Finding Your Writer’s Voice: Part 2

Posted by: Bridgett.

Welcome back for part two of “Finding Your Writer’s Voice,” the fourth installment of our series “6 Elements of a Great Novel.”

Wikipedia defines a writer’s voice as: “the individual writing style of an author, a combination of their common usage of syntaxdictionpunctuationcharacter developmentdialogue, etc., within a given body of text (or across several works).”

find your voiceReaders of this blog likely have noticed a difference between my writing voice and Rebecca’s. While I may write blog posts in the form of a story or take a straightforward, almost academic approach, Rebecca’s style is more laid-back, conversational, and often humorous. Our voices as novelists are even further varied.

In this segment, we will explore several factors which determine the voice behind any work of fiction, memoir, or narrative nonfiction.  Continue reading

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Are your characters R.E.A.L.?

Posted by: Rebecca.

Last week, Bridgett blogged about 6 elements of a great novel. I thought I’d tackle one of those points in today’s post. (Whew, wish me luck!)

When you read, what makes you love or hate a character? For me, it’s how the character is developed. In the first few pages, am I drawn into their world? Can I relate to something they are going through? Better yet, am I experiencing their emotions as my own?

Sherbia & Diviak by M. Bergren

Everyone does goofy and stupid things. We all have different ideas of how things should be done, or how we should handle conflict. We each have a different flavor of ice cream we love. Some people don’t even like ice cream. (Gasp!)

So, why not give a character a R.E.A.L.© personality? Continue reading

6 Elements of a Great Novel: an editor’s perspective

Posted by: Bridgett.

What makes a novel unforgettable?

Some stories are like magical portals, vacuum cleaners, or black holes…They grab onto the reader (or editor/agent) and just suck her in, trapping her within a new world, a grand adventure, or the chaotic mind of a person she’s never met. And the reader has no desire to escape.

How do they do it?

Karen Schurrer Photo courtesy of winniegriggs.com

Karen Schurrer
Photo courtesy of winniegriggs.com

At a recent meeting of MN N.I.C.E., Minnesota’s chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), I had the privilege of hearing Bethany House Publishers fiction editor Karen Schurrer speak.  Karen has edited such bestselling authors as Tamera Alexander, Kristen Heitzmann, Karen Hancock, Patrick Carr, Karen Witemeyer, Minnesota’s own Julie Klassen, and others.

During her presentation, Karen revealed the six elements she looks for in a novel. So, how does a book catch an editor’s eye? Continue reading

Writing Tip: Don’t be passive!

Posted by: Bridgett.

Being passive in life can lead to a huge set of problems. Others may walk all over you, important decisions may never be made, your preferences get ignored, and worse.

Passive sentence structure, too, comes at a cost.

Whether you are writing a novel, memoir, how-to article, college essay, or business letter, writing instructors recommend avoiding the use of passive voice in sentence structure.

What is passive voice, and how can we avoid it? Continue reading

Interview with Bryan Davis

For today’s Fantasy Friday post, I am honored to share with you my interview with bestselling author Bryan Davis.

Bryan Davis: bioThough most widely recognized for his young adult fantasy novels written from a Christian worldview, Mr. Davis has authored books for adults, nonfiction titles, and children’s books. He is a gifted public speaker who mentors aspiring authors and encourages children and youth in reading and writing.

On Monday, April 14, Mr. Davis will present a workshop for my Minneapolis area writers’ group, and he graciously agreed to the following Q & A so we can all get to know him a bit better. Continue reading