I’m dizzy with gratitude!
Have you experience circumstances that seemed to detour your plans, crush your hopes, and possibly even caused you to be the laughing stock of your enemies? Many of us have or will, though some would not own it.
Can you believe that you are in rich company? I was sitting here considering Abraham, Esther, and Nehemiah. None of their lives were protected from trials. Each one had their own hurdles to leap over. Joseph, Ruth, Paul and so many—if not all—of the heroes and heroines that the Bible records hold something in common.
Their hope refused to be swayed, their loyalty to the Lord stayed intact, though they came from seemingly impossible and ridiculous circumstances. Who on earth would choose these people for the positions that God Almighty elevated them to? Thankfully, God looks into the heart!
What would we find if we inspected our hearts? Is there something that Holy Spirit is drawing our minds to right now? Something that we have protected and left tucked deep inside, which needs released? Something we only ever meant to hide and ignore? Maybe this feels like a precipice, like death itself. And truly this is a death of something selfish or less-than what God would have us enjoy. I believe that is true, yet sometimes I still hold on. So pointless—at least that is what I’ve realized once I get past the great whatever and can look back once more.
Who among those Bible heroes enjoyed a so called normal existence? And were they not all a surprise to their families or neighbors and enemies? God keeps us in perfect peace when our eyes stay on Him. Let’s do that—you and me. Let’s consider His attention and direction to be the best for us and believe that our…
Unlikely Circumstances = God’s Open Door
Teaching, discussion and writing prompts for Pens of Praise Christian Writers Group
By Susan Marlene
Why is dialogue important? Some editors will skip to your dialogue before they consider what else is in your proposal. You don’t want your readers to put your book down because of stilted conversations and dialogue.
Subtext – Important to use. We all experience someone talking to us like this. Example saying “I love you!” but it is meant to covey the meaning of “I hate you!” (sarcasm.) Character’s response is to what the speaking character means and not to the actual words spoken. (Actors have to show the intention behind the lines to preform well.)
Books The First 50 Pages by Jeff Gerke, The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman, and How to WRITE Dazzling DIALOGUE BY James Scott Bell
Work this out:
Write several lines of dialogue without action or scenery or description.
Parts of a beat and how to use them effectively:
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT THIS PAGE?
Beat it! Rewrite the dialogue with beats.
To Include in dialogue:
Because of each character’s motivation:
Feelings, Situation & Setting
Education & or Intelligence
Think about-- if you want the character’s dialogue to be subtly or obviously spoken.
Anne of Green Gables – Matthew’s silence, Mrs. Cuthbert trying to make sense of keeping Anne instead of a little boy to help Matthew., Mrs. Lynn the controlling neighbor & famous busy body.
Write an INFORMATION DUMP. Example:
While speaking to their aunt.
My brother, John Gibbon Jr., who graduated in 1990 and attended Harvard for a couple of years just moved to town in Mildred Green’s house on 10th and Elm, is a man to be admired.
Your turn—write your information dump.
Now write dialogue that would give or imply most of the information from your information dump in a more excellent and acceptable way.
Punctuation with dialogue from How to WRITE Dazzling Dialogue THE FASTEST WAY TO IMPROVE ANY MANUSCRIPT by James Scott Bell Look at pages 94--104
Here are my notes shared for those who couldn't attend the meeting or for those who desire to learn about writing. I wish you the best. Dialogue either makes or breaks a novel for me. Happy writing to you!
P.S. Pens writing prompt for October was: "If only I had said...." You may write it in any genre you wish.
This RITA Award winning author, Elizabeth Camden, is an author I pay attention to. I enjoy her characters and stories each time I purchase her novels. To the Farthest Shores interested me on so many levels. Far be it from me to spoil your surprise and discovery of the mystery woven into this story. I will not reveal plot twists and turns, but I do say that this was a refreshing dip into the 1898 and 1904-time period, which allowed me to consider how America has changed for the better concerning women’s employment as well as the unique interactions of the characters.
Elizabeth Camen’s characters are fresh, realistic, and entertaining. The main character, Jenny Bennett, is a nurse working for the U.S. Army. Her strength, intelligence, and likability makes her a personality to look up to and respect. Ryan Gallagher, also referred to as Galahad, is an amazing hero and thank you Elizabeth for having a pleasant good guy be the love interest! Refreshing! I love the thread about cultured pearls!
