculum, poetry, fillers, short stories, & drama scripts. Enjoys drama improvisation, plays with words, hosts a critique group, and mentors writers.

I look forward to seeing you in July!

Check out all the details at http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx

Marsha, Director

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MONTROSE CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE MEMORIES

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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

 

 

(More shameless promotion)

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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May 23, 2016

 

Today’s Writers’ Tip: Writing Fiction Plots Outside the Box

Christmas.Presents

Over the years, I’ve taught different classes and courses on writing at various writers conferences, including the Montrose Christian Writers Conference in Montrose, PA. As of January 2015, I assumed the directorship of the conference, which is a wonderful experience for any writer at any level in his/her career. Every year there are workshops and classes presented by a faculty (this year 17) of many best-selling or award-winning authors, agents, or editors representing various genres and subgenres.

In one of my seminars for beginners, I present anything and everything from query letters and proposals to marketing yourself and your work. I also present a detailed Power Point on the good elements of fiction, including how to write “outside the box.” I thought I’d share a few of those pointers with you in this post.

First, we need to define the term “outside the box.” What in heaven’s name does that mean?

“Write outside the box.”

Well, in plain language, it means to write a plot that doesn’t have a normal humdrum boring story line.

As a short exercise in my presentation, I always cite some average boring story lines and ask my class to change the plot so that it’s outside the box. One example I cite is the following:

“A little girl finds a nest of baby bunnies in her back yard.”

Now, of course, everyone is immediately drawn to the “outside the box” famous children’s story, Alice in Wonderland, where Alice finds a whole new world, not a nest of baby bunnies.

Several years ago, I presented this workshop to a group of writers and asked how to change the story line. One fellow in the back of the room raised his hand and said, “How about if a big rabbit finds a nest of little girls in his back yard?”

I said to him, “Sir, you are DEFINITELY thinking outside the box. Go for it.”

Just for the fun of it, I’m going to list about 10 different story lines. Analyze each one. If you can change the plot to move it outside the box, do so. But some of the story lines are already outside the box and are, in fact, famous stories or books written by best-selling published authors. See if you can identify those that are already great plots.

So, which of these would you like to continue to read?

  1. A little girl saves enough money to buy a horse at auction.
  2. A bitter sea captain of a sailing ship hunts for a white sperm whale to kill him.
  3. A newly married couple tours Paris, France, and enjoys all the sites.
  4. A boy is shipwrecked on an island with only a wild stallion that won’t let him get near him.
  5. A middle-aged woman works at Wal-Mart, saving enough money to take a trip to Hawaii.
  6. A young pioneer woman is left alone on the prairie in her covered wagon when her husband falls from his horse and is killed.
  7. The neighbor’s cat has a litter of six kittens underneath a little boy’s porch.
  8. A collie dog, sold and taken away from the boy he loves, travels a long distance through life-threatening dangers to return to his boy.
  9. A young unmarried girl decides to marry her childhood sweetheart.
  10. An unmarried woman on a plantation in a southern state faces the harsh reality of post Civil War life and the loss of all she held dear.

Well, how did you do? Did you analyze the boring plots and decide what you could do to make them better? (Numbers 1, 3, 5, 7, 9)

And did you identify the best-selling books/movies in numbers 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10?

MOBY DICK

THE BLACK STALLION

LOVE COMES SOFTLY

LASSIE, COME HOME

GONE WITH THE WIND

When you analyze what makes these million-dollar story lines what they are, you’ll be on your way to writing, possibly, the next great American novel. And all the while you’re writing, keep on reading. Read tons of books, especially in the subgenre in which you are writing, and learn how the masters did it. Maybe someday, your name will be on a best-seller list with the rest of them!

Happy writing!

P.S. Time to register for the Montrose Christian Writers Conference. You won’t be sorry!

Please check http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx for all the details.

Marsha

http://www.marshahubler.com

http://www.horsefactsbymarshahubler.wordpress.com

http://www.marshahubler.com

(More shameless promotion)

ANOTHER WHOLESOME BOOK 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

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Writers! It’s Time to Register for the Montrose Christian Writers Conference!

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July 17th – 22nd (Or come for just a few days)!

Older Teens to Senior Citizens!

Come to Montrose and get your work ready to publish!

