7 Reasons Why Your Novel's Beginning Is So Critical

I recently had the honor of being named as a finalist in the ACFW Genesis contest, and had two days in which to make changes to my entry to resumbit for the finals. That was a tense two days, as I agonized over every word, every sentence and every paragraph (and for that matter--every comma). My entry consisted of a one-page, single-spaced synopsis and the first fifteen pages of my manuscript. ...more

Louder Than Words

We've all heard the expression: "Actions speak louder than words." I've always believed this. You can tell someone you love them time and time again, but unless your actions prove it, your words are wasted. In my study of the craft, I realized that the same is true for our characters. While dialogue is a great way to reveal character, actions will always come first at showing the reader who the character is. This makes the interplay between dialogue and action extremely important in writing our characters. ...more

The One And Only God - Part 6

This post is the sixth part of a series that I started in response to how God is portrayed in The Shack as opposed to how God is revealed in the Bible. As I've read through my Bible this year in a one-year reading plan, I've taken notes as I've come across verses that deal with the nature and character of God. I hope to pass on to you what I've discovered. The Glory of Israel"He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man, that He should change His mind." ~1 Samuel 15:29 (NIV) ...more

Who Am I? The Inadequacy Of The Called

After yesterday's amazing video and our discussions on writing character emotion, I started thinking about how often we feel the emotion of inadequacy. The feeling that we're not good enough, that we're not able, that we can't. Then I realized that many characters in the Bible felt the same way--especially when it came to God calling them to a certain task. ...more

How To Write Character Emotion: Guilt & Shame

New emotional food for thought: Are guilt and shame the same thing? Is it possible to feel one without the other? Do we ever "get over" shame and guilt? What's the dividing line between the two? Are there some people who only feel these emotions when they get caught? Synonyms: disgrace, self-disgust, humiliation, degradation, dishonor, infamy, remorse, self-abomination, embarrassment, mortification, chagrin, unworthiness, contempt, disrespect, debasement, disappointment Dictionary Definitions: ...more

How To Write Character Emotion: DESIRE

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a racy post!! Rated G--I promise! Synonyms: craving, longing, yearning, need, wish, passion for, want, hunger Degrees of Desire (from weakest to strongest)IMHO: wish, want, need, longing, yearning, passion for, craving, hunger ...more

How To Write Character Emotion: CURIOSITY

Is curiosity an emotion, or is it a state of mind—part of the intellect? Just curious... Synonyms: inquisitiveness, interest, questioning (think about a child), prying, snoopiness, intrusiveness, nosiness, intrigue Once again, I believe there are degrees of curiosity, but this time from the synonyms that have a positive slant to those that are more negative: desire to learn, inquisitiveness, intrigue, interest, questioning, intrusiveness, snoopiness, nosiness, prying Quote: "Curiosity is lying in wait for every secret." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson ...more

Wonderful insight. Over at my blog, WordVessel, we discussed how emotions play a big ...more

How To Write Character Emotion: Contentment

Ahh...contentment. There's nothing quite like it. Let's dig into it with our brains and see if we can find fresh ways to convey it on the page. Synonyms: satisfaction, gratification, happiness, pleasure, peace, ease, serenity, comfort I happen to believe that there are degrees of contentment. Here's how I've categorized it (from mildest to strongest): happiness, ease, comfort, pleasure, peace, gratification, serenity, satisfaction ...more

Book Review & Giveaway

Higher Hope by Robert Whitlow is a legal thriller in the style of John Grisham, and his second book in the Tides Of Truth series. Set in beautiful Savannah, Georgia, it tells the story of Tami Taylor, a summer law clerk for the Braddock, Appleby and Carpenter law firm. Because of her strict religious upbringing, she is assigned to a case involving a caustic preacher-turned-prophet, who goes by the name of Sister Dabney. This poses a huge moral dilemma for Tami. Will her conscience allow her to take part in a case against one of God's anointed? ...more

The One And Only God - Part 5

The God we serve is above all. He is the One and Only God. This post continues my study of who God is, as I read through my Bible this year. He humbles us to test us. Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands. ~Deuteronomy 8:2, NIV ...more