Insights into Writing

» Posted on Jan 9, 2006 in Blog | 1 comment

Here is the expanded outline of the speech I gave at the new local chapter of ACFW (www.americanchristianfictionwriters.com).

1. How I got published:
My first book was published back in 1982 (sold in 1981). I sold it to Silhouette Romance–Second Chance on Love.

2. Why I switched to inspirational romances in 2000:
I needed to tell a story–now when I looked back, I know God was pushing me in that direction. He had for a while, but I wasn’t listening at first.

3. How I see the inspirational market now:
I see it as strong for the time being.

4. The three things an inspirational book should have:
a. faith message
b. good characters
c. tight, well written plot
If we want to keep the inspirational market growing, we must deliver those in every book.

5. What not to sweat:
a. picky things–usually having to do with grammar (where commas go, etc.)
b. what the title of the book is (I usually don’t get to keep my titles.)

6. What to sweat:
a. how to put together a good intriguing story
b. creating believable characters
c. keeping the pace moving
d. getting research right

7. Struggles I’ve faced:
a. insecurities as a writer
b. never sure if I’m telling the story right
c. the last book I sold could be my last one
d. over eight year dry spell

8. The worst part of writing is the self promotion. I hate it. I am not a saleswoman. Never will be.

9. The best part of writing is coming up with the story. The second best part is when I know my characters so well they take over and tell the story. I become the transcriber.

10. The hardest part of writing to me is the description–the details. When I write the first draft, I always have to go back and layer the story with the details and emotions.

11. The easiest part of writing is the working through a plot logically–piecing the puzzle together. I love to brainstorm.

10. Writing advice:
a. Persistence is important if you want to be a writer (so is a thick skin).
b. Listen to your inner voice and believe in yourself.
c. Read and keep on top of what is being published.
d. Networking is important. Besides, keeping us from feeling as though we
write in a vacuum, networking will keep us informed of what is selling,
etc.

1 Comment

  1. Great advice, Margaret! I like how it’s so succinct, too.
    Camy

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