 

This Year’s Perks

  1. Build your blog or update! (3 classes or private tutoring for only $20/45 min. periods)
  2. Finally understand how to use Microsoft Word to enhance your documents. (3 classes)
  3. Attend freebie critique groups to give you invaluable advice to hone your work.
  4. Review your work privately with a faculty member. (free/15 min. periods or $40/30 min.)
  5. Read a 3-minute piece of your work to all the conferees at Writers’ Theatre.
  6. Participate in the Parade of Puppets with your puppets or dummies.
  7. Participate in the Odd Ducks’ Dilemma, a quiz program similar to Jeopardy.

Just Starting to Write?

Attend the Inspiration and Perspiration classes with Roseanna White to learn where to start.

Wanna Self Publish? Don't.Stop.Believing

Attend 3 classes to find out just how to do it.

Wanna Publish Your Poetry?

Sign up for the work-in-progress seminar with award winning poet Shirley Stevens or attend her 3 classes during the week.

Is My Romance Novel Good Enough?

Find out by signing up for the work-in-progress seminar with award winning novelist Gayle Roper.

Walk.w.Joan.and.Faith.at.MontroseCan’t Attend All the Classes?

Purchase any or all the recorded sessions for a reasonable price.

 

PLUS over 40 classes that present everything from public speaking to editing your own work to marketing and promotion.

I’d love to see you there in July!

For more details, go to http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx

Looking forward to meeting and greeting you on July 17th!

 

 

(More shameless promotion)

SNOW, PHANTOM STALLION OF THE POCONOS

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

 

SNOW

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December 14, 2015

Fiction That Wows Your Reader (Part 10)

Character Sketches Build Character

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Several blogs ago, I discussed creating characters and plots outside the box. In other words, you should create unique characters and plots that are different from the norm; yet, your reader would be able to identify with or feel sympathy toward at least one of the characters and would want to jump right into your book and be a part of the “scenery.”

Today, let’s discuss the importance of keeping good notes such as character sketches. Whether you’re writing juvenile fiction with a handful of characters or you’re tackling adult fiction that might have a dozen or so characters, you need to “know your people.” This is so vitally important if you’re going to write adult fiction with different points of view. (POV) You must know the character like a brother or consider him your best friend so you can get inside his head.

While writing ten tween books and just recently an Amish romance for adults, I found the biggest difference in how I handled writing the manuscripts has been character development. With tween books, character development can be shallow. Basically, all you need are five or six poignant details about the main characters, and you can fill in the blanks as you go. However, with an adult fiction manuscript that could be 50,000 to over 100,000 words long with multiple scenes in each chapter and numerous POVs, I discovered I had to have more detailed descriptions of all the characters, which included not only how they looked (appearance) but also how they felt about certain issues (philosophy or religious beliefs), why they thought or acted certain ways (background), and their circle of influence. (In Amish fiction, each family member is vitally important so I had to almost make a family tree for each main character.)

I’ve heard of authors who write such details about their characters that they give them a birth date, birthplace, and an actual family tree. They list their characters’ likes and dislikes; they name their characters’ best friends and enemies; they list the places the characters have visited, the education they’ve received, and the foods they like and dislike. Yadah, yadah, yadah.

“Whoa!” you might say. “Enough is enough. I’m not going to all that work before I even start.”

Well, those authors who do that are some of the best-selling ones. They know their “Bill” and “Susie” inside and out and no trouble writing what “Bill” would do if he saw a baby sparrow fall out of its nest or what “Susie” would do if her husband came home without the milk she reminded him to pick up at the store.

So how far you want to delve into character development is your choice. I have found that the more prep time I take to get to know Bill or Susie, the less time I waste with hashing out all those details when I get to crossroads that require the characters to act a certain way. In the long run, I think detailed character sketches make a writer a better craftsman all around, no matter how much time it takes.

So, weigh the work involved, and, maybe, just for practice, try writing a detailed character sketch. You might just enjoy yourself and find a brand new best friend!

Next time we’ll discuss the difference between “theme” and “plot.”

Happy writing! Marsha

(Web) www.marshahubler.com

(Writers Tips) www.marshahubler.wordpress.com

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

(Horse Facts Blog) www.horsefactsbymarshahubler.wordpress.com

 

(More Shameless Promotion)

 

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

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July 6, 2015

You Should Tell, Not Show?

In my last blog, I focused on “showing,” not “telling” in narration, and I gave you an example of lousy narration versus that which will catch the eye of the beholder.

