Monday, April 13, 2015

Build an Author Resume


Build an Author Resume


Think back to your first resume. What did you include? Perhaps you had a part-time job in high school. Maybe it was flipping burgers, but it showed life experience (or at least the willingness to get out of bed). You continued to build your skills by attending college, participating in clubs, or picking up another job.

When you applied for your first professional position, you were able to develop a resume that highlighted extra-curricular activities, leadership positions, and work experience. You gathered repeated success in smaller positions to land the big opportunity—the job.

The same is true in publishing. Agents and editors not only look for authors who can write a page-turning novel with interesting characters and unique story arc but also professionals who can deliver a manuscript on time—and not just once, but multiple times. They’re interested in working with partners who can help make their business profitable.

How can you demonstrate that you’re an author who delivers? Not just pizzas but professionalism. Build your writing resume.

There are numerous opportunities to cut your teeth, develop your voice, and build credibility by starting small. Short stories, magazine articles, and contests are great avenues to increase your author resume. Then, when it’s time to pitch a novel, you not only have a great story idea, you also have a proven background.

So start today. Here are a few opportunities available now:

"Path to Forgiveness" Anthology - Faith by Grace Publishing*
· Fiction or non-fiction
· 2,000-10,000 words
· Theme: Stories about people who seek forgiveness
· Submission Deadline: May 1, 2015
· Website: www.faithbygracepublishing.com/

Havok, an imprint of Splickety Publishing Group

· Flash Fiction: 1,000 words or less
· Contest Issue ($10 entry fee)
· Submission Deadline: May 8, 2015
· Theme: Sci-Fi vs. Fantasy
· Website: www.splicketypubgroup.com

Splickety Love, an imprint of Splickety Publishing Group
· Flash Fiction: 1,000 words or less
· Submission Deadline: June 5, 2015
· Theme: Smitten Summer
· Website: www.splicketypubgroup.com

Windhover: A Journal of Christian Literature, The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
· Open submissions for poetry, short fiction, non-fiction, and creative nonfiction
· Submission Deadline: August 1, 2015
· Website: http://undergrad.umhb.edu/english/windhover-journal

Relief: A Christian Literary Expression
· Open submissions for fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, graphic narrative, interviews
· Year-round submissions accepted
· Submission Guidelines: www.reliefjournal.com/submit-your-work/
· Website: www.reliefjournal.com
*Sourced by christwriters.info


Christina Weeks is author of www.MessyLifeFlashFiction.com—quick reads posted on the first and fifteenth of the month. In addition, she’s published in short fiction and commercial publications. She’s also worked at Walt Disney World, flown in a stunt plane, and raced a stock car. You can connect with Christina at:
· www.Facebook.com/ChristinaWeeks
· www.Twitter.com/ChristinaWeeks1
· www.Goodreads.com/Christina_Weeks


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Brainstorming Your Novel


Brainstorming Your Novel
By DiAnn Mills


Every novelist reaches a plateau in which the perfect story idea isn't coming together. The plot germ is there, but the theme, setting, characters, and storyline seem to spin out of control. 

     By using the acronym, BRAINSTORMING, you can bring the whirling to a halt and anchor your writing onto a firm foundation.
     Believe in yourself. You've been given the gift of writing, and you’re pretty good at it. You understand the craft, and you’re continuously educating yourself to add more tools and techniques.
     Realistic writing is what sells. No matter the genre, your storyline must be credible with identifiable characters who react and respond according to the traits you've assigned them.
     Analyze your basic idea. How can you grow your characters by making their goals difficult, perhaps impossible to reach?
     Inspire your readers to attempt and achieve great things. Fiction is truth. Jesus spoke in parables and through His stories, people gleaned meaning and purpose for their lives. Don’t preach your message. Let the reader see who your characters are by the way they tackle life’s challenges.
     Name your book and your characters. Why is this important? Because the title of a book gives the writer passion for the project. Who wants to wake up each morning to the thrill of working on novel X? In the same way, your characters deserve names that mean something significant in the novel.
     Show don’t tell. Propel your story into action by incorporating body language, explosive emotion, purposeful dialogue, and unique settings. 
     Technique is essential to every story. To make sure your plotting is tight, ask yourself the following four questions before writing each scene.
     1. What is the point of view character’s problem or goal?
     2. What does the point of view character learn that he/she didn't know before?
     3. What backstory is revealed? (But not in the first fifty pages.)
     4. How are the stakes raised for the point of view character?
     Organize your thoughts into a file that contains all of your notes: plotting, research, characterization, and where you obtained the information. Go a step further and write a lengthy synopsis. I recommend plotting every scene. This doesn't stifle your creativity! You are the writer, and you can add, delete, and change whatever is necessary.
     Research is vital to every successful novel. If your novel takes place in your backyard, then research the weeds there. Do your best to visit the setting. Interview those who have the same careers or experiences as your characters. Use the services of a library, chamber of commerce, Internet exploration, and any other means of research to root your reader into the story. 
     Motivation is the key to every successful novel. You were motivated to begin a career as a writer. You were motivated to read this blog. Your characters are motivated by their wants and needs.
     Discover your character’s drive to see what he/she will do to achieve those wants and needs. 

This list is only the beginning to get your creativity flowing. Once you've completed the motivation aspect of your novel planning, the desire to write will soon take over. You’ll be ready to position your nimble fingers on the keyboard and speed off on another adventure!


Comment below and be entered in a random drawing for a personalized or e-copy of Double Cross.


DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; the 2015 president of the Romance Writers of Americas Faith, Hope, & Love chapter; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at www.diannmills.com.

CHRISTY AWARD WINNER
FIREWALL - Tyndale - July 2014
DOUBLE CROSS - Tyndale April 2015
DEADLOCK - Tyndale October 2015