Elizabeth Camden caught me off guard with one of the character’s inner struggles. Well done! You—reader of this blog post—will have to listen on audio or read her novel to discover what I hint about here. I enjoyed the audio version of her novel, but I also purchased the printed copy on my Kindle too. If you do read her novel and figure out what struggle I’m alluding to—don’t hesitated to write a comment on this blog. (Without spoiling it for the next reader of her novel please!)
You may consider this an invitation to read Elizabeth Camden’s novels—she is an author who does not disappoint!
I have recently read “To the Farthest Shores” which I highly recommend as an excellent read. But today I’m switching up which book I’m presenting questions for. My communication with Elizabeth Camden revealed a very interesting story that has been recently released. So reader, does this grab your interest for your next read? This line of questions from Ms. Camden certainly tickled my fancy!
1) How did you decide to write A Dangerous Legacy?
I was inspired to write this novel after reading a terrific book called The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century’s Online Pioneers, by Tom Standage. The book describes how news agencies telegraphed stories all over the world, and how the telegraph operators who staffed these machines around the clock often got bored and began chatting with one another during slow times. They also eavesdropped on one another. I immediately knew this would provide a great setting for a novel. Although we tend to think of online friendships and internet hacking as very 21st century, all of this was occurring during my 1903 timeframe via telegraph machines.
2) If you could be like one of the characters in A Dangerous Legacy—which one would you be like and why?
There are three leading characters in the book. All are brave, charismatic, and fearless. I’m not like any of them! I don’t even want to BE one of them! I always put my characters through the wringer before they earn their happy ending, so that’s not a lot of fun. If I had to choose one, I would pick my heroine, Lucy, because she gets Sir Colin Beckwith in in the end, and he is a very dishy guy!
3) What is the message theme you most want your reader to benefit from?
Mostly to keep our dreams in perspective. The plot revolves around a family who has been swindled out of a forty-million dollar inheritance, but the heroine has one final chance to win the lawsuit and deliver justice for the people of New York City. I love a good Charles Dickens story, and that was the vibe I aimed for in A Dangerous Legacy, complete with fascinating villains, heroes battling overwhelming odds, and a heroine desperate to put a generations-long vendetta to rest. Lucy’s single-minded determination to win the lawsuit causes her to lead a barren life as she funnels all her time and energy at the quest. She let bitterness get the better of her. I think many people can relate to periods in their life when they felt cheated or slighted. It can be a challenge to keep that emotion confined and prevent it from tainting the rest of your world.
4) What was your favorite bit of history you discovered while you researched for this novel.
I learned a lot about the way water was supplied to New York City, and about the network of tunnels, drains, and subways that run beneath the city. Those spooky settings make for great plot devices!
5) What is your next novel about and when will it be available for purchase?
My next book is a sequel to A Dangerous Legacy, called A Daring Venture, and it will release in mid-2018. The heroine is a doctor who is part of a research team that proposes a controversial solution to cure waterborne diseases. This puts her in stark opposition to the hero, who is the newly appointed Commissioner of Water in New York. It is based on a real life court case from 1908, and I loved the chance to research the courageous scientists, businessmen, and engineers who participated in this landmark case. Decisions this big are rarely easy, so it was a wonderful story tailor-made for a novel.
6) How do you wish your readers to contact you?
Email works! I am at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our September’s Pens of Praise meeting, taught by Sarah Grosskopf called “Visualization, Focus, Camera Angles: Keys to Unlocking Writer’s Block?” proved inspirational at the least! Thank you, Sarah for your instruction and dare I say point of view!
This is definitely a writing lesson that will offer picture perfect clarity and inspiration for your writing project! Visit Sarah and tap into her wisdom at www.ragtimedaydreams.blogspot.com.
Susan Marlene Kinney is published in Splickety Love Magazine, The Novice and newspapers. She writes devotions, fiction, and nonfiction. She is a member and co-founder of Pens of Praise Christian Writers and is a member of Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, ACFW WISE, and Lighthouse Christian Writers. She speaks at writers groups and prepares devotions and teachings often for Pens of Praise Christian Writers. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and At-Risk Teacher’s Aide. She loves antiques and training her Leonberger, who in turn loves to train her. But don't tell the cat, she thinks she has everyone under control.