Let’s continue with the premise that good narration can be “telling,” not “showing” if handled properly. If you do need to “expound” about details that you simply can’t include in dialogue, then I suggest following the next few steps to good “telling:”

  1. “Paint” a picture with your words that includes as many of the senses as you can. (Remember my waterfall scene in the last blog?) Think of your reader as one of the characters so he/she experiences the same thing your characters are experiencing.
  2. If you are going to open your book (or each chapter, for that matter) with narration and not dialogue, hook your reader. That all important first paragraph of your novel will either inspire your reader to go on or cause him to yawn and put your book down. Check the opening paragraphs of best-selling authors and analyze how they grab your attention in that first paragraph.
  3. Even though you’re probably writing your novel in one predominant character’s voice, good narration often establishes an omniscient voice, one that is authoritative and sets the general mood of the novel. The earlier you accomplish this, the better. (Again, study the beginning chapters of some great novels. What voice does the writer present in the narration?)
  4. Do not expound for pages and pages of narration. That’s a sure-way to lose your reader. Condense and summarize if nothing exciting is happening to your character. Remember our literature AND our readers today in our fast-moving society are both a far cry from the novels or fans of that style or writing from decades ago.
  5. Dialogue is not always the way to go with back story. If details are not that important in a character’s past life, you can work it in to the manuscript so that your character is reflecting into the past. Don’t bore your reader with unimportant details!
  6. Shorten your narration to a few sentences if you’re describing secondary characters. You can’t always show every single action, dialogue, or mood of all your characters. It isn’t necessary. There are times when you will want to economize your method and just plain “tell” the reader what happened. But as a skillful storyTELLER, you can refine your writing style and keep your reader on the edge of his seat, even if you are “telling,” not “showing.”

So there you have it. Telling is not always bad. It depends entirely on the skill you incorporate to hook that reader and keep his attention through your spurts of narration.

 

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TIME TO REGISTER FOR THE

MONTROSE CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE!

Jim.Director

Becky and Jim Fahringer

(Directors of the Montrose Bible Conference Center)

July 19th-24th

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

Four Major Morning Continuing Classes

40 Afternoon Workshops

Paid Professional Critiques with Award-Winning Authors and Editors

Fellowship with Other Authors, Agents, and Editors

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Award-winning Eva Marie Everson

will present Foundations of Fiction through Film

(6 sessions)

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June 8, 2015

How to Turn Off Your Readers

You’re writing that great American novel. You’ve read tons of “how to write” books, studied your high school English books to the last dangling participle, and now you’re ready to start pecking away at the keyboard.

There are a few basic principles of writing good fiction to keep your reader engaged that must be remembered or your book will go flying out your reader’s window. Worse yet, while it’s being reviewed at the publishing company, the editor will send your manuscript back so fast, you’re characters’ heads will be spinning. Your story will never see the light of published day.

So, if you want to turn off your reader, or your editor, here’s what you do:

  1. Start your book by waxing eloquent. Describe beautiful settings, introduce action, and throw in a few pages of dialogue of minor characters. But don’t introduce your main protagonist until page 10.
  2. Write 20 pages of backstory with vivid descriptions and details of your protagonist’s past life. Tell every nitty, gritty little detail about him that doesn’t mean beans to the main story line.
  3. Have your plot direction the mystery of mysteries. “What the heck is going on here?” will run through your reader’s mind every time he turns the page and starts a new chapter.
  4. Develop a main protagonist that is offensive and says really outrageous or stupid things that aren’t justified. For example, women readers are very sensitive to male attitudes toward them. (The author’s attitudes will come shining through in the protagonist’s actions and words.)

OR

  1. Make your main protagonist such a “cutsie” or upstanding citizen that your readers get turned off by his/her perfect life. Let’s face it. No one’s perfect except Jesus. Your hero/heroine has to have some faults, which endears him/her to the reader and cheers him/her on to win at the end of the story. No reader in his right mind would want to embrace a character who is so heavenly minded, he’s no earthly good.
  2. If you’re writing Christian fiction, preach it, brother! Fill your pages with scripture verses and holier-than-thou principles of goody-two-shoes living. Write a book that reads more like a Bible study than a novel. Yes, you want to embed biblical principles in your writing, but do it subtly through the eyes and heart of your main character, and your readers will get the hint.

So, there you have it. If you’ve decided you don’t want to ever be published, there’s what you do. Master these six steps, and you’ll definitely turn off any reader who’s brave enough to attempt to tackle your “eloquence.”

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TIME TO REGISTER FOR THE

MONTROSE CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE!

July 19th-24th

Cindy.Beth.Ed.Tim.Wymbs.2013

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

Don't.Stop.Believing

Four Major Morning Continuing Classes

40 Afternoon Workshops

Fellowship with Other Authors, Agents, and Editors

Kathie.Mitchell.2.gals.eating.2013

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